Friday, March 23, 2012

Meet Koalakombat, March's YouTube Success Story!

We have loads of partners across Europe that are taking advantage of the YouTube Partner Program, and becoming highly successful on YouTube.  We've asked some of these partners to share their experience on YouTube and within the program, shed light on how to best utilize the platform.  This month's featured partner is Koalakombat, please read on for his story and best practices!

Please tell us a bit about yourself. What is your name, your channel name? Where are you from, your fan base?

My name is Ralph Ruthe,  my channel on YouTube is called “koalakombat”. When I started in 2006, I was working on a flash-game by the same name so I decided spontaneously to give my channel the same name. Looking back maybe not the best decision,  but neither a catastrophe. I live and work in Bielefeld, Germany.

Please tell us how it all started. How and when did you start creating videos? When did you decide to be active on YouTube and become a partner? What was your first video on YouTube?

Mid 2005 I was already successful for several years with Cartoons published as books and publications in several magazines. Several attempts to translate my characters and content to video with professional animation studios and production companies were unsuccessful because I was not fully satisfied with the results. Professional producers just didn’t get my sense of humor as they were producing primarily for a child audience. My target group focused rather on teenagers with no upper age limit. I further focus on content rather than art. Accordingly, my first video from 2006 was a non-animated music video with self-designed puppets. When I got to know Falk Hühne, who was already producing animations, I saw a chance to jointly produce short clips on a small budget to demonstrate my ambitions and capabilities to established players. 

Please explain your channel. What's the story behind your channel? How did you come up with your channel concept?

My Channel stands for comedy. Animated, real life or puppets - what matters is that it reflects my humor 100%. Music plays a major role in my clips - I write and compose everything myself. My Top 3 are: "Du bist wie Sand", "Biber und Baum 2", "FLOSSEN - die Falltür".

YouTube Partnership:
Please share your experience of being a YouTube partner. How has being a YouTube partner helped/changed your business and personal life? Were there any surprises? What are your plans for the future of your channel and YouTube partnership?

The primary benefit of the YouTube partnership for me: the ability to develop videos without constraints on content or time according to my ideas, and the possibility to refinance my production cost (sometimes even make a small profit). Honestly, I didn’t even expect this level.
My characters and cartoons were known before my YouTube Partnership, but only through YouTube I was able to introduce myself as a musician and film producer to my audience because I could produce without any limits or constraints on creativity. I’m very comfortable with this situation and hope that will continue.

How do you define success? How did you become successful on YouTube? What were your goals for your channel, and how did you achieve them? What would you recommend to newbie partners to be successful on YouTube?

Success for me is the chance to do what I like best and what I can do well so people recognize me and I can make a living off it. I think that’s the recipe for success: To do what you really love. Not only for YouTube, but in general.
Creative Inspiration:
Please tell us what inspires you. Do you have a particular creative aesthetic? Are there other YouTube channels you watch, creators you admire?

Inspiration is everything. Shopping in the supermarket, a movie, an overheard conversation in the tube. But also other YouTubers, sure. For instance, I love the clips by Mr. Weebl.

Key Takeaways:
Anything you want the YouTube audience to know about you, your channel, or being a YouTube Partner?

I always try to surprise myself.

Koalakombat, YouTube Partner, recently watched Dick Figures: Kung Fu Winners

Monday, March 12, 2012

Changes to Related and Recommended Videos

To make the videos you watch on YouTube more enjoyable, memorable, and sharable, we're updating our Related and Recommended videos to better serve videos that keep viewers entertained.

For years, the Related and Recommended videos we served to the right of the player and on the homepage represented our best prediction of what people wanted to watch next. We regularly tweaked the system that selects these videos to keep it evolving with the rest of the site.

Today, this system serves videos based on the number of clicks they receive, which would be like suggesting a TV show based on how many people briefly flipped on a channel while surfing. But clicks aren’t always the best way to predict whether you’ll be interested in a video. Sometimes thumbnails don’t paint the whole picture, or a video title isn’t descriptive.

We’ve been experimenting with the way we offer Related and Recommended videos, focusing on video engagement to get people to the videos they like more quickly. In particular, we’ve discovered that time watched is one of the best indicators of a viewer's engagement. As a result, we’ll be focusing more prominently on time watched in providing Related and Recommended videos starting next week. While we'll still be looking at clicks, engagement will become the leading indicator for serving these videos.

So, if you’re making videos that keep people engaged, Related and Recommended videos will begin showing your videos more prominently. On the flip side, videos that don’t will not be surfaced as prominently, which will impact a video’s viewcounts over time. How can you adapt to these changes? The same as you always have — create great videos that keep people engaged. It doesn’t matter whether your videos are one minute or one hour. What matters is that your audience stops clicking away and starts watching more of your videos.

To help you, we have an Analytics Audience Retention Report, a list of best practices, and answers to frequently-asked questions to find ways ranging from content to programming. As this kicks off next week, we’ll continue to share resources on this blog to help drive even more audiences to your videos and to your channel.

The YouTube Team