Christy Ku shares her thoughts on YouTube fame and to what extent it is truly deserved…
1 May 2015 marked ten years of YouTube. This video sharing platform has transformed many people’s lives, becoming a place to share music, original films, videos of animals – and has allowed the rise of the ‘vlogger’ (video blogger).
Vloggers generally earn money through ad revenue (the bigger the view count, the more money earnt), and occasionally through sponsorship with companies. For many, the income earned from what started as a hobby has become enough for vlogging to be their full-time job. Notable British vloggers include Dan Howell (danisnotonfire), Phil Lester (AmazingPhil), Joe Sugg (ThatcherJoe) and of course, his big sister Zoe Sugg (Zoella) and her boyfriend Alfie Deyes (PointlessBlog).
Vlogging has also given YouTubers many different opportunities including their own merchandise, presenting on Radio 1, launching makeup ranges and securing book deals – you may have heard of Sugg’s notorious ghost-written debut book.
Now, Sugg’s and Deyes’ fame is being cemented (well, melted and moulded) in the form of wax figures for Madame Tussauds in London. The same criticisms are surfacing again: “Do they really deserve this kind of – or any – fame?” “Why don’t they get a real job?” “Aren’t they all just rich white kids with a camera?” It’s just like old people tutting at kids these days with their new gadgets.
YouTube is not new. Vlogging is not new. Some of these YouTubers have been working and building their audience for almost a decade, but it’s been only recently that big companies have realised their power. But how do these normal kids get millions of subscribers and views? I’ll tell you the big secret.
Are you ready?
These individuals are using the internet to connect with and talk to their audience. And the audience like them.
They feel personally invested in the vloggers, as it seems like there are less walls between audience and creator. Anyone can make a video and upload it – everyone has a voice.
Everything is changing. The old ways of work are changing. Take social media – you can tweet Hollywood stars, comment on a rock band’s Instagram, sometimes have a discussion on Facebook posts. Audiences don’t want to deal with big corporations and businesses any more, they want the real person. And the audience will get what they want. The wax figures in Madame Tussauds? The audience asked for them.
You can complain about kids these days not doing anything whilst they’re building their own empire. Maybe these wax figures will be hidden away in the back room in a few months. But right now?
They’re famous. They’re loved. They’re successful. They did it by themselves and guess what? They’re not going to stop.
Featured image credit: digitalspy.co.ukbookmark me