YouTube And TV: Talent And Presentation – UnderhoodService
Connect with us
Close Sidebar Panel Open Sidebar Panel

YouTube And TV: Talent And Presentation

Some technical videos are nothing more than a shade tree mechanic screaming at the camera about expensive parts in quick two-second cuts before doing a burnout. Some videos have slick graphics and catchy intro music. You never know what you are going to get until you click on the video.

Advertisement

Andrew MarkelIn the mid-1990s, I would sit down in front of the TV on Saturday mornings with my father, and we would watch a block of shows on SpeedVision about car repair.

Advertisement

Most of the shows put actors in front of the camera with scripts. You could tell some of the “talent” had no experience turning a wrench for a living. Their job was to look good and not screw up the lines. As car nuts, we would yell at the TV whenever they did something stupid, which was often.

These pitchmen were often used for in-show commercial breaks, and you always knew when the guy in front of the camera was trying to sell you something. Fast forward to today, and the line between commercial and content is even blurrier on YouTube.

Advertisement

YouTube

I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube repair videos this month to avoid political news and ads. Some evenings, I “fall down the rabbit hole” and find myself watching for hours.

Some videos are nothing more than a shade tree mechanic screaming at the camera about expensive parts in quick two-second cuts before doing a burnout. Some videos have slick graphics and catchy intro music. You never know what you are going to get until you click on the video.

The content in some of these videos is good. Some videos are 40 minutes of a technician replacing a ball joint, while another video on the same topic may be only two or three minutes. Both videos get you to the same destination, but one takes the scenic route. Some of my favorite channels are nothing more than a technician with a GoPro camera strapped to his head.

Advertisement

The Game

A lot of these YouTubers have large audiences. Some channels have almost a million subscribers, and a video could get 250,000 views in less than a week. 

If the YouTuber decides to monetize their channel, ads will appear. It could be a 15-second ad at the start of the video, or it could be a banner. YouTube shares the ad revenue with the author of the video. It is estimated that creators receive $1 per 1,000 views, but this number can vary. Posting these videos can be very lucrative, and a select few have quit their day jobs to focus on producing them.

Advertisement

The Dark Side

A number of these guys are getting attention from tool and parts companies. Some companies shower these video stars with free tools and even offer them parts for their project vehicles. While I’m a big fan of these videos for the most part, some disclosure rules need to be put in place and enforced by YouTube.

It is not uncommon for an oil company, for instance, to invite some of these YouTube personalities to go on a trip to a racetrack, air show or R&D facility. The week after the trip, a lot of the channels will have similar videos. Some guys will clearly state in the video or in the description who paid for the trip, but most will never explain any potential conflicts of interest.

Advertisement

I don’t know what the financial arrangements are for these videos, but it is clear that the company is throwing some nice travel perks at these guys, sometimes even including corporate jet usage. I just wonder if they are also slipping some spending money into their pockets on these trips as well.

The good news is that if a video steps over the line, there is a “dislike” button and a comments section. Now where were these tools back in the day when I was watching SpeedVision with my father? n

Advertisement
Click to comment
Connect
UnderhoodService