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Drect: Why Hollow vs Lux may never happen (Rap Grid blog)


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Old 09-08-2013, 09:08 AM   #1
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Drect: Why Hollow vs Lux may never happen (Rap Grid blog)

http://www.rapgrid.com/battle-rap-vo...y-never-happen

The blog goes into a little more depth but, surprisingly, there isn't much about why it may never happen, just why it may never happen on VOD or through RapGrid.

Here are a few excerpts:

Quote:
Five months ago (April), I just picked up the phone, and proposed an idea to Hollow that looked as followed:

  • Hollow Da Don vs Loaded Lux - RapGrid On Demand
  • Both emcees would be able to come together and settle on a price fans would pay
  • RapGrid would reach out to battle forums an attempt to reach an agreement to stop bootlegging
  • The emcees would make the majority of the money and RapGrid would take a smaller percentage (trust me - it was a very good deal)
  • The battle would be done in private and revealed once the link was ready to purchase
  • A page would be made so all parties involved could monitor their earnings
  • All terms were negotiable
  • The battle would be released to the public for free after a set amount of time

I brought up the fact that the battles’ first week views on youtube could total 1 million views. If 1% of that fan base bought a VOD, that is roughly 10k views. 10k views multiplied by a $10 VOD would total $100,000. After RapGrid’s share and mechanical fees, Lux and Hollow would have been left as the two highest paid battlers of this era.
Quote:
Hollow realized there was a risk involved, due to the fact that something like this had never been done before, but was open to the idea. A meeting was set up between myself, my business partner, Loaded Lux, Hollow and two of Lux’s representatives. During this meeting two things became clear: Lux wanted a bigger revenue share than Hollow and Lux wanted to charge the fans more than Hollow did.
Quote:
Recently, Lux has revealed that he brought this plan to SMACK/URL, who turned the idea down and made one of the “poorest decisions in battle rap history.” All is fair in the business realm and no hard feelings come from this situation, but RapGrid birthed this idea and was more than willing to make the battle happen under almost any circumstance ... including working with the Ultimate Rap League
Quote:
RapGrid is still going to be doing VOD and is currently in the middle of doing business with a few leagues with interesting battles to offer. To really blow this situation up, we would like to band together with two main event level battlers - the earning potential is GREAT. I even toyed with the idea of using this method to help earn main event battlers on EBA (my new league) extra revenue, but it is definitely a risk. Quite possibly, a risk worth taking if WE believe that change is really needed.
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:39 AM   #2
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read the whole thing, and it was naive and laughable on multiple levels, but this was possibly the funniest thing about it:

Quote:
RapGrid would reach out to battle forums an attempt to reach an agreement to stop bootlegging
and this...
Quote:
Lux wanted a bigger revenue share than Hollow and Lux wanted to charge the fans more than Hollow did.
what fucking idiot would make that public? i mean, it's a widely accepted fact that that's the case, but if you're actually in negotiations about it, why would you tell the fans that lux wants to charge them more

"hey guys, sorry you're paying $10 (or even more) to STREAM A SINGLE FUCKING BATTLE, but it's only because lux wants the cost that high... please purchase it to support him!!"

omg and then i actually clicked the link, and saw this

Quote:
This is our Pacquaio vs Mayweather: IT NEEDS TO HAPPEN, NO MATTER WHAT!
no, that was iron solomon vs murda mook, idiot.

and i'm dying @ lux taking drect's idea and proposing it to url lmao. drect has this brilliant idea (not srs, it's idiotic), and doesn't have the sense to get lux and hollow to sign some sort of confidentiality clause (at least for a 6 month period or something).

i'm convinced that drect literally has shit for brains.
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Dont invite ill will back. He is def scared of taking a for sure L to real deal.. u r l rappers can't hang with real emcees.

Last edited by Dunk; 09-08-2013 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:59 AM   #3
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Smh Lux is a cancer. Way to not capitalize on your big hit battle.
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:08 AM   #4
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"RapGrid would reach out to battle forums an attempt to reach an agreement to stop bootlegging"

good luck. These kids would bootleg even if u charged a buck. They are conditioned to want free things.
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocky View Post
"RapGrid would reach out to battle forums an attempt to reach an agreement to stop bootlegging"

good luck. These kids would bootleg even if u charged a buck. They are conditioned to want free things.
see also: daylyt vs lotta zay

correct me if I'm wrong, but that literally was a dollar
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:20 AM   #6
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The battle would be done in private and revealed once the link was ready to purchase
As in do the battle in some small private room, with like a couple people there or something? A battle like this? wtf man this isn't Grind Time you could have ruined a good battle.

Didn't King Juce already try this, all they did was ruin battles that could have been good if they were on decent leagues
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocky View Post
"RapGrid would reach out to battle forums an attempt to reach an agreement to stop bootlegging"

good luck. These kids would bootleg even if u charged a buck. They are conditioned to want free things.
if by "these kids" you mean "battle fans as a whole which includes people who are in their 40's", then yup. if this ever happened, watch otbva hit record numbers for traffic.

plz don't be so naive so as to think that getting people to pay $10 for an 18 minute viewing experience is a smart idea, or good for "the culture."

drect thinks the plan in the OP is smart. beasley thinks it's idiotic.

drect was a non-factor in grind time (lush and kap were the only good things about gt), and had his company swept out from under his feet. beasley is the brains behind a league that may or may not have sold out sm3 with zero promotion.
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Dont invite ill will back. He is def scared of taking a for sure L to real deal.. u r l rappers can't hang with real emcees.
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:39 AM   #8
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These kids refers to folks in Ms Guthrie's 3rd grade class in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.

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Originally Posted by Dunk View Post
if by "these kids" you mean "battle fans as a whole which includes people who are in their 40's", then yup. if this ever happened, watch otbva hit record numbers for traffic.

plz don't be so naive so as to think that getting people to pay $10 for an 18 minute viewing experience is a smart idea, or good for "the culture."

drect thinks the plan in the OP is smart. beasley thinks it's idiotic.

drect was a non-factor in grind time (lush and kap were the only good things about gt), and had his company swept out from under his feet. beasley is the brains behind a league that may or may not have sold out sm3 with zero promotion.
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:43 AM   #9
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ooohhh shots fired...

