This is a guest post by Marcus LaRobardiere.
On more than one occasion I’ve been called an old man, which is not entirely true- I’m only 23-years-old – but I do and always have had, a few habits/tendencies that beg to differ. For instance, on Saturday mornings, instead of watching cartoons like the rest of the kids my age, I was watching Flip Pallot, an avid fisherman and outdoorsman, fly fish the shallow waters of the Everglades and the Florida Keys.
As time went on, I began watching the likes of Anthony Bourdain and the other personalities on the Travel Channel. At that time, the channel was loaded with interesting shows about traveling, not like the subpar, 20LB ice cream sandwich toting shows it seems to be full of now. So you can’t imagine how excited I was to discover Uncommon Content’s Reserve Channel.
Reserve Channel gives unprecedented access to some of the more extraordinary people and places life has to offer. I discovered this gem when I saw a tweet from Jimmy Buffett, promoting his daughter’s new monthly travel series, “EX-PATS.” Upon further investigation I was hooked, and somewhere in between, Anthony Bourdain’s appearance on “On the Table w/ Eric Ripert” and seeing “EX-PATS”I couldn’t get enough but it dawned on me, this could be the coolest thing no one will ever see.
Despite the great content, I couldn’t help but think this was bound to fail. When a YouTube channel begins, it’s essentially starting at square one. Where cable networks and programs already have an established audience, Reserve would be starting with no one. Additionally, what credibility did they have? Their social network presence was small, I mean really small. One afternoon I gave them a #FF and much to my delight, it was retweeted. Despite the victory on Twitter, I knew to build their audience and credibility it would take a massive grassroots approach and they couldn’t be done through some Parrothead who follows Jimmy Buffett on Twitter.
By the time autumn was in full swing, they introduced three new shows that would pick up where the summer lineup left off. It would appear they knew something I didn’t. While YouTube can’t match the revenue stream or the ratings TV can, there are a few stats that point to a bright future. YouTube receives over 800 million unique users each month with 4 billion hours of video being watched monthly. In 2011, YouTube had more than 1 trillion views which are about 140 views for every person on Earth and with advances in sharing both on social and mobile networks those numbers are bound to grow.
Time will only tell whether or not various YouTube original’s like Reserve Channel will survive but scrolling through their different segments and shows I am seeing significant growth in views. I’m not willing to make any predictions on the success or growth of the channel because I don’t want to jinx anything – I’m superstitious like that – so for the time being, this old geezer will keep tuning in to satisfy an appetite.