There’s a history of stars being given their own sub-brands by entertainment companies to keep them sweet.
The music industry is familiar with the concept of vanity labels, for example, while in the TV world it’s not uncommon for top actors’ own production companies to get development deals with broadcasters. Now there’s an equivalent, of sorts, in the YouTube world.
Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg is one of YouTube’s biggest stars in one of its biggest categories: gaming. He has 41.5 million subscribers to his channel, with his videos having been watched 10.9bn times.
PewDiePie has been signed to MCN Maker Studios since 2012, although in the autumn of 2014 he made headlines with an interview hinting that he was planning to leave to set up his own MCN with likeminded YouTubers.
16 months on, and he’s done that – a new talent network called Revelmode – but still within Maker Studios. It launched yesterday with eight other YouTubers on the team from day one, all with sizeable audiences.
“The idea of Revelmode was built from my own experiences and will aim to bring together an Avengers-like talent squad to work and grow a business together,” said Kjellberg yesterday.
“Together we will focus on creating – from one-off videos to original series to gamey games to animatoons, music, clothes, charity drives, and more.”
There’s not a huge musical angle here yet, although British musician and blogger Emma Blackery is one of the squad from launch.
But Revelmode’s launch is worth following: although it can be seen through the vanity-label prism, it’s also an early example of the next phase of consolidation in the YouTuber world, with online-video stars banding together not just for one-off collaborative videos, but to exert their clout well beyond YouTube.
You could even think of Revelmode as a Tidal with less helmets, although that would be unkind. We’re sure it won’t be the last venture of its kind either sitting within the established MCNs, or even outside them.
And if Revelmode ever decides to follow in the footsteps of YouTuber-powered label Heard Well and curate its own music compilations, they’ll be big sellers. No plans for that have been announced yet, but watch this space.