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Old 09-08-2013, 07:25 PM   #10
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Smh....is $10 a lot to pay to see Lux vs Hollow? Fuck no dude...its fuckin $10...come on.
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:25 PM   #11
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I wouldnt pay $10 for the battle especially if it was gonna be released on youtube in time, id be interested to know how many people on here would be willing to pay that.
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Old 09-08-2013, 11:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
I brought up the fact that the battles’ first week views on youtube could total 1 million views. If 1% of that fan base bought a VOD, that is roughly 10k views. 10k views multiplied by a $10 VOD would total $100,000. After RapGrid’s share and mechanical fees, Lux and Hollow would have been left as the two highest paid battlers of this era.
what a joke... these rapgrid clowns are amateur at best.. lets be real. 1 million views comes out to about 300,000 people watching. so if one percent of those purchased it would be more like 3000-4000 buys at best
they talk about holding the battle in private. Great job take the fans COMPLETELY out of it until its time to ask them for their money to watch......getting forums to stop bootlegging like they have some any say in anything is hilarious. yeah people wont watch bootlegs cause drect said so... lol
battlers arent the only ones who seem to overestimate their value..
no wonder eba has been talked about for years but nothing happened.
didnt rapgrid try charging for a hollow interview... lol.
what are they going to do next charge people to watch sm3 recaps from certain battlers.

Quote:
I respect those leagues that have done their own PPV and VOD in the past months, but in order to move the culture forward everyone needs to realize that battle rap will always be bigger than one league. We would like to work with all leagues, emcees and outlets connected with battle rap and see an opportunity to change our future for the better.



- Drect
aka we want to have our hands in all of the leagues pockets. what do they bring to the table besides bad ideas...
ps. i go to events, buy the cds & merch to support the battlers , buy the ppv's, etc.. cant say shit to me

Last edited by FILTH; 09-09-2013 at 12:11 AM.
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Old 09-09-2013, 05:10 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by PJ Sumroc View Post
Smh....is $10 a lot to pay to see Lux vs Hollow? Fuck no dude...its fuckin $10...come on.
the 10 bucks is no problem until the bootlegs come out, and then its $10 vs FREE, and we all know that common sense will drive many to pick the free option. If you cannot come up with a way to prevent the product from being bootlegged, then these estimates don't matter that drect laid out. And as of now, asking forums to chill out does not seem like a viable plan. They either go ahead and try this ppv option and just accept the bootlegging, or they just do what smack is already doing and charge heavy at the door without ppv. There's really no other way to make bank with this battle-formula right now. Sponsors have not been as generous to battling as we all had hoped. So its on the fans to either be moral and pay 10 bucks, or get the battlers to take pay cuts.

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Old 09-09-2013, 07:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocky View Post
the 10 bucks is no problem until the bootlegs come out, and then its $10 vs FREE, and we all know that common sense will drive many to pick the free option. If you cannot come up with a way to prevent the product from being bootlegged, then these estimates don't matter that drect laid out. And as of now, asking forums to chill out does not seem like a viable plan. They either go ahead and try this ppv option and just accept the bootlegging, or they just do what smack is already doing and charge heavy at the door without ppv. There's really no other way to make bank with this battle-formula right now. Sponsors have not been as generous to battling as we all had hoped. So its on the fans to either be moral and pay 10 bucks, or get the battlers to take pay cuts.
I'm on the same page with you for sure ^ its just so funny to me when fans bitch so much about like $10 or whatever the amount may be. Not like we haven't been getting free battles for years now.
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:08 PM   #15
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It would have to be a classic for 10 bucks. I can buy 2 hrs of shitty-decent entertainment why would I pay that for 10 mins of decent bars and 10 mins of filler.
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Old 09-10-2013, 01:29 PM   #16
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Not like we haven't been getting free battles for years now.
Thats the thing tho. Once people have been conditioned to getting things for free, they very rarely go back to buying. The music industry continues to decline in profits, becuz fans are so accustomed to getting the music for free. No matter what the industry did to deter it, whether it be scaring fans with lawsuits, or giving them incentives like rewards, the end was the fans still wanting the music for free. Unfortunate for the music industry, the technology of the time with cd/dvd burners coming with every pc, mp3 players, etc, the industry never stood a chance. So can be said about online video market. There are sites that let u download ANY online video with the ease of paste and copy technique that even my 4 year old niece cqn do it.

Getting people to pay for things in a tough financial market has not been easy for the majority of the entertainment field, but that is where companies have to get creative. The live concert market has actually tripled since music companies realize there is nothing to replace a live show and these battle leagues realize nothing is going to give as much return as the live show. Ppv should be a side source of income, not ur main bread-earner. Which is why I hope drect if and when he makes his official launch will realize how conditioned these fans are, and looking into generating a return with more ways than just confabulating potential ppv sales that they themselves have not tested as a company. Take it from me, putting on a decent ppv product is not as easy as it looks, and takes a good amount of time and investment to do it right. But thats a whole other topic in itself.
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Old 09-10-2013, 06:42 PM   #17
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I wish RapGrid had a better public perception, or at least fans would realize that we aren't in league pockets or profiting off anyone. Leagues have only gained money working with us, not lost. The reality is that to even earn $1 from YouTube requires a good chunk of views. RapGrid keeps a fraction of that $1 to cover the paypal fees. Nobody is in the leagues (empty) pockets, it is strictly the opposite, we're offering more ways for a league to add revenue.

We created a platform to enable leagues to have that as an option, and that has put Drect and the site as a target to fans who want to keep it free.

I think this rolls up to a larger issue with cable/tv/internet media as a whole. I don't believe that the cable companies of today will exist in the same fashion they do in 10 years. Meaning, as a consumer, I dont think we'll be stuck with these cable packages like we are today, where all I want is ESPN and Comedy Central and Im stuck paying $100 to Comcast every month.

The internet, streaming media, products like Apple and Google TV, etc, I think we're going to see a much larger shift in the way anyone consumes any video media like that.

