‘Youtubers’ are a collective group of video bloggers who share their thoughts about anything from beauty to video games – and they are attracting a huge fanbase. On average, Youtube handles three billion views per day and counting, so the opportunity for moulding a personal platform is phenomenal.
A survey by Variety revealed that Youtube stars are more influential than traditional celebrities in the US with the top five most influential people all being ‘youtubers’, or ‘vloggers’.
There are questions about whether this new breed of star is able to cross between internet sensation and mainstream celebrity. It is clear that this is possible as the music careers of The Vamps and Five Seconds of Summer were launched from Youtube.
Other youtubers have developed various different ways to expand their fanbase, such as Mota, a fashion and beauty blogger who has recently launched a clothing line and Zoella, a fashion and beauty blogger who has published two books.
Tours such as DigiCon, Summer in the City and Vidcon are also used as methods to make money and increase support as thousands of teenagers pay to go to a convention on the chance of seeing their favorite online personality.
Sponsored content and Youtube ad revenues also bring in further profit. The youtuber PewDiePie, who posts videos of himself playing and commenting on video games, is estimated to earn $5,464,296 per year with his following of 30 million subscribers. He revealed that around $4 million of this was from ad revenues.
Youtube’s global head of content, Robert Kyncl, attributes this success to a loyal fanbase, saying: “If you become the place where (creators) build their audience, there’s a tremendous sense of loyalty by the audience out of habit.”
Some critics may suggest that these new celebrities have little to offer our society and contribute virtually nothing. However, their supporters suggest that they provide someone to relate to online and a little happiness in daily life.
Jenna Marbles sums this up: “I have no tangible talent. My talent is (in) being an internet friend.”
By Eleanor Wade