You should be youtubing, yeah.
In 1988 opened a movie called Big. Maybe the name does not ring a bell, but I am sure you remember a then comedian Tom Hanks playing the giant piano in FAO Schwarz.
The film was fairly successful. It portrayed a 12-year-old boy who wished to be an adult, and his wish was granted overnight. He then found a job at a toy factory, testing toys. The movie was quite good, in a sort-of-cute way, and I remember it dearly. Hank’s character had every child’s dream job, and this put every child’s imagination at work. You would ask yourself: ‘What would my dream job be?” To me, the answer came almost immediately: videogame tester.
Many years went by, and then there came YouTube. In late 2004 you would mainly find music videos by popular artists. But in the last four to five years ‘reality’ took over the platform. Who would have predicted that the dream could come true for almost anybody who was up to the task? Yes, I am talking about video blogging. Known best as vlogging.
However, performing the job of your dreams also demands some skills. Not only do you have to like it very much, but you also have to be really good at it. Also, you have to risk the chance of hating what you used to love because it has become a duty. You know, like those people who work at a chocolate factory and end up hating chocolate. So, you have to be careful.
Still, becoming a famous YouTuber is the new American Dream.
Most of us ignore how on Earth these people, YouTubers, make money. More even so, they make obscene amounts of money. Most of them are even millionaires. Apparently, YouTubers are approached by brands and, if they are popular, said brands place ads before their videos. You know, those 30-second ads that pop up every time you click the play button. If the user watches the entirety of the ad, the YouTuber gets money. If the user also clicks on the ad because they want to get more info, the YouTuber gets even more money. What about those 5-second ads that you cannot skip? Only the most popular YouTubers get offered those.
YouTube takes 45% off total earnings, the YouTuber gets 55% and companies benefit from cheap advertising. A win-win-win situation.
The YouTube celebs like PewDiePie or ElRubiusOMG make between 1 to 9 U$S millions a year, only in YouTube revenues. Since their popularity has grown outside the limits of YouTube, they charge for public appearances. Conferences, TV shows and all that jazz.
If you allow me, I find this both discouraging and encouraging at the same time. I find it discouraging because, well, it is just too much. Millions of Dollars. Capitalism. Don’t make elaborate. But it is also encouraging, because almost anyone with a decent Internet service and an average quality camera can become popular and rich almost overnight. In all earnest, it would be even better if that person has something of value to share. A message, an experience, a form of art, you name it.
As we stated above, the vast majority of YouTube stars became popular basically by being themselves in front of the camera. There is also a portion that became famous because they did something — no matter how poor or bad — that went viral. And there is a third group, those who are very talented at what they do and found in YouTube a way of showing their work or talents.
Should everybody become a YouTuber? Maybe that is the wrong question, because it is not a matter of choice — it is a matter of time. There will be a time when almost everybody has either: a) tried to become famous, b) become famous, or c) become famous but eventually lost their relevancy. What is very clear is that every musician should become a YouTuber.
The relationship between YouTube and music goes back to the dawn of said platform. YouTube also hosts an event, The YouTube Music Awards, that honors the most popular videos of the year.
You are a musician. You have a band. You made a couple music videos. Why becoming a YouTuber then? One word: context.
Out of all the content available on YouTube, vlogs are the most watched and asked for. They are even more popular than tutorials, hauls and DIYs. Looks like users enjoy having a glimpse of YouTubers everyday’s lives. Maybe it makes them more down-to-Earth, maybe it makes it easier to identify with them. Maybe watching your idols’ everyday lives will make you feel closer to them. Whatever the answer, vlogging is the new black. If you are a musician, people will enjoy watching the life of the artist behind the music. This will certainly add value to your work. Today people are crazy about ‘the human factor’. If you peer into other people’s lives, you may discover that they are no different than you.
If you are a musician, people will enjoy watching the life of the artist behind the music. This will certainly add value to your work. Today people are crazy about ‘the human factor’. If you peer into other people’s lives, you may discover that they are no different than you.
Is there a chance of make a living out of YouTube? Certainly. Once again, IMO, the chance gets fatter if you actually have something to show. And these people have a lot to show.
Some of my favorite musicians that are also YouTubers (in no particular order):
The Piano Guys
Looks like it really pays to be a YouTuber. Persistence, talent and a little luck will get you there. Are you up to the challenge?