Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Pinterest + YouTube Stars = Subblime

If you are big on YouTube, but traditional advertising isn’t paying the bills, how can you make more money?

Maybe you can get into the endorsement business.

And Adam Winnick says he can help. Backed by $500,000 in angel money, he is launching Subblime, a site he’s describing as “a social hub for YouTube influencers.” A more practical way of describing the site would be “a place where YouTube celebrities can list stuff they like or have been paid to like.”

Those celebrities have their own pages of lists; here’s one from “WhatsUpElle,” who Winnick lists as a cofounder:

whatsup elle

Right now, the money part is embryonic, but Winnick imagines a mix of different ways for YouTubers to profit, from basic affiliate links to more sophisticated cost-per-action ad campaigns. At some point, he thinks he’ll take a 50 percent split of revenue that video celebrities make from his site; for now, the talent keeps 100 percent.

So, all of that makes sense, in a Pinterest-meets-Web-video way. The only question is whether people who are famous on YouTube, who are already figuring out how to sell stuff, want to aggregate on another place to do that.

Winnick says he’ll have embeddable widgets so YouTubers can also sell/endorse stuff on their Tumblrs and other properties. But he argues that there’s a benefit to hanging out with other people who make popular videos, because fans of one video star are likely fans of another: “I give them a platform where they can engage the audience.”

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work