This week saw video content collective The Yogscast celebrate their 10th anniversary.
Before Pewdiepie came along and smashed everyone out of the water, The Yogscast led the charge on letsplays in the UK.
The first Yogscast YouTube channel (now known as Yogscast Lewis & Simon) launched in 2008 and subsequently shot to fame for it's Minecraft-orientated letsplays. The Yogscast brand became a LTD company in 2011.
Six years and around 20 million subscribers later, The Yogscast is now a media production company, video game publisher and industry leader. It's also a creator network with a vibrant roster of YouTubers and Streamers based at their Bristol HQ, and beyond.
We caught up with Yogscast CEO Mark Turpin to chat about the rise of the brand, the pressures of delivering the content an audience wants, and the highlights of becoming one of the most vibrant names in online content creation.
InfluencerUpdate.biz: What was the catalyst that sparked the inception of The Yogscast as we know it?
Mark 'Turps' Turpin: The success the channel was facing at the end of 2010 through 2011 was unsustainably huge, with no work life divide from working and living at home the channel would consume Simon and Lewis before they could properly achieve something sustainable.
As such it was decided to form a company with a goal to make creator's lives easier and allow them to focus on making great content without the worries of business and life getting in the way where possible.
We invited our friends to join us and create their own channels that we could collaborate with and promote whilst growing a team of superstar editors, artists, producers, admin and sales to maximise all areas of their businesses within our own.
What would you consider the "turning point" of The Yogscast going from a hobby to a business?
Christmas 2010 had our video series Shadow of Israphel as the number one video on YouTube, everyone enjoying their new iPads that christmas would crack open the YouTube app and be faced with our content.
Obviously the content needed to be good to keep them coming back but the timing and exposure of it all really helped grow Yogscast into a substantial entity.
The 'Shadow of Israphel' era is widely regarded as a definitive time for the brand. Did you feel a certain pressure to continue that for the sake of the channel at the time?
No, we've always made content we wanted to make when we wanted to make it. We aren't actors, so if our heart isn't in something, we aren't able to fake it. And content that isn't enthusiastic and entertaining isn't watchable so folks would go elsewhere if we didn't put our all into it.
Has the sheer size and growth of the Yogscast as a product impacted how you feel about video games in general? Does 'video games as a job' ever get tiring?
I love games as much now, if not more, even since seeing how the sausage is made working with game developers more over the years. We've released our own video game this past year with Caveblazers and are excited to make more.
Is there anything you would have done differently with The Yogscast?
Millions of things that we have made mistakes with, but at the same time, there is huge value in those mistakes and the learning that comes from them.
We are the go-to company when it comes to creating white-label video content on YouTube and Twitch. We have more in-house experience than anyone else out there and are always excited to work with more clients.
We've had the pleasure of making Playstation's and Xbox's UK YouTube content and I'm immensely proud of the teams we've pulled together.
Even with the introduction of Fourth Floor Creative, our creative services agency headed up by Rich Keith, we've proved that our experience and authenticity makes us the obvious partner to work with. So whilst the mistakes can hurt at the time, I wouldn't change them for the world.
What is the highlight of your journey with The Yogscast so far?
Too many to list, I've had the amazing opportunity to travel the world, meet fans and people who I am a fan of as well. Worked with the biggest and best brands in our industry, host conventions, award shows.
Shot videos with moviestars and celebrities that even my parents have heard of and also played a part in raising over $11 million for fantastic charitable causes around the world.
I am a hugely lucky person, I've always tried to live by the immensely fantastic words of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and strive to be the "Hardest Worker in the Room", but I've also tried to surround myself with the most amazing people so that the room is always pushing and challenging me to be better and take us all further.