Jason Calacanis made headlines when he turned down the new funding for Round 2 of YouTube's original channel initiative. He then wrote this piece, which obviously was controversial in that it seemed to be saying, "Screw this YouTube noise, I'm going to try to find another way to do this video thing," which isn't 100 percent accurate, although he decided to head in the direction of the "using YouTube only for marketing" angle.
I think he's probing, trying to figure out if there's a way to do this better, something that many creators would join forces on and essentially demand a new set of rules for YouTube to follow--and that's how his keynote (which covers much of the same ground as his written piece) at VidCon sounds. It's not "Let's leave YouTube," it's "Let's make YouTube better." But there are some rebuttals. Hat tip, Tubefilter.
The Jason Calacanis Keynote at VidCon
This is a 52-minute video, but it's worth the time when you get a chance:
Some points in the video:
Calacanis, from talking to several partners, estimates that the split in revenue between YouTube and creator is 55/45 in favor of the creator. He says that with this kind of split, it's impossible to hire a sales team, one that could drive more dollars--not to mention, keeping your creative team happy. So he proposes a deal like this: YouTube gets 10 percent when you sell, and 30 percent when they sell. It would be a 70/30 split when they sell--but not everyone would get the same deal. Effort would be rewarded under this system.
He figures YouTube and Google is making plenty of money to do that kind of split (I think I'd agree with that...although we've heard plenty of news that Google was taking a bath on YouTube for awhile before it could become profitable). With the current figures, a creator absolutely has to rely on YouTube for money.
Another one of the interesting things Calacanis proposes is being able to set your own ad frequency--it's your video, you should decide the number.
And getting your subscribers' e-mail addresses...hmm, I feel like this is something that definitely would be good for the business of video, but I wonder how many people would abuse it--as the suggestion comes off spammy. The other consideration is, forget people abusing it, what if I subscribe to 100 channels and I'm getting direct-marketing e-mails from all of them in a day or a week or even a month? Even if I want direct marketing, that's overwhelming.
His other idea: for every million views I give YouTube, I get 10,000 views of that ad money back. Of course, this is like playing "Fantasy YouTube." And I know at least one person who believes this would be a horrible model...
At VidCon, I met a guy named Andy Smith, who was in the audience during the keynote and did this video addressing all of Calacanis' major points:
What do you think? Does YouTube need to change the splits? Do they need to give other incentives? Is everything just fine? Let us know!