FORE­CAST FOR NEW ME­DIA

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just set up a cam­era and went for it. ‘‘You can pick up a cam­era now and bang some stuff on­line, and peo­ple ei­ther like you, or they don’t,’’ Jim says.

‘‘There aren’t lay­ers of au­di­tion­ing or hoops to jump through like there were in my world. The World Wide Web de­cides who they want to look at, and luck­ily lots of them want to look at Sally and hear what she has to say.’’

Sally started pro­duc­ing makeup tu­to­rial videos while at univer­sity as a fun hobby, but by the time she grad­u­ated she’d ac­crued around 40,000 sub­scribers – enough fol­low­ers to start gen­er­at­ing in­come.

The con­tent Sally makes is paid for through the ads that play in front of videos, as well as spon­sor­ships from beauty brands.

Since grad­u­at­ing, she’s been mak­ing YouTube con­tent full­time, di­ver­si­fy­ing into a range of life­style clips. She is also ac­tive on Instagram, with more than 95,000 fol­low­ers.

She thinks the dig­i­tal world’s low en­try bar­ri­ers pro­vide con­tent cre­ators like her with more cre­ative free­dom than those work­ing in tra­di­tional me­dia. Her fa­ther was part of a team, she works pretty much alone.

‘‘I like the flex­i­bil­ity... There’s no over­heads, there’s no cre­ative con­trol, so I can just com­pletely be my­self,’’ she says.

That cre­ative free­dom comes with its own pres­sures, how­ever. Sally drafts the con­cepts for her videos, presents them, and does the edit­ing, light­ing and post-pro­duc­tion. She’s en­tirely re­liant on her own skills.

And be­cause con­sumers have hun­dreds of news and en­ter­tain­ment op­tions – Sally is in com­pe­ti­tion with them all.

But she has one ad­van­tage: while her fa­ther’s au­di­ence was lim­ited to New Zealand, hers is an in­ter­na­tional au­di­ence. She has large sub­scriber bases in the UK, Aus­tralia and the US.

Jim’s re­la­tion­ship to his au­di­ence was also very dif­fer­ent to that of his daugh­ter. While he would re­ceive viewer feed­back through the mail – or some­times in an en­counter on the street – af­ter the fact, Sally re­ceives al­most im­me­di­ate feed­back.

‘‘Thank­fully it hap­pens very very sel­dom with Sally, but I know all the trolls and stuff, we’ve heard all the cliches,’’ he says.

Jim reck­ons it’s their shared ap­ti­tude for com­mu­ni­cat­ing that’s en­abled them both to suc­ceed in their re­spec­tive fields.

In­creas­ingly, though, plat­forms such as Sally’s are look­ing like the fu­ture for peo­ple want­ing to work in the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try.

In 2015, tal­ent man­age­ment agency John­son and Laird added YouTu­bers and so­cial me­dia in­flu­encers to its ex­ist­ing ros­ter of ac­tors, pre­sen­ters and other en­ter­tain­ers.

They rep­re­sent the likes of Sally’s fel­low beauty YouTu­ber Shan­non Harris aka Shaaanxo and for­mer Bach­e­lor NZ star and Instagram in­flu­encer Matilda Rice, and Sam Mor­gan, who posts videos to his Face­book page Sam’s Life.

John­son and Laird’s founder and di­rec­tor Imo­gen John­son says on­line tal­ent is an ‘‘im­por­tant core’’ of the busi­ness and the com­pany en­cour­ages its ac­tors and ‘‘tra­di­tional’’ tal­ent to pro­duce con­tent for dig­i­tal plat­forms.

Sally says on­line me­dia plat­forms are soar­ing.

‘‘I think the in­dus­try in New Zealand now is recog­nis­ing YouTube more as a form of ad­ver­tis­ing, as op­posed to mag­a­zines and that sort of thing. It seems to be­come more and more boosted up each year, which is re­ally cool for me to see. When I started no­body had even heard of such a ca­reer.’’

Misha Kavka of Auck­land Univer­sity stud­ies YouTu­bers and says the plat­form’s au­di­ence starts young and sticks with it but cre­ators need to stay abreast of the trends.

‘‘When there are low en­try and low fi­nan­cial bar­ri­ers, then in­no­va­tion just hap­pens that much faster. In­no­va­tion in older me­dia, like tele­vi­sion, tele­vi­sion – well, cer­tainly fic­tional tele­vi­sion – is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly ex­pen­sive to make. The more ex­pen­sive a thing is to make, the more risk-averse the pro­ducer is.’’

Jim Hickey re­tired from broad­cast­ing in 2014 and says that these days when he and Sally go out for lunch, she’s recog­nised more of­ten than he is.

But Sally is not so sure. ‘‘What­ever,’’ she says. GRANT MATTHEW / STUFF, FACE­BOOK

Jim and Sally Jo Hickey have com­pared their ex­pe­ri­ences in the me­dia, left, while, above left to right, YouTu­ber Shan­non Harris aka Shaaanxo, Sam Mor­gan, who posts videos to his Face­book page and for­mer star and Instagram in­flu­encer Matilda Rice have...

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