Hipset Network Launch Not Worth the Hype

/ Apr 9, 2013

hipset network channel page

***UPDATE***

CEO & founder Matt Schlicht tweets that while Hipset Network talent is all musicians, they are focused “specifically” on “non music content.” So, they’re not making any music-related content despite featuring musicians. Schlicht explains his network’s role as basically a vlogging coach, to foster “[a]uthentic communication w/ fans.”

_____

Can an online entertainment company that made a name for itself through a Facebook music app and related social media tools create a successful music network on YouTube? Hipset Network is about to find out.

Created by Hipset, the same folks that made the Tracks.by app, the new YouTube network is said to have signed up 11 mainstream artists already, including Soulja Boy, 3 Doors Down, Rob Zombie, Ryan Leslie and Daughtry.

Besides assisting musicians in creating original content (like vlogs), the network also aims to help musicians better manage their fans, including helping them get more subscribers. Co-founder and CEO of Hipset Matt Schlicht told the The Hollywood Reporter: “Artists are really good at building up fans on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram but they’re not that great, to date, getting people to subscribe to them on YouTube.”

To help drum up support for the new network, Hipset tapped Sam Betesh (known on YouTube as xJaws), a Call of Duty video game commentator with just under one million subscribers, to “gain traction” on the video site. The Next Web described Betesh’s role as “oversee[ing] the Network and us[ing] his experience in production and storytelling to enable artists to gain as much advantage from their channel as possible.”

Music related content is generally a safe bet on YouTube, with VEVO being the most profitable player in that space: many popular musicians have over a million subscribers on their VEVO-branded channels and dominate the most subscribed-to list.

Does YouTube really needed another music-centric network though?

The space has been getting a little bit crowded this past year. Big Frame, Fullscreen and Maker Studios all have music verticals on the video site. Additionally, two premium content music channels (recipients of Google’s Original Channels investment), Warner Bros’ The Warner Sound and VICE’s noisey, both consistently perform well on Ad Age’s weekly channel rankings. Then you have INDMUSIC, the largest music-centric multi-channel YouTube network with a pool of over 150 artists and music agents, at 1.3 billion views to date.

Looking at the content already up on Hipset Network — which is all “how-to’s,” including one titled “How to get views on YouTube” with only 1,182 views — the network’s ability to build and manage the audiences of its artists when it struggle with its own is not immediately clear.

We wish Betesh the best — as well as the rest of the Hipset team — but for now, we remain incredibly skeptical of this new network.

 

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