I think battle rap could get ahead of that movement, there is already established content creators and established fan base. HBO, in my opinion, could do it as well and really push that shift to content by demand, but they don't because they are already caking on the existing process. Battle rap is not caking, though, and could be at the front of this shift.

They just need a network to do it. Right now, YouTube is that network. I think that if battle rap as a whole decided to move to its own hosting, and take YT's cut out of the equation and dispersed directly to the content creators, thats really the next big step for battle rap. In my mind, the interim process to that is to first get battle rap views off of youtube and onto a domain that these leagues have more control around. That could be RapGrid. Once you've got the viewership and traffic is directed to a domain they have more control over, then you can start to shift to a different video host, and start to negotiate you're own ad revenues and your own revenue model for monetizing that traffic. In this case, battle rap continues to be free to the fans, while generating more money for the leagues.

There are certainly costs, risks, etc, to a plan like that. I dont think URL could afford to host their own video of a battle that becomes a hit the first month of release and gets 1million views. However, my belief and the research I've done suggests that battle rap "as a whole", across all the leagues, artists, etc, could get a ROI on that cost in a long term strategy. I just think the industry as a whole needs to mature. I want RapGrid to be that platform that helps push it forward, but if its not rapgrid, I hope the industry at least moves in that direction some other way.
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Old 09-10-2013, 06:53 PM   #18
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did you just say you want to remove youtube as content delivery? how would you reach casual fans?
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:08 PM   #19
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Quote:
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did you just say you want to remove youtube as content delivery? how would you reach casual fans?
Yes I did. And honestly, the conversation is much larger than a couple message board posts. But yes, if the question for any business is how to we increase our revenue, one answer is always going to be, 'is there a middle man we can cut out?'

There are a ton of example of YT creators moving off the platform, even outside of battle rap. In fact, YT knows it. You can find plenty of example where YT is giving out money/contracts to top content creators, because an inherent issue for YT is that as content creators becomes entities in their own right, they will always have chances to make more money OFF the YT platform.

In fact, we have our own battle rap example of exactly of that, RBN. That is YTs attempt at throwing money at that very problem, and seeing if they can sustain their own success creating a content that already has a popular following.

EDIT:
I didnt answer the question of reaching casual fans. Again, the approach/plan for a shift in the paradigm like I describe is long and involved. But I think the point Im making is: once you have a fanbase and a following, people will look to move away from YT. At that point, you already have outlets for reaching casual fans.

I dont think that the majority of "new" fans for any league are coming from accidentally finding a battle video from some other video on YouTube. I think even today, the more established leagues like KOTD or URL, are finding other ways to add new fans, so I dont think this really applies. But still, its not like it has to be one or the other. Leagues will always have the option to promote via YT, or any other social network.

Last edited by hawaiiand; 09-10-2013 at 08:12 PM.
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:49 PM   #20
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So your asserting that delivering your own content brings in more top line revenue? Because you can manage advertising more effectively than google? Or you are saying revenue and meaning profit? I think that's the case.

Well good luck. I sure as shit wouldn't invest in you, but I like to see people try and carve out their own pieces of niche markets.

You don't think trying to architect a paradigm shift in a market primarily based on the Internet and live shows is overly ambitious?
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:04 PM   #21
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So your asserting that delivering your own content brings in more top line revenue? Because you can manage advertising more effectively than google? Or you are saying revenue and meaning profit? I think that's the case.

Well good luck. I sure as shit wouldn't invest in you, but I like to see people try and carve out their own pieces of niche markets.

You don't think trying to architect a paradigm shift in a market primarily based on the Internet and live shows is overly ambitious?
Quickly in short terms:
No, I cannot manage it better than Google. But there are higher CPMs available and higher ad revenues/profit margins to be had by owning the hosting, delivering the content, and owning the negotiations with the advertisers. Google is managing it at the aggregate level, and these leagues will benefit from moving to a more targeted advertising deal.

Yes. It is ambitious. But like I said earlier, I think content delivery to the home (like we're seeing now with mobile emphasis tech companies are moving toward) is going to drastically change in the next 10 years. I believe that battle rap can be at the front of that change, prepared for it, and actually usher in some different approaches to monetizing the content. I don't expect everyone to agree, but it is definitely what I believe, and I wish the leagues (re: the industry as a whole) would look at a larger picture than what they do now.

Thanks for the questions.. Dont particularly want to keep reviving this thread since the majority of responses are negative, but I appreciate your questions and reading the response. Im more than happy to keep the conversation alive in PMs if you are interested..
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:12 PM   #22
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Thanks for answering. I'll pm if I have more direct questions.

This was an odd turn for a thread here.
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:25 PM   #23
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Yes I did. And honestly, the conversation is much larger than a couple message board posts. But yes, if the question for any business is how to we increase our revenue, one answer is always going to be, 'is there a middle man we can cut out?'

There are a ton of example of YT creators moving off the platform, even outside of battle rap. In fact, YT knows it. You can find plenty of example where YT is giving out money/contracts to top content creators, because an inherent issue for YT is that as content creators becomes entities in their own right, they will always have chances to make more money OFF the YT platform.

In fact, we have our own battle rap example of exactly of that, RBN. That is YTs attempt at throwing money at that very problem, and seeing if they can sustain their own success creating a content that already has a popular following.

EDIT:
I didnt answer the question of reaching casual fans. Again, the approach/plan for a shift in the paradigm like I describe is long and involved. But I think the point Im making is: once you have a fanbase and a following, people will look to move away from YT. At that point, you already have outlets for reaching casual fans.

I dont think that the majority of "new" fans for any league are coming from accidentally finding a battle video from some other video on YouTube. I think even today, the more established leagues like KOTD or URL, are finding other ways to add new fans, so I dont think this really applies. But still, its not like it has to be one or the other. Leagues will always have the option to promote via YT, or any other social network.
i know when harry was doin the wrc, his goal was to make it a video network with battles hosted on his own site exclusively. But he eventually just made it free and posted it in the end to youtube becuz likely he realized he wasn't getting the traffic he was expecting.

