Inside the content factory behind ‘The Tonight Show,’ which just hit 30 million subscribers on YouTube


Friday, August 12, NBC The show tonight jimmy fallon reached a late-night television milestone — though this one isn’t tied to ratings or any of the traditional measures of success one might associate with a linear television schedule. The show tonight, in fact, just hit 30 million subscribers on YouTube, becoming the first late-night show to break that bar amid the digital ground game and 24/7 rush, for the online mindshare that now consumes every late night TV host. As well as the creative teams around them.

For a late-night show like Fallon’s, there’s the show viewers see on TV – in which he jokes, for example, with guests like Madonna and Kate McKinnon as he did this week , and performs tunes as his regular segment of thank you notes. And then there is the work that takes place every day behind the scenes, supervised by The show tonight Chief Digital Officer Nick Dyer.

Amass 30 million YouTube subscribers (CBS’ The Late Late Show with James Corden isn’t far behind, with over 27 million at the time of this writing) is a byproduct of, for Team Fallon, a creative and content operation that essentially splits the day into two halves. By working around the clock to get all the major platforms fed with show clips, original content and more, it’s helped transform The show tonight into a digital content creation machine – in addition to its YouTube record, by the way, Fallon’s is also the most-watched American talk show on TikTok, with more than 12 million followers there.

Dyer explained to me how The show tonight the digital team works around the clock to support the show and Fallon, with part of the team working one shift in the morning before the show and then the second shift after taping the show – when this team is focused on delivering content the rest of the night. During this time, he also underlined the importance of Fallon at the center of the whole enterprise, with the creative team both taking input from the host and keeping his voice and image in mind, while Fallon of course also brings some comedic/variety background to the table.

“Overseeing all of our social media channels is a very difficult task, and of course there are also the table stakes – every segment is uploaded to YouTube and,” Dyer said, adding that full episodes, for example, also come out on Peacock. .

“But where it gets harder is figuring out what those ‘moments’ are that our fans are going to gravitate towards. And how do you cut the show for all those different platforms. Plus, the different formats and the different time restrictions — when it comes to, for example, Instagram Reels vs. TikToks — and finding the best moments to stream from the show.

Instagram and TikTok, as you can imagine, are where the show directs the lion’s share of its creative energy and original digital content efforts. The morning I spoke with Dyer, in fact, the show had just hit 12 million followers on TikTok (“It’s become a beast for us”). The show tonight The TikTok account includes interviews, show clips and interpretations of TikTok trends – as well as celebrity guest appearances like Stranger Things’ Noah Schnapp and Maya Hawke.

They appear in particular Tonight’s show Late June TikTok which has attracted over 44 million viewers so far – the show’s most watched TikTok.

“Whenever a great guest comes in, the same way the segment producers talk to them about how the interview is going to go, we talk and work very closely with Jimmy and the producers, the writers, the hairstylists and makeup artists and everyone at show how we can showcase creative ideas as well,” Dyer continued.

Speaking of Dyer, he’s an Emmy Award-winning producer who oversees a six-person crew at The show tonight who manages digital content, strategy and production for the longest-running talk show in television history.

Since Dyer joined the show’s team in 2021, the show’s online audience has added more than 17 million new total followers across Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and TikTok. This represents over 30% growth in the show’s digital reach in just over a year.

For another example of how this effort extends to both the show itself and Dyer’s team, Fallon did a bit in one of his recent monologues – joking that the stranger things villain Vecna ​​is so big he now has his own TikTok account.

You can probably guess where this is going.

“We took it to the next level and decided to create a TikTok account for Vecna ​​- it’s @vecnalicious86,” Dyer told me. “We’ve now shot over 20 pieces of content with our Vecna, and the account has over 526,000 subscribers, which is just crazy to see.

“I think it’s about reaching as many potential fans and viewers as possible, so we see our guests and the content we produce with them as a bridge to their audience. Ultimately, our goal is to convert them into new Jimmy fans and The show tonight – or, at the very least, reach them in the hope that we stay ahead, in whatever form.


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