Streaming has become a large part of our lives. And it’s not only Gen. Z and Millennials making the content we’re consuming. Gen. X and Boomers are getting in on the action in record numbers. The crowd gathered at the Hilton Galleria 6 on Friday afternoon was a testament to that. The Digital Track had to turn away attendees due to the room being at capacity.
The panel “How Do You Do Fellow Kids? Thriving On Streaming Media After 40” featured moderator Bobby Blackwolf and speakers Rob Roberts, Faydra Black, Clint McElroy, Justin McElroy, and Todd Cochrane. Subjects discussed ranged from how the guests tailor their content to other age groups, finding an older audience, why they continue streaming, and more.
The first question the panelists tackled was how to tailor their shows to other age groups. Everyone agreed that the primary thing is not to talk down to the younger audience members. Statements such as, “You have it so easy these days,” and “Back in my day,” tend to be off-putting to viewers. In a medium where one of the biggest goals is to foster interaction, you don’t want to alienate half of your audience. Another answer that resonated with the panel was to show authenticity. Don’t try to act or pass yourself off as younger. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. The panel also agreed that finding out where the audience is, i.e. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, etc. is very important to connect with potential listeners.
Next was the subject of finding an older audience and reaching out to them. Finding what people are into, for example, Lego, cooking, and art is a good place to start. Since you can find nearly every genre on Twitch, you can also find your audience there. Visit other platforms and encourage people to check something out with you, similar to a watch party. Be the “middleman.” One suggestion was to build a brand on a personal website and then point to all the places your audience can find you on that site. The panelists also warned against keeping everything on one platform. Try to be platform agnostic and diversify to multiple platforms as best as you can because you’ll lose everything if you keep it all in one place.
When asked why they still stream, each panelist had their own reasons. From unique life experiences to wanting to make someone’s day better, the panelists each had a unique take on the streaming genre and community. They also largely agreed that it’s fun to stream and as soon as it’s no longer fun, they’ll stop.
One audience member asked the panel how the creators find time to stream. All the panelists agreed that streaming is a commitment. Taking time for one’s self to put towards something you’re passionate about is difficult, but it is worth it.
Another audience member was curious as to how the panelists deal with the potential volatility of platforms. Again, going back to being platform agnostic and streaming on multiple platforms can save you. A great bit of advice was to go ahead and stake your claim to your name on any new platforms that come out. Even if you don’t end up using it, at least someone else can’t take it and harm your brand.
The last question presented to the panelists asked how they deal with their archives. With years of content sitting out there, how do you handle it? Because the content can be old and out of date, including a disclaimer with a statement at the beginning of the stream that the information in the following stream is from X number of years ago, might help with obsolete terminology and subjects that might be considered problematic or taboo today. Speaking of archiving, if you wish to catch this panel, you can find it on YouTube after the close of Dragon Con!