DECA CEO Talks Kin Community Network's Partner Selection, YouTube Original Channel Initiative
Top YouTube women’s network Kin Community recently scored a coup when they signed upRosanna Pansino, Wayne Goss and Joy Cho as partners. The three join a roster headlined by Ellen DeGeneres’ “The Ellen Show” channel, whose presence alone makes the Kin stable pretty epic even without the big additions of Pansino and Goss, who bring with them 1.3 million+ followers each.
At the very head of the Kin Community network is DECA cofounder and CEO Michael Wayne. DECA is a digital media production company aimed at women, and Kin Community is their network arm formed last year after YouTube cut funding for the Kin Community channel, which was a part of the first wave of channels in the streaming video company’s Original Channel Initiative. The Kin Community network which sprung from that seeming loss has come to be one of the leading specialty MCNs popping up as of late and represents a wide array of diverse talents targeting women viewers on YouTube. The network scores 150 million+ collective views from over 25 million unique viewers per month and have also made smart investments in properties like Smosh.com and Pemberley Digital, the studio behind “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.”
Of course, all of that success has undoubtedly been helped by the fact that Wayne is no slouch in the credentials and connections department — he’s served as vice president of Sony Pictures’ television and digital divisions, and he’s been elected before as the president of the International Academy of Web Television, an entity that maybe sounds a little too serious right now but that we’ll probably all be more aware in the future as digital series make up more and more of our entertainment-viewing lives. So that’s all to say that Wayne has been on the digital series bandwagon for a while now, which is why you should read my interview with him below to find out exactly how Kin Community signed up to be “The Ellen Show’s” YouTube network, the story behind the founding of DECA and his opinion of YouTube’s Original Channels Initiative.
How did you come to found DECA, a digital content company for women? What’s the origin story there?
Michael Wayne: I was drawn to storytelling and content at an early age. From high school on, I was involved in entrepreneurial endeavors, so it wasn’t out of left field that I ended up starting an online video company.
After working at a start-up called LAUNCH in the late 90s, where streaming music videos was a big part of our business, I became fascinated with how media companies would be disrupted by new technology. Then I spent over four years at Sony Pictures working on digital projects, which ultimately lead me to start DECA in the summer of 2007. The question we were trying to answer then is the same question we work on every day now: How do you build a world-class content and media business in a marketplace of “abundance” where there are very few barriers to entry?
We didn’t originally intend for DECA to be a digital content company for women. About a year after we started, we decided to focus the business on lifestyle content for women’s audiences for a few reasons: women were underserved by online video, we had success with a women’s initiative we had launched and the economy was heading off a cliff. Building a content business for women felt like an enormous and important opportunity. We still believe that today.
What do you think are the distinctive qualities that set Kin Community apart from other women’s networks on YouTube?
Kin Community’s goal is to make women feel something emotionally and to inspire them. We do that through the content we create and through our partners’ content. We have a rule that we will never sacrifice quality for scale. We also believe in personal, high-touch partner management, which means we need to keep the number of partners we have relatively small (~60). Before networks on YouTube were created, we were working with major brand advertisers. Those relationships have served our channel partners and us well.
How selective is Kin Community in signing partners? Are there essential qualities Kin looks for?
Kin Community is very selective in signing partners. Our partners have quality brands, highly engaged and growing audiences and, for the most part, want to make being a creator their life’s work. We work hard to empower them to do this. Our partners want to learn, grow and make their brands better, and they share our values. It can be very isolating being a content creator on YouTube. We want our partners to feel like they are part of something bigger and more meaningful.
One of our partners, Pemberley Digital, won an Emmy this year for “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries” – the bar is pretty high now.
What was your reaction when YouTube cut off funding of Kin Community last year?
It was not unexpected that YouTube stopped funding Kin Community this year. YouTube gave us a lot of money to start Kin Community, which is now the flagship brand of our company. I’m eternally grateful that they gave us the opportunity.
