YouTube Stars, New Media, & Talent Development – The Collective

YouTube Stars, New Media, & Talent Development   The Collective

I recently sat down with Michael Green, the CEO of The Collective, "full-service entertainment management, media and content production company." They're the home to a good number of YouTube stars you might know like Fred, iJustine, Freddie Wong, and Annoying Orange, as well as traditional stars like Comedian Kat Williams. We talked about how The Collective came into being, as well as their view on how YouTube and social media have changed talent development and audience interaction.

You can view the transcript of both videos by clicking "View The Video Transcript" below the second clip.

How The Collective Found Success

The Collective actually got started with a non-YouTube star, Kat Williams:

The Collective was started about 6 ½ years ago. About 2 years into it we signed a kid named Katt Williams. A very, very talented African American comedian. We financed his comedy special. And we knew he had an audience and we marketed digitally to his audience and to date we've sold 3 million DVDs, The Pimp Chronicles.

Audience Building & YouTube Talent Development

Green also talked about the way that online video allows for a new kind of talent development as well as new levels of interaction and engagement with members of the audience:

We have over 35 million Facebook friends. We have 12 people here that do nothing but aggregate audience , engage the audience, nurture the audience, feed content to the audience regularly. This is a seismic shift in the way content and entertainment and art is disseminated.


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View The Full Video Transcript:

Michael: The Collective was started about 6 ½ years ago. About 2 years into it we signed a kid named Katt Williams. A very, very talented African American comedian. We financed his comedy special. And we knew he had an audience and we marketed digitally to his audience and to date we’ve sold 3 million DVDs, the Pimp Chronicles. We continue to build infrastructure particularly in the digital space which led to an introduction to Lucas Cruikshank, aka Fred, who at the time had a half a billion views and over a million subscribers on YouTube for his very funny character that kids in particular really have responded to.

We financed what became Fred the Movie. We licensed it to Nickelodeon. We controlled the rights all over the world and we just got- we’re just now underway on our third movie and a series for Nickelodeon and we control all of it. So we did two movies, a third one is about to be produced and that was a seminal moment for the company as it relates to the YouTube world because now all of a sudden a lot of the kids that were building big audiences online at YouTube were interested in what we were able to do because ironically we were able to take him offline and make him a traditional star.

Michael: I had spent 20 plus years as a manager of talent, traditional manager of talent and had the idea that with the seismic shift of technology upon us that artists can now interact directly with the consumer, with their audience.

We have over 35 million Facebook friends. We have 12 people here that do nothing but aggregate audience , engage the audience, nurture the audience, feed content to the audience regularly. This is a seismic shift in the way content and entertainment and art is disseminated. And it was never available to us until very recently. What excites me is that a guy like Dane, the Annoying Orange can build an audience that is likely competitive with a cable network. It is a huge, huge audience, it’ all over the world. We know a lot about the audience and what that creates in terms of possibilities as an entrepreneur. As an advocate for artists is really exciting.

About the Author -
Mark Robertson is the Founder and Publisher of ReelSEO, an online information resource dedicated to the fusion of video, technology, social media, search, and internet marketing. He is a YouTube Certified, video marketing consultant and video marketing expert, popular speaker, and considered to be a passionate leader within the online video and search marketing industries. View All Posts By -

What do you think? ▼
  • Mark Shea via Facebook

    So is a channel's success is now determined by employing 'talent managers' . Fuck the middle men always find a way don't they! Did you get paid to promote this company?

  • https://www.facebook.com/reelseo ReelSEO via Facebook

    Not a dime. We would be 100% clear about that if that were the case. Cant stand when people dont disclose that. They're a very successful business in online video and have helped YouTube stars build careers. A channels' success is always going to depend on content.