YouTube is launching a slew of new premium YouTube channels in the UK and Europe this year, but the production companies behind them know the biggest challenge will be scaling up their audience quickly.
The only way to do that, according to those production companies, means you have to go looking for your audience in a a very different way.
Bigballs Films launched its first YouTube channel - football-focussed Copa 90 - last month and it currently has just under 15,000 subscribers.
But speaking at the C21 Future Media conference Thursday, Bigballs creative director Richard Welsh told TheMediaBriefing the firm is targeting between 500,000 and 600,000 subscribers across its portfolio of channels within a year of launch. In the long-term he thinks they can build an audience of 20 million within five years.
How's he going to do it? Well it's starting out by following its audience. It has hired presenters with their own pre-existing YouTube and social media audiences, and targeted teams, such as Galatarsery, with supporters who are more active on social media.
Copa 90 also has a "comments below" series designed to attract interaction by having presenters offer an inflammatory comment, and encouraging viewers to post comments below. The best comments get read out in a following show.
Welsh says: "YouTube is about finding audience. We do a social media audit, look at where the audience is and then how we can best distribute the content."
Then company will set up multiple niche sites, starting with one covering extreme sports.
Welsh says Bigballs will also be able to achieve CPM rates of between £10 and £35 - higher than average for YouTube and closer to prices for publishers' own hosted video - by working with advertisers such as Lucozade and Nike, who are especially keen to reach the niche audiences each channel will hopefully attract.
Bigballs will also use tactics like tailoring content schedules to product launches, and affiliate marketing.
Hat Trick's TV/online hybrid
Bigballs wasn't the only channel looking to leverage existing YouTube personalities to build audiences.
Hatrick Productions is trying to create a hybrid of TV and YouTube content. It has launched a channel called Bad Teeth, which features established YouTubers such as Casetteboy (below), shows like Father Ted, and collaborations between TV performers and new acts that have already made a mark on YouTube.
Hat Trick head of digital Justin Davenport says: "When growing audience from zero, you try to collaborate with as many people as possible. You want people with as big fan bases as possible.
"Then there becomes a point where you are growing subscribers when you're the channel other people want to work with. You always want to work with people who are bigger, but there are also smaller people who you night want to work with for specific audiences."
ChannelFlip's mobile youth dream
ChannelFlip didn't talk about going out to find its audience, but it seems to know who it would be looking for pretty well. CEO and founder Wil Harris, who sold his company to Elisabeth Murdoch's Shine at the start of this year, points out that while the average TV viewer is 51, the average YouTube watcher is 26 and the average age of someone accessing YouTube on mobile is just 16.
He says: "Mobile, (which is) generated by younger people, has gone from 15 to 45 percent of our business. There's an entirely new base of people on Youtube because they are always on their phones.
Metadata cash in the attic?
Earlier in the day, Martin Lowde, MD of Argonon-owned CashinTheAttic.com, had one piece of advice for content makers hoping to use social to drive their business - have someone who is responsible for metadata
The BBC cancelled Cash In The Attic last year, but Lowde says he is building a website based on the show which is designed to appeal to both people who find valuable knick-knacks in their attic and the community of traders who buy and sell the things they find.
Lowde wants to serve personalised content to his audience, but there's one problem. Cash in the Attic has produced around a thousand hours of TV programming over the last ten years, and each show has around fifteen items valued, each with around 30 pieces of relevant information. Yet that information isn't attached to the content itself.
Lowde sums up the problem as: "We have 450,000 fields of metadata we wished we’d filled in in the beginning."
"Content is king - but as with all good kings it has a good women behind it - metadata is the Queen."
For Lowde, it is worth going back and adding hundreds of thousands of pieces of metadata to Cash in the Attic's content - but it would be a hell of a lot easier if they'd been doing it from the beginning.