If you haven’t checked out the Polaris channel on YouTube yet, you can be forgiven if you mistakenly think that it’s about Polaris, the brightest star in the constellation Ursa Minor that’s also called the North Star. And it’s not about Polaris, the Marvel Comics superhero who made her first appearance in 1968 either; or the Polaris missiles that were featured in 1977 movie The Spy Who Loved Me; or Polaris, the fixed-shooter arcade game that was released in 1980.
Actually, the Polaris I’m talking about comes from the folks at the multi-channel network Maker Studios. Their Polaris network is a new collaborative home for a constellation of YouTube stars, including PewDiePie and The Yogscast. And the target audience for the Polaris network loves comics, loves movies, and most of all loves games. In addition to PewDiePie and The Yogscast, Polaris also features top gaming talent such as: Dodger, the #1 female gamer on YouTube; Toby Turner; as well as GameGrumps, Markiplier, HuskyStarCraft, TotalBiscuit, and more. Together, the Polaris channel serves as a hub for a broad network (formerly The Game Station, TGS), which attracts more than 1 billion views a month across over 500 top channels.
In short, Polaris is a geek culture network powered by the best and biggest gamers on YouTube. Polaris represents every flavor of fandom, from 8-bit nostalgia to first-person shooters, and from superhero fanatics to anime lovers. The network’s innovative programming is a celebration of gaming and geek culture, featuring editorial coverage on the stories that matter to its audience.
Four Big New Signings To The Polaris Network
And last week, this Polaris network announced the addition of four new channels powered by unique gamer voices adding premium content and a new global perspective.
The new Polaris YouTube channels include:
- Captain Sparklez, whose innovative Minecraft inspired music videos have attracted over one Billion views;
- Jide of KSIOlajidebt, who has transitioned from focusing on FIFA to becoming a household name in the U.K. due to his personality driven videos;
- Ali-A, another core gamer from the U.K, whose specialty is Call of Duty; and
- Mitch aka TheBajanCanadian, a gamer with a rapidly growing audience focused on Minecraft.
Each of these channels is in the YouTube Top 100. Together, they account for over 150 million views per month, and have over 13 million subscribers.
In a press release, Dar Nothaft, Vice President and general manager of Polaris at Maker Studios, said, “As we build out our roster of gamer personalities to engage a global audience with content that appeals to everyone from hard core to casual gamers, we sought out passionate new voices and content creators.” He added, “With Captain Sparklez, Jide, Ali-A and Mitch, we are taking Polaris to the next level.”
Captain Sparklez said, “I'm glad to be a part of Polaris and am eager to take advantage of their resources. I'm in good company, surrounded by a bunch of talented channels, and look forward to seeing where it leads.”
KSIOlajidebt added, “With Polaris’ track record for building gamer brands, I knew they would be the perfect partner to help take my YouTube brand global.”
Mitch aka TheBajanCanadian declared, “As I continue to create new content day after day for all my Doods out there, I’m so excited to now be able to share my videos across the Polaris network.”
Ali-A concluded, “It feels great to be joining Polaris. As a gamer, it’s definitely the place where you want to be, and should be.”
Bringing The Gaming Community Together
Samuel Threadgill and Lisa Bustamante of MPRM Communications, who handle PR for Polaris, set up an email interview for me with Dar Nothaft. Below, please find Dar’s answers to my questions.
Greg Jarboe: Who would you say is the target audience for the Polaris Network?
Dar Nothaft: The young, savvy audience that primarily loves gaming but consumes media omnivorously. They have found many homes online. Our network brings together many voices that this group has gravitated towards.
Greg Jarboe: What type of video content does this target audience watch and share most often?
Dar Nothaft: No single type of video has a monopoly on the attention of any audience group. As with video content as a whole, geek and gaming content can find success through diverse means, and our new roster of talent proves this.
Greg Jarboe: How fast is the overall gaming and geek culture market growing?
Dar Nothaft: The market is growing exponentially. New and exciting voices are joining the conversation constantly, and we are very excited to find and develop these content creators.
Greg Jarboe: Why did you decide to add Captain Sparklez, Jide, Ali-A, and Mitch to the Polaris Network?
Dar Nothaft: Most importantly, they each have a unique voice that we and audiences find engaging and interesting. They each help build on our current strengths, and add new layers and depths that expand the conversations we are actively engaged in.