The Youtube Gateway to Fame and Fortune – sort of

Cayla Reed, Center Editor

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Youtube is a useful place for people to find what’s trending, get ideas and learn different techniques for almost anything one could think of. This is why social media is very “popping” –  Youtube provides resources for anything from audio books to game cheat codes to make-up tutorials.

For many years people have been gaining fame and getting noticed on Youtube. People like Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepsen were discovered on Youtube. Soulja Boy, another musical artist, relied on fans of his YouTube channel to make his name. His best known hit, “Crank That,” was originally self-published online. Youtube helped a lot as the song would go on to hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Dearra and Ken, a relationship couple, have become famous for sharing their relationship along with a few others including Chris and Queen. This Youtube product is called a “relationship channel” and, thanks to these couples’ – and others’ – success, there has been an uptick in these channels. The goal of these channels is the same as what Bieber, Jepsen, and Soulja Boy had in mind with their channels: making a name for themselves and making money. Those who are able to gain fame and notoriety via Youtube channels now have other elements besides money in the form of Youtube events and rewards.

While exposure and notoriety is the key on Youtube, there are more and more channels developing each day. There are even channels and articles that explain the steps for having a successful career on the platform itself. That’s quite the step, isn’t it.

Of course, with all of the success and competition comes tension as experts on Youtube battle with keeping up to date with the new wave of people and channels arriving to take their place. Youtubers must stay on their toes.

The truth is, it is very hard to have a successful channel promotion with strong quality. Hundreds of millions of videos uploaded to YouTube don’t attract much interest; they may be viewed by friends or family, but they don’t get much attention from elsewhere. According to The Washington Post writer Todd C. Frankel, “The median views per video plummeted to 89 in 2016; a decade earlier, that number was 10,262.” Proving that it has become harder for Youtubers to be seen, this could be due to the overflow of newcomers.  However, while the vast majority of videos do not amount to much and do not result in the person who posted it becoming famous, there are success stories.

One of the most famous Youtube channels is “Epic Rap Battles” (ERB) with 14.2 million subscribers. This channel brings pure amusement. What began as a live improv skit with two people made it to the internet and has become widely popular. According to Business Insider writer Nathan McAlone, founders Peter Shukoff and Lloyd Ahlquist pick two people from history or pop culture and present what it would be like if they faced off in a rap battle. To make it even more interesting, they go out their way to dress up in full costume of the people portrayed. Some of the well-known figures who have squared off on the channel are Hillary Clinton vs Donald Trump and Dr. Seuss vs Shakespeare.

According to Washington Post writer Todd C. Frankel, Forbes recent list of  richest Youtubers post clips playing video games or kids playing with toys. “The top spot went to Daniel Middleton, known as DanTDM. He’s a 26-year-old British gamer — and he earned $16.5 million last year.”

While most use Youtube for entertainment, the platform is a viable industry for those who have the time, the energy, and the creativity to make it work for them.

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The Youtube Gateway to Fame and Fortune – sort of