Most of the talk about YouTube, an online video sharing website, in marketing/PR/ advertising circles up until now has been about user generated content, whereby consumers post videos which they have created themselves and whether brands can be featured. There are other interesting aspects to YouTube though as a number of different organisations have used it to bypass traditional distribution channels.

TNA is a wrestling organisation that is hoping to one day outshine the WWE (more familiar to most as the WWF.) TNA doesn’t have a primetime slot or the star power of the WWE, but it has tried to combat this by signing stars from yesteryear and offering a more fast paced product.

However TNA has suddenly opened itself to a whole new audience by embracing the web. Wrestling fans have notoriously taken to the web like no other audience before them. The IWC (Internet Wrestling Community) dispelled any remaining myths over whether wrestling was real or not and suddenly the WWF morphed from wrestling into sports entertainment. One copyright lawsuit later and the WWF morphed into the WWE.

WWE has dominated the wrestling industry, but TNA has slowly expanded its fanbase. By recognising that the majority of its fans are Internet users and using the Internet to make its product available to potential fans, TNA has suddenly ramped up its appeal. It formed a partnership with YouTube to distribute an online show, but it proved to be so popular that the site crashed. The show can now be seen on the TNA website, but the company will continue to distribute smaller videos on YouTube.

TNA’s use of YouTube brings true meaning to YouTube’s slogan ‘Broadcast Yourself’. Rather than taking the traditional approach of broadcasting on one channel, it’s broadcasting on all channels via the Internet, stepping up from an audience of millions to a potential audience of billions. The Internet isn’t made up of many different television channels, it is the channel. Everything on it is content and if you’re not on it, you don’t count.

The more familiar people become with your product, in this case TNA, the more likely they are to buy your DVDs, merchandising and tickets to see your show live.

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2 Responses to “Interesting use of YouTube to bypass traditional distribution channels”  

  1. 1 Ken McGuire

    Strange you should mention it. Browsing YouTube yesterday I came across an episode of TNA’s ‘Global Impact’ and I thought, genius! No better way to increase their awareness than screening the episodes online for free. Took me by surprise to see the length of the clip was over 20 minutes so I’ll say fair play to TNA for spreading the brand.

  2. 2 John Wagner

    Piaras:

    Great post … and as another example, there’s a great commercial from Gatorade promoting the US soccer team’s upcoming appearance in the World Cup. I saw the spot on You Tube weeks before I ever saw it on television, thanks to a link on a bulletin board.

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