Of all the YouTube Partners that are succeeding, perhaps none is thriving and growing quite like Machinima. Machinima is the home to a host of recurring and regular programming, most of which is centered around the world of video games--machinima is a modern word used to describe film works that are created from using graphics engines from video games. As we reported last month, Machinima's YouTube channel is now receiving a billion views a month putting them near the top of the list among all YouTube Partner Channels.
Last month, with videographer assistance from our friends at VideoAgency, I had the pleasure of visiting Machinima's headquarters in Los Angeles for a series of interviews. The following is the first of several videos with Machinma and our aim was to provide you with a view into their offices, company culture, and some of the talented staff. It is a way cool office set up of for one of the hottest video content companies on the planet:
Love the game room--and the idea that they have 8 stations hooked up to both major gaming platforms, with all 8 feeding into a control room where they can grab whatever footage or data they need... man, that's just awesome!
Machinima looks like a place where they know exactly who they are and who they want to be, and everyone in the tour video seems to really enjoy being there. Our special thanks to Rob Jones and the entire Machinima team for pulling back the curtain and giving us a peak behind the scenes!
Mark: I’m Mark Robertson with ReelSEO.com and we’re at the Machinima offices in Los Angeles. I’m here with Rob Jones, VP of Gaming and Programming.
Mark: So we thought we’d just show you the offices and get a tour of this incredible office building and this great company.
Rob: I figure we’d get started with the game room. It kind of serves multiple purposes for us. The gaming HG kind of provides an on-going set for us to shoot a lot of our shows so we shoot many of the shows we shoot on a daily basis, but more importantly it’s kind of our live studio, the gaming HG in here.
Mark: This is cool. Nice logo all over.
Rob: The idea is to have a really kind of functional live streaming kind of studio, so each of these 8 stations are all networked to each other, they PS3 360 on them so we can play against each other or we can play online. And more importantly, all 8 of them are streaming into a control room next door which has a tri-caster so we can stream it into our live broadcasts. And so then typically what we’ll do is have probably 4 people playing in one of these setups during a live stream and we’ll do like a 4 live stream on Tuesdays when games come out and then we have kind of the rest of the seating right here which has the stadium seating and the big screen. So we’ll have like 4 guys playing and then we’ll have some of the hosts sitting up here with social media asking questions on Twitter and things like that.
Although more recently we did the Call of Duty live stream which was 15 days, 24/7.
Mark: Gamers are pretty passionate about gaming.
Rob: They absolutely are, but we ended up doing like 11 million views over 15 days.
Rob: Yeah, so clearly there’s an audience for it, that’s why we’ve invested into this room and really have invested quite a bit into live in general.
Mark: Yeah. Well show us the rest if you don’t mind. How many people work here?
Rob: Right now we’re at about 150. Through here is the IT space. These are the guys that kind of keep us up on YouTube and also work on developing our various products. You know we have various applications. You know, mobile apps for viewing. Couple other little projects we haven’t announced yet, but this is all kind of the IT, tech side.
So this is many of the producers the produce content for us right here. Over there is the ETC or Entertainment Tech Culture show team. Here’s the Realm Team that runs the content for the Realm Channel. Inside Gaming Team is over here, that’s our new show. It’s actually the show that we’re doing our award show for in 2 weeks. Inside Gaming Awards on December 9th. We have the CAP Stations. Obviously a lot of capture involved. And then we have our kind of prod tech back here. There’s a whisper booth back here. Obviously we do a lot of VO work on a lot of our content.
Mark: So how much of your day do you get to play games?
Rob: Yeah, when I – in the early days we used to have more time and now I spend most of my time in meetings and on the phone and doing emails and just trying to make everything kind of come together.
So this entire section is the ad sales section. So that’s actually one of the larger things. We can walk through here.
Mark: And with the billion views a day, or a month you’re not having a hard time, these guys probably.
Rob: Yeah, but when you have that kind of inventory you need lots of bodies selling lots and lots of ads because it’s what pays the bills. And actually this is the team that has expanded the most.
This is Phil Debevoise, he is our President and Chief Revenue Officer. He was the one that started, him and his brother Allen. Allen is his brother.
Phil: What’s happening now is they’re saying okay, our content is around the world of gaming, but now we’re taking it to the next sort of circle, which is, okay what else are they interested in? Well they like comedies, they like horrors, they like action sci-fi. So we’re producing shows like Bite Me and Recevier and Mortal Kombat and things like that.
Mark: Well congrats cause in three years you’ve grown to be this like online video juggernaut. You’re such a leader, the third largest channel, so it’s pretty cool stuff.
Phil: Thank you very much.
Rob: We’re pretty proud. (inaudible) shooting right now behind us. And so what this entire section is, is the programming section. This is the team that I oversee. And to just kind of explain the difference. We have in-house production, and then we have individuals who make content who submit it to us and then we upload it to different channels.
Mark: Couple thousand different directors, yeah?
Rob: Yeah, we have 2000 different directors that are making content. We do a kind of internal selection of what’s the best of that, put that up and it becomes the basis of really a lot of the traffic that we do. Cause you know we make about 25 shows here in-house but across a day we’ll put up to 50 videos and the rest coming from these teams on YouTube. Turn them into a director making a show on a network.
Mark: Yeah you’re building careers.
Rob: Yeah, exactly. FS Rush is a perfect example. Over a year ago he was doing Call of Duty videos. He had maybe 30 thousand subs. Now he has more than a million and any video he puts up does 3, 4 million views.
This is my office and that is my prized possession. My Hans Solo carbonite. So any job where you can have that in your office I think you’ve made a few good life choices.