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Susan's 5 questions for Sleepground

For APAHM, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki chats with South Korean Minecraft creator Sleepground on her adoption of the latest YouTube tech and trends.

Susan: Minecraft content has changed so much over the years since you first started your channel in 2014. Now it’s an immersive storytelling experience with global momentum. When Minecraft hit one trillion views last year, you were featured in YouTube’s video marking the milestone! You recently hit 2 million subscribers — how have you evolved your content as your audience has grown?

Sleepground: It’s always been an exciting journey to try new formats in line with the growth of subscribers to my channel. I first started my channel by uploading videos of simply playing the basics or pre-existing scenarios on Minecraft. But through the years, we’ve been able to achieve so much more. With our in-house production team, we’ve increased the number of videos on detective and original stories that would add emotional attachment and excitement to viewers.

Thanks to the growing number of unique content, my subscribers and viewers are now going beyond just watching videos to creating an active fan community to show so much love for our channel!

Susan: You’ve been using Shorts to connect with new audiences. Do you have a separate content strategy for Shorts? And how do you use Shorts to drive viewers to your channels?

We try to close the gap between short- and long-form videos on the channel by re-editing some aspects of the full video in Shorts.”

Sleepground: With a strong fan base, first time viewers may find it difficult to understand some elements of our content and this is where we utilized YouTube Shorts.

With Shorts, we’ve tried to focus on the themes that will draw the attention of an average Minecraft gamer, but also consider user reactions and latest YouTube trends to quickly reach a wider and diverse audience. At the same time, we try to close the gap between short- and long-form videos on the channel by re-editing some aspects of the full video, such as key highlights or fun clips, in Shorts.

Susan: You recently participated in YouTube’s Shopping pilot, selling merchandise related to your Minecraft stories, 3 Days. I heard you completely sold out in the first 20 minutes! How did you choose and design products to sell on your livestream? And what was the Shopping experience like with your fans?

Sleepground: Due to Covid-19 restrictions, we had fewer opportunities to meet and interact with fans offline, and I kept asking myself what I could do to restore this bond. Then at the end of last year, I saw some creators successfully gaining momentum in commerce promotions through YouTube live shopping pilots. I knew that my fans and subscribers would also love to buy our merchandise and thought this would be a great collaboration opportunity!

Unlike my previous experiences, my fans have greater trust because they’ve used [YouTube's] live shopping feature to purchase it seamlessly on the very platform where the content is being uploaded.”

Unlike my previous experiences, my fans have greater trust in the merchandise because they’ve used the live shopping feature to purchase it seamlessly on the very platform where the content is being uploaded. I am grateful that the goods that I designed based on our videos have been received well by fans bringing much positive impact to our commerce opportunities. I was also excited that there has been an increased level of interest in the 3 Days series which was mentioned in the livestream. The whole experience was a win-win for all.

I know that other creators too are really interested in this successful and fun feature. Along with live shopping, I also look forward to YouTube’s efforts to bring in other new livestream features!

Susan: You've led a crew of Minecraft content creators for years. After years of working together, they must be in tune with their characters. How do you work as a team and plan out content together with creators who come from different backgrounds?

Sleepground: While stories and rules are key aspects in preparing gaming videos, what’s most important is to have the players who can lead the story well. What I have learned while working with my crew members is that it’s not just about appearing on Sleepground TV, but making sure that each crew can create their own unique content and strengthen their bond with fans based on the content.

It’s also important that we respect each others’ roles to create the synergy we have as a team.


Susan: We’re excited to see what lies ahead for your channel. Can you share with us any plans for future projects?

Sleepground: As we mentioned earlier, I would like to create more successful cases with YouTube live shopping. I think this will open up so many opportunities for creators as popular brands collaborate with them to reach a wider range of users on YouTube.

Based on our production team’s years-long experience, we look forward to creating more diverse content in games, in addition to Minecraft in Korea, for the global audience. We’re planning to launch a new gaming channel without language barriers that we hope will be received well globally.