May 30, 2014

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Boom! Studios Launches YouTube Promotional Channel

Continuing their push to increase their influence in the world of comics, mid-major publisher Boom! Studios announced on Wednesday the creation of a new YouTube channel dedicated to discussing and promoting its new books out each week.

Cleverly called BOOM!Tube (at least until Warner Brothers speaks with their lawyers*), the first two webcasts went up right away.
From the press release:
May 28, 2014 - Los Angeles, CA - Award-winning publisher BOOM! Studios is excited to announce the launch of BOOM! Tube, an all-new weekly series from the BOOM! Studios' YouTube channel dedicated to sharing the latest news on comics, creators, and announcements from the publisher. The series will provide weekly news on the latest titles coming out from BOOM! Studios and its imprints, including Archaia, KaBOOM!, and BOOM! Box. 
“This is what we mean when we say, ‘Come innovate with us.’ We’re always looking for new ways to engage with our fans and since YouTube is one of the largest social networks on the planet, this was the obvious next step,” said BOOM! Studios Vice President of Publishing & Marketing Filip Sablik. “BOOM! Tube is a way for us to share our passion for our latest releases, along with what goes on behind-the-scenes, special creator interviews, and a few fun surprises along the way.”
The first is an introduction, with the primary host Stephanie Hocutt and her first guest discussing the purpose of the channel. It's a bit too cute for my taste (fake party hand waving to stock music), but I realize I'm not the target audience here.

The second, going to a full two and a half minutes, features assistant editor Alex Galer as the guest co-host and focusing on a new series from the properties of Clive Barker's Hellraiser. It also starts with awkward talk and motions, then settles down to actually discuss the new title. It wraps up with a whirlwind tour of the new books, with each getting a one to two sentence description with a visual.

Being honest, the opening is cringe-worthy and I don't think it's even going to work for those who are more likely to subscribe to a YouTube station. It's an attempt to be hip, but if they're looking to grab Cartoon Network fans with this, I'm not sure it's going to work. Adults, even ones clearly selected to be closer to the target audience, look really stupid when they try to fake-rave, sorry. Once it settles in (after the first cut), I think it's far more effective. Hocutt and Galer are enthusiastic without being so-over-the-top at that point.

The length is also an issue. I get they're trying to keep this short to avoid people clicking away, but they're not giving folks much to go on. There's nothing of added value here, and there's no strong focus on what makes these books must read books beyond the one feature title.

Still, it's an ambitious idea and one that could work really well for them, especially if they can tweak it to enhance the hooks about their books. Just like having accounts across multiple social media platforms, it never hurts to try.

*For those not kosher on Kirby, Jack named the teleportation device in his 4th World series "boom tubes." The folks at Boom! certainly know this, hence the name, which draws an association between the two. What I don't know is whether the term is trademarked. Regardless, it's a great name for the channel.