CCO Daniel Tibbets of Machinima, content creator Gazza Gizzy, and Machinima programming director Shane Burrus.
« Fandom and gaming are the twin passion points through which we engage our global millennial audience, » began CEO Chad Gutstein, who both opened and closed this session. « We are the first many-to-many programming service aggregating content, curating and delivering it to hundreds of millions of millennial videos globally. »
A few stats:
– 3.8B Machinima videos are consumed monthly by Millennials
– It enjoys the equivalent of 38.000 years of viewership … monthly
– 60% of consumption happens on mobile
« We connect with local audiences through our local pool of talent, » Gutstein went on, adding that Machinima creators hail from 109 countries. « Only 40% of Machinima’s views come from the country in which it was created. Most views are happening across borders. » And even the US is not execmpt: 52% of Machinima content viewed in the US is produced outside it. « Think about that from a TV perspective. That could never happen, » said Gutstein.
80% of out-of-border views come from countries who share the influencer’s language, because « an influencer naturally resonates with anyone who speaks his or her language, » said Gutstein.
Gutstein then gave the stage to CCO Daniel Tibbets, who interviewed YouTube content creator Gazza Gizzy and programming director Shane Burruss.
Gizzy’s channel’s grown to 20 million monthly views in just the past few months, Tibbets began, and he’s also the perfect illustration for Machinima’s huge out-of-border consumption ratio: 85% of his views are US-based, even though he’s UK-based.
« What are some tactics you’ve done that’s driven that success? » Tibbets asked.
« In Minecraft »—Gizzy is a Minecraft YouTuber— »there’s a lot of people who kinda do the same thing. I wanted to expand that and started creating stories within Minecraft: Role-playing in games that people can join me on. Every video is different. »
Doing this is easy and intuitive: Minecraft is « a sandbox game. You can do anything you want in it, » Gizzy said. « I wanted to take what I studied, like TV and film, and put it into Minecraft. »
Tibbets seized this moment to give us a lesson on the origins of Machinima’s brand name: it’s a mix of machine and cinema. « What Gizzy is doing is using the machine to manipulate it and create your own stories, » he added, pleased as punch.
« I am the machine, » Gizzy said soberly.
Shane manages Machinima Realm and is approaching one billion lifetime views. Realm began its life as a World of Warcraft-dedicated channel, then it transitioned into Minecraft. Now its scope includes League of Legends.
« It wouldn’t be possible to grow if you’re not literally staying ahead of the game, » Shane said. « We launched in 2010 and were dedicated to the MMO genre. The channel reached more and more people, and the audience wanted more. So to provide more, the Realm expanded to other games. »
He said accessibility is key when it comes to creating a large audience from a game developer’s standpoint: A price differentiation of just 5€ or 10€ per game can make a huge difference in community size, he pointed out. (League of Legends, which is technically free to play before you start investing in bundles, counts 27 million players per day.)
But the community has to come for you, too. « People are watching the videos because they want to watch you, » said Gizzy. « I think what’s nice about YouTube is you can respond to your audience. »
Unlike Gizzy’s channel, which caters to a primarily English-speaking Audience, most of Machinima Realm’s viewers reside in non-English-speaking countries.
« How do you cater to all those different markets? » Tibbets asked.
« A fan of the game will instantly recognise the scenario and what’s going on screen, and the general tactics, » said Shane. « Being a fan, you understand what’s going on for the most part. You can always appreciate a player’s skill, even if the commentary is in a language foreign to you. »
Gutstein later returned to discuss monetisation and the future of Machinima within the content market.
In 1980s viewership was dominated by broadcast TV, he said. By 2005, cable networks outgrew broadcast in viewership. That was 10 years ago; today top programmes are from cable networks.
« Today we’ve just completed the first decade of the 3rd wave of TV. Like cable before us, we are spending much less to produce today’s social video content, » Gutstein proclaimed.
Prior, Machinima was exclusively broadcast on YouTube. Today you can access it on Vimeo, vessel, Facebook, xbox, and more—vastly increasing its scope and monetisation opportunities.
Machinima, he believes, will be producing content in the typical budget levels of scripted (3M€-6M€) and unscripted (300K€-3M€) in just a few years. « Our producers will be working with the top talent both in front of and behind cameras. »
Gutstein went on, « Today Machinima is one of the world’s leading content producers. In one month we produce more than 10 times the annual output of the largest fully-distributed cable network in the US. »
Curation, he believes, will expand Machinima’s scope further. « We can do this because our audience cares about our content and engages with us through our passion points. Our audience is obsessed with this content, » he said.
« The revolution will not be televised. It’s happening right here on Machinima. »