I can’t believe it’s been 8 years already. Nearly a decade of working in the YouTube business. I started my career in online video in 2006 at Revver.com, a groundbreaking video site (and YouTube competitor) that set many of the precedents in online video today. At Revver, we were the first to share revenue with content creators and affiliates, which allowed us to foster the first online video community. Additionally, Revver led the way in copyright filter technology, which is widely in use today.
I left Revver in 2007 to start a management company focused on developing the careers and businesses of video talent. These were early days, and I starved in the beginning. The term “YouTube star” wasn’t as ubiquitous as it is now. YouTube as a platform was openly mocked by advertisers and the Hollywood industry. And yet, here I was trying to make a business out of it.
Luckily, I worked with a lot of talent and mentors (Corey Weiss, David Tenzer, Jay Zaveri) who believed in me as I became an early evangelizer of YouTube talent. Below is a retrospect of some of the deals I negotiated in the early days of YouTube that ranged in budget size from $1,000 to $150,000. This all would not be possible if it weren’t for the brand partners who were amongst the first to take a chance on YouTube talent including Ed Mapa, John McCarus, Sean Miyashiro, Steve Muller, Chris Williams, Ken Komisar, and Wade Guang. What does this long list of deals mean (besides that I’m old)? It means that YouTube has come a long way over the years and still has a ways to go.
9/2007 - Company: Xoom.com
Negotiated a deal on behalf of Christine “HappySlip” Gambito to produce an integrated video promoting money transfer company Xoom.
10/2007 - Company: Investools
Negotiated a deal on behalf of HappySlip to appear in a video for Investools.com.
10/2007 - Company: Demand Media
Negotiated a deal on behalf of Justine “iJustine” Ezarik to serve as the official online spokesperson for Demand Media’s .TV platform where she succeeded Carson Daly as spokesperson.
11/2007 - Company: AuctionNetwork.com
Negotiated a deal on behalf of Brooke “Brookers” Brodack to produced a video promoting the Ozzy and Sharon Osborne online auction on AuctionNetwork.com.
11/2007 - Company: Baby Ruth/Major League Baseball
Negotiated a deal on behalf of pioneering comedy duo Rhett & Link to produce a video promoting the Baby Ruth/MLB “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” All-Star game contest.
12/2007 - Company: Demand Media
Negotiated a deal on behalf of production team Studio8 to produce a series of cooking and “how to” videos with a soon to be reality television star named Bethenny Frankel.
1/2008 - Company: Philippines Department of Tourism
Negotiated a deal on behalf of HappySlip to produce a travel series promoting the Philippines as a tourist destination. The 5-part online series was the recipient of the Boomerang Award, Anvil Award and Awar Award in online advertising. HappySlip was appointed an Ambassador to tourism by the Philippines government.
1/2008 - Company: MTV/Viacom
Negotiated a deal on behalf of iJustine to speak at MTV/Viacom offices in New York City.
4/2008 - Company: IBeatYou.com
Initiated a deal on behalf of Kevin “KevJumba” Wu to appear in a series of viral videos with NBA star Baron Davis and Hollywood actress Jessica Alba.
4/2008 - Company: Blogtv.com
Negotiated deals on behalf of KevJumba, HappySlip and iJustine to host live video chats using Blogtv.com. Over the course of the deal, Blogtv’s registered users increased from 150,000 to 450,000.
5/2008 - Company: Crackle.com
Negotiated a deal on behalf of production company Studio8 to produce original sketch comedy videos for the Sony Entertainment site Crackle.com.
5/2008 - Company: Coors Light
Negotiated a deal on behalf of comedy duo Wicked Awesome Films to produce a viral video for Coors Lights.
5/2008 - Company: Bikini Zone
Negotiated a deal on behalf of production company Studio8 to produce a viral video for online release.
6/2008 - Company: Pluggedin.com
Negotiated a deal on behalf of iJustine to appear as a host on the Will Smith-funded music website Pluggedin.com.
6/2008 - Company: HBO
Negotiated a deal on behalf of KevJumba to appear in the HBO originally produced web series “Hooking Up.”
6/2008 - Company: MusicShake.com/Nexon Corporation
Negotiated a deal and produced a video with KevJumba for MusicShake.com, a Nexon Corporation company.
7/2008 - Company: Starburst Candies/Mars Inc.
Negotiated deals on behalf of musician David Choi and Kate “Katers17” Elliott to produce a series of videos promoting Starburst’s campaign “Share Something Juicy” for Jon McCarus and his team at Digitas.
7/2008 - Company: Sony Vaio
Negotiated a deal on behalf of Katers17 to appear in an online commercial for Sony Vaio.
8/2008 - Company: Future US/Xbox Official
Negotiated a deal on behalf of Katers17 to produce a series of videos for video game magazine publisher Future US.
9/2008 - Company: The American Cancer Society
Produced a series of videos promoting anti-smoking among Asian-American youth featuring Natalie “NDTitanLady” Duran, David Choi and singer-songwriter Olivia Thai.
9/2008 - Company: JCPenney
Negotiated and produced a series of “back to school” videos featuring KevJumba, David Choi, NDTitanLady and singer-songwriter Kina Grannis. The campaign was the recipient of an Addy Award in interactive advertising.
9/2008 - Company: Take180.com/Disney
Negotiated a deal on behalf of iJustine to appear in a Take180.com promotional video. Take180 was a company led by Chris Williams, who is also an early pioneer of YouTube talent.
9/2008 - Company: AT&T
Developed a web series with production company Loading Ready Run that ultimately sold to Tremor Media and Atmosphere BBDO on behalf of their client AT&T. The web series starred iJustine and was co-produced by Studio8. 16-episode were filmed on location in Anchorage, Austin and Chicago. The series served more than 2,000,000 impressions through the Tremor Media Video Network.
