Experienced yet still much to learn

Hello all. I am an experienced filmmaker and storyteller. I am, however, new to creating web series.

To gain traction is it absolutely necessary to have a YouTube channel? Does anyone have experience of building an audience through a dedicated website for the show?

Then if I used YouTube as the host for the streaming video would it still count for revenue share once it hit the required viewership - even if if the video was on a dedicated site and not part of a YouTube channel?

Be gentle with me - I’m on a leaning curve here.

Many thanks…


@avincie @ronVceo @ghettonerdgirl @OSTSG @hermdelica @SnobbyRobot

Are you asking about revenue share with YouTube ads? As in- if people are viewing your embedded YouTube videos on a third party website, would you still have to share revenue from a pre-roll add?

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If that’s what you’re asking, then yes, you still have to revenue share. The videos, though embedded, are still HOSTED on YouTube, and any YouTube-based ads (pre-rolls or banner ads) are still being provided/matched to your video BY YouTube, so you’d still be splitting the revenue.

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Yup. The only way you wouldn’t have to split revenue is if you’re placing ads directly on your website, like by having a widget for ads as a sidebar modal or something (like on a news website where they have a bunch of ad boxes). Those ads are hosted on your website, and therefore you have no one to share them with.

Here’s what I’ll say about having a YouTube channel- people understand it, and people already browse for videos ON YouTube. No one is browsing Google for individual series websites and there’s limited places you can promote the website itself, but on YouTube, you could come up in search results, be a “related video,” or a million other things. As well, people understand YouTube. They don’t have to think about it if sent a link to a YouTube video or channel, making it more likely for them to watch what they’re sent. On the flipside, getting sent a website requires them to learn a new website, click around to find how to watch and what the deal is, limiting your potential for ease of viewing.

An example: my new web series is being exclusively distributed by an indie streaming service called SeekaTV. It’s very cool, and free to view, but I’ve had friends and family tell me that until I upload the series to YouTube, they aren’t going to watch it. They don’t understand Seeka and that lack of understanding makes them suspicious and unlikely to change their habits, even for someone they claim to want to artistically support (me). Other distribution options for web series that aren’t YouTube.

If you’re using youtube as a host for a video, it is part of a youtube channel. you can’t upload a video to youtube without a channel. like how you can’t post to this forum without an account. Same thing. Everyone with a youtube account has a youtube channel, even if they don’t upload their own videos and just watch/like other videos.

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@Distoviolin1 I largely agree with @Bri_Castellini on this. Although, I will say that there are platforms that are super easy to use like Stream Now (shameless plug) that have no friction in terms of using it such as sign ups. It’s very similar in look to Netflix so people have a pretty good idea of what to do. Here is a screen shot from the Stream Now Apple TV channel to show the UI.

That being said, I would use YT more for marketing as opposed to the actual streaming partner. By that, I mean you may consider putting up a trailer, 1st episode and other extras as a way to drive people to your site. Even if all of your episodes are hosted by YT, you might make them “unlisted” so that your other efforts drive people to your site where you can better track and potentially have them signup for your email list. The email list is way more valuable than any money you would ever make from YT. And while you might get some lift from “related videos” as Bri suggested, I would say it’s pretty limited.

In terms of if it should be on another platform or not, I would say why not? We have many shows/films that get 10x more views on Stream Now than the creators get on YT. Most of your YT views will come from people you know where platforms like Stream Now and Seeka are advertising and going after entirely different audiences. In other words, my people are not your people. Hope that helps.