Zack Scott has been part of the YouTube Partner Program since May of 2008. With over 229,000 subscribers, over 42 million upload views, Zack’s channel is the 73rd most-subscribed to comedian YouTube channel of all time. I had the opportunity to ask Zack some questions, including how he got into Web video, what it’s like being a YouTube Partner and what advice he would give to wannabe YouTube stars. Read on to find out more about Zack and what he had to say, and to see some of his best videos (including a hilarious video of a giant spider you definitely won’t want to miss!).
Before we get to my interview with Zack, let’s take a look at some of his work. Zack uploads videos to a variety of YouTube channels including his main channel; the Zack Scott Fun Club, which features vlogs, comedy, behind-the-scenes, bloopers and other random stuff; Zack Scott Pets, where Zack uploads videos of his beloved pets, Otto, Egon and Izzy; and Zack Scott Games, where he uploads videos of himself (and often his wife Ashley) playing and commenting on video games. He’s made a name for himself not only with his pet videos and video game videos, but also with his series of videos of giant spiders.
Zack tells me that one of the videos he is most proud of is this ‘Giant Kitchen Spider’ video, which has been viewed just over 1 million times. I have to admit that I was laughing hysterically throughout this whole video. It’s definitely worth taking a look.
Something that I found interesting was that Zack is catering to two separate audiences that seem to me to be on opposite sides of the spectrum – animal lovers and video gamers. I asked him what it’s like to cater to two different audiences. He told me, “A lot of YouTubers have been really successful by locking onto a niche, but I find it hard to do. I like to make a variety of videos and see how my viewers react to new content. I don’t want to seem conceited, but I think the key is that a sizeable portion of the viewers are there to see me, regardless if I’m doing a pet video, a spider video, or a game video.” He admits that it can be difficult bridging the different varieties of content. “On my ZackScott channel, some people complain no matter what I make. If I make a cat video, they’ll ask me where the spider videos are. If I make game video, they’ll ask where the cat videos are. It’s frustrating, but there is definitely a decent amount who like all or most of my content. I love that group.”
Zack also feels like he has to make a variety of videos because he doesn’t want to be known as just “the spider guy” or “the game guy”. “I want to be known as a real, awesome, hilarious guy, with funny ideas, thought-provoking commentary, and stylish looks that also makes entertaining videos.” I think it is admirable that Zack is sort of breaking from the norm, creating a whole variety of content instead of catering to a single niche. He has succeeded in gaining an audience and fan base doing what he loves. And lets face it – everyone loves cute pet videos, from gamers to spider lovers and everyone in between.
But wait, we’re getting a head of ourselves. Let’s go back and see how Zack first got into the world of online video. He told me, “I’ve used the Internet as a creative outlet since I first got it as a teenager. My entry into the online video world was simply the next step. Deep down, I wanted to be some sort of entertainer. In Junior High my friend Brock Wood and I would write ridiculous fiction and send it out via AOL. In High School, my friend Samuel Seide and I would do ridiculous rap music and distribute it via the now defunct mp3.com. In college, I focused on maintaining a personal photo blog and blog site. Soon after, podcasts became popular, and I realized that online video would be the next big thing.”