The Tony Bennett Factor: How traditional TV stars can salvage their careers on YouTube. . . maybe! (Part 1 of 2)
In my March 19th, 2012 post “Is Oprah going broke with OWN? If not a dollar short, then Oprah is at least a day late with her network concept,” I talked about the mega-star’s struggles with her OWN television network.
Despite having a killer brand and a vast multitude of fans, Oprah is hemorrhaging BIG BUCKS. While she is unlikely to wind up on the streets pushing a shopping cart, it is safe to say that her star has been somewhat tarnished.
Although there are probably many, many reasons for her struggles the one that stands out is her inability to make the transition to the new social mediums such as YouTube and Blog Talk Radio.
There are of course no ready answers, although there is perhaps an underlying fear that the perceived risks in making the move to a YouTube may be a factor. Specifically, some of the established personalities from traditional media with whom I have talked are not sure how to properly brand or re-brand themselves in the virtual realms.
In fact, and looking beyond the expressed uncertainty, on more than one occasion these individuals have also indicated that they are not certain that they would be as successful outside of their comfort zone.
Based on the success of social media mega stars such as Smosh, who have 4,965,719 subscribers and more than 1 Billion views (1,569,307,258), one can see why these new self-made entertainers have traditional media stars such as Oprah on the run and afraid to enter the new media sandbox.
Think about it for a minute . . . Oprah’s YouTube numbers are downright embarrassing by comparison with 17,551 subscribers and a paltry 10, 379,123 views!
Now some might suggest that the disparity in favor of Smosh, which is a young, hip combination of Monty Python and Laugh-in, is tied to the fact that they have been on YouTube for a longer period of time. While it is true that they were the first to establish their presence in November 2005, they were not that far ahead of Oprah who signed-on in January 2006. We are talking a mere 2 to 3 month period here.
Yes I know that Oprah spent her time driving her mega-empire on television but she, like most major personalities and for that matter corporations, failed to pay attention to developing her social media persona and presence. Now of course it may be too late, as she has lost a great deal of ground in terms of establishing an important connection with the new audience. Or to put it another way, her cool may not carry over to the YouTube crowd. Sadly, I think that she knows it because why else would she have established OWN under the old network formula and platform.
So what do you do?
In Part 2 of this post I will provide a few basic suggestions that while not necessarily earth shattering can kick a tepid traditional media brand into high gear. What I call the Tony Bennett Factor.