In the past, collaborating was arguably one of the most important steps someone could take towards having a career in YouTube. Well, that and buying a camera…and a computer…and having talent. But cameras and talent aside, collaborations with successful YouTubers was once all an unknown creator needed to boost their channel from ghost town to thriving metropolis.
Working with YouTube’s heavy hitters was the Holy Grail for budding creators. But, is that still the case? Once the power of collaborations was exposed, everyone jumped on board to collaborate with one another. The market for collaboration has become wonderfully oversaturated in the past couple of years.
Previously, we taught you in detail how to request collaborations in 7 steps. But the question I present you now, dear YouTuber, is this: Do collaborations still hold their ability to boost your audience, or have networks and over-use made them obsolete?
Why Collaborations Still Matter
In an interview with Maker Studios co-founder Lisa Donovan, I asked her whether or not collaborations are still effective, and she had this to say:
“I think collaborations are incredibly effective. All of the growth that we see through our channels is our channels collaborating. It is how they grow.”
The problem that the majority of content creators on YouTube face is actually reaching people. While swimming in the constant flood of YouTube content, it can be very easy for you to sink into insignificance. Collaborations will effectively double the number of people watching your upload. This applies especially if the artist you are working with has a larger following than you. Your team-up will connect a brand new audience to your work. Bottom line, collaborations bring in a larger audience
Secondly, partnerships increase the feeling of community and support that should exist among YouTube creators. As popular as it has become, YouTube is still the new kid on the block. It is a community that is still very new and needs a strong sense of brotherhood now more than ever. Collaborations create a sense of solidarity among creators, and that is something that holds entertainment industries together. For years, television and film have torn themselves apart because of fighting amongst writers, directors and actors. By openly collaborating, YouTube personalities can make a statement that they are a unified group of artists.
Why Collaborations Won’t Work Anymore
Benny Fine, one half of the Emmy Award-winning Fine Brothers, had this to say about modern collaborations and the effect they have:
“Collaborations have been going on for so many years now they aren’t as effective as they used to be because audiences are so used to seeing them.”
Fine makes a great point when discussing collaborations between YouTube channels. Essentially, every version of popular YouTube collaborations have been done and done again. The joy of seeing your favorite YouTube celebrities working together has been diluted. What once was a rare and welcome treat seems like recycling the same antics just to create more views. Collaborations between YouTube celebrities, having been watered down and done so often, are quickly becoming akin to jumping the shark.
The rise of modern YouTube networks also play a large role in the lack of draw that team-ups currently bring in. Due to the fact that networks are typically pretty cagey about how they ask their talent to act, it is unknown whether or not cross-network collaborations are supported. However, because networks rely so heavily on their various channels working together, it seems unlikely that they would actively support partnership between networks. With almost all of the big names on YouTube being represented by networks, even if you wanted to collaborate, chances are it wouldn’t be able to happen. With that line of thought, you would be better off using your time making new content instead of finding someone to work with and setting up locations and times to film.
What are your thoughts on the modern YouTube collaboration? Do they work? Are they pointless? Does anyone care? Make some noise below.