The COVID-19 pandemic has redefined how the sports and entertainment industry works. Professional leagues have halted the seasons or delayed the opening, while WWE pre-recorded the WrestleMania event without a live audience. However, others are using this time to find new ways to keep their passions like gaming and their employers working while satisfying fans.
Preston Arsement, known professionally as YouTube’s’ PrestonPlayz, ”Used this time to refocus on his gaming content and bring his brand back to what first made him popular on the streaming platform.
“It’s about creating content at a time when people need it most,” he said. “It is going well and the audience has doubled.”
Arsement, 25, started streaming at age 14 with popular shooter video games such as “Call of Duty” and “Fortnite”. However, he developed his niche by playing the kid-friendly, open world game ‘Minecraft’. He operates seven YouTube channels, has earned five billion views and earns $ 14 million in annual revenue. He is the CEO of TBNR, which stands for ‘the best never rest’.
Last year, he started streaming less on the video game side and began to focus more on his popular in-real-life (IRL) channel, where audiences see a playful side of him, including family-friendly jokes and challenges with other famous YouTube personalities.
“Making a real video is like making a mini video game,” he said.
As states and local governments post stay-ups across the country, Arsement has shifted its strategy to not only experiment with new content its audience needs, but to escape the real world.
“With a team of 25, I still want to spread content during a pandemic while keeping employees away from risk,” he said.
Arsement acknowledges the challenges, but welcomes the new standard behind the reality of the corona virus. Some of this new content includes partnering with other YouTubers to provide game content, repurpose existing videos to create new content, and create similar IRL videos, but with a gaming twist. He pumps out about six videos a week through his channels.
“It’s a good time to capture new content,” he said. “It was really nice.”
He has also created video challenges that raise money for charities such as the World Health Organization, Meals on Wheels and local organizations in the Dallas area.
The public has enjoyed the content so far. It has been wild, ” he said.
He is optimistic about how this new reality will make his team less dependent and more efficient. So far he was right: his viewership has grown to 50% and brand deals continue to pour in.
Brands have also continued to work with him on creating new content and using existing content.
“Brands are excited about the content we come up with,” he said. “They can ship products [merchandise] and adapt to the new creative ideas my team comes up with. ”
Arsement wants to keep pace. He is hiring a number of editors and a social media manager to join his team and continue this momentum.
“The videos we made have grown and grown,” he said. “I don’t see it slowing down.”
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