‘YouTube Spaces’ launches first-ever creator studio pop-up in Australia
As YouTube knows only too well, a platform is only as good as its newest content.
To better support its creative community, YouTube has built dedicated spaces in cities like Paris, New York and Tokyo where YouTubers can access professional studios and equipment.
For the first time, Australia will have its own YouTube Spaces in the form of a temporary pop-up at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS) in Sydney.
Launching Wednesday, AFTRS will host seminars and tutorials on topics like production, copyright and editing over five days, as well as helping a number of creators produce new in-studio clips alongside AFTRS staff.
“It’s part of our investment in creators,” David MacDonald, head of YouTube Spaces, Asia Pacific, told Mashable. “It pays out in the long run for us to have better content with better production value.”
As YouTube’s creator community grows, there’s an increasingly complicated array of brands, managers and production studios who want a piece of their valuable relationship with their audience.
Not to mention, the business of funding a creator’s life isn’t always easy, what with YouTubers often acting as their own agent, star, director and cinematographer.
One Australian who will be using the pop-up space is Tom Thum, a beat boxer with more than 200,000 subscribers. He joined YouTube in 2007, but said he only began monetising his platform via advertising recently.
“For me, it was just an afterthought,” he told Mashable. “I have seen so many success stories. And the simple fact you are monetising something also gives you drive to create better stuff.”
In August, he won a grant from YouTube and the Queensland government to fund a series on the human voice. While he believes he could have funded the series via his YouTube advertising earnings eventually, the grant sped up the process.
“We often talk about a ‘portfolio’ approach,” MacDonald added. “I don’t think anybody at YouTube will tell you that YouTube is your only source of income … You might be on YouTube, you might be doing live gigs.
“For those who start on YouTube, we hope they’re going to find a home and be with us for a long time, but we also want them to grow and develop, hence this space.”
In the U.S., the YouTube creator community has begun to coalesce and find a voice, boosted by initiatives like Hank Green’s The Internet Creators Guild, which launched in June.
MacDonald doesn’t yet see the same level of cohesion among Australian creators, but hopes initiatives like the pop-up YouTube Spaces will help a community develop.
For AFTRS, it’s an opportunity to become more engaged with that online community.
“It pays out in the long run for us to have better content with better production value.”
Neil Peplow, the CEO of AFTRS, said that many students arrive in first year thinking they’ll only be a film director or only a sound engineer. By collaborating with YouTube, he hopes the school will better learn how to guide students in broadening their portfolios across broadcast and digital mediums.
“It’s bringing together … a more traditional approach with the excitement and vitality of these YouTube creators,” he explained.
It’s no short order: “With our BA, they will graduate as platform agnostic, trans-media savvy, social media-aware generalists who can go out, shoot, create and actually drive a career and take the opportunities as they appear,” he said.
So will Sydney get its own permanent YouTube Spaces?
MacDonald said the pop-up was about understanding demand. “It’s early to say,” he said.
“What I can say is, it takes awhile to build a space … and we know that demand is now. By doing this kind of thing now, it’s answering that demand today.”