Last night I signed a contract for what may be considered a viral video. Might be the next big thing, who knows.
The road to get here was long and strange, though 99% of it happened in the last day, so I’ll detail it here. Try to keep up. God knows I haven’t been able to.
I announced I was going to the store and baby Max said he wanted to go bye-bye too. Once we got in the car, he realized mama wasn’t coming, and he just about had a meltdown. Kids, amirite?
It was so bad I whipped out the phone and recorded it.
Not sure when it dawned on me to record it or what led up to it, but it seemed important, and if history is any lesson, which it isn’t, it turned out to be correct.
The video sat on a memory card. I watched it maybe once, and baby mama watched it maybe once herself. Nothing. No big deal.
I uploaded the video to YouTube as a “private” video. Only those with a link could view it, and I only posted it to Facebook, where it was viewed fewer than 20 times.
I got comments such as “no comments at this time” and “no comments, please try again later,” and these were the ones people actually posted.
December 2nd, 2014
On a whim, I posted the private video to Reddit, where it quickly took off and briefly hit the first page of /r/videos, while lingering on the second page for about half a day.
The YouTube stats went bonkers. Despite being barely upvoted (hit a max of +35) it was being watched and shared from here to the other place where things are shared… needle exchange, maybe? I don’t know.
Based on this success, I made it a public video and added closed captioning… and then things got weird.
Decemeber 2nd, 2014, 4:00pm
Emails, private messages and direct YouTube comments started streaming in asking me if they could represent me, and more specifically, be my agent for this almost-forgotten video. Wait, is it really this easy to get an agent?
The first wave of solicitors were easily dismissed. They wanted to own my entire channel, pay me pennies on the dollar, and not even promote the video on their own. They had grand promises, but painfully little experience or success they could point to.
Basically they saw something about to go viral and they wanted a cut of it without doing anything. I simply and politely declined.
Decemeber 2nd, 2014, 6:00pm
With the passage of just a couple hours, as the video grew in popularity (to levels I’d still call sub-sub-viral,) the offers started getting more serious. Companies who partner with major TV networks, major TV shows, MSN, Yahoo! and even AOL, which apparently still exists.
They started offering advances and higher revenue sharing. I’d been up since 5:00am, so I called it a night and assured everyone I’d make a decision the next day.
December 3rd, 2014
My phone had been ringing all morning, but I didn’t answer. I’d received even more offers to represent my video, even though traffic to it had fallen off almost completely. They didn’t care about that, they all knew (or assumed, at least,) that it was gold.
December 3rd, 2014, high noon
I decided it was time to breathe. Having already held my breath for the better part of a day, I wisely delegated this responsibility to my son, Dom who was home sick for the day. He agreed, reluctantly, aware that his allowance may well hinge on his participation.
December 3rd, 2014, 6:50pm
Having given everyone a chance to make their offers and plead their cases, I chose to license the video to Break.com. Their advance was lower than what others were offering, and their revenue sharing the lowest of all bidders, but, come on, they’re Break.com!
Break has 2.4 million subscribers just on their main channel and 1.8 billion views across their entire network. They’re every bit as likely to license it for TV or commercial usage as any, and far more likely than most.
It doesn’t matter if you offer me 110% of my revenue if that total is still tiny. I’d much rather take a lesser slice of a pie bigger by orders of magnitude. Also, I like pie.
I have a goal of hitting one million views by next summer, and this just took me a huge step toward achieving that milestone. A bigger step than the many videos I’ve spent 40-80 hours each creating. And to think, all it took was a minute and 19 seconds.
So ya wanna see the video?
Here it is. Please feel free to like and comment. It’s not just my baby, it’s also actually my baby.
Let’s see if this goes big or if I’m just crazy. I mean, obviously I’m crazy, but why can’t it be both?