10/2008 - Company: Bunim-Murray/Buffalo Wild Wings
Negotiated a deal on behalf of iJustine to appear in the televised Bunim-Murray produced interstitials sponsored by Buffalo Wild Wings and airing on MTV.
10/2008 - Company: TalkMarket.com
Negotiated a deal on behalf of HappySlip to guest host a live TalkMarket.com episode online.
10/2008 - Company: Mozy.com
Negotiated a deal on behalf of iJustine to appear in a television commercial for Mozy.com.
11/2008 - Company: Paramount Farms
Negotiated a deal on behalf of client HappySlip to “favorite” a video on Youtube produced by Paramount Farms.
11/2008 - Company: Overlay.tv
Negotiated a deal on behalf of iJustine to produce a promotional video for the website Overlay.tv.
11/2008 - Company: ShoppingConfessions.com
Negotiated a deal on behalf of iJustine to serve as a guest judge for a ShoppingConfessions.com contest.
12/2008 - Company: Western Union
Negotiated a deal on behalf of HappySlip to produce a 3-part series, integrating Western Union’s holiday campaign “Cash is the Perfect Gift”. Later, HappySlip served as a spokesperson for the Western Union Foundation’s “Yes! Effect” campaign.
12/2008 - Company: MTV Asia/Philippines Dept. of Tourism
Negotiated a deal on behalf of HappySlip to appear in a series of vignettes with Black Eyed Peas member Apl.de.Ap promoting Philippines tourism and airing online and throughout Asia.
1/2009 - Company: Intuit/Turbo Tax
Negotiated a deal on behalf of Tay Zonday to produce a music video integrating Turbo Tax and to host several Turbo Tax sponsored concerts featuring such acts as Fall Out Boy and Lilly Allen.
1/2009 - Company: T-Mobile/Sidekick
Negotiated a deal on behalf of KevJumba to produce a video and host a contest integrating T-Mobile’s Sidekick. Additionally, KevJumba represented T-Mobile at a series of concerts featuring Grammy nominated artists including Natasha Bedingfield, Leona Lewis, Gavin Rossdale and N*E*R*D.
3/2009 - Company: ValueofCollege.com
Negotiated a deal on behalf of Toby “Tobuscus” Turner to produce a video integrating the website ValueofCollege.com.
3/2009 - Company: MGM
Negotiated a deal on behalf of its client KevJumba to integrate the MGM feature film “College The Movie” in a video.
3/2009 - Company: Jenette McCurdy
Initiated a deal to produce a viral video with iCarly star Jenette McCurdy in support of her music single “So Close”. The video co-starred Tay Zonday helped propel the independently released song to #15 on the iTunes Country charts.
4/2009 - Company: Tennman/Interscope Records
Hired as consultant by Tennman/Interscope Records to develop social media strategy for YouTube recording artist Esmée Denters.
4/2009 - Company: Take180.com/Disney
Engaged a roster of talent to produce a series of online videos promoting Take180. Featured talent included David Choi, Iman “Alphacat” Crosson, NDTitanLady and Wicked Awesome Films.
6/2009 - Company: Amp Energy/Livestream.com
Produced “Downloaded: Internet Stars Live in NYC,” held during the innaugrul Digitas New Fronts. The first-of-its-kind live music and comedy show featured a large slate of performers that included Esmée Denters, HappySlip, David Choi, Kina Grannis, KevJumba, Alphacat and Lisa Lavie. The event was held at the Highline Ballroom in NYC and live streamed to15,000 simultaneous viewers online and 200,000 views of the archive in the first 24 hours following the concert’s airing.
6/2009 - Company: Geico
Negotiated a deal on behalf of NDTitanLady and Tay Zonday to produce PSA videos for Geico’s “Teen Driving Safety” campaign.
6/2009 - Company: Taco Bell/Yum Brands
Negotiated a deal on behalf of Mac “WasteTimeChasingCars” Freeman to produce a video integrating the Taco Bell/Mt. Dew campaign “Baja Blast”.
7/2009 - Company: Del Taco/Six Flags Magic Mountain
Initiated a deal to host a fan “meet and greet” featuring HappySlip, KevJumba, David Choi, Wong Fu Productions and Tay Zonday at Six Flags Magic Mountain. 1000s of fans attended the event which resulted in a 5% increase in park ticket sales for the day. An after party was held at Del Taco, which doubled its daily sales in one-hour’s time.
7/2009 - Company: Seventeen Magazine
Negotiated a deal on behalf of Elle and Blair Fowler to produce a video for Seventeen.com.
9/2009 - Company: WEPC.com
Negotiated a deal on behalf of NDTitanLady to produce a video promoting WEPC.com.
9/2009 - Company: SanDisk
Negotiated a deal on behalf of HappySlip to produce a video and host a contest integrating the SanDisk SlotRadio.
10/2009 - Company: Gilead Sciences/The Hep B Foundation/Plan C Agency
Engaged to co-produce a 3-city college music and comedy tour targeting Asian-American youth and helping to raise awareness about Hepatitas B. The tour featured HappySlip, KevJumba, David Choi and a 13-year-old pre-American Idol fame Jessica Sanchez. Over 5,500 students attended.
10/2009 - Company: Lancome Paris
Negotiated a deal on behalf of Michelle Phan to produce a series of videos and to serve as the official online spokesperson for Lancome Paris.
12/2009 - Company: TJ Maxx
Negotiated a deal on behalf of HappySlip to appear in an advertisement for TJ Maxx’s online holiday campaign. The ad appeared as a banner on the front page of Youtube for 24 hours.