Oh yea definitely aping YouTube was the wrong way to go.
Something to understand about what we inherited from broadcast television, for example, is the 12 minute ad-break sandwich format. You then make a decision with what to do with one of those 12 minute blocks - do you use it for one, prolonged 12 minute segment? Or do you break it up into three x four minute segments? These are all old-world questions, and the complete obliteration of the old advertising model negates these principles… yet they still dictate editing and digestion habits among content creators and audiences.
YouTube, however, is proving to be an interesting field-test for me, especially on the editing front. The internet is often criticised as a place for those of the short attention span, but there’s content on YouTube that is defying this to great success. What we’re finding now in slowly increasing measure is long-format criticism, and not just videos over five or ten minutes, but pieces of criticism in excess of thirty to sixty minutes, if not longer. Sometimes it’s not exactly criticism - for those who’ve watched some of the fantastic Souls videos (yes, it’s going to come up often - you might not like the series, but sooner or later you’re going to have to at least from a distance have some kind of appreciation for its cultural relevance in the contemporary age of video gaming) that go for three hours or more.
Not only are the videos long-format overall as far as their total running-length goes, but they’re also not aggressively edited in the traditional, 0.5 to 2.5 second shot-range average that peak blockbuster television was cut at - an average many new cable/streaming shows still retain that for the most part irritates the living shit out of me. OK so video games don’t exactly lend themselves to The Long Shot in the same way that films do, but the effect can be the same or can illustrate similar points in similar ways, especially where criticism or discussional content is concerned.
Wow I’m talking a lot. I talk a lot. This is something I do.
I could go on for days about this crap and ultimately I’ll end up straying waaaay off topic (not actually, but it’ll certainly seem that way) - but hopefully you see what I’m getting at, right?
It’s tough. I’m not saying it’s easy. It’s tough making content and making it stick with an enduring audience who are willing to stay with it. It’s tougher still to keep it profitable, and remember, with networks, that has to be factor. A lot of this YouTube content I’m talking about still gets done on the passion dollar without any kickback - some is semi-Patreon funded, but even that’s complimentary at best.
We really are in a new era of media and it’s slightly unpredictable as to what will rise to the top, I still don’t think the current trends mark as any kind of establishment, or at least not exactly the way they are right now. Netflix and Amazon Prime et al seem to be at the top for the moment, but there’s still so much changing - what will Twitch look like in 12 - 24 months time? I’ve no idea.