Fame and Fortune: The YouTube Way


By Camille Mendoza

Long live the internet! What began as a hobby for most has become a career for some. By now, it is well known that many of YouTube’s video bloggers (or “vloggers”, as they are known) have become actual celebrities with devoted fan bases, event appearances, book deals, and even TV/movie gigs. YouTube, which has become an online network in which the viewer gets to control what content they’d like to watch, is now a springboard for familiar faces. Justin Bieber, Austin Mahone, and Jimmy Tatro are only a few of those who “made it”, so to speak, and now have successful careers outside of the internet. However, those who chose to remain on Youtube and make their careers from there are the new species of celebrities cropping up, and they are really coming into their own.


While they are making names for themselves, one has to wonder how it is that they are able to sustain themselves financially, i.e. how do you make money off Youtube? CBS reports that as soon as an account has enough views and followers (albeit the exact amount remains undisclosed), the account creators can then become Youtube Partners. What this means is that they can get up to 55% of the ad revenue that comes in from their posts. While, once again, it is difficult to pinpoint how much ads pay from the outside, Business Insider attempted to calculate it, and they came up with some very appealing figures.

Michelle Phan, makeup guru turned lifestyle personality, potentially makes over $1 million annually with her videos alone; Smosh, a duo of sketch-comedy geniuses, are estimated to make over $5.7 million; and PewDiePie, the Swedish video gamer with over 33 million subscribers, potentially makes an annual figure of over $8 million.

These salaries are simply astonishing, and while it definitely takes talent and guts to expose oneself the way YouTubers are now famous for, it definitely explains why more and more people are turning to the internet and not casting directors for jobs in the entertainment world. Fame may be fleeting, but the internet is forever.