Zygo Media is a gaming-focused video and production company based in the United Kingdom. The company’s most notable work includes creating and managing content for Twitch streamer TimtheTatMan’s YouTube channel, Overwatch League’s Houston Outlaws, the decentralized cryptocurrency NoFriendlyFire, and esports organization Defy Gaming.
To learn more about the work Zygo Media produces and get to know the brains behind the operation, Pipeline spoke with founder Gareth Harry.
What prompted you to build Zygo Media?
My co-founder [Rhys John] and I got together and were looking at ways to expand our current agency’s offerings and operations. We had a video editor from a prior project on payroll, so that gave us the excuse to look at the wider industry and find a gap in the market. That’s when we identified a lot of streamers had a presence on Twitch, but weren’t leveraging their audience to further their monetisation channels. Sure, they had Twitter and Facebook pages, but [those are] notoriously harder to monetize than YouTube, so that kind of sealed the deal for us and Zygo Media was born!
What is your goal for Zygo Media? How do you see your company’s role changing and expanding in the near future?
The primary goal of Zygo as a brand is to help as many streamers as we can monetize their audience outside of their stream by creating awesome, engaging content for loyal fanbases, [including the fanbases] of some of the biggest influencers in gaming.
As for how I see our company expanding, I think as the battle of streaming platforms continues between four of the world’s biggest companies, we’re going to see many other verticals that can be monetized alongside those. We’ve already begun adapting to the variety of different platforms available to influencers for secondary monetisation, such as Facebook (with your very own StoneMountain64!), YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.
Favorite part about your job?
Helping streamers and content creators realise the potential of their content on platforms they’re not familiar with, will never get old for me. The shock factor when they realise the revenue they were missing out on is priceless.
What is the biggest mistake you see creators make when publishing content?
There are two key mistakes that we see. I’ll try and break them down a bit here.
Consistency. Whether it’s one video a week, or one video a day, having a schedule that you stick to is extremely important for both yourself and your viewers. It’s easier for people to form habits around viewing your content, and it’s easier for you to form habits around creating content if you have [set] days and times that you release new videos.
“VoD to Video” will inhibit your growth on YouTube. What I mean by this, is that we see a lot of influencers upload full VoDs straight from their chosen streaming platform to their YouTube channels, unedited. This results in tens, maybe hundreds, of videos that are an hour, or even hours, long. When deciding which videos to recommend or rank for search terms, YouTube’s algorithm factors in view percentage and engagement, both of which are diminished when videos are extremely long.
What advice do you have for streamers new to content creating?
Keep things simple. There are a few general rules to follow when creating content specifically for YouTube. Starting out, stick to simple highlights; don’t worry about animation or over editing things. Just keep it clean with simple cuts and you’ll be off to a good start. Secondly, aim to keep your videos at least 10 minutes long, but under 15 minutes. This seems to be the sweet spot for YouTube. Lastly, royalty free music - my best recommendation for this [in the context of video editing and production] would be Epidemic Sound. It’s cheap, very easy to use and has an extremely extensive library.
When do most creators look for help from Zygo? Is it once they’re already big? When do you recommend they look to you for help?
Firstly, I’m in the Pipeline discord and I’m always happy to answer any questions and give advice in the #editors channel. Just @ me and when I’m at my PC, I’ll shoot you a reply!
However, it’s usually in between. If you’re just starting out, it’s going to be very hard to see an ROI [return on investment] working with a company like us. But if you’re somewhat established and creating content for platforms outside of your stream is starting to be a detriment to the time you’re able to commit to streaming, then that’s when we can be of help. The beauty of our service is that we take care of everything, from the sourcing of the content, to the uploading & optimization and promotional materials, leaving the streamers time to focus on their stream and create more content.
What are some interesting trends you see in the content market atm? What do you wish you could see more of?
Fortnite is still growing; streamers like Timthetatman, SypherPK, Courage, Nickmercs, Ninja, dakotaz, etc. are still able to maintain growth through Fortnite content. The searchability of updates and patches play a pivotal part in this. For example, the day of writing this is the 14th August; tonight there will be a significant amount of ‘reaction’ videos to the 10.10 Fortnite Patch, [so] those videos will do very well. Timing means a lot and so does being on trend with your ears to the ground. You can do this regardless of your size!
GTA has seen a huge downward trend. This is likely due to the fact the big streamers jumped on it earlier in the year, causing an inflated spike, and it is now leveling out to a more sustainable level on YouTube. Twitch is still great for it; a lot of the people who rode the wave (and were there from early on in GTA RP!) have still managed to maintain a really strong viewerbase on Twitch.
We’re actually producing a white paper hopefully towards the end of 2019 with a bunch of research we’ve been doing into streamers, habits, growth factors, thumbnails and a bunch of other SEO-type [search engine optimization] factors to do with organic growth. This may help lay a blueprint for upcoming streamers and creators to take their YouTube-specific content creation game to the next level!
Now for some more fun and personal questions. Favorite game and streamer?
Favourite game… Right now, probably Battalion 1944. All time favourite game, probably World of Warcraft. That game kick started my career and I met so many incredible people while playing that I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.
Favourite streamer… I’m going to have to exclude all our clients from this - can’t be seen choosing favourites ;) I don’t know if I could choose one, so I’ll give you my top five: Asmongold, Trillebartom, Destiny, B0aty and Dr. Lupo.
Thank you for your time!
This interview has been edited for grammar and clarity.
Keep an eye out here every Monday for future posts on video editing and for more interviews.