Ien Chi, creative director at Jubilee Media, a popular YouTube channel, spoke and held a Q&A at a Berkeley Forum event Feb.11.
Jubilee’s mission is to create thought-provoking, real and empathetic videos, according to the Jubilee website. Currently, it has more than 4 million subscribers and more than 750 million views across all of its videos.
“As a club, the Berkeley Forum is also interested in having mutual discourse, and so it was like having a discourse on discourse,” said Yannan Tuo, a member of the Berkeley Forum programming committee. “Jubilee shares a lot of similar perspectives, so it was really cool to have him up here and talk about his perspective.”
A Jubilee fan, Tuo said because YouTube content is meant to be “attractive,” she thought other students would enjoy hearing Chi speak.
Chi first talked about how social media platforms keep users coming back by optimizing engaging content. According to Chi, they do this by tracking engagement through likes, shares and comments of each video.
“What types of content gets the most engagement?” Chi asked during the event. “It tends to be loud, it tends to be controversial, it’s shocking — that’s what these platforms are kind of optimized for.”
Chi then spoke about Jubilee’s commitment to making its content simple so a vast number of people can understand and engage with its content.
Chi then compared creating videos and surfing to discuss how to produce content surrounding popular topics.
“If you’re being very present, and you’re being very attentive to what’s going on,” Chi said at the event. “You can naturally catch the waves of people’s attention.”
According to Chi, part of YouTube’s success is its effectiveness in breaking down barriers between the creator and the audience, and this “real connection” will be the future of media.
After his presentation, Chi answered questions from Berkeley Forum moderator and ASUC Senator Omotara Oloye as well as audience members. One question Oloye asked regarded oversimplification in Jubilee’s “Middle Ground” series, in which people on opposing sides of an issue discuss their perspectives.
“To be transparent, the conversations are two hours long, and we try to cut it down to 20 minutes or less,” Chi said at the event. “We can do a lot better job at that.”
He added that he wanted his directors to talk to more experts in the field so that they can better represent the issues discussed.
“I really liked it,” said campus junior Tiffany Chua, who said she is a fan of the channel. “I didn’t expect there to be so much thought behind each video and how they really want to connect with their viewers.”