I've written a lot of about Youtube and its potential. Today I'm going to talk about how Youtube levels the playing ground for all.
Youtube levels the playing ground
Search engine ranking for video content on Youtube is different compared to the ranking of webpages outside of Youtube, e.g. by Google.
On Youtube, your published video is on the same playing field as another person who has put out the same content. How Youtube determines whether your content is good or worth promoting depends on how viewers interact with it. If people watch a good percentage before clicking away (aka retention rate), or if there are lots of comments (aka engagement), Youtube knows your content is worth watching and engaging.
Whether or not a channel has more subscribers does not matter as much compared to how good your video is. The only advantage a high-subscriber-count channel has over a new channel is whenever they put out a video, they already have a huge audience to watch the content. That is the only advantage. The ranking of the video itself does not get any advantage because of the popularity of the Youtube channel.
In the normal search engine world, articles typically inherit some authority because of the (Google) pagerank or authority of the website that article is from. But on Youtube, the video only gets authority from the interaction with its audience and does not inherit authority from the main site. I don't have any sources to quote from but this is what I see over and over again on Youtube.
Do a Youtube search on "apple iphone" and you will see a lot of video content not from Apple themselves. Do the same search on Google and you will see that the top search results are all from Apple's official websites.
Do a Youtube search for "star wars mask" and you can see that the first video is from someone with only 450 subscribers while other results are from larger Youtube channels.
So no matter how big or small a channel is, all that matters is how good that video is. This means you can outrank a big company even if you are a small channel or a nobody. Take a few seconds to let that sink in.
Even if you are a nobody, your video can still outrank a channel that has subscribers many times your own.
The advantage of being small
The only advantage big companies have over individuals is the amount of resources they have. And that in itself is not always an advantage. When you have so many people in your company, sometimes making videos requires lots of planning, but when you're alone, you can put out a video whenever you feel like it. You have no one else to answer to except yourself. Your success depends directly on you and no one else. Many individuals have made careers out of their Youtube channels.
The other advantage of being small is, your audience will know that you're small and expectations are not high. People know that you're not a big company with money and they won't expect you to film with expensive cameras. Big companies have to live up to a certain level of standard when it comes to production quality. But you? You can make your videos in your bedroom, no problem at all and people won't even mind as long as the content is engaging. It's so easy to start.
And if when people's expectations are low and you make high quality videos, you will stand out.
There's no competition
As far as creating an art channel goes, I believe there is no competition at all.
People subscribe to your channel because of you. You can create exactly the same content as another artist, but people will still subscribe to you because of your style or your personality. You are not competing with Mark Crilley, Jazza or James Gurney, Proko or even me.
When you really have to worry about competition, I'm pretty sure you would have reach a subscriber count so large that you won't be bothered by competition anymore.
The only competition is you vs you from yesterday.
Another thing I really like about Youtube is it is so easy to make a Copyright complaint whenever someone rips off your content. The only way others can compete with you is if they go make art or videos.
With Parkablogs, I have had people who copy my ideas. Take tablet reviews for example, there are websites that scrap reviews from others, download product photos from official company websites, write a summary and call that a review, all without even using the product. On Youtube, the only way to pull that off is to physically review a product and to have something to show. And that's the beauty of video content, you can't just copy and paste. Can you imagine me reviewing a product on Youtube without showing the product, making a drawing tutorial without drawing? People can smell your bullshit like a narcotics dog can sniff out drugs.
People can't just copy your content on Youtube, they have to copy your effort, and the time you spend. And even if people copy your ideas, they can't copy your passion.
Is it too late to start a Youtube channel?
As mentioned, the playing field is balanced. Everyone has the same chance of succeeding. Good ideas and execution trumps having resources anytime.
The most important thing to keep in mind is to make sure that your video is worth watching. Respect your viewers' time. Make content that can info or benefit them in some way. Yeah sure, if you want to make cat video compilations you can, but I generally recommend making helpful content.