What if YouTube creators could Tinder-swipe their way to new collaborators? AwesomenessTV’s newest app, Bridge, takes a step in that direction, allowing users to discover fellow YouTubers to help expand their networks.
“We work with lots of different creators, some are very big like Cameron Dallas and Nash Grier, and some are really up-and-coming, but universally, they all want to collab,” explained AwesomenessTV’s Chief Digital Officer Kelly Day. “It’s the universal thing on YouTube. One of the primary reasons people want to collab is it expands your audience. It doesn’t matter if you have 5 million or 5,000 [followers]; there’s always going to be someone bigger than you, or they have a different audience than you.”
AwesomenessTV attracts a younger set of YouTubers, so a mobile solution is inherently appealing to its demographic. The app serves a function that was often taking up huge chunks of time for the multichannel network. Day said the AwesomenessTV team had been spending lots of time manually orchestrating collabs within their network, getting creators on the phone to hash out ideas. With 90,000 channels and growing, the challenge for AwesomenessTV was how to scale its services, and a mobile solution puts the power in the creators’ hands.
The design is straightforward: You log in, and it begins sharing sample videos and bio info on available co-creators. You can then connect with a fellow YouTuber and plan a collaboration between your channels right from the app. (For now, the app doesn’t have a way to geofilter collaborators, which is something Day says they’re working on thanks to user feedback.)
It’s no coincidence that the app feels like a G-rated dating service for creatives. “We started thinking about, to be honest, the online dating space,” Day explained. “How do people meet people online? We thought about the success of apps like Tinder and sites like Match.com, and then could we use this type of functionality to help people find collab-mates. You can do everything within the app. You can message within the app. At some point we’d like to get to the point where you can create the video in the app and publish it.”
AwesomenessTV started development on the app this spring, and after rounds of beta testing it finally released to the wider AwesomenessTV community this week. Within only a few days, Day says the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
“People spend a huge amount of time in the app,” she said. “Just in the first 24 hours, we saw people looking at a 110 different profiles on average.”
Since the app is only for AwesomenessTV and Big Frame users, for now this service sets AwesomenessTV apart from other MCNs looking to attract flourishing YouTube channels.
“We operate in a competitive space, and being able to deliver value to creators that’s exclusive is a big priority to us,” said Day. “Bridge is something that is unique to Awesomeness and only available to Awesomeness and Big Frame creators. It’s something we think is a great differentiator and could be a great competitive advantage when people are thinking about joining a MCN.”
AwesomenessTV should enjoy its dominance for now, because we don’t think it will be long before others get into the collab connection game.
Photo via Johan Larsson/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Fernando Alfonso III