Netmums founder Siobhan Freegard has today launched Channel Mum, the UK's first multi-channel YouTube network for motherhood vloggers and mum-focused creators, and announced a pilot collaboration with Panasonic.
Hoping to capitalise on the trail blazed by teen YouTube stars, the channel aims to target the YouTube-savvy millennial mums by presenting the honest face of parenting, while connecting young mothers watching the content with the brands they like.
As part of a collaboration with Panasonic, Channel Mum will also give emerging mummy talent the chance to find their vlogging voice. A hundred mums will be selected to receive peer mentoring, £1000 cash and the latest digital camcorders and kit to start their vlog.
Mentors include former Heat editor Julian Linely and celebrity blogger and author Giovanna Fletcher, wife of McFly’s Tom Fletcher.
The launch of the network follows a sharp rise over the past 12 months in the number of mums posting vlogs on YouTube, which are attracting significant views. According to figures released today by Channel Mum, December 2014 alone saw the top 15 UK channels for mums upload more than 50 hours of content, gaining over 13 million views.
The team, which also includes former We Are Social director Clementine Hancox, will work with brands to activate their mum-targeted marketing through online video partnerships with Channel Mum community members.
Founding partner of Channel Mum, Siobhan Freegard, has stepped down from her role as a director at Netmums to take on this new project.
She said, “With advertising spend on video dramatically increasing year-on-year, we know the demand is there from brands to reach this important demographic through video. Lots of attention has been given to younger vloggers and their teen audiences. But we’re also seeing marked growth in video creation and viewing among mums.
“Mums don’t want to listen to a man in a business suit forcing his way through the door at a toddler group setting out his wares and telling them why they should buy his product but we are genuinely interested in products because we’re the ones who buy them.
“Mums buy 85 per cent of the products in a supermarket. Mums are the decision makers in the household. Mums decide everything. Millennials particularly, we know, engage with brands. We know that they follow them on twitter. But we know that they read reviews online from blogs rather than going to company websites to read the company jargon about their products. They want to hear it authentically.
“So I think there is an amazing opportunity for brands to do something much, much bigger. If brands engage with us and with the vloggers then they will be able to engage the audience because the bloggers are the people that other mums trust, that they build a relationship with.”
Established YouTube creators whose content is aimed at mums will be given support by Channel Mum to develop and grow, with access to the Channel Mum community and mentors, as well as benefiting from introductions to and partnerships with major brands.
Channel Mum has also released the Vlog 15, based on a proprietary algorithm developed to profile the 15 mum creators who scored highest in November and December 2014 for reach & engagement on YouTube. The index will be released once a month to show which channels are performing best, offering brand owners and agencies a unique insight into the parenting landscape on YouTube.