Hank Green Interview: 4 Things We Learned From Hank’s NPR Appearance

YouTube’s new ad-free subscription plan is turning heads inside the community and out. Even NPR is taking an interest in the future of the world’s largest online video platform. Given that they’re NPR, bastion of all things smart and reasonable, it’s no surprise that they called on a leading expert in the field of YouTube, Hank Green.



People Still Think YouTube Is All Cat Videos – Market Place host Kai Ryssdal, who introduced the piece, is one of the sharpest business reporters in the game. However his repeated references to YouTube as a home for “cat videos” shows that the mainstream media is still a little clueless about the YouTube revolution.


Hank Green is no fan of ads – This doesn’t exactly come as a surprise; the Green brothers have both been pretty vocal about their lack of enthusiasm for YouTube ads despite the fact that they pay the bills. Hank noted ads can often be deceptive or misleading and that having no control over the ads on his own content is a frustration.


YouTube Content Is Premium Content – Citing models like Netflix, Hank pointed out that viewers should be willing to pay a premium for YouTube content just like they do for other sources of premium video. He’s not wrong. YouTube content isn’t the amateur home video and web cam footage of 2008. YouTube and its content creators have raised the bar and production values. Many of today’s top creators are producing premium content, but the amateur perception is hurting the bottom line.


Hank Still Believes In The “Just Ask” Philosophy –Green believes that more creators can earn a living from content if they just ask fans for support. No paywalls or subscriptions necessary. Hank believes that if the content is good, and your audience is strong enough, the percentage who feel compelled to provide monetary support voluntarily will be enough to keep creators afloat. It’s an idea that served as the foundation for his fan funding platform, Subbable, and one that Hank expanded on in a recent Medium post.


The short interview gave online video fans a surprisingly large amount of ideas to chew on. The online video industry, and streaming media in general, is going through a paradigm shift as more and more platforms explore subscriptions as an alternative to ads. This interview is likely the first of many conversations that will take place both inside the YouTube community and in the mainstream media as the world of video continues to evolve.

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