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TopBuzz Creator Spotlight: Joshua Weidling’s ‘Digital Tour Bus’ Chronicles Musicians’ Lives On The Road

TopBuzz Creator Spotlight: Joshua Weidling's 'Digital Tour Bus' Chronicles Musicians' Lives On The Road

Welcome to TopBuzz Creator Highlight, the place we’ll be profiling a handful of notable creators who’re increasing their distribution prospects onto TopBuzz — a two-year-old content material aggregation app owned by Chinese language cellular big Bytedance. Even in a crowded platform panorama, TopBuzz provides discovery and income prospects that these creators describe as irrefutably additive. 


Like a number of center faculty college students, Joshua Weidling turned entranced by music throughout adolescence. Nevertheless, in contrast to lots of his contemporaries, Weidling had the preternatural gumption to pursue his ardour as a enterprise, selling native bands on MySpace and serving to garner buzz for a complete of roughly 80 stay exhibits all through his center and highschool careers — every of which, he says, was attended by roughly 200 followers.

In school, Weidling determined to additional these endeavors by launching a digital media enterprise that straddles the road between artist promotion and journalism. Thus, the idea of Digital Tour Bus was born — an internet collection that sees Weidling interviewing artists on their tour buses, asking them about all issues life on the street.

In roughly eight years, Weidling has amassed 130,000 YouTube subscribers — a feat he attributes to not any viral clips however to a machine-like consistency. We sat down with Weidling to debate how he has managed to amass a library of 5,000 interviews over the previous eight years, DTB’s numerous income streams, and why the Bytedance-owned information and content material aggregation platform TopBuzz has been a pure step within the enterprise’s rising distribution technique. Test it out under:

Tubefilter: How did the thought for Digital Tour Bus come to be, and the way many individuals are presently concerned with the operation?

JW: My identify is Joshua Weidling and I’m the founder and proprietor of Digital Tour Bus (DTB). I’ve been concerned in music since I used to be a junior in highschool. I began off by selling bands regionally, and ended up beginning DTB once I was a freshman in school. The idea got here collectively on account of my curiosity for a way bands stay on tour. I had achieved some analysis and located no media corporations doing some of these movies. After a yr of net improvement, content material creation, and promotion, I launched the web site in March of 2010.

At present, the DTB workforce is comparatively small. I schedule all the interviews and movie the movies myself — in addition to schedule, submit, and promote the movies on YouTube, Fb, Dailymotion, DigitalTourBus.com, and TopBuzz. I do have a small workforce of video editors that assist with the modifying of the movies.

TF: Do you’re employed full-time on DTB?

JW: This can be a aspect hustle. I gave myself three years after school to develop a following and discover alternative ways to monetize the enterprise. On the finish of the day, with DTB producing such area of interest content material, it’d be troublesome to show it right into a full-time gig.

It really works nice as a aspect hustle, although, and my expertise with YouTube and dealing with influencers helped me land my present job. In the course of the day, I work for the lads’s skincare model Tiege Hanley, handing all of its influencer advertising. Funnily sufficient, the corporate was co-founded by a reasonably large YouTuber — Aaron Marino, who goes by Alpha M, and whose recommendation movies have helped him amass over four.7 million subscribers.

TF: How do you identify which artists you’ll interview?

JW: That is certainly one of my favourite questions as a result of it’s such a combined bag. I sometimes movie with between 10 and 20 artists each month. Out of these, 1 / 4 come from publicists pitching me, the opposite 75% comes from the roughly 50 to 75 artists I’m actively in search of out each month. Since my interview requests are solely accepted between 10% and 20% of the time, it requires vital work on my finish. I figured this is able to solely get simpler as DTB has grown, however it actually hasn’t. I nonetheless discover myself preventing tooth and nail each month to get the most effective interviews that I can.

So far as the place the interviews are carried out, the overwhelming majority are filmed at music venues throughout the Chicago space, which is the place I’m based mostly.

TF: How did you handle to amass 130,000 YouTube subscribers?

JW: Consistency, consistency, and extra consistency. For the final 4 years, I’ve launched a minimum of one new video each single day. On the channel’s peak, I used to be releasing 25 movies each week. Presently, although, I submit two new movies day by day, which has enabled me to develop DTB’s YouTube channel at a comparatively constant fee of between 1,000 and three,000 new subscribers each month.

