You might not recognise the name Nadav Ossendryver, but you’ve probably seen one of his videos at some point in the not-too-distant past.
Pretty much every time we feature a wildlife video from the Kruger National Park (here, here, here and here, for example), it comes from Latest Sightings, or Kruger Sightings as the channel is now called.
Nadav started the channel eight years ago when he was just 15, and earlier this week it became the first South African YouTube channel to reach a billion views.
Gadget with the story of his rise to success:
This week, [the channel] reached a billion views, a landmark that only the world’s elite YouTubers can claim. It has 1.44-million subscribers, also placing Ossendryver among the global leaders on the platform.
Yet, for the first few years, he was happy to have just a few hundred followers.
“When I first started, I really only focused on the Kruger National Park,” he said in an interview this week. “Right now, we are starting to establish communities in various reserves. But at the time, I didn’t think anyone else was as obsessed with Kruger as me, let alone obsessed enough to follow other complete strangers’ sightings.
“So the last thing I expected was to get an audience of over 1-million people. In the first year, we only gained around 100 subscribers. The next year was very similar. So it was very much about perseverance and the fact that I loved what I was doing.
“However, as soon as I went to the park and used the sightings from the community, I had a feeling that this idea could really grow.”
Essentially, Nadav’s desire to see the channel grow came from simply wanting to see more animals himself, as well as having a pretty thorough work ethic.
Again, from Gadget:
“I think that I have two great assets,” he says. “Firstly, I am the biggest user of my own app and I am part of my community. I think that the fact that I use the sightings service, which ultimately is the driver of the YouTube channel, helps me know what would make the community happier and thus make meaningful changes that drive growth.
“Secondly, I have the drive to find easier ways of doing things when they seem impossible. I see so many people stick to the status quo and not think out the box. For example, I didn’t have money initially to start an app or pay for advertising.
“So I just used YouTube to learn how to develop the first app, and I then used social media to reach the right audience, all for free. I’m not scared to experiment, where I find that a lot of people are scared to do so.”
Among his friends, Ossendryver is notorious for working through the night to solve a specific problem or challenge that prevents him from adding new functions or features to his app.
You can check out his app here.
I think we can add another factor in here – nature is the best content creator of all.
Yeah, your unboxing video of your new toy is cool, and I like your cleverly-edited video of some far-flung corner of the globe, but don’t we all want to watch a battle between impala, wild dogs, a hippo and a crocodile whilst sat at our desk?
It’s living vicariously through those who were lucky enough to visit the park and see something incredible, and props to Nadav for finding the perfect way to make that resonate with so many people.
To finish, here’s the channel’s latest video, showing a snake / frog battle with only one winner:
[imagesource: Alon Skuy] Even if you only have the most passing interest in what's happ...
If you think that visiting a wine farm with the current ban on alcohol sales and on-site c...
[imagesource: Getty Images] Each Monday, I’ll be putting together a wrap of the weeke...
[imagesource:here] For many people, 2020 was the year that everything fell apart. Fi...
[imagesource: Property24] Before we take a look at this palatial Constantia home, let's...