Thursday, April 13, 2017

Independent Wrestling And YouTube

As I mentioned in the last blog entry I posted, I believe we are indeed in a boom period in professional wrestling, especially where it pertains to the trickle down effect of business being good at the top coming all the way down to the independents.  Unfortunately one of those things that has helped the independent promotions make money has changed their policies which prevents one money stream from helping those promotions.  YouTube

For those that don't know, it was possible to make money through YouTube, especially if your channel is one that's very popular.  So popular in fact, that many popular channels have been known to make as many as seven figures just making videos.  Now many of the popular independent promotions never made as much, but many were able to channel that popularity into a decent revenue stream that helped earn a little bit of money, as well as promote their shows.

YouTube has decided to change their policies in terms of how much and what it takes to profit off your channel.  The basics is there would be ad sharing for those that show ads before their videos and the revenue from the ads would be shared from YouTube and the content creators.  The new rule is that a channel must have 10,000 lifetime views and must go through a new application process before being approved for revenue sharing. 

Initial reaction from popular YouTubers like PewDiePie to wrestling promtions like AIW have been negative, citing facts that their revenue has dropped dramatically since the change has happened.  But is it the 'Adpocalypse' that PewDiePie has declared?  It could be, but it should just force creators to be more creative in getting revenue, especially in terms of independent wrestling and let me explain how.

  • Encourage those to buy your shows.  It was the first thing AIW did when they found out what happened.  They were already doing clips and some full matches to encourage people to buy the full shows, now they're just doing it through their social media outlets like Twitter.

  • If you post traditional TV episodes on your channel, get some local businesses to buy advertising time on your show, much like traditional tv sells advertising time.  It would require the promotion do a little extra work, however, if you have the statistics to show it, you could make it worth it for local businesses to advertise on your show.

  • I call this one piece of advice the PWG method, with the exception of they do their trailers to promote the sales of their full shows on DVD.  I believe they should go back to the days and make the YouTube clips glorified advertisements for upcoming live shows.  That's one of things a show is supposed to do anyway right?  Get people wanting to pay a ticket to see what happens at the live shows.

  • Lastly, and this one I don't know about because I don't know how they do ad sharing like YouTube does, but perhaps moving to other free streaming services like Dailymotion, Vimeo, etc. could be an option. 

I know many have formed conglomerates like, FloSlam, Highspots Network, CZW Studios and others, and I hope they succeed, but asking fans to pay for each of them, on top of whatever they're paying for traditional tv as well as other non-wrestling streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, plus the WWE Network may be a bit much to ask for those on a limited income.   

Things may not look good now, but I don't believe it's time to panic yet.  But it may be harder to see quality independent wrestling if nothing is done.