Problem has always been that for streaming video, is that capturing new fans has always been easiest on existing video streaming websites where fans are recommended battles in hiphop-related content. It seldom happens where a non-battle fan looks up battle rap without being exposed to a few videos beforehand with a rare example of a friend showing him/her.

I agree cutting out the middle man is always best, and its something that every business needs to address. But how? Just packing up and starting your own site with video-on demand or ppv hosted exclusively still doesn't pull ur existing subscribers from larger sites like youtube, nor does it guarantee u that traffic will flow to your site from google simply cuz u made one of many battle sites that already exist today. Separating and branding urself will cost u some money up front.

It still doesn't address bootlegging. i don't know how u prevent that kind of stuff from a tech perspective, but i have always been told by anyone semi computer savvy that once any video with any demand gets posted on the internet, then people will find it and duplicate it with not much effort. Its that simple they reassure me. I don't doubt them. Figuring out a price will be crucial in that scenario where u don't want to insult potential buyers from taking the easy route and just watching the bootlegs when posting a video/ppv.

Look, any business when they start out takes some risk. I am sure u put in some thought, and u obviously have a vision, and i don't want to play devil advocate for no reason, cuz Drect is mah dude, and I wish him and anyone starting a league nothing but the best as i love the artform, but I also don't want to see y'all squander time or more importantly money into something not completely thought out. Mah 2 cents.
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:25 PM   #24
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Smh....is $10 a lot to pay to see Lux vs Hollow? Fuck no dude...its fuckin $10...come on.
Dude, you see a new movie in theaters for less than that.

Also, Hollow has fallen off quality-wise (even though he brings in plenty of views) and Lux had a major choke in his only battle in the last 7 years.

I definitely wouldn't pay $10 for that.
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:57 PM   #25
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Yes I did. And honestly, the conversation is much larger than a couple message board posts. But yes, if the question for any business is how to we increase our revenue, one answer is always going to be, 'is there a middle man we can cut out?'

There are a ton of example of YT creators moving off the platform, even outside of battle rap. In fact, YT knows it. You can find plenty of example where YT is giving out money/contracts to top content creators, because an inherent issue for YT is that as content creators becomes entities in their own right, they will always have chances to make more money OFF the YT platform.

In fact, we have our own battle rap example of exactly of that, RBN. That is YTs attempt at throwing money at that very problem, and seeing if they can sustain their own success creating a content that already has a popular following.

EDIT:
I didnt answer the question of reaching casual fans. Again, the approach/plan for a shift in the paradigm like I describe is long and involved. But I think the point Im making is: once you have a fanbase and a following, people will look to move away from YT. At that point, you already have outlets for reaching casual fans.

I dont think that the majority of "new" fans for any league are coming from accidentally finding a battle video from some other video on YouTube. I think even today, the more established leagues like KOTD or URL, are finding other ways to add new fans, so I dont think this really applies. But still, its not like it has to be one or the other. Leagues will always have the option to promote via YT, or any other social network.
There are definitely content creators that have taken their content off Youtube, but they have no where near the length and amount of new content as battling presents on a daily basis. Im not sold on the ROI, for the amount of money it would cost to host a battle video platform.
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:57 PM   #26
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i know when harry was doin the wrc, his goal was to make it a video network with battles hosted on his own site exclusively. But he eventually just made it free and posted it in the end to youtube becuz likely he realized he wasn't getting the traffic he was expecting.

Problem has always been that for streaming video, is that capturing new fans has always been easiest on existing video streaming websites where fans are recommended battles in hiphop-related content. It seldom happens where a non-battle fan looks up battle rap without being exposed to a few videos beforehand with a rare example of a friend showing him/her.

I agree cutting out the middle man is always best, and its something that every business needs to address. But how? Just packing up and starting your own site with video-on demand or ppv hosted exclusively still doesn't pull ur existing subscribers from larger sites like youtube, nor does it guarantee u that traffic will flow to your site from google simply cuz u made one of many battle sites that already exist today. Separating and branding urself will cost u some money up front.

It still doesn't address bootlegging. i don't know how u prevent that kind of stuff from a tech perspective, but i have always been told by anyone semi computer savvy that once any video with any demand gets posted on the internet, then people will find it and duplicate it with not much effort. Its that simple they reassure me. I don't doubt them. Figuring out a price will be crucial in that scenario where u don't want to insult potential buyers from taking the easy route and just watching the bootlegs when posting a video/ppv.

Look, any business when they start out takes some risk. I am sure u put in some thought, and u obviously have a vision, and i don't want to play devil advocate for no reason, cuz Drect is mah dude, and I wish him and anyone starting a league nothing but the best as i love the artform, but I also don't want to see y'all squander time or more importantly money into something not completely thought out. Mah 2 cents.
I love the discourse. Thanks Rocky. I don't blame anyone for having doubts or disagreeing. That we're talking about it in these terms is actually very encouraging for me personally. So thanks, and thanks to Crawler as well for even a chance to talk about it.

I do not have every answer, and dont pretend to. But I think answers are out there. For one, the majority of battles are watched on mobile devices. Personally, I dont believe that new fans are finding battle vids for the first time because of related videos/YT recommendations.

Bootlegging is a problem for premium content, absolutely. Any video on the internet can be bootlegged, your friends are %100 correct. It impossible to completely protect it (though RapGrid does have a few approaches we haven't seen yet to try to help).

The end goal I've been talking about isnt about selling premium content though. If all battle rap was hosted by a dedicated battle rap host handling its own ad-severs, traffic monetization etc, then battle rap as it exists TODAY doesnt change, the only real change there is the overhead of managing the host, and the link that users are watching the videos at, which IMO is really about FB, IG, Twitter and message board links today.

I believe, TO GET THERE, you need to experiment and supplement the risk with some additional rev streams. That can certainly be VOD, PPV, etc. But I think those measure should be more about bridging the change to new hosting approaches, rather than the end game for making battle rap more profitable. This is our approach with RapGrid. We're trying to show leagues and fans, that the experience of watching battle rap can be greater on a site/platform designed specifically for battle rap, versus YT's generic interface and inability to smartly use the metadata that exists in a battle (who are the rappers, who have they faced, what are their records, what event is it at, what other battles are from that event, etc).

