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[Weekender] The secret to YouTube success

It takes more than creativity to compete as a content creator

YouTube stars are often described as self-made celebrities with bright ideas and irresistible content. They are considered brave pioneers whose outstanding creativity propelled them to success on this unconventional media platform.

YouTube creators are now role models for youngsters. Increasing numbers of elementary school students dream of becoming YouTubers. Videography classes and workshops are extremely popular. 

A content creator shoots a video at Jamong Media Space in southern Seoul. (Media Jamong)
A content creator shoots a video at Jamong Media Space in southern Seoul. (Media Jamong)

What do you need to become a YouTuber? In theory, you just need a video camera, a laptop computer and plenty of creativity. But to be successful in the long term, you may need more. Even though many YouTube channels are one-person operations, big-name channels often have strong teams behind them.

Haneul, for instance, is a popular vlogger with more than 500,000 followers. Apart from being a YouTuber, she runs an online shopping mall for an underwear brand, serving both as its CEO and as one of its models.

In a Q&A video she uploaded recently, the CEO-YouTuber revealed that she never edited her videos. 

“I don’t know how to edit. I have never edited videos,” Haneul said in the clip. She explained that her YouTube crew consisted of a video editor, a camera operator and two freelancers.

Banzz, a top-rated YouTuber with roughly 2.8 million subscribers, started out as an independent content creator when he launched his “meokbang” (eating show) in 2013. He did all the work by himself.

But as the number of his fans surged and his channel turned into a profitable business, Banzz found it more and more difficult to handle everything by himself. He hired other people to edit his videos and translate the captions. He now has five people on his crew.

Banzz and Haneul also get help from a networking agency to run their channels. Both have signed on with DIA TV, a division of entertainment heavyweight CJ ENM that specializes in helping content creators.

“We connect creators with advertisements or the press, linking them to more opportunities,” said Kim You-mi of DIA TV’s communications team.

“It’s not like we regulate the creators or tell them they cannot upload specific videos. It can be hard for YouTubers to deal with every advertisement alone, due to (lack of contacts), legal issues and (other obstacles). We just offer them more chances and greater convenience. ”

YouTuber Haneul said in her Q&A video, “I joined DIA TV when I had 300,000 subscribers. It was overwhelming taking care of all the advertisements by myself, as I had other work to do.”

The agency also offers incentives for vloggers who produce high-quality content. For beauty YouTubers, there’s a reward system: The more hits vloggers record, the more DIA TV points they get and can later redeem for beauty products from the Reward Zone. 

Content creators gather at DIA Festival 2018, held in August at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul. (CJ ENM)
Content creators gather at DIA Festival 2018, held in August at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul. (CJ ENM)

DIA TV also gives YouTubers greater visibility by hosting festivals where viewers can meet their favorite creators. Last month the agency hosted DIA Festival 2018, setting up booths and running events where YouTubers could communicate with their subscribers in person.

But not all YouTube wannabes can afford a professional crew and a recognized agency when they’re starting out. For many new content creators, a multichannel network company such as Media Jamong might be a better starting point.

Media Jamong runs five media centers across Seoul, renting out studio space and video equipment to individuals and businesses. 

A studio at Jamong Media Space (Media Jamong)
A studio at Jamong Media Space (Media Jamong)

For those who have the ideas but are not accustomed to the platform, the company can produce videos for them for a fee. Media Jamong also runs a free consulting service, providing tips on how to operate a YouTube channel, and offers classes and lectures for the general public.

“Some people who want to start new channels do not understand exactly how the YouTube platform works. They do not know how to create thumbnails or how to put on live shows,” a Media Jamong representative said, adding that the company offers survival tips and guidance for budding creators. “The consultations can lead to profit in the future, as the individuals may rent studios and equipment after (experiencing our consultations).”

By Im Eun-byel (
Korea Herald Youtube