My new job at YouTube

Hi. I’m Isabelle. How are you? I hope you’re good. I’m good. I mean, I have to do this podcast which has been looming over me all semester, but it’s not that bad. It’s letting me talk to you.

But before we get started I should probably tell you that I come from an inherently sarcastic family, and while I’m going to try to be as non- sarcastic as possible, there’s bound to be a few slip ups. Now like one of my favourite YouTubers I say, play my intro.

This should be my intro.

This isn’t your typical podcast for two reasons.

One: I’ve never made one before so this my first time. It’s probably going to get very interesting in here. I’m just glad my roommate’s not in the room right now.

Two: Doing this podcast wouldn’t be my first choice, but shhh, don’t tell my course instructor.

I’m going to be completely honest with you, I love makeup. I’m a bit of a hoarder when it comes to it I’m sure I’m not alone in this respect. I probably don’t look like it. I rarely wear makeup. And when I do it’s usually because I’ve been binge watching makeup tutorials on YouTube for hours. But I don’t watch those much anymore, they’ve gotten annoying to say the least.

You know what I’m talking about, right? No? Well, that’s okay, you’ll figure out soon enough.

What am I talking about? It’s the ever increasing advertising in YouTube videos, especially makeup tutorials. Why? Well, it’s simple, YouTube has become a job.

And this isn’t just an opinion. It’s a fact.

If you were to go to your computer, and type into google, ‘YouTube as a job’, I guarantee you will finds dozens of articles proving this fact.

The first link at the top of the page for me was titled, “For Some, YouTube is the New Full-Time Job with a Six-Figure Salary”.

It was actually very useful. It said that the top 1000 YouTube channel makers have six-figure salaries and make an average of just over 20,000$ a month. Of course this would give the illusion that you too can become a YouTube sensation with a six-figure salary. But that’s not the truth. There is an average of 300 hours of new video content uploaded onto YouTube every day. That’s just one day alone. So if your video finally does get seen, it’s unlikely that you will become a viral hit. That takes a certain amount of magic, and the odds of you having that magic are unfortunately very slim. Sorry to break it to ya.

In an article on Tube Chum (a silly name, I know), but it’s website which focuses on YouTube related news, it states,

Quote

“It’s no secret that we all hate being subjected to YouTube

adverts, but the money-making opportunity they present often ends up proving too tempting for creators, and let’s be honest, who are we to complain if they enable our favourite YouTubers to keep doing what they do?”

End quote.

This is completely true. As much as I hate seeing my favourite YouTuber advertising a product on their channel, no matter how sarcastically or self-aware they do it, they need to make some sort of living. If they didn’t do this, then where would they be? How could they satisfy the ever increasing demand of new video content?

The answer is that they wouldn’t be there, and we would not have our YouTubers, and all the entertaining videos they make.

Now, my friend, if you don’t mind, I’m going to tell you my ‘YouTube’ story. And since you can only hear my voice and not see my face then just imagine air quotes. You know, the bowing peace signs people make. Get it? No? Then just try to imagine my sarcastic face, or just google it, whatever works.

Here we go.

So, as a kid, I spent most of my time on the computer either playing Sims or going on the internet and playing dress up games. I was only eight when YouTube came into existence. And as the youngest of three children, each divided from the other by a five year age gap, I learned everything from my older siblings, whether I wanted to or not.

My big sister showed me some videos on YouTube, but I didn’t think much of them. I never watched YouTube much, I always liked movies and T.V more. YouTube never seemed like a viable option.

Then the school strike of 2015 happened. And with no school for a month I quickly ran out of T.V shows and new movies to watch. It was torture. So I did the unthinkable, I watched YouTube. At first I replaced movies with game movies. Then I started watching let’s play and I got roped into the Bro Army that follows the all-powerful Pewdiepie, which is now at about 40 million bros. But my tastes soon evolved. And so I was hooked in, unable to escape the never ending vortex that is YouTube.

I have come to love YouTube, and all its distractions, and trust me, it’s got plenty. You don’t know how many times I’ve gotten distracted by it while trying to do this project. And it’s because of this that I’ve gotten deep into the YouTube world.

Being introduced to this world one can learn a few things. Like, for instance have you ever heard of YouTube Partners? No? Yes? Well, if you said yes then just pretend you said no so I can give you my info and act all smart and professional.

