Antler VC Cast Episode 2 - Creating content people care about with Nas Daily

In episode 2, we speak to Nuseir Yassin, also known as Nas Daily, founder and CEO of the Nas Company, which is well known for creating unique, entertaining and engaging one-minute videos. Nuseir is now based in Singapore and creates video content on everything from politics and travel to the environment and the pandemic. 

Our conversation covered the future of content creation, education, the thought process behind creating valuable content, and more. 

Some insights from our open, sometimes raw discussion: 

Thinking about content creation in a “forward looking” way

  • “It's going to be just individuals who are creating content for themselves and with a large following. So, who's actually doing the education for that future? Right now there aren’t many people doing that--like teaching people how to become YouTubers or how to become video makers, storytellers and podcasters. We want to do that.”
  • “In the future, universities taking so much money and so much of your time will not be tangible. I think that's going to be reduced. Universities, as we know, will morph into becoming more and more like academies - an academy for nursing, an academy for software engineering, an academy for media. So it's going to become like specific Harvards rather than one big Harvard.”

How Nas Studios videos created an edge 

  • “Nas Studios makes videos very fast, in lower quality but with better storytelling at a lower cost and for a lot of people. That’s the point of the studio. It's like a production house where hospitals, tech companies and tourism boards can create content for their companies that they otherwise wouldn't be able to create. We couldn't find video makers that did videos of our style. So we said, screw it, let's just build them!”

The care factor in video content 

  • “I cannot go and make a video about a table. I don't care about a  table. So you always must make videos about things you care about deeply.”
  • “The audience doesn't care about anything and it’s the content creator’s job to make them care.”

TikTok - fad or for keeps?

Puja: “So, it's interesting that you say you're not very bullish on TikTok and every day, I have an agency coming and telling me, your brand needs to get on TikTok. That is the future.The platforms seem to be divided generationally and Gen Z is really into TikTok. I'm wondering if this is all a fad and phase? What’s your view?”

Nas: “This is the metrics I use to judge. I ask myself, does this new product provide value or does it provide fun? So when Facebook came in, it provided fun. Poke, poke, but provided value. Now you're connecting with friends that you otherwise wouldn't be able to connect with. What did Vine provide from Twitter, derived value or fun? Six second video is dah, dah, dah, dah. That was more fun than value. I think fun is temporary.”

The thought process behind the Singapore Coronavirus viral video 

  • “What qualifies as good content or not? We say, has this been made before in the way we want to do it? Most of the time the answer is no so we do it. Like the Coronavirus video--we made a video about the Coronavirus and how Singapore fights it. A lot of people were creating content. Even the government was creating videos of how they are fighting Coronavirus. But, we felt the way they were doing it wasn't our style and we thought there's a need for something that is our style in that video for this topic.”
  • “So we created it and now it's like the most viewed video about Coronavirus out of Singapore, ever (over 32 million views).  Ours starts with entertainment, ends with entertainment, but in the middle of it is the value addition and it's comprehensive. We connected the pieces, put them together into one big video, and we thought that needed to exist. So those calculations happen every time.”

How to think about branding-personal or company first?

  • Jussi: “If you're doing B2B companies, you probably want to focus a bit more on the personal brand. If you're doing B2C, you really want the brand itself to be recognizable for the product. It's interesting actually. Virgin is a good example of something where Richard Branson has a super strong personal brand and then you have the Virgin brand that is incredibly strong as well.”
  • Nas: “What do you think he did first? Was it the personal or the company?”
  • Jussi: “Company first. What would his claim to fame be otherwise? It’s the true W-style attention. You went for both and I think it's awesome.”

Timecode highlights

[13:53] Nas shares the secret behind getting people to listen to what one has to say.

[17:40] Jussi and Puja share with Nas a humorous story about being called “ugly”.

[24:30] Is Tik Tok just a “Fad and Phase”? Or does it actually provide value to users?

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