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How one man turned the news into a YouTube empire

Gone are the days when families would huddle around their television for the regular nightly broadcast, or pay yearly subscriptions for their indispensable Sunday papers. One man has turned his unique spin on the news into a successful Youtube channel.

Thanks to the Internet, we now have a wide array of new ways to stay filled in, and at the forefront of this revolutionary world of digital news stands Philip DeFranco.

Phil has been a mainstay on YouTube ever since the platform kicked off in 2006. Using his own personal brand of unfiltered commentary, he discusses the day’s news stories with the aim of creating hype around his unique and honest take on them.

His aim is to present both sides of any story, offer his own opinion, and then encourage discussion in the comments sections of his videos. These videos can cover everything from banal stories like the latest drama in Kim Kardashian’s tumultuous love life, to more serious topics like gun control and the US Presidential elections.

And with 4.7 million YouTube subscribers, this formula seems to have hit its mark with the digital masses.

Phil’s success as a key source of online news has allowed him to become something of a super-producer on the YouTube platform. He helped produce YouTube’s version of Australia’s Funniest Home Videos with the series “Cute, Win, Fail”. He also founded the SourceFed and SourceFed Nerd channels as parallel ventures to discuss trending news and geek-culture, respectively. Both continue to experience rapid growth, with over one million subscribers each.

It’s no wonder the LA Times dubbed Phil the “Walter Cronkite of the YouTube generation”.

Phil takes the trusts his viewers put in him very seriously, which is why, when his content features a sponsor, he makes sure the viewers know this is a product or service he personally approves of and endorses. If that means his videos sometimes have no sponsors, then so be it, but his trust-first approach means that any brand he promotes in a video also has his personal seal of approval, and his viewers see him as a trusted source.

So while it may behoove some brands to find a creator who will simply do as they’re told, endorsements provided by Phil, and other influencers with a similar outlook, will provide far more value. An audience with trust in the creator is far more likely to engage with products that that creator promotes.

And this outlook is great for brands as well, because it means you don’t need to focus on spin, but rather just on making the best product you can and making meaningful connections with influencers and other contacts. Because if it’s good enough a product, creators like Philip DeFranco will be happy to promote it.

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