Do you think YouTube’s Original Channel Initiative has been overall a success, or something else?
I can’t speak for other channel owners or YouTube, but for us, the Original Channel Initiative was a success — we learned a ton and got to create Kin. Overall, I believe the initiative brought attention to YouTube as a platform for a wide array of brand advertisers. That attention should give way to real advertising investments over the next few years, which is good for YouTube, MCNs and content creators.
How did Kin Community come about signing Ellen? She’s probably the biggest moneymaker on YouTube.
We have known the folks at Warner Brothers TV for years. After expanding Kin Community to be an MCN (beyond just a funded channel), we identified a few channels that we thought best represented the values of the community we wanted to build. Ellen was clearly one of them. Also, we had been working with many of the best brands that reach women through online video: Target, General Mills, P&G, Unilever, to name a few. We are able to provide Warner Brothers TV sales support because of our laser focus on female demographics and our history with major brands.
How do you see Kin Community growing over time? Is it a good time to be in the MCN business?
Today Kin Community inspires, entertains and makes women feel connected around the world. Our short-term goals include growing the number of partners we work with, investing in channels and working with more advertising brands that want to engage with women through online video. Our long-term goal is to create a global community that reaches hundreds of millions of women. Primarily, we will do this through online video, but recently we expanded to books and merchandise. Where it makes sense, we will explore new products, platforms and revenue streams for our talent and brands.
Makeup Guru Wayne Goss Talks Charlotte Tilbury and Signing with Kin Community
What made you decide to recently sign with Kin Community?
That’s easy. I needed someone that would listen to me, that would understand what I was about, that wouldn’t push and that could help me move forward. I’ve been beyond impressed with everything. They are a blessing to me and I’m so thankful to have found them.
‘Nerdy Nummies' Rosanna Pansino Talks Baking, Favorite Female YouTubers, Signing to a New Network
What made you decide to sign with Kin Community? What do you hope to come out of the new partnership?
There are so many goals and projects I have wanted to start for a while now – cookbook, website, new series, etc. — and Kin Community was most excited to partner with me on these. Also, their contract wasn’t a scam like a lot of other networks. They are a group of really good, honest and motivated people who want to help others succeed.
Rosanna Pansino, Wayne Goss, Joy Cho Add Big Names To Kin Community
DECA‘s Kin Community YouTube network has established itself as a worthwhile destination skewed towards young women. Now, thanks to a trio of new partnerships, it can count some YouTube Millionaires among its roster as well. Rosanna Pansino and Wayne Goss have joined Kin Community, as has Pinterest star Joy Cho.
“Kin Community feeds the passions of women by aligning with channels that are inspiring and entertaining” said DECA CEO Michael Wayne. “By partnering with top talent on YouTube, Kin Community will continue to curate high-quality content that is most meaningful to women.”
Goss and Pansino have weirdly similar subscriber counts, with both sitting at exactly 1.265 million at the time of this post. Of the two, Pansino has probably been more visible, cooking up tasty treats on her Nerdy Nummies show and guest starring across YouTube. Unfortunately, many viewers probably recognize her as the star of YouTube’s introductory video for its new comment system, providing Pansino with an infamy she neither asked for nor deserves. Here’s her latest episode, featuring Resident Evil cupcakes.
As for Goss, he isn’t as well-connected to the YouTube community as Pansino is, but he’ll well-established outside of it. He recently launched his own brush line and his thrived as one of the Internet’s most popular male beauty gurus.
Cho doesn’t have a huge YouTube presence, but she’s a star on Pinterest, where several Kin Community partners–including Ellen–have built strong followings. Cho best exemplifies what Kin Community is trying to do. It’s not just about video–it’s about building a team of influencers who can use their clout with young women to build their respective brands on sites like Pinterest and Subblime. It’s a strategy for which the three new additions are well-suited.
