A Look into The YouTube Star by a Confused Person

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Welcome back to the randomness people! What is on my mind at the end of the first month of 2016?

Well, it all started when I was watching YouTube videos. I was looking through my subscriptions deciding whether I should watch someone’s new vlog or a haul video. As I looked around, I started to wonder about this new type of television.

This is not the first time I have thought about YouTube and its effect on how we watch content on the internet (psst…read this post here!).  As I finally picked my video (I decided to finish watching a Linkara video I started earlier), I went on the internet to look up some information on the new type of celebrity.

The YouTube Celebrity.

Since YouTube was launched (I remember when it happened. Yes, children, I was there) in 2005 the internet has become the place for the world to put their funniest videos (screw you America’s Funniest Home Videos!).  Between the videos of funny cats and stupid children people started posting their reviews, skits and general thoughts onto YouTube. Slowly they developed a following and now they are celebrities and possible millionaires.

That is what I have learned from reading different posts on the subject. Along with many articles written by mystified people that work for Forbes and The Atlantic.

It is as if that are saying, silly YouTube celebrity! Content creation should be left to the professionals!

Seriously. That is how some of the articles I have read sounded like. They are mystified at how these people have become so famous. Some make fun of these “celebrities” and try to call them out for being fake for money. They think they don’t create anything of value. They pretty much try to bring them down.

 I will not lie. I’m stuck in the middle of this argument. I understand what those articles are saying and at the same time, I don’t agree with their argument at all.

Let me explain.

As I sat down and researched into this world that I visit constantly but have no real grasp of I, have found a few explanations for the mindset from magazines like Forbes, The Atlantic and Jezebel.

Money.

Plain and simple. It all comes down to money. Lots of these articles talk about content creation and how the content is getting sillier and sillier. Then they focus on the money they make. In some instances, according to a Forbes article, “PewDiePie…the Swede is the top-earning YouTube star on the planet, pulling in $12 million pretax over the past year, all for providing expletive-heavy commentary as he plays video games”.  $12 million dollars. $12 million dollars because he plays video games and is funny while doing so. Figures like that immediately make me angry. He gets $12 million dollars because he makes comments during a video game. Something I have done since high school.

That is when I understand their point. The YouTube star is making millions of dollars while doing something people do on a daily basis on their own. I’m someone who is struggling and trying to find my way after getting my undergrad and then masters degrees and these people make that much money doing random crap on the internet?!?!

For instance, Zoella, a famous British beauty haul vlogger, has about 4.4 million followers. All she does is open up products she bought, vlog about her boyfriend and dog and show off home décor. She makes an estimated 32,000 a month. So, about $384,000 a year (estimated). For opening up products, she is sometimes paid to present.

Yes, that noise is I, crying and wondering if I picked the wrong path in life.

I am also jealous as hell.  What did I do wrong in my life that I am not making that for talking about books, television or world events? Should I have been more active on the internet when I was in high school?

That is what I think all of those articles out there are talking about the most. They speak of the money they make. Which leads to jealous and then anger. Then they just start to go after these celebrities.

However, as I have learned in my life, counting other people’s money gets you nowhere in life.

Which leads me to the other side of the fence.

If we stop counting their money and look at their content, effort and marketing, the idea of the YouTube celebrity changes.

I have looked at my own favorite list of YouTube stars recently. I see the different ways they have to differentiate themselves from the million other content creators. I see the different storylines they have created throughout their videos. I see how much time and effort they put into the videos just to be torn about by internet trolls. I see them trying their best to make money from original content or ideas. Do not get me started on the copyright issues they come across sometimes.

We see the effects of all that hard work and instantly hate them for their success. In reality, they are working hard to build a brand. No different from what people have been doing since the beginning of time.

I recently found an article by a YouTube Celebrity that spells out that just because you hear about people making $12 million a year does not mean they all make that type of money. As the author, Gaby Dun, wrote, “The high highs and low lows leave me reeling. One week, I was stopped for photos six times while perusing comic books in downtown LA. The next week, I sat faceless in a room of 40 people vying for a menial courier job. I’ve walked a red carpet with $80 in my bank account”.  Not every YouTube celebrity is raking in the money. Some have a fan base but the partnerships and advertisements do not come soon enough.

When ads and partnerships do show up and start making them money, I have noticed people immediately go in on the YouTuber.

They just cannot win.

This mysterious world of the YouTube celebrity is not so mysterious after all. Like any industry, just because you see a few making money for doing stupid things does not mean the YouTuber creating interesting and original content is making the same type of money.

I will be watching this world closely. I am interesting in seeing where they world is going. Will be rise and became a viable industry or will the bubble burst?

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Tell me your thoughts on the YouTube celebrity. Do you like or do you hate them? Do you think they are the future or complete crap?

Until next month, the randomness has ended. I hope you enjoyed.

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