This is bizarre.
I was prepared to stick my nose up at this and you might be, too. But nothing speaks to the generational change because media executives refuse to learn.
So this Swedish fellow, Felix Kjellberg, has 27 million subscribers by doing nothing more than playing games on YouTube.
And is very very influential in the gaming business.
Even when he knocks a new video game, the failed game gets huge numbers from the negative publicity.
Old schoolers would call what Kjellberg does a review.
But in every way he embodies the values and preferences of the 95 million Millennials who are turning their back on traditional media.
I’m taking notes.
No, I’m not saying sign your station off the air and go review something in a frantic way, the way Kjellberg does.
I am saying, tap into his formula to begin to unlock audiences that are flat out bored with radio.
Admit it, you’re flat out bored with radio.
And I am, too.
There’s nothing new.
Nothing as good as it was 5 or 10 years ago.
It’s just vanilla.
Let’s walk through what this 24-year old entrepreneur has discovered.
- Authentic is the hit that plays over and over again with this generation. Kjellberg will say anything, knock anything, praise anything. He comes off as the real deal. They love that.
- The YouTube subscriber (in our case, the listeners) looks in on him playing games the way listeners used to listen in on radio djs as they played music. In fact, in the early days of music radio, the djs picked their own music and listeners were riveted to their stations. Maybe we should take this as a lesson.
- YouTube is everything to this generation. Forget cable. It’s a joke. And satellite radio isn’t even on the radar. Netflix is and maybe Hulu. And college loans. That’s about it. Keep in mind Beats which recently sold to Apple for $3 billion only has a few hundred thousand paid subscribers and a bunch of headsets in a warehouse somewhere.
- Kjellberg is having fun – cursing, being himself. Generational research shows that people from this generation – especially boys – want to be seen as fun loving. It’s important to them. As a baby boomer or Xer you may not have that on your list of ways you’d like to be seen, but it is on their list for sure. Take note.
And how does this young man make $4 million a year playing games?
At the end of 2012, his company PewDiePie, signed a deal with Maker Studios that produces online content.
By the way, Disney bought Maker Studios, no fools they are.
It’s a deal that could be worth around $1 billion when all incentives are reached sending Felix Kjellberg laughing out loud all the way to the bank.
A few things.
- Be authentic if it kills you. Radio has become the most unauthentic medium but it wasn’t always that way.
- Have fun. Sounds simple but how do you have fun lost in voice tracking or how does a local personality have fun when their hours have been cut and they are worried how to feed their families.
- Innovate something – anything. Invent new news. Come up with a civic pursuit. Discover new music, artists and local bands. Put aside Sunday night from 10 pm to 1 am to do something experimental. You may just find this little lab generates saleable ideas and attracts audiences that will never listen to your “same old” station.
- Get on YouTube. Focus on it. I keep saying that YouTube is the new hit music station to teenagers. Are you going to know that and sit back while YouTube takes your listeners?
A great article in Wall Street Journal article on Felix Kjellberg here.
You’ll get a kick (maybe even a much-needed kick in the pants) from watching him on YouTube.
Talk to Jerry privately here.