I hope your Wednesday is going well. Welcome back to another episode of Ask Ash, where I interview WatchMojo Founder & CEO Ashkan Karbasfrooshan and ask him questions about various topics, ranging from covering the news to giving career advice to students & entrepreneurs.
Today on LinkedIn, Ash highlighted some of the successes, and awards that WatchMojo has received over the years, receiving Platinum, Gold, and Silver Buttons from YouTube. However, something that I did not realize was the success of the international channels WatchMojo possesses, receiving multiple Silver Buttons from YouTube, meaning that a channel has at least 100,000 subscribers to it. I wanted to get some of Ash’s thoughts on why WatchMojo decided to create international-focused channels for its global audience.
Earlier today you runned down the Platinum, Gold, and Silver plaques that we have earned on YouTube over the years, 1 Platinum for the flagship eponymous channel, 4 Gold ones, and 13 Silver ones. Can you take me through the rationale of the international channels?
The most valuable businesses command Goodwill, or brand equity. If you think of MTV or Coca-Cola, they are global ones that reach(ed) consumers in all corners of the planet, and that is something that isn’t easy to replicate.
Now, given the global nature of the Web and YouTube, to me, it never made sense to limit our programming to English. There are 300M people in America, 7 billion in the world, and 2B on YouTube! So to me, it was imperative that we reach everyone. Partly, it’s offensive: any proud and self-respecting entrepreneur and executive want their brand everywhere… but it’s also defensive: we didn’t want others to easily inspire themselves of our programming, tone, and style in each market. So we went for it ourselves. In some regions, we have a full time in place, in others, we partner with a company.
We had to do a lot of experimentation to find a system that worked, and as others followed in our footsteps with the flagship channel’s content, we have seen many other channels localize the way we have (and that is fine and part of the game).
From a business perspective, not all channels are going to be money-makers, but to reach the largest audience possible has other merits, and you saw that when we executed the partnership with Harry Potter on the English language channel, but also on our other channels.
Here’s the Behind The Scenes video: https://youtu.be/G4prud-EhLY
Here’s the Rube Goldberg Machine video: https://youtu.be/ES5Gt15hLVI