I’ve seen so many blog posts around this subject, and I actually wrote about it HERE on my personal blog.
YouTube began back in February 2005. It’s fair to say that in nearly 11 years they have grown ridiculously, especially over the past 5 or 6 years!
So I always remember it being a place where people would post funny videos, things to share with friends and family, but then back in 2009 it sort of had a revolution if you will. What do I mean by this? Well this huge ‘cult’, if you will, of people making regular videos that actually had a point (sort of…). I’m waffling now… Basically, there are a select few that were making videos, and someone managed to earn this ridiculous following. Take Zoella for example. Her videos didn’t really have any point to start with. She would film her going out for the day, or what was in her bedroom, facts about her – I remember watching her videos from 2012 when she had 300,000 subscribers – now nearly 4 years on, 9 million subscribers, two books and a beauty range, and who knows what else, and she’s huge. She’s made a ridiculous amount of money from YouTube and huge following internationally – so much so that the 25 year old owns a £1million mansion in Brighton. Most 25 year olds I know are still living with their parents.
But why are YouTubers so popular? We’re living now in a digital age – everything that we do is somehow linked to technology or an app on our smartphone or tablet. People are so reliant on their gadgets now, and getting a decent WiFi connection seems to be a major priority in people’s lives. I say it like I’m not guilty of it, but I am – I was on holiday a couple years ago in the South of France, I couldn’t get internet anywhere and my data ran out after being in the country for about half an hour, and we desperately went into McDonalds of all places to make use of their free WiFi – desperate times call for desperate measures, but we’re all so addicted to everything digital that we just can’t live without it.
So how do “YouTubers” make the money that they do? YouTube have a partnership programme that anyone can apply for, which means that you can make money off the amount of views you get on a video, in return for them sticking an advert at the beginning. So that is why you have those frustrating ads on most videos you watch, because that’s how these people make their money. Now don’t get me wrong, if I were to make a YouTube channel for myself and I put ads on them, I wouldn’t get half as many views as these big YouTubers get, so I’d make next to nothing. The average amount that they pay out is 80cents (US) per 1000 views for banner adverts, or $5-8 per 1000 views for the video ads that come before the video. Doesn’t really seem like that much, but when you consider that Zoella has had a lifetime of over 600,000,000 views, she’s probably earned around $48,000,000 which is around £33,000,000. That’s just crazy.
If you’re into YouTube like me you’ll know that over the past two years (especially), YouTubers have been offered opportunities to collaborate with brands, create their own beauty products (á lá Tanya Burr, Fleur De Force and Zoella) and even books. Obviously these extra things add to their wealth, but there are so many successful YouTubers that are making a really good living out of just making videos on the internet.
So what does the future hold for YouTube? Currently the YouTube stars seem to be at the top of their game – they’re celebrities in their own right. But how long will it all last for?