In a fantastic bit of synergy, Discovery tapped Philip DeFranco to host the 25th anniversary of Shark Week, which will kick off on Sunday, August 12th at 9 PM e/p. As many of you know, Discovery acquired internet video site Revision3 last month in a move to shore up their online offerings. And at the very beginning of the year, DeFranco signed with Revision3, paving the way for the YouTube star to get some TV exposure. We were able to talk to DeFranco about Shark Week and his crazy year. We also got to talk to Revision3's head of programming, Ryan Vance.
ReelSEO Interview with Philip DeFranco: Shark Week And More
Philip DeFranco: Everything has felt fake since the day I made enough money to help out with my dads medical bills. It honestly feels like I cheated life, but it's also that same thought that keeps me humble and keeps me excited to do these new things whenever I get the chance.
RSEO: What are your feelings about making a jump from internet screens to TV screens, even if it is for a week?
DeFranco: It'll be interesting. Mainly to see how fat I look without my wide angle lens pointed at me in a myspace angle.
Here's DeFranco shooting some stuff for "Shark Week" (photo courtesy of Revision3):
RSEO: What are you hoping to get out of this experience?
DeFranco: Fear. I have not been nervous about anything in a very long time and that's boring. This will be my first time filming a scripted event in front of a live audience, reading prompter, and being on TV more than 20 seconds with some guy in a tie exclaiming YOU CAN MAKE MONEYZ ON THE INTERNETS?!?!.
RSEO: What will you bring to "Shark Week" that hasn't been done before?
DeFranco: Thats a great question. I don't know. I find myself to be the Ron Jeremy of hosting. Actually that's a terrible analogy. I guess the best and most honest answer is the Nation. They get to see their younger/older brother on TV. :-p
More DeFranco and Shark Week (courtesy of Revision3):
RSEO: Are you going to incorporate "Shark Week" into your other shows, or will everything remain the same for the most part?
DeFranco: I hope to next year. A lot of this happened so suddenly. If I don't bomb this year I would like to swim with the sharks for "Shark Week 26."
RSEO: When YouTube creators complained about a decrease in viewership a couple of months ago, you said that you had "future-proofed" your show. How did you do that?
DeFranco: Apps not dependent on YouTube and a schedule I stick with. When you think the boat could go down at any minute you could spend your time praying or looking for a way to "plug the hole", but I'm the guy building a raft.
RSEO: Many YouTube creators look to make their videos a success outside of YouTube, yet still coexist with YouTube, like Freddie Wong did with "Video Game High School" this year. Can you touch on what YouTube creators gain by publishing their videos elsewhere, and not solely relying on "home base," so to speak?
DeFranco: I think its great to have a destination site, but YouTube is where it's at when it comes to video discovery. I would say if you are building an audience stick to YouTube. Once you are established slowly move them offsite with new and different content. Then both of your YouTube channel and website will feed/promote each other. The best example of this is Smosh.com.
RSEO: How important are comments to you on YouTube? You get mostly positive, relevant comments from what I can see, but do you tune out the negative, or do you use them in some way? How did you prepare your SourceFed hosts on this?
DeFranco: Views from negative people count the same as positive people so I take it with a smile. Of course every now and then one will hit you on a sore subject. As far as prepping the SourceFed team I said, "Imagine the worst person you know. Now imagine if that person could say anything to you without fear of you slapping the stupid off their face. That exists on the internet in bulk.".
RSEO: What were you expecting when you launched SourceFed this year?
DeFranco: A harder time than I have had to deal with. Its been such a great experience thus far.
RSEO: How is your next project coming along, where you hope to share your audience with other creators?
DeFranco: You'll see soon :)
I thought DeFranco was being coy, but literally the day I got these answers back, I saw this very program being put into motion, with musician Danna Richards getting to crossover to Phil's show:
In turn, DeFranco then showed up in one of Danna Richards' videos:
Did it work? Well, the above video hit the 100k mark, which is far and away her top video. It remains to be seen how much retention she gets after the initial spike, but certainly a great chance to get some exposure that she normally wouldn't.
Thanks, Phil, for taking time out of what may be your busiest schedule ever to answer some questions! And we're not done...we still get to talk to Revision3's Ryan Vance.
Interview with Revision3's Head of Programming, Ryan Vance
RSEO: How did Discovery come to select Philip DeFranco to host "Shark Week"?
Ryan Vance: Through getting to know Revision3 and the various shows we work with, they saw the talent and loyal audience Phil clearly has. He's also been an outspoken fan of "Shark Week" for many years and we noted that. He also has some fans within the Discovery family so it was a natural fit.
RSEO: What can we expect to be different about this "Shark Week" as opposed to years past?
Vance: The Sharkzilla stunt is new: a nightly chompdown using Twitter and Facebook voting.
RSEO: Will Revision3 have a specific role in "Shark Week"?
Vance: We are celebrating shark week all week long, integrating shark content into our shows where it makes sense. Look for lots of fun shark-oriented Easter eggs in rev3 shows that week!
RSEO: Are there future plans for more Revision3 stars to hit the Discovery Channel and vice-versa?
Vance: It's great to see that Discovery is able to "discover" our hosts and find ways to include them in their programming. We're hoping for and looking at many ways to collaborate in the future.
Again, we'd like to thank Philip DeFranco and Ryan Vance for taking time to answer some of our questions. We'd also like to thank Michele Husak at Revision3 for her help!