NMR Exclusive: A Day with Big Frame’s Founders

Warner Bros. Paramount. Universal. Disney. Big Frame. Big Frame? Well, maybe not quite yet, but certainly a good possibility to bank on in the not too distant future. After all, Big Frame is a media company with big ideas, big vision and big YouTube stars. Their talent roster reads like a who’s who of YouTube front page content – MysteryGuitarMan, Mike Diva, DeStorm Power, Tay Zonday, Dave Days, Corridor Digital and WhatsUpElle, among others. I don’t know how to put this, but Big Frame is kind of a big deal. And it’s a big deal that the majority of viewers of YouTube’s most popular artist-created videos know nothing about. I was able to sit down with Big Frame’s bigwigs in Hollywood, California for an exclusive and highly revealing interview in which I got their real-time explanation on what they really do, the importance of their transparency policy, their take on Big Frame’s new channel, BAMMO, and the future of YouTube, among other things. Read and learn.

Alan: Could you acquaint our readers with your company? What, exactly, does your company do?

Sarah Penna (Co-founder/Head of Talent Management): Yes, we are a management and marketing company. We manage YouTube talent, and that encompasses a lot of things from doing brand integration with them, to career development, to growing and developing their audience in a variety of ways and using analytics to increase audiences in a sustainable way. We are also an ad sales network, and we are also a production company. We have a production arm that creates original content. We have our first owned and operated channel, BAMMO, that launched two weeks ago. This is the third week.

Sarah Penna (left) and Steve Raymond (right)

Alan: How do you see your company? As a cynic, I would ask, ‘so is this all about making big money off of YouTube?’ Was there just a void in production and marketing for YouTube talent?

Sarah: Yeah, when I started the company I noticed there was a void. There were brands interested in the space but they didn’t know how to work with YouTube talent, how to kind of maximize the money that they were putting in and they didn’t necessarily understand the value. And there was talent that didn’t know their own value, so I kind of wanted to bridge that gap. And I’ve always been an independent content creator; I worked at Current TV, which was empowering content creators around the world to create short documentary films that could be seen on a TV network. Nowhere else was really doing that and I was a documentary filmmaker myself, so it was more about enabling people to continue to produce content and the way you do that is by making money (laughs). And so it’s in order to kind of maximize their monetization in order to keep creating content. So a cynic might say its all about money, but a lot of times the first brand deal we do with a talent, they’ll buy a new camera or lights and they’ll increase production quality; they’ll reinvest that money back into the production of their content.

Alan: So what exactly goes in the production of a YouTube video? What does Big Frame do for your YouTube artists that they can’t do on their own?

Sarah: So we’re definitely more behind the scenes. We don’t necessarily help with production; all of our talent produces their own content but we help them with different aspects of the business that they might not have familiarity with, whether it’s monetization or management. YouTube gives us these great analytics tools but ‘okay, fine. I can see my demographic data or I can see my audience retention rate, but what do I do with that?’ We help them kind of analyze that data. We also help them analyze their overall social media footprint. How are they using Facebook and Twitter and are there ways to alter that or tweak it slightly so they’re engaging with their audience more and that, therefore, is building their personal brand. YouTube talent is exceptional in that they’re oftentimes writing, creating, producing, shooting, starring and marketing their own content, which there’s no other form of entertainment where there’s one person doing every step of the way. And so we try to help create an infrastructure around them for marketing analytics, audience development and also cross promotion. It’s not easy for a small YouTube channel to approach bigger YouTube channels, especially since you don’t know them or you don’t feel like they would say ‘yes’ or you don’t know how to get in contact with them. We really help facilitate that collaborative spirit that is so core to what YouTube is.

Alan: Right, so you feel its more marketing than production.

Sarah: Yeah.

Alan: So then what sets Big Frame’s marketing apart from its competitors?

