What makes James Corden’s content such a success?

James Corden and the executive producers of ‘The Late Late Show’ Ben Winston, Mike Gibbons and Rob Crabbe understand how creative content works. In 17 months his show’s YouTube channel has attracted 7 million subscribers and notched up 1.7bn views worldwide, while his Britney Spears Carpool Karaoke is set to become the 33rd YouTube clip from the show to hit 10m+ views. In other words they understand the workings of a good feature and the needs of the viewer. In a recent interview in the Guardian newspaper Corden revealed a key point that as a content maker you should revisit time and time again.

“There’s a great bit in that Jerry Seinfeld doc where someone asks him if being famous helps with doing standup and trying new material, and he says: ‘I get three minutes of good grace from an audience whereas someone else gets 30 seconds, “We very much felt that we just had 30 seconds. So we knew we had to put a stake in the ground early and go: ‘We are a show where people come and do stuff.’ 

He adds.

“I genuinely couldn’t tell you how many people watch our show, because I feel like in this slot we’re not really in the ratings business, we’re just in the relevance business. My major ambition is just to stay relevant.”

Corden’s features always have a simple premise. He always gets straight to the point and he hops on relevant zeitgeist news stories straight away, putting his unique spin on them.

Audiences don’t want to waste time. How much grace have you earned?

You can read the full interview here

Views expressed do not represent the view of RTÉ.

Radio, Snapchat and Instagram’s ‘Stories’

Recently I had a lengthily conversation with an experienced broadcaster who was surprised about the amount of attention certain snapchat influencers were getting and what did they had to do to increase their own views.

I politely suggested that why not try and do what worked for them on the radio. Why not be themselves and be completely open with the audience? For that’s why certain Snapchat stars are blazing a trail online.

Snapchat and now Instagram’s ‘Stories’ are truly a platform for authenticity. Just like radio it’s a real personal connection between you and the viewer. You can use cool filters and face changing accompanying apps but it’s real hook is that the content is ‘in the moment’ and then disappears. Listeners can get a real sense of a presenters life, a real relatable view and isn’t that what we strive for on-air?? It also doesn’t waste your time, one tap of the screen and you move to next snap. Like a good link you just get straight to the point.

To cut through on social you must speak in your true voice. Like radio the broadcasters who really stand out are those who put it all on the line. Are you willing to do that? Because if you are, you could be the next great radio star.

Views expressed do not represent the view of RTÉ. Photo by Maurizio Pesce

Malcolm Gladwell and the secret to interviewing

Recently I watched the most fascinating discussion on the rewards of curiosity with leading author now podcaster Malcolm Gladwell and Oscar winning film producer Brian Grazer.

The conversation uncovers an incredible insight into Gladwell’s approach to interviewing.

“As a journalist you mark the quality of the interview by how little you say, so if you’re constantly having to ask questions the interview is not going well. If you never say anything, it’s perfect.”

In other words don’t forget the power of listening. We can be thinking so far ahead of what the next question is going to be that we miss the potential gold on offer in that very moment.

In my podcast “The Outerview”  I explore what it takes to conduct the perfect interview from dissecting classic interviews to discussing techniques with some of the worlds leading journalists, writers & broadcasters.

You can listen to the archive at www.theouterview.com Photo credit: Pop!Tech

@alanswan

The Crystal Ball of Content

One of my favourite podcasts is “An Irishman Abroad” produced and presented by Jarlath Regan.

His recent interview with comedian Dylan Moran really struck a chord with me and revealed a wonderful obeservation of what content makers should be looking for when seeking inspiration on what to talk about, what to write about.

“The universals are indeed the universals. They apply everywhere. What obsesses everyone is the same stuff. You know what? The best guide to … if you’re thinking of … sitting around thinking about what to write about. What can I talk about? I mean the what is a lot less important than the how most of the time anyway, but you know what the stuff that gets people directly? Or what engages nervous people is? It’s everything that someone would go and ask a fortune teller about.

What are they gonna ask an old lady with a crystal ball in a tent? It’s love, family, health, death, illness…  They’re all the things that the big engines turning in people”

And it’s true. The primal topics of family, relationships, love, death can provide so much content. It’s a brilliant yet simple observation from Moran. So what would you ask a fortune teller? That question could provide you with the inspiration for your next big piece of content.

Jarlath Regan’s full podcast is available here. I recommend his conversations with writer Louise O’Neill, broadcaster Baz Ashmawy and sportsman Ronan O’Gara.

Picture: The Amazing Zoltar by Nancy – I’m gonna SNAP! https://flic.kr/p/pPFjYg