I’ve my justifiable share of well-performing movies (it’s sure to occur when you might have greater than 5,000 movies out there on-line), however none acquired all of their views in a single day. My video catalog fills a singular area of interest, which helps it get really helpful typically to followers of a specific artist.

Additionally, a part of the founding mission of DTB was to assist artists who’re simply beginning out. So in case you take a look at my movies, you will notice a ton of artists you’ve in all probability by no means heard of. This isn’t a mistake. I do my greatest to function up-and-coming artists, permitting my platform to have extra of a objective. If I’m being trustworthy, this in all probability has a destructive impression on my progress. I’m okay with that, although. I’d moderately construct a group of people that like discovering new artists.

TF: What has been your favourite interview thus far?

JW: After interviewing almost 2,000 artists, this can be a actually robust query. The one which all the time stands out to me is interviewing Kyle Prepare dinner from Matchbox Twenty. I grew up listening to the band and Kyle handled me very properly through the interview — plus, they have been enjoying to a bought out crowd of 15,000 that night time, which was simply so cool to see.

TF: Are there different elements to the Digital Tour Bus enterprise except for the YouTube channel?

JW: Through the years, income streams have come and gone. I actively reached out to the staff behind [now-defunct] Vessel, a startup from the previous Hulu CEO, earlier than they launched, and have become a part of the founding roster. I all the time attempt to maintain my ear to the bottom about new content material distribution alternatives, which is how I came upon about TopBuzz.

One other piece of the DTB puzzle consists of artists paying me to take heed to their music in change for suggestions and protection consideration. I’m no music skilled, however I do know what I like and have a platform to share new music. The largest platform that facilitates that is referred to as SubmitHub, which allows artists to submit their work on to bloggers  — after which allows these bloggers to monetize their platforms in a method that lets the music converse for itself.

TF: Why did you determine to create different recurring collection past the flagship tour bus interviews?

JW: Bus Invaders is the flagship collection with greater than 1,500 episodes the place we take followers contained in the buses of at this time’s touring bands and artists. We’ve filmed with the likes of Matchbox Twenty, Twenty One Pilots, G-Eazy, Megadeth, and Fifth Concord.

Gear Masters encompasses a musician or band — together with Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Newsboys, Judas Priest, and Rob Zombie — displaying off all the musical gear that they use onstage. Cooking At 65mph options an artist or band (Kimbra, B.o.B, Andy Grammer) getting ready a meal that they wish to make on tour. Different interview-style segments embrace Loopy Tour Tales, Dream Tour, First Live performance Ever, Pre-show Rituals, Tour Pranks, and Tour Ideas (Prime 5).

TF: What has your expertise been like on TopBuzz so far?

JW: I’m all the time in search of extra content material distribution alternatives, particularly on platforms that permit me to interact with viewers and don’t instantly compete with YouTube. TopBuzz fills that void completely. Not solely is there not a ton of crossover from my expertise, however there’s a comparatively lively feedback part, which permits me to interact with the viewers fairly a bit. I put a number of emphasis on engagement: I reply to just about each YouTube remark I get, in addition to each tweet, direct message, or touch upon any platform that DTB is lively on.

At present, DTB’s movies are distributed on YouTube, Dailymotion, Fb, and TopBuzz. Up to now, our content material was on Vessel and Vid.me — each of which not exist.

TF: What are your objectives for 2019?

JW: To maintain DTB on the identical trajectory that it has been for the previous 5 years — or higher. Some creators attempt for a viral video, however I attempt to offer DTB viewers persistently superior content material on a schedule that they will rely on.

It’s early within the yr, however I’m already making strides to streamline my workflow, which can unlock extra time for the enterprise whereas making an attempt to maintain a satisfactory work/life stability. I plan to do extra testing — particularly with strategic promoting — to assist reinvest extra earnings again into the channel by way of YouTube search advert campaigns.

Because it has been for the previous two years, the most important a part of my plan for 2019 is not any totally different: to launch two new movies each single day.


This Creator Highlight is delivered to you by TopBuzz. TopBuzz is a distribution platform that makes use of highly effective AI and algorithms to assist creators and publishers uncover new audiences for his or her content material. When you’re focused on monetizing your content material be a part of TopBuzz free of charge. Take the AI-powered app for a spin and see how your custom-made feed improves with each contact. Obtain TopBuzz for iOS or Android.

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