Art, Science, YouTube, a monthly event series recently launched at DigitasLBi New York, in partnership with OpenSlate and THEJACKSFIRMMichael Fasciano of Frontrunner organized the event series and serves as moderator.  The first event marked the launch of the Emerging Talent Tracker, which is a data-driven tool that uses momentum metrics to identify the next wave of emerging YouTube stars.  The proprietary tool was recently developed as a partnership between DigitasLBi and OpenSlate and is currently available to DigitasLBi clients exclusively for one year.

Joining the panel were two emerging YouTube acts, BethInShow and OkayNate, of the My Damn Channel Comedy Network.  Both talents manage YouTube channels whose momentum data is significant enough to register as emerging.  The panel discussion touched upon themes exploring the modern creative process of leading YouTube vloggers.  Data trends for each channel were showcased by the OpenSlate platform and sparked a candid conversation with Beth and Nate.

Q:  What originally drew you guys to YouTube?

A / Beth:  Well, as an actress I do a lot of impressions.  In fact, I do a lot of Tilda Swinton; she’s my spirit animal.  But what’s great about YouTube is it’s a place for emerging artists to find their voice.

Q:  Is there a regular routine to the creative process of a vlogger that you’ve discovered?

A / Nate:  Keeping a schedule has been fairly important as a way to avoid getting overwhelmed or buried in work.  But really the best thing I’ve found is to take an idea and run with it.  That doesn’t mean I’m immune to late night editing sessions the day before a video goes up.  You just have to remember that there’s always something else you could do for a video if you had more time – but it’s the consistent posting schedule that’s important to your audience.  It was interesting to see how when I increased my posting from once per week to three times per week, my consistency data increased on OpenSlate and added to my Emerging Talent score.

Q:  Let’s talk about rapid testing and learning?  Is that important on YouTube?  Is there any moment you can recall where a video experiment had unexpected success?  What did you learn from that?

A / Nate:  Grumpy Cat was silly and simple, but people were already raving about her, so that’s a clear standout of an unexpected success. I mean, we knew it would draw views, but not to the scale it currently has.

A / Beth:  I have these mannequin heads in my bedroom and a lot of people comment on them because they are bazaar and weird and kind of scary.  And so a lot of people comment on what I should do with the heads – and they’re weirder and creepier than I am.  So I’ve started making videos out of their ideas and it’s usually a pretty funny out come.  So I take suggestions on things to do with my mannequin heads all the time.

Q:  How do you best take advantage of your association to a larger network of active creators – particularly with My Damn Channel?

A / Nate:  The network is what enabled me to have such a strong launch of my channel. Collaborating, as well as having likes and recommendations, from Grace [Helbig, star of Daily Grace] and Beth built my initial audience. That wouldn’t have been possible without My Damn Channel.

Q:  Some top viewed videos are the comments vids.  What types of exchanges do you typically have with your audience?

A / Nate:  I’ve dedicated a day to making a video inspired by my audience. Usually it’s responding directly to comments so I reach out to as many of them as I can, but sometimes if one comment is just too much it has to be its own video. Other than that, I’m always responding to comments from earlier uploads.

A / Beth:  With commenting I usually have to find my inner teen to some degree.  But it’s always fun and offers great inspiration.  I think that the OpenSlate tool offers a new opportunity for people like me who could take more advantage of YouTube data.  It’s a new way in to find other emerging vloggers, and current topics.

THEJACKSFIRM is proud to support production of the #ASYT_Meetup video series.  The boutique production firm is energized by the possibility of using OpenSlate and ETT to source highly visible, emerging talent for new projects and fostering conversation around the collision of artistry and digital strategy.