If RapGrid were more successful, and leagues bought in to the idea that the experience of watching the product is better suited on RG than YT, then we'd be a little closer today to the shift that Im pulling for.

I don't disagree with the risks anyone has mentioned. Absolutely, they are real. But I think the point is that it is a road to a long-term (maybe utopian) solution.

If anyone is familiar with wireless industry.. When cell phones first came out, it was a premium luxury for most people. Then it became affordable, and people ran their live with their phones. Then AT&T had to rebuild the network from scratch, you may remember this as changing to 3G service. The phones didnt work, the billing was F'd up, and people were pissed, because their lives are run everyday with the help of their phones. AT&T suffered through that time, knowing that once the new network was online and had similar coverage to their existing 2G network, that the data services/speeds they would offer were going to open up all kinds of new opportunities, from mobile sales and data plans to cool things a new phone (iphone) could do.

Though that may not make sense as I type it out, I think battle rap should be preparing for a similar shift. People right now love battle rap. To take that away as they know it today, may seem like a short sided decision. But my belief is the cost of that overhaul will pay dividends on the back side of the change, once the leagues and "battle rap as a whole" start to own more of the external factors that play a part in their business model.

Consider a new YT user subscribes to a league channel. The reality is that the league has really gained about .5 of a sub. Because YT is the one that really owns that subscriber, not the league. YT owns the sub, and has directed them to league content. There is much more to gain if the leagues had even a little more control around that. Ecomm options, user analytics, demographics for the userbase as a whole, are all things that these leagues could benefit from and improve their profit margins, but cant fully do that today because they are sharing their business with YT.
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:59 PM   #27
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What the leagues need to do is inquire about Netflix. They have stated they are committed to bringing new exclusive content to Netflix, going as far as stating they are looking for wrestling. That shows me they are open to any idea thrown at them. Drect should try and get in there and present that as a Rapgrid platform. Netflix presents: Rapgrid the ESPN of battle rap makes a lot of sense.
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:12 PM   #28
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So Lux is an egocentric douche?

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

SHOCKING!!!
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:15 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFujiwara View Post
What the leagues need to do is inquire about Netflix. They have stated they are committed to bringing new exclusive content to Netflix, going as far as stating they are looking for wrestling. That shows me they are open to any idea thrown at them. Drect should try and get in there and present that as a Rapgrid platform. Netflix presents: Rapgrid the ESPN of battle rap makes a lot of sense.
Great idea
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that card is trash ; do not quote me when these battles flop ..

w/e
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:18 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Woody View Post
So Lux is an egocentric douch

SHOCKING!!!
Hes screwing himself. .. that one round was good. I don't think people would like it as much if they didn't show diddy and bustas reactions the whole time.

It was good. Not godly.
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that card is trash ; do not quote me when these battles flop ..

w/e
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:25 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by MrFujiwara View Post
What the leagues need to do is inquire about Netflix. They have stated they are committed to bringing new exclusive content to Netflix, going as far as stating they are looking for wrestling. That shows me they are open to any idea thrown at them. Drect should try and get in there and present that as a Rapgrid platform. Netflix presents: Rapgrid the ESPN of battle rap makes a lot of sense.
We have connections there. As well as with Xbox Live and Sony. And I cant wait to exercise those connections, but right now we're in a phase of building the case to take to them and building a portfolio of content providers. Again, I wish the public perception of what we're trying to do was different, and I wish we were working closer with larger leagues so we can speed up that process. Right now its a wait and see. We aren't a league and we aren't primarily a content creator, so we need to grow those relationships with leagues first.
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:27 PM   #32
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Dude, you see a new movie in theaters for less than that.

Also, Hollow has fallen off quality-wise (even though he brings in plenty of views) and Lux had a major choke in his only battle in the last 7 years.

I definitely wouldn't pay $10 for that.
I see what ur saying but the movie industry is a multi billion dollar industry that will be just fine without your $10. The battle scene is a waaay different story. These leagues need all the extra income they can get.

I personally try to support the culture any way I can. I remember when URL was doing Cortez vs Marvwon early for like $2.99. Bought it no prob..and would have again if they continued to do it. I try and buy all the KOTD ppvs, make it to live events when I can & I love that Avo is making DVDs of past events to raise money now. I will always buy those.

I was just pointing out that a lot of battle rap fans take this all for granted and seem to forget how long these battles have been coming out for free.
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:47 PM   #33
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$3 and you can see arguably the best card in battle rap history:


i'll be generous and and say 4000 people (considering these battles had replay value, it'd be less though) purchased it at $3

there has to be a time where everybody grows up and realises that you won't get rich off of battle rap

meanwhile, in drects head:
Quote:
I brought up the fact that the battles’ first week views on youtube could total 1 million views. If 1% of that fan base bought a VOD, that is roughly 10k views. 10k views multiplied by a $10 VOD would total $100,000.
lmao
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We arent asking if u r gay... just if u ever "liked" one... like if uve ever had one that u said "boy i like this phaggot here.. hes one handsome phaggot"?

have u ever thought this before!
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Dont invite ill will back. He is def scared of taking a for sure L to real deal.. u r l rappers can't hang with real emcees.

Last edited by Dunk; 09-10-2013 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:14 AM   #34
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I love the discourse. Thanks Rocky. I don't blame anyone for having doubts or disagreeing. That we're talking about it in these terms is actually very encouraging for me personally. So thanks, and thanks to Crawler as well for even a chance to talk about it.

I do not have every answer, and dont pretend to. But I think answers are out there. For one, the majority of battles are watched on mobile devices. Personally, I dont believe that new fans are finding battle vids for the first time because of related videos/YT recommendations.

Bootlegging is a problem for premium content, absolutely. Any video on the internet can be bootlegged, your friends are %100 correct. It impossible to completely protect it (though RapGrid does have a few approaches we haven't seen yet to try to help).

