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Last sync:2018-05-02 23:00
Michael Buckley, host of "What the Buck," YoutTube's most successful pop-culture show talks with Shira Lazar about VidCon, Success on YouTube, and his method for making content.
Shira: Hey, Shira Lazar coming to you from VidCon with Michael Buckley, WhatTheBuck, what's up?  

Michael: What the Buck?  What the Shira?  What's going on?

Shira: What the everyone?

Michael: I love your microphone.  It's almost sparkly.

Shira: It's very sparkly.  It's hardcore.  So, you just spoke at VidCon.

Michael: I did, I literally just came off the stage and it was such an adrenaline rush, it was so exciting, I just, I loved it.  It's, you know, when you make internet videos, you have, you know, very little human contact almost, so it's nice to see the audience in person and, you know, feel the love and I mean, honestly, it was such a wonderful experience.  I can't even explain it.  So I'm glad you--it's like you're getting me in the after thing, I think we should have a cigarette and like, you know, cuddle.  Spoon me.

Shira: I'm feeling the cuddle, the positive energy here.

Michael: I know, oh my God.

Shira: See, we're getting everyone right when they come off stage and--

Michael: I know, it's great, it's just like, it was like a big hug.  It was like a room full of hugs and I just, I'm so excited to be here for the weekend and meet people and I might cry.  I'm not gonna cry right now but I might cry later.

Shira: You'll cry.

Michael: I might cry a little.  You know what, there's a 12 year old girl, I was saying that, a 12 year old girl who made me a picture that's hanging in my room and she came up to me and said, "I'm Hannah.  I made you that picture," and I wanted to cry, 'cause I'm like, you're the girl who I l--I see that picture every day, the fact that she made this for me and it was so thoughtful, it was a picture of my house, my dogs, it was so sweet and personal, and the fact that at 12, she'd said to her parents, "Can I go to VidCon and meet these people?" and I just--I could cry.  I just, I'm so moved by it.

Shira: No, it's interesting, because I think a lot of us thought there were just going to be content creators here, but a ton of fans are here, too.

Michael: It seems more fan-ish, yeah, there's tons of people, 'cause, you know, it's a great, you know, opportunity to meet all your favorite YouTubers in one place, so I wouldn't miss it, you know, if I wasn't here speaking, I'd be here attending and going to meet them all and you know, taking pictures, 'cause, you know, these are my people.  

Shira: What kinds of words of wisdom did you share with all the fans today?

Michael: I think that the thing about something like YouTube is, and I said, "It's community and it's consistency," if you're gonna make online video, it has to be consistent, you can't post a video and, you know, on June 1st and be like, that was a great video, I'm tired, I'll post one again maybe in July.  I mean, pretty much anybody who's successful on YouTube has a set schedule and so their subscriber base and their audience has an expectancy, so consistency and community.  There's very few YouTubers or anybody in online video who can be successful without a large group of people around them, promoting them, supporting them, nurturing them, and that's what we all have, we have other YouTubers who support and Tweet and Facebook and help us get the word out about our videos, 'cause it's, you know, that's what it is, it's community.  

Shira: Well, it's non-stop, so do you ever get tired?  Do you ever just wanna disconnect?

Michael: N--if I disconnect, it's fora coup--I'm fine.  I'm used to it.  I've been doing this for four years, and I can take a day off, I can take a week off, I tend to work a day and then take the next day off completely.  So I'll post a video, you know, day on, work all day, and then I'll take the next day off.  Uh-oh, we're screaming.

Shira: There's a lot of screams going on here.  

Michael: I'm so excited.  I don't know, but it was a very exciting moment.  Aaah!  I feel like I should scream, too.  

Shira: So tell people your story that when you discovered YouTube and you were just like, I'm gonna put up a video and just talk about entertainment.  

Michael: I was doing a local public access show in 2005 and I didn't know--I didn't even have high speed internet, I knew nothing about YouTube, and then in the summer of 2006, my cousin posted one of those videos, and he just kept posting them, like, little segments.  I didn't know what he was doing, and then I had One Hit Video in November, and 200,000 people saw it, and I flipped out.  I just thought, oh my God, there's a large group of people out here potentially.  So then, by January of '07, I was making five videos a week, and that was it, and then by September of '08, I was generating revenue and quit my job, and this is all I've been doing since September of 2008, full-time YouTuber. 

Shira: Wow, so it's possible to make money and this just be your entire career.

Michael: It is, and it's crazy, 'cause I was at an event at the end of 2008, and I said I make a living doing this, and the room like, burst into applause, 'cause they couldn't believe it, but now, there's thousands of people making, you know, very big money just off YouTube, so it's crazy.  It's very exciting.  

Shira: Yeah, but you're very outspoken about it.  Some people don't want people to know that they make money on YouTube.

Michael: It's funny, you know, I think I'm 35, I think a lot of them are like 19, 20, maybe they didn't have a job before and they didn't realize how difficult it is to make money, or maybe, you know what I'm saying?  Or also they don't wanna, like, upset their fanbase, but the truth is, everybody's making--the top people are all making a lot of money, and the--some of them are very shy about it, but it's the truth.  

Shira: Just be honest, about being authentic.  

Michael: Put it out to the universe.  Don't be like, 'Oh, I'm poor, I can't afford a camera.'  Don't lie to your audience.  

Shira: So what process--every morning you wake up at like, what time, and then you go through the stories?

Michael: Yeah, I mean, I tend to--it's kinda like the night before, I'll kind of make an outline of like, what I'm gonna talk about, and I'll start to script, and then I, you know, and then that morning, I just--I script, and then I film one take, I edit, and then I post, and then that's it.  I used to pre-tape a lot, like every--but then I just--I would like, try and do 2 or 3 at a time, but it just became too much, so now I'm more on a every other day, like I'm writing/filming, I'm posting, take the day off, rest, write/film/post, take the day off/rest, that's the--that's what I'm trying to do lately.

Shira: So what does the future hold for you in YouTube?

Michael: I hope that--I hope just more success, I hope more views, I hope more subscribers, I hope more content, you know, I hope to see--continue in the increased revenue and more sponsorships and just, I'm enjoying life, that's it.  

Shira: And you're gonna bring it beyond to another screen to maybe traditional media or?

Michael: I think the thing is, if traditional media makes the right offer and the right opportunity presents itself, I would--I'd be certainly happy to say yes, but right now, everything is so wonderful, so I'm just enjoying every moment.

Shira: Enjoy the moment, and I'm enjoying the moment with you, Michael.

Michael: Yaaaay.

Shira: Alright, bye.

Michael: Bye.

Shira: Nice seeing you.

Michael: What the Buck!