Basically this is what a YouTube partner is. You, the creator of the videos, are entitled to a certain amount of the revenue that YouTube makes by putting an advertisement before your video. This of course only happens when you, the creator, reaches a certain number of subscribers and views. It also depends on how many of those views were monetized.

So what does this mean? What has this whole talk been about? If you said YouTube becoming a job, then congratulations, you just won the lottery. Sorry, yes, you would be correct, if that wasn’t already obvious. When I said that YouTube is becoming a job it wasn’t an opinion, but a fact, this is the proof. If you get enough attention, people will pay. Just like a Kardashian.

But google profits alone cannot always sustain a lowly YouTuber. So in times of hardship they reach out to sponsors for help, and these sponsor can pay generously.

Now, I know this is a rather crappy transition, but in preparation for this Podcast I did a little survey. Being the person I am (which is kinda lazy I’m not gonna lie), I walked around my dorm knocking on doors and asking people to take pity on my procrastinating soul. I handed it out to twenty such saints, and in turn they responded to six questions.

And this is what I learned.

One: 95% of people watch YouTube on a regular basis. There aren’t a lot of people that don’t. So that fact’s not very surprising.

Two: 35% of the saints watched makeup tutorials regularly, and why not, they can be fun.

Three: 90% of people have noticed an increase of advertisements in YouTube videos. Which means I’m not alone in my ravings and rantings.

Four: 95% (this is a crucial one) believe that YouTube is becoming a viable job. And why not, I’m sure the majority of the people they watch are in the top percentage of YouTubers. They probably wouldn’t know about the other countless channels that aren’t successful.

Five: Over fifty percent of people purchased something because a YouTuber recommended it. A few people bought makeup (myself included), someone bought pre-work out supplements, another bought geek collectables (I’m not being mean the site they were directed to is actually called thinkgeek), and someone even bought a cellphone.

And finally, Six, 95% of people agree with the statement that YouTube is making celebrities. And with a wider audience than most television shows, why wouldn’t it.

What does all of this tell us exactly? When it comes down to it, YouTubers probably influence your lives more than actual celebrities, probably more than you’d like to admit. And when you really think about, YouTubers have become their own class of celebrity as the response to question six indicates.

Right about now I’d be telling you about some responses that I’ve gathered from some of these celebrities, a majority of them being ‘beauty gurus’ who survive off of the money they get from cosmetics companies. But out of the fourteen YouTubers I emailed and messaged, I received a staggering zero response rate. Not a single one wished to contribute. So sorry, you don’t get to hear their point of view on this matter. If you’re so desperate to find out you could always comment on one of their videos and hope they respond. But they probably won’t.

I have to give props to these YouTubers, they have a game plan laid out. Like Michelle Phan for instance, the queen of YouTube beauty gurus, she stated in an article in Forbes magazine,

Quote.

“I thought if [YouTube] is going to be the global television of

the future, I need to build my brand here. Within the first week, 40,000 people watched it and hundreds of comments came in and that’s when I realized I’d found my calling.”

End Quote.

Now I don’t believe in superstitious things, no matter how much I’d like to, but her just predicting that YouTube was going to be the place to ‘build her brand’ all the way back in 2007 when she uploaded her first video seems to be magic. But maybe I’m not looking at it correctly or with an open enough mind.

Now friend, I don’t want to make things sad, but this is the end. All I have to ask is one more question. And yes I’ll answer it like I’ve done for all the others since we’re kind of having a one sided conversation, but that’s okay I love you all the same. Here’s my question, So What?

What’s the point of what I’ve been talking about for however many minutes it’s been? When you run off and tell you friends about this podcast, (which I’m sure you will do immediately) and they say so what? This is what you’ll tell them.

Why not?

YouTube is becoming greater than T.V. For some people it is their T.V. For some people it’s their religion, it’s become a part of their daily lives. And just like television, YouTube has become a job. This can be bad in the sense that it can corrupt content and block creativity, and just the idea that YouTube was once a simple video sharing site still kinda cheeses me off. This can also be good in the sense that we can always count on our favourite YouTuber always being there for us, ready to make us laugh or cry or smile or cringe.

So what?

Well, my friend, my simplest answer is, don’t let your creativity be corrupted by the promise of money, but also don’t turn down good money because you’re still living in your parents basement and you really need to get your own place.

This is Isabelle Roberge, signing off for the first and last time.