Sarah: (exhales) This is a Steve question (laughs). He answers these so well. I would say that we are sort of the happy medium between pure management and pure production. Our theory in the way we do business is that the production is sort of the teaching someone to produce their own content and then monetizing on top of that ultimately is going to benefit them more than plugging them into a production system. And also having the capacity to build audiences rather than just plugging into someone who’s already built a following of millions of people and monetizing around that – that’s one strategy. We are able to do that, and we’re also able to take smaller channels and develop them to have a sustainable audience. And so I think I see us as a happy medium; we’re not staking our claim in production because we feel that YouTube was built on content creators that did production on their own. We will help them – we have resources, we’ve bought equipment for certain people, we’ve had them come in and talk to our production team about the best ways to light, the best ways to create a background and just little tips like that. So we do have resources but we’re not like, ‘here’s a producer, here’s a associate producer, here’s a PA, here’s your lighting person, your sound person. For us, that model doesn’t feel necessarily as sustainable as… it’s sort of like that ‘you give a man a fish’… I don’t know what you would call that anecdote. You give a man a fish, he eats for a day. You teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.

Grant Gibson (Head of Operations and Analytics): There’s more leverage in educating and empowering the individual YouTubers to grow their own audience and working with them to do that instead of inserting ourselves and doing that on their behalf.

Grant Gibson

Alan: Maker Studios recently sent out a letter to their artists and a press release touting their new-found transparency in regard to making all Maker’s partners’ channel analytics, including gross revenue and viewership data, available to their artists. Explain Big Frame’s transparency policy in regard to YouTube analytics and partner earnings.

Sarah: Absolutely. Transparency has always been a really big concern and something that we value very highly, so when we transferred from just being a management company to a network, the number one issue is that you lose insight into your AdSense. You lose visibility. So when anybody signed to our network, they could contact myself or Grant anytime, night or day, if they wanted a screenshot of their analytics of how a certain video was performing and people did that and we provided them with a screenshot. And we also developed a dashboard; we knew YouTube was working on flipping this switch and allowing networks to decide if they wanted to be transparent or not but we didn’t know how long it would take. Was it going to be two months or two years? So we had a developer working on a dashboard that we were beta testing with five of our partners when YouTube flipped this switch on.

Steve Raymond (Co-founder/CEO): They turned it on on a Thursday and we gave everyone access the following Monday. They didn’t roll it out.

Sarah: They just sort of unceremoniously turned it on.

Steve: It just appeared, so we had to make sure we knew what it was and then we turned it on the following Monday or Tuesday and Sarah sent an email to everyone on a Wednesday, which was ten days before this week. And I think what’s going on in terms of transparency is that there’s just a lot of experimentation with business models going on. We happen to have one where transparency is important because we’re mostly doing deals that are revenue share based. In our deals, we include audit rights, so if you don’t trust what we’re mailing you, you can audit our books, et cetera, and that’s pretty common. I think some people have deals where they’re offering more of a fixed set of economics and they want to capture the upside and so they have a little bit more of an incentive to not have it as transparent and I don’t think either one is necessarily unfair, right? I mean, if you’re an artist, you get to pick either ‘you’d like to work with someone who’s transparent’ or ‘you can work with someone who’s going to guarantee you money but they’re making more on the upside and you don’t really know but you’re getting it in there.’ It’s sort of an overblown thing and there’s probably some history that people are trying to flush out with all of this, but we really didn’t think it was this press-worthy.

Grant: Finally! (laughs)

Steve: Oh, cool, we paid this engineer 20 thousand to build this, but YouTube now has an official version that we don’t need to worry about maintaining or work on what happens if there’s a bug in the code.

Grant: Our version’s actually a little better because the YouTube version takes a couple of days to catch up and we had developed the logic to estimate it based on current views. Sometimes, it was a little less accurate but it was a little more frequent. Since it is dollars and accuracy matters when you’re talking about people, I’m glad YouTube developed it and allow us to turn it on.

Alan: So now, since YouTube developed it, does that mean Big Frame won’t have to use the dashboard you currently have?

Steve: We’re still planning to use and develop dashboards, but they just won’t have to handle this earnings piece of it. We can provide other types of analytics to people.

