YouTube Success Stories

LonelyGirl: One Actor’s Success Story

An Actress Gets Her Big Break Online

How will we know when the digital tipping point happens? When people start getting excited about media that is NOT on broadcast TV, NOT on Comcast Cable TV, and starts out on YouTube. Like LonelyGirl 15, for example.

Most of the videos on YouTube are homemade by people largely under 30. Brooke Brodack (known as Brookers to her fans) got so popular -- one of her videos was viewed a million and a half times -- that she landed a Hollywood contract to produce television content.

Lonely Girl Image

LonelyGirl 15 is her YouTube video series that has become so popular, the actress playing the main character, a pretty 16 year-old homeschooled girl named "Bree", was recently invited to make an appearance on the Jay Leno show.

The LonelyGirl 15 show is fresh in every respect, from content to marketing to distribution. And perhaps the most important thing about such a success story is that the video production grew up in a business network not controlled by the market leaders in the software or entertainment industries. Those leaders didn't create, don't have a stake in its success, and don't get revenue from its distribution. They're totally cut out.

Lonely Girl 15 is, in short, a televised revolution. It's been watched millions of times by people all over the world, and has developed a devoted fan base. So next time that you hear the MPAA complaining about decreasing movie sales, don't believe them. Their viewers are home watching Lonely Girl 15.

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OK Go: One Band’s Success Story

Band Rockets To Stardom Through YouTube

OK Go Band Image

You may not have heard of OK Go, but the Chicago rock pop band just made history. The band's ultra-low-budget clip for the song "A Million Ways" recently became the most-downloaded music video of all time with more than 9 million downloads.

OK Go's treadmill video for 'Here It Goes Again' was another viral hit with 1 million views in its first month and earned them an appearance on MTV's Video Music Awards and on Letterman.

Filmed in lead singer Damien Kulash's backyard, the video features the band performing an elaborate choreographed dance over one continuous take.

The video proved so popular that fans across the globe began to submit unsolicited copies of their versions of the dance video to the band.

The outpouring of video tributes prompted OK Go to conduct a contest with YouTube to select their favorite fan film and invite the lucky winner to perform the dance with them onstage at an upcoming concert.

From backyard broke to MTV mania...thanks to "push button publishing".

Get The YouTube Moviemaking Handbook and three special bonuses now - Just Click Here.

NBC’s Saturday Night Live: One Company’s Success Story

NBC Plugs into YouTube's Viral Growth

NBC Peacock Image

YouTube, the wildly popular video-sharing Web site, was an underground phenomenon just a few months ago. Now, with millions of viewers and millions in venture capital, YouTube is entering into a deal with NBC to promote the network's programming on the site.

Like most Silicon Valley success stories, YouTube started in a garage. Founders Steve Chen and Chad Hurley got frustrated when they were trying to share video with friends on the Internet and found the process too complicated.

They officially launched YouTube in December 2005. So far, they've raised more than $11 million in venture capital. The site is so popular that about 60,000 videos are uploaded to it each day. Fifty million videos are posted on the site at any given time, Chen says.

The site's fare ranges from the very silly -- teenagers lip-syncing to pop music -- to the deadly serious -- soldiers' videos of the war in Iraq.

Saturday Night Live Image

Like other services where average people share content, YouTube has run into some copyright issues. YouTube got the attention of traditional media when a video of a Saturday Night Live skit, called "Lazy Sunday" showed up on the site.

The spoof, featuring SNL regulars Chris Parnell and Andy Samberg rapping about eating cupcakes and going to see The Chronicles of Narnia, was viewed millions of times.

NBC acknowledged that the viewing of its "Lazy Sunday" video online brought Saturday Night Live more attention than it had seen in years.

Recently, NBC announced a deal with YouTube to post previews of its shows on the Web site.

Brian Haven, a senior media analyst at Forrester Research, says the challenge to traditional television comes from consumers who are starting to look to one another for entertainment. It's part of a trend he calls social computing.

YouTube Production BookCover

According to Bill Dyszel, author of The YouTube Moviemaking Handbook: “The availability of high-speed Internet and cheap video cameras have changed something about the way we communicate. And now, everyone has a chance at Andy Warhol’s 15-minutes of fame, and in some case even much more. The genie is out of the bottle - communicating with one another through moving images is likely to be a permanent part of modern life.”

Get The YouTube Moviemaking Handbook and three special bonuses now - Just Click Here.