Maker Co-Founder Lisa Donovan on Why YouTube Is Quality

/ Sep 19, 2013


One of the most common criticisms of online video, at least from the advertising community (and those who cover it), is that online content simply does not have the same level of quality as television, which makes it difficult for advertisers to spend real money on digital. It’s a fair point. Advertisers want to sit next to cool, “premium content” — shows like “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men,” not cat videos on YouTube.

Speak to most creators on YouTube, and they will bristle at the idea that their content isn’t as compelling as the stuff you see on TV. There are creators like Freddie Wong, The Fine Bros., and countless others who are producing content that goes beyond vlogging or gaming videos. And they would argue that online offers a level of access that TV isn’t able to, giving online content a different kind of premium.

Lisa Donovan, co-founder of Maker Studios, says pretty much the same thing in the following video, which was created to promote her session at the upcoming Future of Storytelling conference in New York. “What is quality in today’s entertainment? Just because it costs $100 million to make a movie, does it mean it’s quality if I don’t enjoy it and I don’t think it’s interesting?” she says. “What is quality?” she asks again. “Is it the fact that you spent that money and it’s a certain camera shooting it, or is it how it affects you?”

Some would argue that the level of acclaim attributed to shows like “Breaking Bad” isn’t because it looks good, but because it’s also a compelling drama, but nonetheless, she makes a fair point. And it’s one web video creators have been arguing for some time. If they have a rabid following, why would it matter if the videos don’t look as good as TV?

In any case, check out the video if you want to hear her thoughts on the web video space and self-producing and distributing content.

The Future of Storytelling conference will take place in New York on October 3.

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