“Digital video is flooded with garbage,” says Mic’s CEO Chris Altchek, but he believes that the publishing platform’s web show Flip The Script is “running 180 degrees away from that.” Flip The Script examines all manner of issues, usually with a pop culture bent, from the lack of racial diversity in the fashion industry to slightly more bizarre social phenomena like ‘man spreading’ on the subway. The eighth episode of the series, all about male feminist allies in the media, dropped this week.
Host Liz Plank’s highly tongue-in-cheek presenting style could go a long way towards explaining the show’s popularity; viewers feel that they are in on the joke, as opposed to being preached at. One video in particular, on the implications of using the R word, has gained over 15 million views since April:
Facebook has especially taken Flip The Script to heart, with more than 33 million views in the last two months. “Facebook has changed discovery and distribution of video,” says Altchek. “If we were doing this three years ago, we’d have to be publishing an insane amount of volume of video just to get discovered.”
“On YouTube, the perceived wisdom is you have to be posting very frequently to maintain and grow your audience,” says Jackdaw analyst Jan Dawson. “On Facebook, you have your core audience, but they’re really just your mavens, the people that enable you to get your message out to the broader base of Facebook users. Facebook is more closely configured to help things go viral than YouTube is, so Facebook is a much better player.”
Up until now, the focus has been entirely on securing an audience, and so Flip The Script has been ad-free; but plans to monetise this new asset are afoot. “Going forward, you’ll see a bunch of interesting sponsorships and new types of ad products that we’re layering into video,” says Altchek. “We’re playing with everything from post-reads to sponsor cards to different types of visual ways to recognise a consumer.”