YouTube has long been considered the place where no-names with big talent can try to get their big break. And it’s worked for quite a few current big names in the music business. But for moviemakers – the actual natural users of YouTube – the social media platform has been less of a springboard. But Ronn Torossian says Brian Robbins might be the one to change that.
The former child star (Head of the Class), hit teen dramady producer (Smallville, One Tree Hill) and big screen producer (Varsity Blues, Good Burger) has now set his sights on the video free for all that is YouTube. Robbins says he has good reason. After watching his own sons consume media, he is convinced YouTube will have a major role in how youth will consume media in the very near future.
Sure, big budget summer films are still raking in hundreds of millions, and both network and cable TV are chock full of shows aimed at teens and tweens, but Robbins believes the future of youth entertainment is, at least partly, is in shorter, viral content.
With the success of other streaming subscription companies producing their own content, Robbins believed the timing was right to try the same thing on YouTube, hiring the teen heartthrobs of tomorrow and helping them get their start in originally (and sometimes professionally) produced YouTube series.
Robbins launched his YouTube channel, AwesomenessTV, way back in the Dark Ages of 2012. In less than two years, the “Network” amassed more than 88,000 channels and more than 56 MILLION subscribers. Not to mention nearly 2 million videos and more than 6 BILLION views. Yes, six billion. By any traditional measure, those numbers indicate a hit.
Of course, the next step is figuring out how to optimally monetize this content. And, then, of course, the price for players will increase. Maybe not to Charlie Sheen or Big Bang Theory cast levels, but even talented up-and-comers will want more than attention for their talents.
And, eventually, this “underground” entertainment venue that remains almost entirely separated by the generation gap will become mainstream. Robbins is certainly betting on that. And, if history is any indication, he will get exactly what he is looking for.