milesy: Acrylic painting of Kermit the Frog (Default)
I’m talking the idea itself, and not the musical. But having the supercut, extended edition premiere on a livestream was a brilliant move.

Livestreams are great. They’re a powerful tool, and I live for December when the Yogscast do the Jingle Jam. I love watching Rust livestreams, and jokingly refer to them as my soap opera. As a tool for charity, they’re undeniably a very powerful asset. And I don’t think anybody’s going to disagree with that. Especially when events like the Jingle Jam are bringing in over $1,000,000 over the course of the month.

But the problem with a lot of the content on YouTube is that even within much of the internet subculture, YouTube is seen as a place for video gamers and people talking to their webcams in their bedroom. I don’t think people on the wider scale realise that channels like Random Encounters even exist. People don’t expect that level of production values to come out of what they perceive as a couple of kids in their bedroom with a webcam.

But what Random Encounters did tonight, with the FNAF Musical, is exactly what this side of YouTube needs to be doing more often. Having a late night livestream to premiere their content created a hell of a lot of hype around it. I loaded up the livestream page about an hour before it started, so I could putz around my office and not miss the beginning of it because I lost track of time or whatever. And an HOUR before it started, the chat was already going so fast, it was literally unreadable. I’ve seen hype trains before. A good portion of my daily entertainment is livestream content. But it’s also scheduled livestream content. This was a one-off, and there thousands of people there to watch it; people who were complaining that it was 5am, but they’d pulled an all-nighter just to see the premiere live, when they could have just as well waited for it to upload a few hours later. And that’s amazing! The only other time I ever see that level of enthusiasm and willingness to put one’s self through that level of discomfort is for a midnight premiere of a Star Wars or a Marvel movie, or the like. YouTube is, by its nature, and on-demand service, but people were still there for it.

And I think if more channels which produce live-action content had late night premieres of some of their bigger projects, and get thousands of people watching at once (I saw at one point over 12,000 people watching the first livestream; I didn’t stick around for the encore), it could go a long way toward helping to legitimise this format of entertainment. When 12,000 people show up at once to watch a 40-minute video crated by a handful of YouTubers, you know it’s doing something right. I would love to see more of the channels I watch do this sort of thing. And a 40-minute musical production with multiple sets and visual effects isn’t a small task, so there aren’t going to be many productions like this out there, compared to the amount of 2-3 minute sketches that make up the majority of this genre on YouTube. But for those projects that are this big? This presentation was absolutely the right way to go with it. The interest was already there from the individual clips. So with the promise of the sixth night, and new content I don’t think anybody expected, the full experience presented in the livestream format was wonderful. And it was, in many ways, a lot like attending those midnight premieres to Star Wars and the Avengers. Obviously, I wasn’t going in expecting Triple-A Hollywood Blockbuster quality, but just seeing all that hype before it started felt, emotionally, very similar. And I was so much more comfortable. Because rather than sitting on hard concrete, freezing my ass off, or dying from the heat, I was at home. In my pyjamas, sitting comfortably in a nice chair. Which is even better than queueing up for a traditional midnight premiere, because I was guaranteed a great seat. I didn’t have to worry about sitting behind someone with a giant hat.

But definitely, more channels need to be taking advantage of the livestream format. The chat was fucking impossible to follow, and I could neither read the answers nor any of the questions, but that didn’t actually bother me too much, because I was too busy enjoying the hell out watching a bunch of singing puppets.


milesy: Acrylic painting of Kermit the Frog (Default)

August 2016

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