Interview: Meet Wayne Goss, the Male YouTube Makeup Star Selling Out Product in Five Minutes
Wayne Goss is not your typical YouTube star. He has amassed over a million subscribers on his beauty channel, and has the consumer influence to match: His first collection of brushes on Beautylish sold out in five minutes. But he stands out among other beauty vloggers for several reasons — the first of which is that he's a guy. A guy who can quickly and confidently demonstrate Kardashian contouring tricks on his own face. He eschews the cutesy, neighborly tone used by most beauty vloggers in favor of a methodical, straight-to-the-point delivery.
Goss spoke to the Cut about how being a guy is advantageous in the YouTube beauty world, how he got started, and why he doesn't wear makeup himself.
YouTube Women’s Network Kin Community Adds Three New Creators
Kin Community, a multi-channel network catering to women on YouTube, has added three new creators to its roster of partners.
On Rosanna Pansino’s self-titled YouTube channel, she hosts “Nerdy Nummies,” a cooking show that blends geek culture with recipe tutorials. For example if you ever have the desire to bake an Angry Birds cupcake or “social media cake pops,” this is one of the channels to go to. Pansino currently has more than 1.2 million subscribers, and produced three of the top 10 most viewed food videos on YouTube, according to Kin Community.
“Kin Community has been very supportive and I am looking forward to working with them to expand the projects and topics covered on my channel,” said Pansino in a statement.
Other additions include Joy Cho, a former graphic designer, hosts a channel/show called Oh Joy in which Cho provides tips on fashion, design, and food. The channel only has 3,700+ subscribers, but Cho’s presence is more deeply felt on another social media platform, Pinterest, where she is the most-followed users with more than 13.7 million followers.
The third new Kin Community member is Wayne Goss, whose makeup channel GossMakeupArtist reaches more than 1.2 million subscribers. Goss’ beauty tips are culled from his 15 years worth of experience in the makeup industry.
Kin Community Adds Three New High-Profile Talent to Top Women’s Lifestyle Multi-Channel Network
Latest channel additions focused on food, design and makeup bring millions of new viewers
SANTA MONICA, Calif., Dec. 17, 2013 – Kin Community, the number one multi-channel network for women on YouTube, announced today the addition of three high-profile personalities joining the already impressive roster that includes the largest women’s channel on YouTube, The Ellen Show.
The newest channels joining the community include: Rosanna Pansino, host of Nerdy Nummies; Joy Cho, the most followed person on Pinterest and host of Oh Joy!; and Wayne Goss, host of GossMakeupArtist.
“Kin Community feeds the passions of women by aligning with channels that are inspiring and entertaining” said Michael Wayne, Co-Founder and CEO of DECA, parent company of Kin Community. “By partnering with top talent on YouTube, Kin Community will continue to curate high-quality content that is most meaningful to women.”
Rosanna Pansino is one of the fastest growing female channels on YouTube with over 1.2 million subscribers. Rosanna's biggest show, Nerdy Nummies, blends geek culture with baking in fun recipe tutorials including , and . Three of the top 10 most viewed food videos on YouTube for 2013 were produced by Pansino.
“Interacting with my viewers on a much more direct level has helped grow my channel and inspired me to try lots of new things in the New Year,” says Pansino. "Kin Community has been very supportive and I am looking forward to working with them to expand the projects and topics covered on my channel."
Joy Cho is the most followed person on Pinterest with more than 13.7 million followers. Cho began her career as a graphic designer and later transitioned to textile design at Cynthia Rowley. In 2005, she ventured out on her own and Oh Joy! Studio was born. TIME Magazine featured her blog as one of the top websites in the "Design 100" issue.
Wayne Goss’s makeup channel is one of the largest of its kind on YouTube with 1.2 million subscribers. In October, Women's Wear Daily named Goss one of the top 20 rising global YouTube Beauty Stars. Goss has more than 15 years of experience in the makeup industry and uses his YouTube channel to share the secrets he has learned with women everywhere. His most popular videos include Kim Kardashian inspired how-to makeup and step-by-step eyeshadow tutorials.
