Why are traditional network TV shows racing to the Internet, more specifically YouTube, to publish content? The answer is simple: More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month.
Big network shows such as The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon have seen huge lifts in viewership on YouTube. It makes perfect sense. There's a limit and ceiling to the growth of Fallon's audiece who will watch his show on TV. That means that there is also a limit to the inventory and advertising dollars his show can earn. But on YouTube, with arguably a totally different audience and demographic, the growth (and ad potential) is limitless.
Case in point, breakout show Studio C, created by Jared Shores and Matt Meese.
Studio C can best be described as a clean version of SNL, a sketch comedy show produced in Provo, Utah, under the BYU Television network umbrella. Entrepreneurs can take a page from their playbook when it comes to tapping into new audiences, time zones and making money on YouTube.
Even without the help of the Internet, BYU TV's Studio C has impressive stats on a relatively niche Christian-conservative cable network reaching about 60 million households. But when you fold in YouTube, things start getting interesting.
Here are three reasons why TV Shows might want to head to YouTube:
1. There's no ceiling for audience, inventory or revenue. Fallon gets it. So do Shores and Meese. Even with respectable TV audience numbers, there's a cap. But YouTube allows these shows to reach new people, including a growing international fan base, that can't be accomplished through current channels.
Moreover, the cast of Studio C with presumably smaller paychecks than what Fallon earns, might be able to find incremental dollars or profitable side ventures with the help of YouTube via brand integration or other sponsorship outside of their BYU TV deal.
2. More freedom to experiment. TV is kind of set in stone. But YouTube is a place where a show such as Studio C could incubate ideas and use a growing subscriber community like a focus group. YouTube is a great place to try things that might not work.
3. Cross pollination. Both The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon on NBC and Studio C on BYU TV are seeing a huge halo effect from their YouTube channels to TV and visa versa. There are massive search-engine optimization benefits and implications as content creators leverage YouTube to get discovered and use communities to amplify their message.
Watch the full episode of Behind the Brand with the co-creators of Studio C to learn more about content as a strategy.