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The Possible Future of Online Video Content?

So, there are these two guys that a lot of you have heard me talk about named Hank and John Green. They do this YouTube series called VlogBrothers, which is mostly them sitting in front of their computers talking, doing awesome stuff, and other low-budget things that you can view every week online.

They're neat guys and I dig their stuff a lot! They also do other things on YouTube that involve a higher budget. Two of these really excellent programs are Crash Course (history, literature, and science overview courses that are a lot of fun) and Sci Show (which is exactly what it sounds like). These are actually high budget shows that require more than just a webcam and some clever video editing. Up until this year, the shows have been funded by grants from Google but they're running out. Truthfully, I never really thought about it much, until today when the Greens launched their new site Subbable.

Here's a video of Hank talking about what Subbable is (which is kind of a YouTube meets NPR kinda deal):

So basically, Subbable is like an on-going Kickstarter campaign. You can fund the creator-owned stuff that you want to watch, but there's no deadline for when you have to give money. It also has the great option for those who don't have money but still want to watch the content: you don't have to give money. The videos will still be available on YouTube (they'll be embedded on Subbable in a neater way than YouTube's current subscription layout), and you can even be on Subbable without having to donate anything. Plus, you can choose your donation level at anytime (meaning you can go from paid to not paid depending on your own finances, and no one will judge you).


I also like the idea of a 'perks bank' where you can eventually trade the points you've racked up through donating to get neat stuff. Again, it's like Kickstarter or an NPR pledge drive but year round.

It's nice to see something like this pop up. Hank and John have done a lot of musings about online videos and advertising and finding alternate ways to fund creator-owned online content. I hope it works out well for them. Subbable went live two days ago (and John Green sent out an e-mail to the Nerdfighter mailing list tonight) and Crash Course has already reached over 3,000 Subbable subscribers who have donated 37% of the month's minimum budget.

You can read more about Subbable here.

For those of you who don't know the VlogBrothers, please check out their stuff. They're super intelligent guys who do a lot of amazing work and make incredible content that is appropriate for people all ages. And for those of you who do know them... DFTBA.


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