The end goal I've been talking about isnt about selling premium content though. If all battle rap was hosted by a dedicated battle rap host handling its own ad-severs, traffic monetization etc, then battle rap as it exists TODAY doesnt change, the only real change there is the overhead of managing the host, and the link that users are watching the videos at, which IMO is really about FB, IG, Twitter and message board links today.

I believe, TO GET THERE, you need to experiment and supplement the risk with some additional rev streams. That can certainly be VOD, PPV, etc. But I think those measure should be more about bridging the change to new hosting approaches, rather than the end game for making battle rap more profitable. This is our approach with RapGrid. We're trying to show leagues and fans, that the experience of watching battle rap can be greater on a site/platform designed specifically for battle rap, versus YT's generic interface and inability to smartly use the metadata that exists in a battle (who are the rappers, who have they faced, what are their records, what event is it at, what other battles are from that event, etc).

If RapGrid were more successful, and leagues bought in to the idea that the experience of watching the product is better suited on RG than YT, then we'd be a little closer today to the shift that Im pulling for.

I don't disagree with the risks anyone has mentioned. Absolutely, they are real. But I think the point is that it is a road to a long-term (maybe utopian) solution.

If anyone is familiar with wireless industry.. When cell phones first came out, it was a premium luxury for most people. Then it became affordable, and people ran their live with their phones. Then AT&T had to rebuild the network from scratch, you may remember this as changing to 3G service. The phones didnt work, the billing was F'd up, and people were pissed, because their lives are run everyday with the help of their phones. AT&T suffered through that time, knowing that once the new network was online and had similar coverage to their existing 2G network, that the data services/speeds they would offer were going to open up all kinds of new opportunities, from mobile sales and data plans to cool things a new phone (iphone) could do.

Though that may not make sense as I type it out, I think battle rap should be preparing for a similar shift. People right now love battle rap. To take that away as they know it today, may seem like a short sided decision. But my belief is the cost of that overhaul will pay dividends on the back side of the change, once the leagues and "battle rap as a whole" start to own more of the external factors that play a part in their business model.

Consider a new YT user subscribes to a league channel. The reality is that the league has really gained about .5 of a sub. Because YT is the one that really owns that subscriber, not the league. YT owns the sub, and has directed them to league content. There is much more to gain if the leagues had even a little more control around that. Ecomm options, user analytics, demographics for the userbase as a whole, are all things that these leagues could benefit from and improve their profit margins, but cant fully do that today because they are sharing their business with YT.
i'm not even going to try and pretend i know as much as u do about video streaming and the what are the best ways to get exclusive control of such. U seem to have done ur homework.

Here's another little annoyance that u will have to deal with. I know on the surface this well seem minuscule to some, but it has been something that i know drives leagues nuts every single time a promoter ever talks to me. And that is "views". Battle rappers have become accustomed to getting these "views" in certain numbers (shoutout @VerseTracker), and its become some type of pecking order for battlers to determine who is "better", who deserves which opponent, who deserves more pay. Now if u have a way to convince them otherwise about taking a loss on views initially, for a larger pay, then that's great. But i don't envy the challenge, becuz one of the things most leagues have such a hard time dealing with are the battlers' egos, and how they live and die by these views to the point it makes it frustrating for leagues to make battles/events happen in a timely fashion. Like i said, i know it seems trivial to talk about, but i cannot tell u how many times i speak with battlers, and all they seem to talk about are views. These larger leagues are attractive to the battlers becuz they see the fan-bases on their youtube channels, and to them that is more attractive sometimes than battling for more money on a smaller league with a smaller subscribership. At some point money becomes the only motivating factor, and it would be an expensive venture not only to get leagues convinced to initially move away from youtube to make profits on a controlled site like rapgrid, but also to convince battlers to forget their "views" and try to focus their energy on a different platform other than youtube, which they have become so accustomed, and sometimes obsessive over. Ur thoughts?
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:27 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by PJ Sumroc View Post
I see what ur saying but the movie industry is a multi billion dollar industry that will be just fine without your $10. The battle scene is a waaay different story. These leagues need all the extra income they can get.

I personally try to support the culture any way I can. I remember when URL was doing Cortez vs Marvwon early for like $2.99. Bought it no prob..and would have again if they continued to do it. I try and buy all the KOTD ppvs, make it to live events when I can & I love that Avo is making DVDs of past events to raise money now. I will always buy those.

I was just pointing out that a lot of battle rap fans take this all for granted and seem to forget how long these battles have been coming out for free.
I support the leagues too. I've bought most of kotd's ppvs, but they put out a whole event for $15-$30... 1 battle for $10 between two guys who are "too cool" to put any effort it into it... eh idk.
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:58 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by rocky View Post
Here's another little annoyance that u will have to deal with. I know on the surface this well seem minuscule to some, but it has been something that i know drives leagues nuts every single time a promoter ever talks to me. And that is "views". Battle rappers have become accustomed to getting these "views" in certain numbers (shoutout @VerseTracker), and its become some type of pecking order for battlers to determine who is "better", who deserves which opponent, who deserves more pay. Now if u have a way to convince them otherwise about taking a loss on views initially, for a larger pay, then that's great. But i don't envy the challenge, becuz one of the things most leagues have such a hard time dealing with are the battlers' egos, and how they live and die by these views to the point it makes it frustrating for leagues to make battles/events happen in a timely fashion. Like i said, i know it seems trivial to talk about, but i cannot tell u how many times i speak with battlers, and all they seem to talk about are views. These larger leagues are attractive to the battlers becuz they see the fan-bases on their youtube channels, and to them that is more attractive sometimes than battling for more money on a smaller league with a smaller subscribership. At some point money becomes the only motivating factor, and it would be an expensive venture not only to get leagues convinced to initially move away from youtube to make profits on a controlled site like rapgrid, but also to convince battlers to forget their "views" and try to focus their energy on a different platform other than youtube, which they have become so accustomed, and sometimes obsessive over. Ur thoughts?
%100 true. And @VerseTracker is dope.

Want to know my annoyance? Most of the people running leagues just want to sit around and talk about cool matchups they've come up with.

Even today we're seeing some new approaches to that same 'view count' perspective, where 10 years ago battle rap was happening and it was never mentioned once (cheap shot).

