Tubular Insights

How the New Media Rebellion in Video is Reshaping the Publishing World

Here’s a gift giving idea for the upcoming holidays: Don’t wait for one of your friends, family, or colleagues to give you Streampunks: YouTube and the Rebels Remaking Media by Robert Kyncl with Maany Peyvan. Order it now and ship it to yourself as fast as possible. Or, find a bookstore near you, and buy it this evening on your way home from work.

Streampunks is not an autobiography from YouTube’s chief business officer and his corporate speechwriter that you can wait to read during that really quiet time during the 12 days of Christmas. No, this 272-page book tells the stories behind the rising stars and creative forces transforming media, which makes is more powerful than a locomotive that’s been stoked with tons of strategic insights, tactical advice, trends in the digital video marketing business, and critical data.

Streampunks is an exceptional book. How exceptional? Well, as long-time readers of Tubular Insights, fka ReelSEO, can tell you, I rarely write book reviews. In fact, I’ve written almost 400 columns for this online publication since July 2011. And until this one, only three of my earlier posts reviewed a book:

So, why should video marketers, content creators, publishers, brands, and entrepreneurs spend their incredibly valuable time reading Streampunks? Well, here are the four useful tips, three key trends, two killer stats, five vision things, and a small town in Missouri that you should know.

YouTube: Strategy Advice for Online Success

Content creators will find lots of tactical advice for launching successful channels, growing their audience, funding their creativity, and partnering with sponsors in the backstories of some of YouTube’s most influential stars. Here are just four useful tips:

Three Key Online Video Trends

Publishers will find plenty of trends in the digital video marketing business that are radically changing the media landscape. Here are the dealmakers who have spotted three key trends:

Two Killer Online Video Stats

Brands will discover there is plenty of critical data in Streampunks, although some of this data is critical of “the Mad Men gap” (aka biting the hand that feeds you) and other video intelligence reveals bias in online video (aka washing your dirty laundry in public). But, this just reinforces the point I made earlier about this being an exceptional book. It faces the facts and raises public awareness of an inconvenient truth. Here are examples of two killer stats:

Five Vision Things

Video marketers will discover that, despite the book’s title, Streampunks isn’t a subgenre of science fiction or science fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery. In fact, the book is so full of strategic insights into the new media rebellion reshaping the modern world that it actually belongs in the 21st-century nonfiction category. Here are five vision things that are hidden in plain sight on the back cover of Streampunks:

A small town in Missouri

Entrepreneurs will want to read Chapter 7. Its title is: “Stick to Your Quilting.” And its subtitle is: “The Deep Appeal of Narrow Niches.” They’ll be pleasantly surprised that it features the small town of Hamilton, Missouri, which is located an hour north-east of Kansas City. And it features Jenny Doan, a prominent quilter and the face of Missouri Star Quilt Company.

Kyncl writes, “Jenny Doan isn’t like a lot of the names you’ll encounter in this book. She’s not a Millennial with millions of followers or a new-media mogul. She is the unlikeliest of streampunks, a baby boomer with seven children and 22 grandchildren whose charm, warmth, and sense of humor help power the economy of an entire Midwestern town. Jenny is the personality and talent behind the Missouri Star Quilt Company and easily the most famous quilter in the world.”

The Missouri Star Quilt Company channel on YouTube features “the best free Quilting Tutorials on the web!” And my wife has watched a dozen of them. The Missouri Star Quilt Co. website features “The Quilter’s Daily Deal,” a quilting deal that ranges from 30% to 95% off 365 days of the year. And my wife purchased a binding tool from there.

In 2008, the financial crisis wiped away the Doan family’s retirement savings. It was during that hardship that Jenny’s children Al and Sarah decided to set up their parents with a retirement plan of sorts. Kyncl says, “They took out a $36,000 loan and bought their mom a long-arm quilt machine so she could embrace her favorite hobby and make quilts for the local community. They then borrowed another $24,000 to buy an old auto showroom that was big enough to house it, which became Missouri Star Quilt Company.”

At the start, business was slow. After a few months, Al asked his mom if she’d be interested in filming quilting tutorials and uploading them to YouTube. “Sure,” said Jenny. “What’s a tutorial?” At that point, she had never even visited YouTube.

Today, she has turned her hobby into a multimillion-dollar business that’s revitalizing a small town in Missouri. Missouri Star now employs over 400 people in a town of 1,800. That makes it the largest employer in the county and the largest seller of quilting fabric in the world, fulfilling five thousand orders a day—nearly 2 million a year. Not bad for a bunch of streampunks.