It has been amusing to see the outcry from folk over the ex-Top Gear trio heading to Amazon – sadly the retailer, not the forest. A lot of people have a real problem with paying for content, which is surely how Amazon are going to play it. I imagine they’ll make a fortune. They’ll probably hope so given that I doubt they’re paying a pittance to the trio.
And this week, my beloved Roadkill has admitted that it is going to be charging for immediate access to shows, while tight folk like myself will have to wait a month to see their videos. To get the latest show, you’ll now have to pay. Some people have a problem with this.
Earlier this year, /DRIVE on that there internet began to charge for content too, causing yet more gnashing of teeth and general toy-out-of-pram moments. I’m not sure how well that has gone, but as a business model, it is one that is fast gaining ground it seems.
So, why do they do it? Simply because producing videos is VASTLY expensive. I work in the print media, so I know how cheaply a magazine feature can be knocked together. Video just doesn’t work that way. It’s why my videos are such rubbish compared to the likes of XCAR or /DRIVE. Even the Roadkill videos, which seem marvellously shonky, must have insane budgets. I can probably lose a day in shooting and editing one video. Imagine doing that with multiple camera and sound inputs, and hours and hours of footage. Imagine having a sound engineer as well as a camera man, perhaps a producer/director as well. These people need to follow you around. They need to eat. We’re not talking a few hundred quid per video here.
Which leads to problem number two. Where is your income coming from? Internet advertising sadly isn’t the answer. You need massive traffic to generate enough of it. Getting a few thousand YouTube views is not going to make you a millionaire. Frankly, it won’t fill the fuel tank of your car. Even if it is a 2CV.
It’s a problem I haven’t got to the bottom of yet. I have a Donate page, but accept that’s not going to pay the bills either (many thanks to those who have donated) – and I have many bills with a shambolic Dyane on the way. I allow ads on my YouTube page that I earn from, but there’s two problems there. It’s an absolute pittance, and I hate internet advertisements and end up feeling guilty.
But, while I can and while I have time available, I’ll keep the videos coming. Because at the end of the day, it’s good fun to do. I’ve enjoyed making them far more than I ever imagined. I’ve driven some amazing cars. I’ve driven some bloody awful ones too. They’re usually mine. But I’ve enjoyed shoving a camera in my face and seeing what words fall out of my mouth too. While I may do a spot of research and fact-cramming, I never script my pieces, so I truly have no idea what I’m going to say before I start. To be honest, that’s how my writing works too. At no point in the past 20 minutes did I plan any of what you see here. Sometimes, it’s just fun to see how things develop. If I can one day develop an income from doing this on camera, then that’d be nice. For now, I get to hurl words at a screen and get paid to do that, so I can’t really complain.
Anyway, thanks for reading, thanks for watching and keep loving what you do.