Dustin Jamieson blades and/or films pretty much everyday. That means he’s posting videos to his YouTube channel all the time… and thanks to the magic of the internet and a feature of YouTube called “monetization” he’s able to collect revenue (cash!) from people watching his videos. Sound cool? Well, it is — to an extent. We’d seen him post about his channel and trying to earn some bucks, finally getting curious enough to ask the big question: Does a good blade trick clip earn enough to buy anything? Read on to find out.
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Dustin, yo — how much money have you made to date with your YouTube channel?
On my personal channel, I’m looking at $7.60 accumulated over the last five years. My leg break video has generated a couple hundred dollars in ad revenue, but that’s on the homie’s channel. I sold the “I’ll Prove You Wrong Kid” clip to Rob Dyrdick for $500 though.
So you’re getting paid to blade, right?
Do you tell anyone you’re pro for YouTube?
No. *Laughs* Depending on the conversation I have with someone at the skatepark, I may write my YouTube URL (youtube.com/booter321) on a Shop-Task business card, or a Rollerwarehouse catalog. But more often they are simply interested in watching me break my leg.
When did you decide to make a video page and try to monetize your skating content?
Monetization was a fluke. I’ve been putting videos on YouTube since the Myspace days. I wasn’t eligible for monetization until the whole “I’ll Prove You Wrong Kid” thing took off. Even then, I didn’t really start to think about monetizing videos until about 2014. I’ve since retroactively monetized all of my eligible videos.
Are you ever sitting at home or work, kinda unmotivated, but make yourself go out and film because you know that a bs royale rewind could earn you enough for the Dollar Menu?
I have a terribly addictive personality. Inline skating has been my drug of choice for a long time. I can’t say that the pocket change is an incentive to film, but it kind of makes you look at the process differently. More on that below.
Kidding aside, the idea for this little Q&A was born from watching the diversity of edits you’re putting out. The Wizard frame edit for us. Off-road blade sessions. Regular rad street skating. And recently a very cool and pretty original “Downhill” edit. I don’t think I can name anyone that puts out as many varied video sections as you do. Can you?
I appreciate the kind words! Maybe Werbeski? He’s done some sick stuff with bigger wheels, and I think he was in that Powerslide SUV metroblade promo. I really enjoy inline skating, and I really enjoy making edits. I can’t take credit on the downhill part though, t’was entirely the work of Xmas.
What have you learned from crunching your numbers and contemplating the huge value of blade clips?
So many interesting facts. This might go long, and this isn’t just YouTube, but all of Social Media.
• Videos that Play automatically will get much more interaction than simply posting a YouTube link. Being a no-name, tall, dorky inliner, people don’t want to watch your videos. Problem is, you want to get ad revenue, right? Only way to do that is to direct them to your YouTube. So posting trailers on FB / Instagram, along with a link to the full part, seems to be the best way to increase conversion.
• Long grinds = Likes. For some reason, a simple frontside on a long balance bar will generate way more activity than some of the most difficult tricks I’ve ever done.
• Offroad tricks = Way more likes. By far the most successful thing (If you count Likes as success).
• An iPhone clip of a misty flip with generate more ad revenue than multiple montages of the entire Portland Scene.
• Ultimately, bad falls and terrible fails will be the most successful in all metrics.
So you’re saying that bladers should quit their jobs, drop out of school and flock to YouTube for the big money?
I think there has yet to be a super successful YouTube channel in the world of inline skating. Blade Archive is doing cool things, but it’s not original content. Mushroom Blading and AJ/Vlux/Street are the closest we’ve got I’d say. I think we are guilty of thinking in terms of edits/profiles/sections, whatever you want to call them. Personally, that is my favorite type of video to make. It’s what we all dreamed of having as children — a section in a video. But a channel about inline skating doesn’t have to be strictly sections, it could host informative videos (AMall trick tips, anyone?), how to pick out your first setup, park etiquette, etc. It’s just going to take someone wanting to regularly produce content.
As far as quitting your job/school… Fuck no! You want to get sponsored? Get a job! That shit is the best sponsorship you’ll ever have. You can’t buy a camera with a wheel discount, so how are you supposed to make your dope “support” video? It boils down to this: there are no sponsorship opportunities in aggressive inline skating that are worth pursuing. If you enjoy making videos, you are much better off doing it for yourself. No one will tell you to change the song, or to remove tricks they think are “whack,” or that you need to get a better camera. No one will buy your VOD, but if your video is sick, you just might make more money than you would’ve saved on that T-shirt.
Since you spend so much time of different sorts of blades, tell us about the good and bad of the various styles.
Anti-rocker is still my day-to-day setup. Great for grinding, solid for gaps, easy to cess slide. On the negatives, it just isn’t that fun to skate in. Slow and clunky. If I had to chose one setup for the rest of my life, it’d be this. But thankfully I don’t have to.
Wizards are a blast. The speed is incredible, and allows for some of the largest park-gaps I’ve ever done. The natural rocker makes turning a breeze, but it also makes flat landings a bit unstable and painful. Jumping into banks/slopes is an amazing feeling though. Minimal grinding ability is both a positive and negative. It’ll force you to skate the obstacle differently, and to think of new ways to use your skates, but with this newfound speed and turning ability you’ll want to haul ass at grinds. In general, a great addition to the arsenal.
Coyotes are fun, but terrifying. The ultra-high cuff and incredibly tall frames consistently give me worries of a snapped tib/fib. Dirt jumps are fun, but less forgiving than wood and concrete. One thing I didn’t realize about them until I rode a pair is how slow they are. You really have to pump if you want to clear a jump. Pneumatic tires do feel pretty cool underfoot, but ultimately this setup is a novelty. Dirt needs to be hard packed, so you’re almost better off taking the wizards to a bike park.
Thought about a Coyote setup with anti-rocker?
I had some drugged up local at Hood River tell me to take out the middle wheel on this year’s NWST trip. I think it would make rolling up jumps and bumps impossible, or just miserable. Maybe I’ll frontside a long rail in them for maximum likes.
Okay, okay… we’ll stop this crazy thing. Thanks for talking to us, thanks for making edits, and thanks for keeping it weird on the rollers. We can’t wait to see what you make next!
Thanks for listening to me rant! It’s only going to get weirder. Follow me on instagram @deadshred666, or dislike my videos on youtube.com/booter321.