It's no big secret that YouTube MCN's are waning in popularity. This year saw the collapse of Machinima, one of YouTube's longest running multi-channel networks.
Creators are beginning to favour boutique agencies and management over belonging to a network, and for good reason.
These smaller, more focused companies seem to provide better representation for YouTubers, streamers, and influencers of all shapes and sizes. One company to break into the fold is Night Media, a Texas-based influencer marketing and management company.
Night Media was founded in 2016 and has become home to some of the internet's biggest personalities. Their roster boasts the likes of Minecraft creator Preston Arsement (formerly known as PrestonPlayz), gaming streamer Andre 'TypicalGamer' Rebelo, and fast-rising YouTube star Jimmy 'MrBeast' Donaldson.
As the influencer landscape continues to expand, more hobbyist creators require the right management and guidance. We caught up with company president Reed Duchscher to chat about this shift in the space, and why the need for companies like Night Media is stronger than ever.
Duchscher is also shortlisted for a rising star accolade at this year's Influencer Marketing Awards.
InfluencerUpdate.biz: What is Night Media and what services do you offer?
Reed Duchscher: Night Media is a full-service digital marketing boutique specialising in the development of successful campaigns for today’s top brands. Our capabilities are extensive, offering talent management, influencer partnerships and overall assistance to any brand looking to expand its footprint in a crowded online landscape.
What prompted Night Media to sign YouTuber, MrBeast?
At the time Night Media signed MrBeast, he wasn’t quite the online force that he is today. We determined that he had a great capacity to entertain and reach his target audiences.
We correctly calculated that he had great potential to increase his subscriber base - which he has, considerably, going from two million to over 15 million subscribers on his YouTube channel. We could see that he had a vision and strategy for his channel, and I believed together we could accomplish what he set out to do.
MrBeast has a very unique mindset and has become a pioneer in this space. His future and the future of his channel is truly bright and we’re looking forward to establishing numerous brand partnerships in the near term. One of our key competencies at Night Media is to equip and provide our talent with the resources necessary for long-term success in the influencer marketplace.
What factors do you consider before deciding to sign an influencer?
So many things go into making the decision to sign a new influencer. We focus on mega-influencers that specialises in long-form video content. Early in my career in this industry, I was fortunate enough to work with Dude Perfect, one of the most popular online influencers ever, so we’re somewhat particular about selecting new talent.
We gravitate toward family-friendly, but cutting-edge content creators. Having a broad appeal is a necessity when seeking brand partners for successful influencer campaigns.
What do you think are the biggest trends in the influencer space right now?
There are a few emerging trends that are really interesting, and I think we’ll see more of them in 2019. Influencers will continue to create their own product and service lines, as well as market them on their own -as opposed to partnering with larger consumer brands. Multiple people are doing this well, but a couple of standouts include Jerry Media with his game – ‘What Do You Meme?’ and the Fat Jewish with his White Girl Rose.
Brands also appear to be on board with committing to longer-term relationships with influencers. PrestonPlayz, a star on our current client roster, for example, is in his second full year representing Hot Pockets; and MrBeast inked multi-video deals with Quidd, Honey, War Robots and TikTok in 2018.
I believe we will continue to see more brands hire in-house influencer marketing specialists to help procure talent for their campaigns, rather than paying an outside agency.
Lastly, I believe we will continue to see more brands hire in-house influencer marketing specialists to help procure talent for their campaigns, rather than paying an outside agency. It’s become increasingly easy to contact digital influencers directly, as they all have some type of business email listed on one of more of their social channels. I expect brands to continue to take advantage of that instead of outsourcing.
Are there problems with the current influencer marketing space that need to be addressed?
Yes. As with any marketing vertical, there will be issues. The gaping hole I see include those that still buy followers and likes. It occurs mostly on Instagram, but we still see large accounts that make it glaringly obvious that it’s happening. Taking this route has the clear potential to damage credibility.
How do you think the advertising industry has changed with the rise of influencers?
Influencer marketing can be an incredible tool, yet it has to be harnessed correctly. I could show you countless campaigns we ran over the course of last year, and the influencer campaigns were the most cost-effective form of advertising over any other medium. I think the advertising industry has changed in so many ways, but most importantly, it has increased its’ expectations of campaign ROI.
What are the company’s plans moving into 2019?
2019 will be a very big year for Night Media. We’re currently in development of product and service lines with some of our larger influencers, with no plans to slow down. We will also continue to expand our client roster, signing new, focused, highly marketable talent. We are poised for the future and excited to partner with influencers who really hype what they’re doing and are ready to collaborate on innovative content!