Grant: To me, transparency is sort of table stakes. I’ve spent days and nights preparing transparent earnings statements. To me, transcendency is more interesting than transparency and that’s why I’m working with my team of nerds to unwire and rewire the API’s coming out of Google so that we can develop our own dashboard that the straight analytics platform doesn’t do. I’m glad it’s there, it’s pretty awesome, and it’s also limited by the scope of what Google has to deal with, where we can obsess more on certain aspects that provide more value for audience development, and that’s somewhat of our secret sauce.

Alan: So, basically, your company has been doing this, and you’ve gone above and beyond to the point where you even made your own dashboard for your artists.

Grant: Yeah, well, that’s what drew me to the company. I’ve been working in entertainment and big media companies for twelve years now and focusing on audience development, box office forecasting and understanding customers’ relation to filmed entertainment and being able to see that rather than having to go to extraordinary lengths to capture that information – having it all available through YouTube’s pretty robust API’s gives a whole new level of  functionality to what you can do with that information and really being able to understand traffic generation across multiple channels simultaneously and being able to track efforts both on YouTube and off YouTube and being able to AB test and point to what the value is there. That, to me, is what the next level of empowering YouTubers is about. Transcendency – going above and beyond what you can get on your own, and we can give that to them.

Alan: What do Big Frame’s artists love about Big Frame? What sort of feedback do you get from them?

Sarah: We get that they really love that we give them a lot of personal attention. They can always get one of us on the phone, usually me or Grant (laughs), usually the middle of the night. No, there’s always somebody at the end of the other line and even if it’s not something that is necessarily making money and monetizing, but if they just need advice on something or they want to talk about adjusting their content strategy or they want, I don’t know, to start using new thumbnails, then we can help them build a Photoshop template for that. Those are all things that people really like, and even though we are a huge network, we don’t have a huge number of channels and that’s very intentional. Because we want to always be able to give the people who want personal attention attention. Some people don’t necessarily need it or want it. They just like the support or infrastructure and the brand deals that we do. People really like the brand deals that we do. We are sort of known for that, for doing the biggest and the best. I worked very, very hard on developing… there’s no formula because every brand deal is different with each talent, but definitely developing ways of doing brand deals that everybody is very happy about in the end. Clients are sometimes challenging because they want something specific and it doesn’t necessarily fit the image of what the channel is, and so being able to navigate that in-between space is what we’re really good at. And then, they really like our team. I mean, we have people who come in and hang out. We just signed a new channel; he’s gonna come in once a week and write in the office because he just likes hanging out here. We have people coming in and out all the time. We do events, we have dinners. We try to do dinners once every couple months just to say ‘hi’ and get together. Usually, five or six collaborations come out of that. So we like that, and getting people together for one night and having five or six collabs come out of that speaks to the kinds of channels that we bring in. We won’t bring someone in if we don’t think they can fit really well into what we’re doing and we can’t see a path for collaborations. Everyone new who we bring in we will say, ‘okay, we think these are the ways we can collaborate; these are the ways we can grow your audience and develop you.’ We’re not going to sign someone just to sign them.

Steve: It’s sort of like fostering the collaborations to naturally take place rather than forcing them to take place. The YouTube audience is pretty smart and can smell when something is forced. If we can introduce channels and people and allow them to do what makes them successful as artists, then that’s a collaboration that can work.

Alan: Moving along the same line, Big Frame has a new channel starring some of your most famous YouTube artists. How did you decide who was going to be on this channel? Do they complement each other; is it all cohesive in some way? How would you describe this channel?

