Once upon a time, celebrities were only found on the television or in movies. Stars appeared everywhere and influenced our everyday well being – but only from a distance, on the TV or in glossy magazines. However, while this form of celebrity still exists, there’s a new way to be come a celebrity today: YouTube.
In a (dark) corner of YouTube there is the world of Vlogging, where people from all over the world post videos explaining what’s happening in their lives to the general public. YouTubers such as Alex Day, Charlie McDonnell, Dan Howell and Phil Lester have aced this skill — attracting thousands upon thousands of viewers to watch their lives unfold. Then there’s the many musicians that have launched their entire careers based on a single they released on YouTube – even Justin Bieber started out on YouTube.
Now that these people make a living out of YouTube and are placing their impression on a huge majority of people, has our conception of “fame changed”? Read on to find out more!
What’s The Big Deal?
As it stands Charlie McDonnell (charlieissocoollike) and Alex Day (nerimon) stand on 1,738,185 and 598,980 subscribers, respectively. Dan Howell (danisnotonfire) and Phil Lester (amazingphil) are in the same boat with 670,249 and 450,677 subscribers. Possessing such a huge democratic means their videos are frequently viewed by hundreds of thousands of subscribers. Take Alex Day for instance. Last year, without any type of record label or manager, he managed to take his Christmas song “Forever Yours” to fourth in the charts, outselling some of the expertly groomed stars who have received high publicity and investment.
Off his own back and the support of his YouTube channel Alex managed to make a big influence in one of the hardest industries in the world. This year Alex is trying again for the number one spot with his new hit “Stupid Stupid.” On the 7th December, two days after posting the song, the view count was already up to 225,000. Alex’s quirky yet fun style of music is definitely catching viewers from the onset.
However, what these people actually do is something which entertains audiences all the time. Whether their videos give you an insight into their lives or teach you valuable lessons you’ll always be in for some of the best five minutes of the day. I don’t know why but I often highly anticipate the next upload much more than I do some of my favourite TV shows. In that short space of time, I can laugh more than I do in a week and carry on laughing throughout the day as I discuss the recent happenings with friends who watch the same vlogs.
Earning a living out of your bedroom seems to be something these people have perfected.
So, would you regard these people as celebrities? In fact, what even is a celebrity? Wikipedia defines it as “A celebrity is a person who has a prominent profile and commands a great degree of public fascination and influence in day-to-day media,” while Google goes with the definition of “The state of being well known.” If in turn we apply this to the YouTubers then yes, these guys are actually celebrities.
Is this a type of business which can last though? Will people always be interested in this craze which has seemed to sweep across the world from nowhere? In my opinion, yes. Modern day people don’t have time in this era to sit down and watch 30 minute or one hour shows on the TV set. People want to quickly pull out their phone or tablet and watch something on their daily commute or while relaxing after a hard day’s work. These YouTube vloggers suit themselves to certain types of people and perfectly capture this niche market.
What we’ve seen YouTube do over the last few years is brilliant, with people such as Justin Bieber becoming the biggest stars in the world by just posting videos on a channel. Nowadays it’s not unknown for someone to gain fame from the smallest of things.
It really shows us how powerful the web can actually be for videos, in addition to the success we’ve already seen for text and pictures. The internet isn’t just a supplement to existing media: it’s a whole new platform for all of us (writers, singers, or even just particularly talkative guys) to show our best to the world and possibly hit it big with just a click.