-We hear more today than 4 years ago about the paychecks rappers are getting.
-Some rappers are using their passport stamps and world travels to make similar claims.
-GTN battles back in the day constantly had raps brought up about if a battle would make it to worldstar, and whos at fault if the battle sucked and didnt get posted.
-WD4 had plenty of shots fired concerning rappers inability to take a loss.
-View counts have a certain amount of suspicion around them for buying views
-View counts for a channel on YT are not for just battles, but all videos (again, @VerseTracker is a champ).
-Etc.

So, agreed, its a tough sell TODAY for some leagues or rappers to forego view counts on popular sites. Tomorrow they may be rapping about a different measure for who has the biggest dong. I dont know. Again, we're talking about a very long-term shift and things will change in that time before we get there (admittedly, if ever).

Two approaches in my mind at this very early stage, where I cant REALLY make a claim but have some thoughts. One - You can argue that a platform like RapGrid specifically for battles may actually increase views in the long term, given that even today, RapGrid (and VerseTracker for that matter) is better suited for users to find new battles to watch than YouTube. Additionally, with the rappers crossing over many leagues, again a league could arguably stand to gain in views, because a rapper who was in their league was featured in another league more recently and vice versa. RapGrid is a significantly better interface to serve those videos to the user than YT is today, and hopefully pull in another view.

Second thought I touched on a little, that as the landscape of battle rap changes, perceivably the weight that a single view carries could change. If there is money on the table for all the parties, I think the view count argument will carry a little less weight in favor for larger paychecks.

Today though, its a real concern for leagues, rappers and us. If we sell a VOD battle, the view count will be affected, no question. But I dont think anyone thinks less of Lotta Zay vs Daylyt because the views were affected the first couple weeks it was released, and I dont think anyone really holds daylyts #70 american rapper on the view count against him.

And, like my example for subs, a LEAGUE should really be considering .5 of a view. Because they are sharing that view with YT.
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:13 AM   #37
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%100 true. And @VerseTracker is dope.

Want to know my annoyance? Most of the people running leagues just want to sit around and talk about cool matchups they've come up with.

Even today we're seeing some new approaches to that same 'view count' perspective, where 10 years ago battle rap was happening and it was never mentioned once (cheap shot).

-We hear more today than 4 years ago about the paychecks rappers are getting.
-Some rappers are using their passport stamps and world travels to make similar claims.
-GTN battles back in the day constantly had raps brought up about if a battle would make it to worldstar, and whos at fault if the battle sucked and didnt get posted.
-WD4 had plenty of shots fired concerning rappers inability to take a loss.
-View counts have a certain amount of suspicion around them for buying views
-View counts for a channel on YT are not for just battles, but all videos (again, @VerseTracker is a champ).
-Etc.

So, agreed, its a tough sell TODAY for some leagues or rappers to forego view counts on popular sites. Tomorrow they may be rapping about a different measure for who has the biggest dong. I dont know. Again, we're talking about a very long-term shift and things will change in that time before we get there (admittedly, if ever).

Two approaches in my mind at this very early stage, where I cant REALLY make a claim but have some thoughts. One - You can argue that a platform like RapGrid specifically for battles may actually increase views in the long term, given that even today, RapGrid (and VerseTracker for that matter) is better suited for users to find new battles to watch than YouTube. Additionally, with the rappers crossing over many leagues, again a league could arguably stand to gain in views, because a rapper who was in their league was featured in another league more recently and vice versa. RapGrid is a significantly better interface to serve those videos to the user than YT is today, and hopefully pull in another view.

Second thought I touched on a little, that as the landscape of battle rap changes, perceivably the weight that a single view carries could change. If there is money on the table for all the parties, I think the view count argument will carry a little less weight in favor for larger paychecks.

Today though, its a real concern for leagues, rappers and us. If we sell a VOD battle, the view count will be affected, no question. But I dont think anyone thinks less of Lotta Zay vs Daylyt because the views were affected the first couple weeks it was released, and I dont think anyone really holds daylyts #70 american rapper on the view count against him.

And, like my example for subs, a LEAGUE should really be considering .5 of a view. Because they are sharing that view with YT.
granted i have some skepticism, that was well written mah g. I am impressed. I hope anything battle rap related takes off. keep it up.
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Old 09-11-2013, 03:04 AM   #38
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Won't go in paragraphs.

But there is a market. There's no doubt, there are products being launched every day that appeal to a much smaller target.

If you have any sort of business sense, you know that this idea has potential and is not completely dumb, it's naive at some point but hey, the best selling products or services in 2013 were stupid and naive according to some people 20 years ago.

At this point it needs some work but it definitely could happen and touchs a domain a whole lot larger than just battle rap but the structure of internet revenues in itself.
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Old 09-11-2013, 03:41 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by rocky View Post
i'm not even going to try and pretend i know as much as u do about video streaming and the what are the best ways to get exclusive control of such. U seem to have done ur homework.

Here's another little annoyance that u will have to deal with. I know on the surface this well seem minuscule to some, but it has been something that i know drives leagues nuts every single time a promoter ever talks to me. And that is "views". Battle rappers have become accustomed to getting these "views" in certain numbers (shoutout @VerseTracker), and its become some type of pecking order for battlers to determine who is "better", who deserves which opponent, who deserves more pay. Now if u have a way to convince them otherwise about taking a loss on views initially, for a larger pay, then that's great. But i don't envy the challenge, becuz one of the things most leagues have such a hard time dealing with are the battlers' egos, and how they live and die by these views to the point it makes it frustrating for leagues to make battles/events happen in a timely fashion. Like i said, i know it seems trivial to talk about, but i cannot tell u how many times i speak with battlers, and all they seem to talk about are views. These larger leagues are attractive to the battlers becuz they see the fan-bases on their youtube channels, and to them that is more attractive sometimes than battling for more money on a smaller league with a smaller subscribership. At some point money becomes the only motivating factor, and it would be an expensive venture not only to get leagues convinced to initially move away from youtube to make profits on a controlled site like rapgrid, but also to convince battlers to forget their "views" and try to focus their energy on a different platform other than youtube, which they have become so accustomed, and sometimes obsessive over. Ur thoughts?
Interesting point you bring up that made me think of a few ideas.