Steve: We were a brand new company when we went and pitched this channel. I think we were pitching a vision of the future for the overall YouTube ecosystem as much as we were pitching particular shows, and then we were guided a little bit by the fact that YouTube was trying to vertical-ize somewhat in the content that they picked. So they were asking us not to just take the people with the most views on our network and put them all together. So the through line with BAMMO is that we’re looking to create content that is really aimed at people for whom creating content themselves is a hobby or a passion. Maybe they’re not even the creator but they really want to understand what’s happening here – how does MysteryGuitarMan do what he’s doing, what is DeStorm like as a person? We see how magnetic his personality is but what other types of things can he do beside the types of videos that have made him so popular? Somebody like Corridor Digital – they’ve never really had the chance to do something that’s dialogue driven before, because they’ve done a few small projects, but they haven’t really been able to stretch out and do that type of thing. We were all about trying to find projects that fit within the big YouTubers’ abilities, in terms of they’re really busy people and they spend time on their existing channels, so what sort of formats will work best for them? But also, how can we shift the programming so that there’s a behind-the-scenes, how do they make the content, what is their process, what are the creative steps they take, what are the production styles they use, the software they use. So you see a lot of behind the scenes type stuff, or in the case of Upgraded, it’s very specifically giving advice, and the last episode was specifically talking to somebody who wanted to get into YouTube. What are the things he should be doing in terms of the number of channels and the type of programming and everything like that. So BAMMO really celebrates YouTube culture and YouTube do-it-yourself, cool content.

Alan: Speaking of that, New Media Rockstar’s explicit pledge is visible on its front page. “To empower, inspire and promote the independent new media community.” We’re trying to be trailblazers in a way – promoting this idea of independent, do-it-yourself artists on the Internet. But really, how independent are big YouTube artists nowadays? There are all these big studios involved, and all of this money involved…

Sarah: That’s a good question.

Steve: (laughs) That’s a good question. I think, from our standpoint, they feel really independent. We’re providing support but not control. We’re providing direction but not notes. We’re very consciously trying to be there to fill in the gaps that they have. When we talk about the disruptions that are happening in media and this new type of creator, like MysteryGuitarMan or Mike Diva, they started because they had a passion for creating video and they found big audiences because they are creative geniuses.

Grant: (laughs) And we are not.

Steve: Yeah, we’re not trying to fill that role. But what they need is support. They need production support, marketing support, they need to make a living, they need to understand how their rent is gonna be paid, and how they’re going to potentially pay the people who help them make their videos to the extent they have those, and so if you think about it, if you have a million fans on YouTube and you can make one video a week and that takes all your time and then Big Frame comes in and YouTube comes in and we create something like BAMMO – you can create two videos a week. Mike Diva was putting up maybe, one video every three weeks – in the last five weeks he’s probably released six or seven videos because we’re bringing him brand deals, we’re bringing him production teams and support, we’re bringing him marketing support, et cetera, and so his productivity is through the roof and his fans are happier. So it’s all real positive.

MysteryGuitarMan and his spankin' new Red Scarlet

Alan: So Big Frame is creating a situation where their artists can just focus on the creative’s and focus on making the videos.

Steve: That’s the idea – as much as we can. I mean, it’s still early days so it’s not like we’re creating these massive budgets that people can just do whatever they wanted. They still have to be very focused and they still have to really understand their audience and they still have to do things for a tenth of the cost that traditional media does it in. So they still have a lot of constraints, but we are helping them. MysteryGuitarMan and Sandbox – he’s got a behind-the-scenes video that’s going up, he’s got his Sandbox video where he’s showcasing and commenting on the communities’ videos and he’s making his videos. There’s just a lot more content for him, and his fans love that.

Alan: So do you ever say ‘no’ to any of your artists’ creative ideas? Do you ever say ‘that’s not good for your audience,’ or ‘you shouldn’t make fun of that company’?

Steven: It depends on the context, right? If we’re doing a deal for a brand, that’s our role; we need to make sure they’re delivering something that’s going to bring repeat business to them. And we wouldn’t be doing our job if we weren’t saying ‘that’s not going to work’ or ‘you need to tone this down’ or that kind of thing. And they’re asking us to perform that role for them. In terms of what they put on their own channel, we usually don’t see it until it’s up.

Sarah: Sometimes, they’ll send us rough cuts and ask for notes and stuff.

