There’s a new startup in town aiming to help YouTubers connect with their fans. It’s called Victorious, and has been launched in the US by a group of tech and entertainment industry veterans, including Bing Chen, the former boss of YouTube’s creator development division. In a nutshell, Victorious is much like a company more familiar to the music industry – Mobile Roadie – in its desire to make apps for YouTube stars that will help them keep in touch with fans, help those fans connect and create too, and (hopefully) provide a business model through a mixture of ads, e-commerce and virtual item sales. YouTube boy-band Boyce Avenue are already signed up, along with fellow online stars Michelle Phan and Shay Carl. “In this world, ‘Creator is King,’ and we’re helping to power their kingdoms. Similarly, fans are no longer passive, lean-back audiences and have become active, participatory tribes in their own right,” said Chen in a statement. It’ll be interesting to see what the multi-channel networks (MCNs) that many YouTubers are signed to make of Victorious: in theory it’s a partner (just as Mobile Roadie is for music labels) but the MCNs would love to be providing this kind of apps platform themselves for their creators, to ensure they don’t jump ship.

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