I’m sure that you’ve heard of YouTube by now.
But for those of you who haven’t, here’s a quick recap that we talked about on our blog last year.
This is where the Viral Video really got its start. Forget images and text; Youtube is all about sharing videos.
From family videos to vlogs to feature length movies, Youtube brings interaction to a whole new level. Registered users are allowed to upload whatever they like (within Copywrite laws, of course), and you don’t have to be a registered user to watch them.
Today, the Youtube video search is the second largest search engine in the world, coming in just behind Google.
Like most social media sites, YouTube allows you to build followings, follow people, favourite and like the videos they have uploaded.
More Popular than You
All caught up? Awesome.
Here’s something maybe you don’t know about YouTube: some of its stars are making more money and are more popular than the biggest Hollywood celebrities out there. Don’t believe me?
In July 2014 Variety magazine conducted a survey of teens all over North America.
1,500 respondents were asked a range of questions about their feelings towards 20 top celebrities. 10 were Hollywood, while 10 were YouTube stars. The result?
The top five most influential figures were online stars.
- Ryan Higa.
Take a look at the graphic below to see the results. Jennifer Lawrence, who is one of the hottest movie stars right now thanks to The Hunger Games, is all the way down at number 7. Katy Perry is at number 9 and Daniel Radcliffe – the Harry Potter – is all the way down at 11!
The survey also found that YouTube stars “scored significantly higher than traditional celebrities across a range of characteristics considered to have the highest correlation to influencing purchases among teens.”
It’s all about the Digital Revolution!
YouTube stars are experts on the Internet. They know all about online audience building and engagement, and they use those skills to build up their following one person at a time. They have a strong branding, are consistent in their posting and videos, and remain conversational with active social media presences.
You have a comment – they will answer it.
They seem real, while Hollywood is about telling lies to tell stories.
Let’s put this into perspective. By Googling the first season of Game of Thrones, I can estimate that it had an average of 2.5 million viewers for its season premier screenings, and an average audience of 9.3 million viewers per episode including all repeats and on-demand viewings.
Now compare that to Felix Kjellberg. Better known as PewDiePie, he is a video game commentator with roughly 33.5 million subscribers on YouTube. One of his latest online videos got over 3.5 million views. And it has recently been revealed that he received more than 4.1 billion views of his videos in 2014.
Kind of leaves The Mother of Dragons in the dust, huh?
A One on One with the President
It isn’t just celebrities that YouTube is conquering either – the video sharing services has its eyes set on politics as well. Case in point – President Barack Obama was interviewed in the East Room of the White House in a livestream broadcast by three YouTube “stars” last week.
The president sat down with GloZell Green, Hank Green (no relation), and Bethany Mota.
Don’t forget to be Awesome
Who are these infamous YouTubers who sat down with the President?
One of the co-founders of the VlogBrothers (Don’t forget to be awesome is their slogan) he is known for his YouTube channel VlogBrothers where he and his brother, John Green, regularly upload videos.
Personally, I love this channel. It’s smart, informative and funny. Hank is also the co-creator of VidCon the world’s largest online video conference/convention.
Mota began her YouTube series in 2009 with make-up and fashion advice aimed at teenage girls. Since then, she has become one of the most popular channels on YouTube, and in January 2014 Business Insider estimated she makes $40,000 a month on her videos.
Easily recognizable with her green lipstick, Glozell is the most unusual of the bunch. She has dubbed herself the “Queen of YouTube” and her slogan is a little less articulate than Hanks with “Is you OK? Is you good? ‘Cuz I wanted to know.” She shot to stardom by trying and failing the Cinnamon challenge a few years ago.
The Interviews were surprisingly well done
Don’t assume that these interviews were all Memes and LOL Cats. There was real talk on policing, and several hard issues were addressed.
- Real issues were discussed such as the North Korean Regime, and the fallout from the Mike Brown shooting last summer.
- State of the Union Address: Hank discussed this, asking the question that many were thinking: is any of what you said feasible?
- The interviewers were refreshingly honest. Mota had a confession: she admitted before her interview that, “I never really followed politics that much.”
- The questions personalized policy. While the sit-downs touched on news events, the questioners did a nice job of making complex policy issues accessible and personal.
- The moment that wasn’t. During Glozell’s interview with the president, there was a jar of cinnamon, a ladle and a glass of water on a table behind them. Unfortunately – or perhaps luckily Obama did NOT do the cinnamon challenge.
More YouTube Celebrities
There are hundreds of famous personalities just a click away. We all have our favourites. Some of mine are:
- Michael Santaro
- Just Kidding News (a little crude but great social media news)
- The Game Theorists
Who are yours? Add them to our list in the comments below!