Steven: Yeah, that’s Sarah’s. (laughs)

Sarah: Yeah, they send them to me (laughs). Or especially with smaller channels where we’re trying to develop a content strategy – the first couple meetings I have after we sign a new talent is about really kind of digging deep into what they like as a person, what their hobbies are, what their talents are that I might not know about. You’d be surprised how much new content comes from just basically interviewing them. Like what you guys d – actually reading your articles I always learn something new about our talent. I’ll find out, for example, one of our channels who does sort of this episodic series about relationships, he’s actually an incredible juggler and street performer and you wouldn’t know that from his channel. So we’re starting to do things incorporating that – so just kind of combining the things that they love to do naturally, especially at the beginning. I would say on the whole we don’t see stuff until it goes up.

Alan: So you guys don’t have a role where it’s ‘we have to approve your content before it goes up.’

Sarah: Absolutely not. No, no.

Grant: Once it’s up, I’ll stare at it. Stare at the analytics for a while and see what patterns we can find.

Alan: Has there ever been a situation where you had to take something down?

Sarah: I can’t think of any situations where we’ve had to take content down. With brand deals, there are so many levels of approval that there’s been a lot of eyes on that thing before it goes up.

Alan: How do you recognize up and coming YouTube talent when you see it? What makes a particular YouTube artist an artist that Big Frame wants to sign?

Sarah: It needs to be someone that I can see how they could collaborate with other people on the network. They have to have a drive and motivation to create content full-time. For the relationship to work, they have to be putting out consistent content. Because if there’s no content for us to work with, we can’t do anything. They need to be putting out consistent content, and if it fits in… I can’t wrap it up in a nice package and put it into content verticals, but there’s just a tone and a feel to all of the channels we have on our network. I don’t know if I could even describe it in words, but I just know when I see a channel, ‘okay, yeah, that will fit into what we’re doing’ or ‘no, I don’t see how that would fit into what we’re doing.’ Generally, everyone who reaches out to us, because we find a lot of people actually reaching out to us, if I don’t think they’ll fit in, I’ll try to help them find a home or give them advice, or just tell them, ‘here, if you want to ask any questions, maybe as your channel grows and develops we can talk further down the line.’

All Hail Big Frame's Funwall!

Alan: Here’s a tough question. Aside from your own artists, which other YouTube artists’ works do you respect?

Sarah: Personally, I love Freddie Wong. He helped Joe [MysteryGuitarMan] on a video a long time ago, so I’ve always been a big friend of him. I love Shay Carl, Charles and Ally Trippy. I also love Nice Peter, Key of Awesome and the Barely Political guys.

Steve: My 3-year-old daughter is a fan of Rhett and Link. We watch their videos a lot. We have a lot of videos to watch on our own network. We’re pretty well entertained by the people we get to watch everyday, especially with BAMMO launching. We’re spending a lot of time watching those videos.

Sarah: We’ve been keeping Tay Zonday busy. Twinkies is coming out with a chocolate-filled, so we just did a commercial with them. It should be coming out soon. They basically recreated the original [Chocolate Rain] video, Chocolate Cream. It’s pretty funny. It was great. Everyone on set, the ad guys and the creative executives, they were all getting his autograph.

Steve: So that’s a brand deal gone right, which is her experience with how to work with somebody who’s creative in their own right with their own vision and a brand who’s got certain things they need to tend to without their brand miscommunicated and finding a way to do that that’s authentic and works for everybody. That’s why she’s a rockstar.

Alan: Do you see a shift in the industry? Are brands approaching Big Frame more, as opposed to the other way around?

Sarah: Yeah, definitely. We’re definitely getting bigger brands. I’ve probably done over fifty brand deals, which is kind of a lot, maybe more. I would say a safe number would be over fifty. The type of deals that we’re getting are much better, for lack of better word. They are better from when I started doing this. I could do less educating. I have to expand the talents’ value less. We can get right down to creative a lot quicker versus having to really hold the brands’ hand and walk them through it which is great. Honestly, when I started doing brand deals and it started becoming a thing on YouTube, the biggest motivator for starting the company was I saw a couple brand deals go wrong and I was like, ‘if this starts getting out, that brand deals on YouTube doesn’t work, then we are not getting anymore and the industry is going to run quick.’ I know how to do that and I know how to do it right, so I wanted to try to step in and help and see what happens. That was two years ago.

