Mobile Media Making Money
Tech breakthroughs have given anyone with a smartphone the chance to make news and money. Sound too good to be true? The world of media and entertainment has changed drastically over the past 10 years. Now superstars can be made from one homemade video going viral. True, with the phone's ease of accessibility comes some limitations in quality, but the most basic smartphones have fairly decent video and still cameras, and an audio recorder that's good enough to produce something of note. Subject matter trumps content quality more than ever these days. If a unique clip is captured and takes the internet world by storm then the professionalism of the piece is rarely a concern. Media outlets need content. They are also keenly interested in what interests consumers. So even though everyday people may have limited training in the fields of audio and video production, they do have a secret weapon—a mobile recording device always in hand.
There may seem like no rhyme or reason to what hits big but people want to feel good. For some that may mean cute videos of kittens, puppies or penguins. Whereas others like making fun of people and seeing someone do something stupid. This isn't an anthropology lesson, just a fact that viewers want to feel something, whether it's happy, melancholic, thankful to be alive and be human, the whole gamut of emotions. And if a novice video or audio producer can make people feel many of those things? That's gold. But how do people make money with this stuff? A number of ways, actually. Depending on what the production is and who it's marketed to, there could be a variety of ways to turn a profit.
Savvy Webpreneurs generate a good bit of cash through ad sales, which is no different than that weekly entertainment rag readers can't live without. Say a video starts to gain momentum and it's of a cute puppy doing cute puppy stuff. If everyone and their mum starts watching the cute puppy doing cute puppy stuff video then what businesses might find that quite interesting? Right; dog food and toy manufacturers, vets, dog trainers, kennels, beauty salons, and on and on. Companies can be quite willing to pay for the privilege of signing on to a video that people are flocking to in droves. In addition to offering click through incentives, they may even offer sponsorships and endorsements, if appropriate and potentially lucrative for them.
Never underestimate the wisdom of taking an idea and running with it. If a video launches the worldwide popularity of a character doesn't it make sense that people might be willing to buy things with said-character on them? Tees, drink coasters, lagers with specialised labels—there is no end to the possibilities for merchandising madness. Just make sure to do some math and make sure the product is something the market will bear and that production costs don't exceed profit unless the goal is completely to give away the shoppe.
At one time you'd need to write a book to become an “expert” on something. These days a blog, a small video series or even a radio submission can have the same effect, if pursued properly. The best part is that someone doesn't need to necessarily know something more than others, particularly if they're funny and engaging or good looking. However knowing or finding a unique angle can conceivably turn into a career in television, radio, as a public speaker, or as the next YouTube sensation.
Andy Warhol's prediction of everyone being famous for 15 minutes stands even truer today. Part of it most certainly stems from low-cost accessibility to decent production gear (your phone).But it's also because the lines between viewer, producer and the money makers are becoming more consistently blurred. It's weird, there's no doubt about it. It's also totally awesome.