“I have a found a home with Kin Community,” said Goss. “Kin truly believes in creating meaningful, quality content and is already proving to be a valuable partner in my channel’s growth and visibility.”
Kin Community is home to inspiring and savvy lifestyle experts who help keep millions of women connected. Since its founding in 2011, Kin Community has attracted more than 14 million network subscribers and 3.2 billion lifetime video views.
Learn more about the Kin Community network by exploring our YouTube channel.
About Kin Community
Kin Community is the number one women's community on YouTube delivering high-quality, female-focused video content across lifestyle verticals including food, health, beauty, parenting, home and entertainment. Kin Community reaches women in honest and inspiring ways through world-class original lifestyle video and Emmy award-winning scripted series. In addition, Kin Community incubates new online video talent and produces custom content programs with major brand advertisers. Since its founding in 2011, Kin has attracted more than 14 million network subscribers and 3.2 billion lifetime video views. More information can be found at: http://www.youtube.com/user/kincommunity.
Founded in 2007, DECA owns Kin Community, the number one women's community on YouTube, and Kin Studios, the premier producer of high-quality women's lifestyle programming. DECA co-owns Pemberley Digital, an Emmy-award winning studio that produces online video adaptations of classic novels. Our purpose is to make women feel connected and inspired around the world. Mayfield Fund, General Catalyst Partners, Rustic Canyon Partners and Atomico are investors in DECA. http://www.deca.tv.
Emma Approved: Creators of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries Try Another Jane Austen Series
Bernie Su and Hank Green captured the hearts, iPhones, Pinterest pages, Instagram accounts and GetGlue music playlists of teens across America with their 2012 series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, which updated Pride and Prejudice to modern life through real-time transmedia storytelling. The series consisted of 9½ hours of content stretched over 160 videos on five YouTube channels plus 35 social media profiles. It earned more than 40 million views, picking up a Streamy Award for comedy writing in the process.
In addition to Lizzie's weekly YouTube video diaries, which made up the meat of the series, viewers could follow all the characters on Twitter, Facebook and more, experiencing additional storylines by observing their interactions. Fans also could interact with the characters, who would respond to viewers' tweets and posts.
Digital studio Deca TV, which came on as a producer of Lizzie Bennet after the first three months of the show aired, were happy to fund Su reinventing any classic for his next series, but Su only had eyes for Emma. "She's an 'ends justify the means' character with a heart of gold," Su says. "What she perceives may be incorrect, but her intentions are genuine. Given that she's so driven and has a lot of resources, she's incredibly powerful. And in a connective world today, she has all these resources at her hand and [is] capable of everything."
‘The Lizzie Bennet Diaries’ Wins An Emmy Award
The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Interactive Media Peer Group has announced the five digital media programs that have won this year’s crop of Creative Arts Emmys. Among the usual suspects (online TV companions, TV channel mobile apps, etc.), one plucky YouTube series stands out: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. The Streamy winner added the Emmy for Original Interactive Program to its trophy case, becoming one of the most popular web series to ever win an Emmy statuette.
Lizzie Bennet‘s transmedia elements–including its characters’ Twitter accounts and the entire world created around the series and its spinoffs–play crucial roles in securing the Emmy. Last year’s Original Program winner, Dirty Work, also included copious viewer interaction, and the Academy seems inclined to reward online programs that successfully turn storytelling into a game, and thanks in large part to its rabid, active fanbase, Lizzie Bennet seamlessly pulled off that fusion.
We love The Lizzie Bennet Diaries here at Tubefilter, so we’re excited to see it get the recognition it deserves. Here’s hoping Pemberley Digital’s next Jane Austen adaptation, Emma Approved, does just as fine a job of engaging its audience and turning web video into an interactive environment.
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