Alan: You’ve talked about using analytics and knowing who to cater to and what to cater to the target audiences, but do you think there are universal, base qualities that make a good video or an entertaining YouTuber?

Steve: I think that what we’re finding is that the YouTube audience is really diverse and so there’s not a one-size-fits-all. Even if you go in thinking that you know, you always discover new things. We’re really big believers in the fact that three to four years from now there will be types of content that YouTube, and on the Internet in general, especially video based content, that seem really obvious in hindsight, but right now we can’t put our finger on it. There’s some obvious examples coming out of the first five years of YouTube, like fail blogs and the ubiquitous cats and dogs. If you went back ten years and said that there will be a billion views a week of cats on the Internet we would be like, what? But right now, it’s like, ‘of course, there are – because they are fun to watch, they’re bite sized and they’re viral.’ So we’re really just trying to get in front of those trends and we’re trying to understand them, but they really come from the classic million creators going into a million different directions and then some new format happens. There’s also going to be an element in terms of what the interactivity of the Internet will allow in terms of consumption. Social community viewing – there’s going to be all kind of different ingredients going into this stew, and I think you’re going to see people spending time on types of content that really don’t look anything like what TV looked like in the 70’s of 80’s or even 2000’s. Long way of saying that we know if something is working if people are watching it and watching a lot of it. That’s why we’re heavily invested in the analytics side of the business because we think that identifying those trends and understanding where the audience is coming from and how long they are staying and how they’re sharing is going to give us an advantage on those kinds of content.

Alan: Where do you see YouTube in the future? A site like YouTube – do you want it to supplant television? There’s a little bit of intermingling right now, but if one of your artists were offered a TV show, would you rather them be on YouTube or be on a TV show?

Sarah: I think it depends on the TV show. There’s two parts to your questions. One is, ‘are TV and Internet, as we see it today, are going to converge and we’re going to be watching YouTube videos in a lean back scenario in our living rooms’ and then also, ‘are our talents going to be crossing back and forth between YouTube and TV.’ I think the short answer to both of those is ‘yes,’ and we like that. I think YouTube, with this algorithm change, is pushing for people to stay on the site longer and not just snack at content during their lunch break or in between conference calls, but actually to see it as a place to spend time versus watching Jersey Shore – you’re watching MysteryGuitarMan for half an hour. With the playlist, they’re trying to create much more of a lean back experience. You discover somebody and you can sit there and watch content. If it’s the right TV show, then we’re definitely open to it. Mike Diva has a pilot that a production company is shopping right now. It, obviously, has to make sense, and I think there’s still definitely a prestige to being on TV, even if the views and the pay are less. That kind of paradigm shift where its not as prestigious to be on YouTube or it has a certain value to it, versus on TV – it still has this thing about it like, okay, you’re on TV and you’ll definitely take a significant pay cut and you’ll definitely lose some control. There are models out there that are great, and I do like what they did with Fred in terms of how that deal was structured. It’s public knowledge; they talk about it all the time. He still owns rights instead of just selling the idea to Nickelodeon. They actually made the movie and then sold it, so he still retains the rights. I like those types of models.

Steve: You have to understand, also, that there are people on the more traditional side of the business that are excited about the opportunities that YouTube is presenting. Nobody really knows where it’s going to end up, but out of my day today I have three  meetings with people who are coming out of the traditional side and trying to understand what types of opportunities there are. It’s still early days so it’s not like there’s this huge rush of stuff. I think that you’re going to start to see a lot of creativity come out in traditional media using the Internet as another way to reach and build audiences.

Alan: Winding down now, what is your vision for Big Frame five years from now? Where is Big Frame going, and how is it going to expand?

