Breaking down the growth of Tanner Fox

Tanner Fox is a 17 year old YouTuber and scooter rider from San Diego, California. Tanner has his own apparel and merchandise, a 2017 GTR, and a net worth of $600,000+. This is all thanks to his success on YouTube, and his 4.2 million subscribers. Aside from his YouTube fame, Tanner is just a 17 year old kid, trying to go through life. He is in a part time prep school, and is a professional scooter rider. He started his youtube channel on September 4th 2011, as MTFilms where he would post videos and tutorials of scootering at the local skatepark. He started doing that at the age of 12, and this must be why people stuck around, cause they were quite impressed by someone so young, making these videos.

His first video was posted Sept 9th 2011 and it was called “district v2 deck snap!!!!”. The video is of one of Tanner’s friends performing a trick on his scooter when the deck snapped from the bars. Over the next four years Tanner continued to post 193 videos exclusively of scooter riding and his friends at the skatepark. This brought Tanner to just over 25 thousand subscribers. On August 24 2015, he posted his first webisode video titled “Webisode 1: Way to Early for This Sh*t”. This is when Tanner decided to start changing the style of his videos, and made themmore of a vlog style. The term vlog is derived from video blog, but on YouTube a vlog tends to be associated with the documentation of your entire day and is then edited down to contain just the interesting parts. With this content change he began to see a rise in his subscriber count. On October 21 2015, Tanner uploaded the video “INSANE 7 YEAR OLD HOVERBOARD TRICKS AT THE SKATEPARK!” which is currently Tanner’s most watched video. With over 20 million views, the video consists of Tanner’s 7 year old friend Rocco riding his hoverboard up and down ramps at the skatepark. This video was perfect for the time of its release for a few reasons. Firs,t the world was obsessed with Hoverboards and secondly everyone loves watching cute, talented little kids. After this video Tanners’ channel took off and he hit 100,000 subscribers on Dec 7th 2015.

The growth Tanner’s channel received from this point forward has been remarkable. If there was an award for Breakout Channel for 2016, Tanner Fox would be a definite candidate. See figure 1 below.

With his new style of video’s becoming a success, he continued to do vlog style videos, and eventually daily vlogs. Along the way he collaborated with many other YouTubers, RomanAtwood, Tanner Braungardt, Shonduras, FazeRug and many more. Some say his booming success was due to these collaborations, and it’s likely the case considering he was able to reach new audiences. Figure 2 below shows the comparison between Tanner’s subscribers count compared to the people that he began collaborating with, in order of collaboration.

His YouTube success thus far has helped him continue to exponentially gain views and subscribers, allowing him to make a steady income and live a pretty glamours lifestyle. He just recently purchased a brand new 2017 GTR which runs for $110,000 for the base model. He has also been traveling more often, visiting more exotic destinations like Spain, Australia and other parts on the USA.

Tanner’s target audience is teenagers. His new content has opened him up to a wider audience because it isn’t focused on one thing, like scooters. His videos touch on cars, social trends, and a teenage life.

Tanner’s best practice is his marketing style. Tanner is constantly keep all of his social media accounts connected. They all follow a similar theme and our being used regularly. He also follows some key YouTube marketing practices such as, clickbait, and keeping up with social trends. He is constantly using clickbait, and posting videos that have exaggerated titles and thumbnails. All of his thumbnails are pictures with him teasing something in his video. Tanner has also stepped up his merchandise game, by creating a monthy TFox Box Drop. He drops 100 boxes filled with limited edition items that only a few people will be able to get. He is building a hype around his brand, which is being eaten up by the young audience that he has. He has done 4 drops so far, for Dec, Jan, Feb, and March. They have all sold out within minutes.

The voice of Tanner’s videos is very friendly and real, because he is talking directly to the camera. He is breaking the fourth wall, and is talking to his camera like its the audience. He begin each video with an intro, and tries to give a shorts description for what he has plans, but like most teenagers plans are always spontaneous so its always changing. He also like’s to close each video with an outro. He thanks his viewers, reminds new viewers to subscribe, and occasionally teases what tomorrow’s video will be about.

I have been watching Tanner’s channel over the past 9 months, and in this time I have seen it change. The original content that I was seeing the when I started watching him was original and creative. Now that he’s daily vlogging, Tanner is running out of entertaining things to do and is constantly doing the same things over and over again. In my opinion, Tanner is continuing to daily vlog even the uneventful days because he is receiving large rewards for each video. With 30 videos a month, he is averaging 60 million views a month. This earns Tanner any where from $20.4K — $326.9K a month depending on the CPM(cost per thousand). I don’t know if I am being to critical because I am an avid YouTube user and a media student, but his content quality is declining. Recently his numbers have been decreasing, so I may be on to something.

Tanner has a lot to learn and a big life ahead of him. With this success that he is having, he has an opportunity to solidify YouTube as a career for the rest of his life, if he is able to put a solid plan into place. Both finically and promotionally. He is still young and I hope his desire to make videos will be strong for years to come.