From YouTube to Victorious: Bing Chen Is a New-Media Mogul

Laguna Niguel’s Bing Chen launches his own tech company

Last year, Forbes named him one of its “30 Under 30 Who Are Changing the World.” At the time, he had a high-level position focused on creator development at YouTube. Now the 28-year-old entrepreneur is starting fresh with his mobile media company, Victorious.

After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 2009 with a degree in creative writing, Chen was hired by Google and chose to work for its YouTube subsidiary. A big part of his job was helping creators—people who make the hundred hours of video that are uploaded to the site each minute—improve the size and engagement of their audiences.

“I didn’t work directly with the creators like a manager would, though I did become friends with many of them. Instead, I came up with ways to help creators as a whole, like starting a program where we’d give gift certificates to people who were doing well so they could buy better video equipment.”

Dozens of YouTube creators have become household names, particularly to teens. The Teen Choice Awards now recognizes Web stars in categories such as beauty, music, comedy, and gaming.
“Niche is now king. An online beauty guru like Michelle Phan can be a multimillion-dollar business. The younger generation is used to instant access to quality content, and they value authenticity above all else. That’s why they prefer these people who make videos in their bedrooms to Hollywood stars.”
When Chen realized that more and more video views were coming from mobile devices, he saw an opportunity to create a platform better suited to the younger generation. So last May, he left YouTube to form Victorious.The Santa Monica-based company works with digitally born stars to build mobile hubs, in the form of apps, that contain all of their content from various platforms—YouTube, blogs, social media sites. Its revenue comes from selling ad space, as well as capitalizing on the e-commerce that takes place on the platform.
“We’re not competing with YouTube or Tumblr or anything. Those are great for mass-market discovery. Victorious hubs are for the superfans.”
“My biggest priority in everything I do is to enable people to be whoever they are meant to be. That’s why I wanted to work for YouTube in 2012, and that’s why I started Victorious. This is the future, and I want to help build it.”

Bing Chen Explains the Rules of YouTube Success

1. Authenticity Trumps Production

“Your equipment doesn’t have to be great, but you have to be yourself. The online video audience can spot a fake persona from a mile away.”

2. Consistency Is Key

“You must make sure you are generating content regularly, and maintaining contact with your audience.”

3. You Have to Be Smart

“A lot of opportunities may come your way, but you have to think critically about what is right for your brand.”

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