Inside Dodford’s Cinematic Strategy 🎟️

Unpacking his latest video rollout

Good morning. MrBeast recently shared that he took a break from his long-held video strategy of fast-paced storytelling, lots of yelling, and minimal character development—traits that became part of the so-called MrBeastification of YouTube. The result? Views “skyrocketed,” MrBeast said.

We’ve long wondered if this MrBeastification of YouTube had reached its expiration date, but now we’ve heard it straight from the source: sure seems like it.

The Strategy Behind Dodford’s Latest Video Rollout

Dodford’s team spread 100 posters promoting his Greta Gerwig video essay across Sacramento, CA / Dodford

In the lead up to essayist Danny “Dodford” McMahon’s latest YouTube video on filmmaker Greta Gerwig, McMahon and his team tried something new: plastering posters of the video thumbnail all over Gerwig’s hometown of Sacramento, CA.

The why: It’s part of McMahon’s strategy to give his videos a more theatrical quality. 

  • McMahon releases trailers for his videos, uploads on Friday nights, and encourages viewers to watch on TV.

  • “I was impressed by how much he encourages people to watch on the biggest screen possible,” Dodford researcher Mia Zimonjic, who led the Gerwig documentary research effort, told us. “His editing is stellar, as well as motion graphics, and it's best to watch it as loud as possible on the biggest screen as possible.”

This rollout strategy does a few things:

  1. Drums up excitement for viewers

  2. Creates appointment viewing for fans to tune in for Friday releases

  3. Allows Dodford to reach his audience on other platforms via trailers 

And it works: Dodford debuted this strategy a year ago leading up to his video on Adam Sandler. That video has become the channel’s most-watched at 6 million views. 

“Building anticipation is so real, I felt like there was a palpable sense of hype,” McMahon told us. “I could have uploaded a week earlier, but I spent a week posting cryptic tweets about it. Then there were people eagerly waiting to watch and click, which I think really helped.”

Looking ahead: McMahon and his team are part of a growing set of creators looking to create more cinematic content—YouTube videos made with the TV screen in mind. McMahon said that for him, that means telling diverse stories in a way that could lend itself to other platforms in the future.

“If we want to sell our documentaries to other streaming services in the future, they’d look at the channel as a whole and see there's a coherence throughout,” McMahon said. “It's important [the channel] has a story with ups and downs, but there's a cohesive connective tissue.”

YouTube Music Workers Face Layoffs

Alphabet Workers Union member Jack Benedict (right) was speaking with the Austin City Council when member Katie Marie Marner (left) came and announced that they’d been laid off / Austin City Council

43 unionized YouTube Music workers were laid off last week after claiming that Google has been unwilling to bargain with them as they asked for higher pay and better benefits, according to The Washington Post.

Context: The Austin-based Content Operations team (which works for Google through a tech contracting company called Cognizant) successfully voted to unionize in April 2023.

Driving the news: In a viral clip, one contractor learned of the layoffs while he was urging Austin City Council members to step in and ask Google to negotiate with the unionized workers.

Zoom out: Between creators forming a guild and creator economy workers fighting for better compensation, many in the industry believe that platforms should be sharing more of their spoils. FYI, union staffers at several Spotify-owned podcast companies also began protesting for a new contract last week after their previous one expired.

These latest layoffs come just a month after YouTube announced its paid music and video subscription tiers had passed 100 million subscribers.

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QTCinderella Launches Late Night Show

QTCinderella (right) hosts a Q&A segment with actor and streamer Will Neff (left) on her new “Late Night with QT” show / QTCinderella

QTCinderella launched a new weekly show on her Twitch channel called “Late Night with QT,” where she comments on the latest news in streaming and plays games with guests.

The first episode featured actor and streamer Will Neff plus a performance from Richard “Office Drummer” Ray.

The creator POV: “Late Night” offers a lower-lift, more repeatable format in between QT’s now-annual Streamer Awards show. Following the success of her third Streamer Awards a few weeks back, QT appears positioned to continue embracing her role as a host within the streamer community.

👀 Creator Moves

  • Johnny Harris is hiring a business strategist to oversee planning behind their company’s new channel and series launches.

  • Jomboy Media is hiring a content creator to produce recurring long-form videos and collaborate with other Jomboy creators.

  • The Conversationalist is hiring a videographer to produce and edit the educational brand’s videos.

🔥 Press Worthy

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