‘Ear Biscuits with Rhett & Link’ Explores Philip DeFranco’s Early Days on YouTube

/ Feb 3, 2014


Ear Biscuits with Rhett and Link,” a weekly podcast in which YouTubers Rhett & Link speak with fellow YouTube creators, featured Philip DeFranco as one of the show’s first guests.

By now, by virtue of you reading this site, you know who Philip DeFranco is and how big “The Philip DeFranco Show” is on YouTube. Before he was a billion-view man on YouTube, DeFranco was another up-and-coming creator trying to grow an audience on the site.

So how did he get to where he is today? Chatting with Rhett & Link, DeFranco shed some insight into how he went about building his channel. One tactic in particular took advantage of what YouTube was already offering: Since the front page of YouTube is curated, DeFranco would perform spoofs or reactions to those videos, riding their coattails to increased views. It’s a tried-and-true strategy, apparently, as Rhett & Link also admitted to employing the same tactic. By attempting to be one of the first responses to each front-page video, DeFranco (and Rhett & Link) gained strategic placement on the highly-trafficked platform. Similarly, for videos that were in line for the front page, DeFranco said he would make sure to comment last, so as to eventually end up with optimal front page placement.

Still, DeFranco discussed how no one back in the early 2000s realized they could aim for the position of full-time YouTuber. Even promoting other people’s videos lacked a true business agenda and focused more on pure entertainment. “Love and passion for cool shit” drove DeFranco to promote videos created by others. It was part of a “pay it forward” attitude among early YouTubers — something which DeFranco believes has waned with the next generation. In the podcast, Rhett, Link, and DeFranco lament that today’s most viewed Tubers favor bringing up their friends on the platform over worthy content.

“The Philip DeFranco Show” features the host ranting on the latest trends and news stories, an idea clearly set forth by his early strategies for generating views. These “talking head” videos, responses in their own way, promote dialogue on current topics, gathering lots of comments and influencing viewers’ opinions, which in turn enable DeFranco to keep on ranting.

The rest of the “Ear Biscuits” podcast delves further in to Philip DeFranco’s early life and YouTube fame, exploring how he came into his own YouTube voice and why people still listen to his videos today, though the videos have grown from three to almost 12 minutes long.

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