Steve: We view Big Frame as a media company. We want to create media programming brands that take advantage of the opportunity that YouTube and short form video and social are opening up. It’s pretty simple; a lot of the stuff that we’re doing now is really designed at getting a lot of data, learning and experience in programming, marketing, monetizing content on the Internet. Last summer there were 3 billion views a day on YouTube. In January, they announced 4 billion. At the end of the year, it’s maybe 6 billion, I don’t know. You start to see YouTube doing upfront this year and going after advertisers who are spending the majority of their money on linear TV. We see a massive opportunity in helping the advertising dollars reflect more where people are spending more of their time going forward. We’re trying to work really closely in working with brands and YouTube, itself, and understanding how we can facilitate that. We don’t see ourselves so much as a network or management company as we do as a media company that is doing a lot of things in order to make the entire business work and to be in a position to capitalize on this talent that we see.

Working at the Funwall!

Alan: Back to the algorithm, it’s not going to be based on views? It’s based more on the interactions within the specific video now?

Steve: If we guessed about it, we could be wrong. When they change things like this, where people are building businesses on top of this, they have to be careful about what they say and how they do it. They usually are creating winners and losers in the marketplace, and last year, when they changed their search algorithm, their revenue went down 50 percent on a night. I don’t think this one seemed that drastic, but if you’re a heavy YouTube user, you can look at what the recommended videos look like today, and they tend to be videos that aren’t super highly viewed. They tend to be more related in terms of quality, genre or producer. It’s not just keywords like it used to be.

Alan: That’s interesting. So how do you quantify quality?

Steve: Time spent on the video. Whether or not you click out of the video onto another website or if you stay on YouTube. Whenever there’s an algorithm, there’s going to be gaming of it. Algorithm and money – it’s a cat and mouse game, and it always will be. We don’t look at it that way. We take a look at it at more of a longer view. We’re really watching the right signals, and we’re not just trying to ‘buy views’ by really sort of investing in the content and creativity in the YouTube community. In the long run, what we’re doing is in the best interest of YouTube.

Alan: How effective is YouTube advertising? Is it more effective than advertising on TV?

Steve: That’s a whole other conversation. Marketing and advertising is a science. There’s thousands of companies trying to measure return on investment for advertising. If you come out of search marketing there’s CPC, CPN, there’s all kinds of models. You can see with all the innovation that YouTube is doing with ad formats that are available, true view and promoted videos that they’re trying to appeal to a wide variety of advertisers and give them different tools that can help them accomplish their goals, be they conversion or branding. There’s tons and tons of blogs and thinking and conferences about how if people are on TV and Tivo and skipping all the ads, why are you paying for that? You can measure what’s being viewed and what isn’t, down to the pixel on YouTube. There’s an advantage to that. The flipside is that if you have a movie coming out on a Friday and you want 50 percent of America to see an ad for it the day before, TV is still pretty effective at that and it’s harder to do that on the Internet because people don’t spend that much time on the Internet as they do on TV, and it isn’t as deeply penetrated. There’s all kinds of things happening. YouTube has a huge number of views but if you’re looking for that type of saturation, it isn’t as strong, but we’re seeing a lot of dollars coming into it and people are playing around with it because it’s more engaging than any other kind of media that you can buy.

Alan: And your channel, BAMMO, is all about being more engaged with the audience, being more interactive.

Steve: Yeah. Especially when we do a brand deal we’re talking about a Facebook page or a movie trailer or a video game explicitly in it, but it’s not a copy, it’s inspiration. We tend to really deliver and engage the audience to an advertiser. They are interacting, commenting, liking and sharing at a huge rate. For advertisers that are looking for that kind of experience, I think we are delivering something that is pretty revolutionary.

Make sure to visit Big Frame at their website to learn more about them or to contact them, and also check out their new YouTube channel, BAMMO. You can thank me for this brilliant interview by continuing to ignore my tweets. You’re welcome, ingrates.

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