Be suc­cess­ful on Youtube

We sit down With Plays­ta­tion ac­cess’ Hol­lie Ben­nett to un­der­stand the hard Work and ded­i­ca­tion it takes to make a splash on the video Plat­form

Games TM - - CONTENTS -

Knowl­edge­able and in­sight­ful; pas­sion­ate and pro­fes­sional; calm and col­lected in the spotlight, Hol­lie Ben­nett is among a small group of Youtube personalities that have the qual­i­ties nec­es­sary to best rep­re­sent gam­ing to the world at large in 2018.

While re­cent months may well have proven that some big names on the video plat­form are con­tent with courting con­tro­versy for a like and sub­scribe, Ben­nett and her co­horts at Plays­ta­tion Ac­cess are fo­cussed on walk­ing the blurred line be­tween in­for­ma­tion and en­ter­tain­ment. It’s a dif­fi­cult path to tread, but it’s one that has bought in­de­pen­dent out­fit We Are Reach great suc­cess. But what is it about the former Yogscast sta­ble­mates that sets Ac­cess apart from the rest? “We are try­ing to in­form, not just en­ter­tain; the two have to ac­tu­ally work to­gether to be con­tent that peo­ple ac­tu­ally want to re­turn to,” Ben­nett tells us, lay­ing out the over­all vi­sion for what she strives to achieve on Youtube. “We want peo­ple to feel as if they are com­ing to sit on the sofa with us and join­ing in with the dis­cus­sion about games.”

Fan­tas­tic in­dus­try ac­cess, a de­mand­ing sched­ule of daily con­tent, and a high-bar for qual­ity have all helped the channel stand out, though it’s un­doubt­edly the chem­istry be­tween the group of per­son­able personalities – not to men­tion their im­mea­sur­able knowl­edge of the in­dus­try – that has kept au­di­ences re­turn­ing time and time again.

Over 300,000 mil­lion times, in fact; im­pres­sive view­er­ship fig­ures line-up nicely along­side a sub­scriber count quickly bar­relling to­wards 2 mil­lion, and it all adds up to show­case a channel that has so clearly res­onated with a large au­di­ence skew­ing to­wards 25-34 year old gam­ing en­thu­si­asts. So, how has Ben­nett found her­self in such an en­vi­able sit­u­a­tion – jet set­ting around the world to cover videogames, in­ter­view­ing the in­dus­try’s big­gest stars, and at­tend­ing its most il­lus­tri­ous events? “I’m one of the lucky ones, I guess,” she laughs, her hum­ble de­meanour cracked by a beam­ing smile recog­nised by mil­lions across the globe.

While is seems like ev­ery kid with a hot take and a video cam­era wants to be a Youtube star nowa­days, it isn’t im­pos­si­ble to make your­self heard through the deaf­en­ing noise of re­ac­tion videos, vlogs and let’s plays that seem­ingly dom­i­nate the plat­form. Like so many things in life, mak­ing Youtube work for you is all about strik­ing the right bal­ance be­tween at­ti­tude, con­fi­dence and per­se­ver­ance. That’s the way it has al­ways been, and it’s the way it is to­day. Ben­nett wasn’t handed her role on Ac­cess, she – much like her col­leagues Nathan Di­tum, Rob Pearson, and Dave Jack­son – has earned ev­ery ounce of suc­cess and adu­la­tion that has come their way.

A pas­sion for videogames and an am­bi­tion to foster thriving com­mu­ni­ties – to drive dis­cus­sion in an era de­fined by short at­ten­tion spans – has led Ben­nett to where she is to­day; it’s also a path that any one of you can fol­low, should you have the drive and ded­i­ca­tion to see it through. “It’s very im­por­tant for any­body read­ing this to know that if you want to do some­thing, like what we do on Ac­cess, you don’t nec­es­sar­ily need to have a mil­lion sub­scribers to have a chance.”

It’s easy to forget, but Youtube only launched 12 years ago – the same year that the Xbox 360 hit the mar­ket. Twitch and Twit­ter didn’t ex­ist; on­line gam­ing on con­sole was only just es­tab­lish­ing it­self, while spe­cial­ist fo­rums were seen as less of a nov­elty than bur­geon­ing so­cial plat­forms Mys­pace and Face­book. If you think it’s dif­fi­cult to make a name for your­self (or build a ca­reer) out of Youtube now, it’s worth tak­ing the ad­vice of those that were there in its for­ma­tive years – the mis­takes have been made, the right lessons learned, and best prac­tices im­ple­mented in re­sponse.

It was a dif­fer­ent world then and for many who, like Ben­nett, grew up in “the mid­dle of nowhere”, gain­ing ac­cess to a world of like-minded

Plays­ta­tion Ac­cess isn’t in­ter­ested in re­ac­tive Youtube con­tent, in­stead its pre­sen­ters look to pro­vide en­ter­tain­ing and in­for­ma­tive con­tent for its au­di­ence.

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