Hipset, a music startup known for its ties to hip hop stars like Lil Wayne and Tyga, is announcing a brand new free feature called “Boost.” Boost solves the problem that a lot of YouTube channels seem to have: the amassing of huge social followings on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr but the inability to convert those followers into YouTube subscribers. “We asked ourselves what product we could make that would allow internet celebrities to convert fan bases to become subscribers on YouTube,” says Matt Schlict, CEO of Hipset. With Boost, users will need to subscribe to a YouTube channel before they can watch their videos, a setup that is similar in fashion to paywalls in the publishing business.
“Our recommendation on how to use the product is that you shouldn’t use it for every video because it’s important that content is easily accessible and that shouldn’t change,” Matt said. A feature like Boost would therefore be very valuable for YouTube content creators that are looking to restrict access to exclusive content or content they only want their loyal subscribers to have access to. Right now they are the first company to provide this feature and are already seeing user adoption. “We’re in talks with most of the major YouTube networks right now. They are going to be giving it [Boost] to the channels that they’ve signed.”
Since they launched the product yesterday, they’ve seen over 1000 Boost campaigns. There is tremendous value for content creators, but what will be interesting is how the fans will respond to something like this. Matt says that “whenever you lock content behind a wall, not all the fans will like it, but typically 20 to 30 percent of them will convert, which is not a bad number.” He states that the product will be rolled out to artists they work with including Tyga, Soulja Boy and Lil Twist.
With the launch of its music discovery site HipSet not long ago, Boost is a move away from the music discovery business and a move towards the YouTube space. Matt states that not much technology has been built for the YouTube space. “We originally built these tools to provide the artists we work with to improve distribution but we decided to give it away for everyone to use.” One of Hipset’s goals is to continuously release products that will help people grow on YouTube and to fill the void in technology available for YouTube content creators. They will be releasing products focused around analytics and integration with other social networks in the coming months. As the number of people consuming content on YouTube continues to grow at an incredible pace, its tools like these that will provide value to channels to help them grow and engage their fan base.
About the author: Derrick Fung is the co-founder and CEO of Tunezy – a website where fans can gain access to exclusive experiences with their favourite YouTubers. Derrick is a top 20 under 30 entrepreneur named by Profit Magazine and a former investment banker.