Changing Platforms – Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 4:40pm by Simon Bor


  • ITV needed to find a way to monetise their content after their SuBo moment.
  • Big music companies were turning away acts with ready-made fan bases.
  • PopShack appeals to 9 – 16 year–olds.
  • It has been death by a 1,000 cuts for traditional creative communities.
  • Creating content for YouTube brings new freedoms.


All Change? is the theme of the conference and this session’s panel consisted of three professionals who have done just that.

Rebbeca Frankel, from Little Dot, used to run digital projects at Channel 4. She was brought into ITV, to help generate YouTube income.  They’d realised that the ‘SuBo moment’ on Britain’s Got Talent had generated a million hits but neither ITV or Freemantle were able to monetise this. At Little Dot Rebecca helps broadcasters learn to use YouTube effectively. They run 150 YouTube channels with 250 million views per month. 80 million of them are kids.

Conrad Withey came from a home entertainment background. It was while he was at Warner Music that he noticed that acts were being turned down because an executive thought their music or look wasn’t good enough; some of these acts had a ready made fan base and the big music companies, only concerned about selling albums, were missing a trick. He is now CEO at PopShack, a YouTube music channel that is aimed at 13 – 24 year-olds officially, but in reality appeals to 9 – 16s.

Chris Skala, formerly of HIT, is one of the founders of Ta-Da-TV. He started the company when he realised he, and almost every producer he talked to, was unhappy about the state of the creative community. He was particularly sad to see the vibrant industries in the UK and USA die of a thousand cuts over a ten-year period.

Chris and his partners spent a year looking at the economic landscape within YouTube and found that a spend of $500 was the ceiling to make production viable. Traditional producers would say this was not achievable, but people are making content for a lot less than this figure, and making it well.

It brings new freedoms, projects are not harmed by broadcaster’s decisions. He suggested that HIT’s project, Mike the Knight should have been a lot more successful than it was, but the knight couldn’t carry a sword or encounter antagonistic characters. In short, it didn’t do what it said on the tin.

Stephanie Wahlstrom, who was moderating the session asked about the importance of an advertising budget. All three speakers agreed that the way videos are monetised is complicated and that’s the advantage of using the services of companies such as theirs.

For full details of the speakers, check the Session Guide.


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About the author

Simon Bor


I studied Animation at Farnham, and, more recently, I have been awarded an MA in Professional Writing at Falmouth University. I set up Honeycomb Animation with Sara Bor and have been involved in children’s television since the mid eighties. As a writer, I have co written and created several shows… Read more