The YouTube Star Making Machine
According to a YouTube press release:
More than 13 million hours of video were uploaded during 2010.
35 hours of video are uploaded every minute.
More video is uploaded to YouTube in 60 days than the 3 major US networks created in 60 years.
YouTube reached over 700 billion playbacks in 2010.
Less than a month after its fifth birthday, YouTube has announced that it has exceeded two billion video views per day.
That is a lot of video. How does anyone break through all of those images, music talk and clatter? The amazing thing is that many do and some ride it on to major success. That Bieber guy for example.
Although it’s only been around since 2005, and was sold in 2007 for $1.65 billion (yeah, billion with a B) to Google, YouTube is now a household name, a major player and a launching pad for new careers. The list of those who have emerged from YouTube includes Justin Bieber, Soulja Boy, and Tay Zonday, among others. The list is varied, from Bieber to the Bed Intruder to the double rainbows guy. John Jacobson and his Double Dream Hands video became a huge hit thanks to YouTube. Jacobson ended up on Ellen’s TV show teaching her staff how to do the dance on her birthday segment. There is now a Double Dream Hands phone app and a book and DVD are on the way.
Whereas YouTube used to be the site to visit to watch goofy, crazy videos, it is now the new engine for launching talent and careers. It is a community where viewers go to find news, sports, science, music and how-to information. Like a social network it also allows viewers to subscribe to different channels, friends, etc.
YouTube creates stars and sensations; Auto-Tune the News’s “Bed Intruder Song” was the year’s most-watched, non-major label video on YouTube. The site helped take it from obscurity to online sensation.
The Bieber Effect: The Beiber story is the most striking. The sixteen year old Canadian singer shot from anonymity to superstardom in three years. After his debut release of “My World” he topped 100 million YouTube views. The Bieber effect signaled a new phenomenon – a combination of digital/viral social media and a crossover of digital/analog/print phenomenon. This was a true example of the new media melding with old.
Apart from videos from major labels, last year’s most popular videos were inspired by or take offs on established performers such as Lady Gaga, Ke$ha and, of course, Justin Bieber. There was also the Old Spice guy, and we’re all still recovering from the double rainbow. But musicians, performers and comedians aren’t the only ones to profit from YouTube. Who are they and how do they do it? I’ll be talking about that in my next article.