How to be a YouTube Star: my interview with Danny Zappin and Lisa Donovan of Maker Studios at MIPTV

MIPTV is the biggest international TV market in the world. Twice each year, the buyers and sellers of TV shows converge in Cannes for a frenzied week of dealmaking.

The folks at Reed-Midem who run MIPTV invited me to help produce and present a new mini-conference called MIP Cube. This two-day event offered an immersion into the latest developments in the rapidly-evolving online video industry.

I invited the co-founders of Maker Studios to join me for a lively conversation at MIP Cube. Danny Zappin and Lisa Donovan are the original YouTube stars. They both began their careers by posting video clips to YouTube in its earliest days. They figured out, by a process of trial and error, how to become a YouTube star.

Fast forward to 2012. Today, their company Maker Studios is growing incredibly swiftly. It has emerged as a kind of “United Artists for YouTube.” A company founded by and for the kind of creative individuals who make YouTube such a hothouse of ideas. Danny and Lisa have streamlined the process of building a franchise brand in this environment. They now have a roster of some 50 individual stars producing shows on YouTube, and they have ambitious plans to cultivate hundreds, even thousands, more.

We had a terrific discussion on stage at MIP Cube. Maker Studios is definitely one of the most interesting companies in Los Angeles at the moment. I recommend that you keep an eye on them.