It's true that battlers and leagues lean heavily on view these days and the way I see it, it's basically due to it being on of the more reliable metrics or popularity on YouTube of a battle, and, to some degree, their talent since people assume the more popular you are, the better you are. I've had debates with people in the past about the idea and the conclusion I've came to is that people use views because it's the easiest to point to and tells you more info than just a battler's resume or leagues they've battled in or if they've had the best battle at an event or if they are getting positive buzz and reception amongst the fans. For the battlers, what better way do they have to demonstrate their demand and what they bring to the table for promoters to negotiate their pay? Also for promoters/leagues, it has to play a part in who they book for events or who the stars in their roster are or who has a buzz they can push. It's difficult to think of a scenario where people would have a reason to not care about views at all.

I say that to say this, @hawaiiand, I think that something you can offer these leagues besides a platform is potentially a new way to aggregate content. By that what I mean is, Rapgrid and Versetracker have done a great job of giving users ways to easily search for battlers other battles or battles from a league, etc. but while that is something YouTube doesn't offer, it is something someone can still do on YouTube, it just takes an extra step or two. It's more convenient to go to Versetracker or Rapgrid to search for all the battles from one battler, especially as a fan not familiar with battle rap, but myself as a long term fan, that is the specific search I'm doing, I'm not browsing through those sites for battles because I'm already on YouTube and I know what leagues to look for whose battle and I know off the top of my head what event it was at what year it happened it and all that. There is not a whole lot of reason for me to make those sites my normal battle routine, just for the extra stuff they might offer. Now if RapGrid was to devise a way to suggest new battles that I might like based on people with similar interests in battles or other battles people searched for after watching a battle I'm watching or based on me saying I "liked" a video or giving it some sort of high rating, it could suggest to another person if you enjoyed this video people who rated this high also liked these videos.

A few years ago when Grind Time was blowing up and there was more battles than I could track, I wanted some way to sort the great battles from the mediocre ones. While I do search for unknown battles less on my own these days and watch less battles in general as well as mainly stick to the leagues and battlers I already know I like, I think for people willing to look for new battles, having a new, effective way to find other battles you like could be a huge draw for fans and it could be a way to break down the paradigm of battlers being only able to be known by battling people with names or fans only finding out about new battlers and leagues through their favorite battler(s), which might have been the way they were introduced to battling.

Oh, the reason Rocky's comment triggered this thinking for me is that, besides suggestions for videos you might enjoy, maybe there can be a new algorithm developed to determine popularity of good battles, not just highly viewed battles. Maybe it could be based on trends of how quickly it gets views and how pleased people are with the video based on favorites, ratings, what videos are popular in your region or country, how much people thought it was close (or a classic), or one battler having an outstanding/bodybag performance. There could also be popularity based on how controversial it was (based on judges decision people don't agree with or events in the battle, ie. chokes or antics). These are the sorts of things relevant to the fans' interest. How dope would it be to see which battles become consensus "classics" due to how competitive they are by collecting the data of a bunch of fans? I don't know a good way to collect that data that people would all agree upon but I'd definitely use that as a way to find new battles.

Now that's all well and good but how do you get the ball rolling to get fans to actually create an account and become involved? How about people earn karma or points for battles they judge or rate? Profiles get ranked for how much they contribute or how popular their tastes are. Like you can follow a person's profile view a feed of battles they commented on or liked, or maybe you can just subscribe to their favorite battles playlist then the people with the most popular playlists are ranked or featured. That way people that are watching more battles and participating have not only a chance to help many battlers, leagues, and fans find out about battles they might not have watched, but they also have a chance to be influential and recognized for their taste in quality content. Then you have even more ways people can discover new battles.

Just some examples. I know you guys don't have all the features I'm mentioning but I'm just trying to paint a picture of what could be possible. My main point is that there is lots of opportunity for catering to battle fans in ways that haven't been done, which can help everyone in the process.
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Old 09-11-2013, 04:18 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawaiiand View Post
We're trying to show leagues and fans, that the experience of watching battle rap can be greater on a site/platform designed specifically for battle rap, versus YT's generic interface and inability to smartly use the metadata that exists in a battle (who are the rappers, who have they faced, what are their records, what event is it at, what other battles are from that event, etc).
Peace. dont want to come off as negative. ive read all of your posts and just chose this one little piece..
its not youtubes inability to smartly use the metadata. its yours. you can put all kind of keywords and hashtags in your title tags and description you can do it in a way that it shows up as related/suggested videos to all of theri other battles..etc.. .. i can put a cat video up and enter metadata that will match any breaking news headline at the moment and have my video show up on googlenews page under that specific headline. you mentioned in another post about the analytics.. once again, thats your inability to effectively navigate and record information...iirc in another post you mentioned something about targeting ads or something.. in adsense you can target specific ads to your audience. you can be in total control of all ads if you know what youre doing..


Quote:
Consider a new YT user subscribes to a league channel. The reality is that the league has really gained about .5 of a sub. Because YT is the one that really owns that subscriber, not the league. YT owns the sub, and has directed them to league content. There is much more to gain if the leagues had even a little more control around that. Ecomm options, user analytics, demographics for the userbase as a whole, are all things that these leagues could benefit from and improve their profit margins, but cant fully do that today because they are sharing their business with YT.
the reality is that league gained ONE FULL subscriber. you act like youtube owns the subscribers mind. ecomm options... annotations..
.. youtube is the third most popular website on PLANET EARTH. there is NO WAY you will give more exposure than youtube can. if someone enters their metadata correctly they can have their videos show up as related/suggested videos to ANYTHING on youtube..
you forget huge channels like cnn abc have their own websites but still keep MAJORITY of their video content on youtube because they know it has potential to reach MILLIONS of more people than abc.com or cnn,com.
you must've figured out something cnn and abc havent..

honest question.. does anyone at rapgrid really think one million views means that one million people watched a video. and 1% of that is really 10,000 people...
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