Behind the camera

Most of us watch at least one YouTube video a day, but who are these people behind the camera? With the growth of the internet, people took their passions and turned them into a career and that is exactly what 18-year-old Hope Schmeiser did.

“I’ve gained so much through YouTube,” Schmeiser said. “Friends, knowledge, experiences, and even money.”

In 2010, Schmeiser started a YouTube channel under the username, hopexproductions. The beauty channel has almost 43,000 subscribers. Monthly favorites, fashion hauls, and story videos are all featured on the channel. According to, Schmeiser makes between $9 and $136 a month based on the videos she makes during that time.

Schmeiser is just one of the thousands of success stories that have come from YouTube.

YouTube created a program called YouTube Partner Program. Once a content creator partners with this program, Google AdSense uses that account to show ads. With this program, creators can monetize their channels.

This means that YouTube is paying the creators based on advertisements and interactions. According to, the number of channels earning six figures a year increased 50% in the last year.

Zoe Sugg, or more commonly known by her username “Zoella”, is just one more example of the uphill path that YouTubers can take.

Sugg started her channel almost ten years ago, and since then has accumulated over 11 million subscribers. Viewers tune in once a week for her style, makeup, and haul videos.

She also has a second channel that has almost 5 million views. This channel focuses on daily vlogs, or video blogs. These kinds of videos give a day in the life of their favorite YouTubers.

Since the creation of her channel, Sugg created a YouTube empire. She has published three fiction novels, started a range of beauty products, and became immortalized in Madame Tussaud’s London wax museum.

According to an article on, Sugg is the highest paid beauty video blogger in the United Kingdom. She makes around 50,000 pounds a month, which is over 62,000 USD.

“I started filming as a hobby,” Sugg said in a 2014 interview with Vogue. “It’s not something I could have prepared myself for. Every day I am still coming to terms with this, it’s not gone to my head.”

Every day, viewers watch a combined 4 billion videos on the site. A recent study done by YouTube and comScore said that millennials are majority of the viewers and the key to the rising popularity of YouTube.

Millennials prefer online video 30 percent more than television. Fourty-eight percent of those people said that YouTube is their preference, compared to only 29 percent for Netflix.

Schmeiser and Sugg are only two of the thousands of success stories to come from YouTube. With 300 hours of content uploaded to the site every minute, the possibilities and creativity are endless.

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