Something that I have learned about and that has intrigued me as I am learning about YouTube are “youtube personalities”. These are people who actually make a living from their youtube channels and videos. I had no idea this was possible, let alone that there are many people who have already found huge success. One article I found stated that “YouTube is now bigger or more influential than just about every TV and movie studio in America.” Teenagers, for example, spend more time on YouTube than they do watching TV.
Some of these personalities I had heard of, but never seen any of their videos while others I had never heard of. I decided to look into some of their channels and the stories behind their success. Wikipedia lists the top subscribed channels on youtube, which includes some of these personalities.
Jenna Marbles- I had heard of her only because she has a radio show on Siruis XM. And to be honest, whenever her show was on I changed the station because I couldn’t stand her. So it was interesting to find out that she got her start on youtube and is now a youtube celebrity who is raking in 6 digit figures every year. However, she has turned down various offers for money and insists on staying true to herself and not endorsing other products and changing her image just for more money. I think this is very honorable and perhaps one of the reasons she has so many faithful fans (teenagers, specifically girls, seem to make up most of her fanbase). She owns the top channel operated by a woman on YouTube. She also recently got a figure in Madame Tussau’s wax museum. This is the first video she uploaded, which received millions of views in the first weekend and sent her skyrocketing to youtube fame. It currently has over 63 million views.
PewDiePie-Felix Kjellberg is a youtube personality from Sweden. His channel currently has 40.5 million subscribers. The majority of his videos are his reactions and commentary to various video games.
I had a hard time understanding his story because the world of video games in foreign to me and I don’t play them, let alone know anything about them. Apparently Jimmy Kimmel is in the same position as me. He made fun of this gaming youtube culture on his show.
He received quite a bit of backlash from gaming fans for his “ignorance”. He addressed the criticism on his show and included a segment where video gamers tried to educate him on the topic.
It seems to me that the most successful youtubers are the ones who continue their youtube career on their own and by creating their own videos. They don’t have a production team who creates or directs their videos, they do everything themselves. It also seems that no matter what the offers they receive, their youtube channel and youtube career remains their top priority.