If there’s a meme that’s been repeated even twice online, there’s a solid chance that Ben Huh, CEO of the I Can Haz Cheezburger media empire, has tried to build a brand around it. And a few weeks ago, Huh and his team began a pilot program structured around one of the web’s older fads: slow-motion video.
Currently only directing to a new YouTube partner account, SuperSweetSlowMo.com is the network’s first all-original content channel, so far featuring four videos of slow-motion action, such as the below faceoff between plastic army men and fire, filmed at 600 frames per second (seriously, kids, don’t try this at home).
Of course, while currently the only videos up are created by the Cheezburger team, the goal is to get audience contributions as well, similar to how other network sites like I Can Has Cheezburger and FAILblog operate.
While slow-motion videos have been wowing web audiences for years, Huh believes that it’s only now that the consumer has access to cameras that accurately capture it. “Slow-motion technology is just now coming into consumer capability,” he said via phone. “A lot of people can afford to play around with this technique — we’re basically creating a framework for them to say ‘oh, I could try that at home.'”
For these videos, the team acquired the consumer-oriented Casio Exilim camera (which proudly advertises its high-speed capabilities — warning, unpauseable auto-playing video), and also has plans to create how-to content for newcomers to shoot in slow motion.
Without any promotion beyond mention on other Cheezburger network YouTube channels, SuperSweetSlowMo has racked up about 66,500 views and 23,500 subscribers. There won’t be a website built until there are at least 10 to 20 pieces of content to feature, though — and all the content will be video content, as opposed to the other sites’ mix of photos and video.
In an interview last year, just after Cheezburger had begun utilizing its YouTube presence, Huh stated that their approach would be to use YouTube data in order to curate the best content for the blogs. Nowadays, though, YouTube has become a major traffic driver to the sites, with the network’s combined video views — including white-label provider Viddler and other distribution sites — topping 100 million every month, including 150 million views in December alone.
As detailed in January’s Wired, Huh will often try out site ideas based on memes before shutting them down if they don’t work out, but SuperSweetSlowMo will get “several months” to find an audience due to how different it is for the network. When asked about potential cross-promotion with other Cheezburger networks, he acknowledged the possibility, saying “We’ll have to go find some fast cats.”
Related GigaOm Pro Content (subscription required): New Use For Web Stats: Finding Hot Markets, Offline