Reviving the Written Word
The written word has been somewhat missing from our entertainment habits recently. It might have been the invention of social media which condensed our literary needs into shorter and shorter templates. It might have been our increased interconnectedness inspiring us to find real life stories in the digital narratives from our friends. But it is coming back with a little help from an unlikely alliance.
Entertainment changes over time. Movies used to be silent. Radios used to read plays. And people used to read physical books. Okay, I am exaggerating a bit with that last one. Plenty of people still read books but they are slowly losing their popularity to more interactive mediums. Times that people traditionally used to read books are being replaced with communicating with social networks, updating statuses, sharing pictures, watching videos and reading all sorts of musings on the internet.
Digital books were the first steps to bridge this growing gap. Kindle took off. iTunes started selling novels. And suddenly devices that usually displayed pictures and videos were now reviving the works of Shakespeare and Dickens (around more contemporary offers). Well, now it is time for the second wave.
YouTube is the ultimate in customer orientation. Those brands (or channels in this case) who provide content which satisfies an audience’s need gain huge traction across the digital marketplace and reach audiences that would make any other entertainment brand envious. As a result, this digital video medium has created many grass root celebrities purely from the fact that they know what audiences want and are able to provide it. Grace Helbig, Shane Dawson, Hannah Hart, iJustine, Zoella, Marcus Butler, Joey Graceffa and Carrie Hope Fletcher, just to name a few.
Their entertainment style is also unlike anything we have seen before. There is reality television where we lock people in houses, leave them in the middle of the jungle or make them whip up dishes using ingredients no one has ever heard of. But these entertainers are bringing us real reality. Reality that we can all relate to creating connections that we have only previously had with our offline friends.
Now these internet sensations are reviving the written word industry!
Teaming up with numerous international publishers, these YouTubers are becoming the next wave of authors bringing books to the internet generation. Many of these authors are giving their loyal online audiences an insight into their offline lives, continuing the style of content which has made them popular online into a literary format.
Take Carrie Hope Fletcher for example. Currently starring as Eponine in the West End production of Les Misérables, her popular channel features musical covers, day in the life videos, backstage antics sneak peeks, book reviews and general musings. This has resulted in a book which is part memoir about her life experiences that we see in day in the life videos and advice on lots of issues which her fan base (over half a million people) tackles daily.
This is a great way to provide audiences with an alternate value-adding opportunity to interact with these celebrities in a completely different offline medium. They are still getting the entertainment that they want but it is delivered in a new and exciting format keeping both their brand and the literature industry relevant!