YouTube has become the go-to-place for marketers and creatives to grow massive audiences and build extraordinary brands off of. With hundreds of millions of people visiting YouTube on a daily basis, it’s become a hub for some very unique individuals to make their mark and take advantage of an opportunity that would never have there before the internet.
It seems that we now have more YouTube stars than we have movie stars! Many YouTubers are now building businesses and landing TV deals, all thanks to the fact that YouTube gave them a platform to distribute their content and work at a very low cost (free). Here are some of the amazing individuals who have taken advantage of YouTube over the last decade and made their mark:
1. Michelle Phan
Michelle Phan is the world renowned star who got her start uploading make up videos to YouTube and started getting massive amounts of attention. She has now created a business and empire around her online brand and has amassed an insane 1.1 billion lifetime views on her channel and is currently just shy of 8 million YouTube subscribers.
2. Casey Neistat
Casey Neistat is the legendary film maker whose first video went viral over 10 years ago. He continues to make amazing videos and movies for YouTube as well as a host of other websites and channels. Neistat has also done advertisements for Fortune 500 companies and continues to grow his brand from his massive audience online.
Neistat also recently started a technology company, Beme, which allows users to share experiences from their personal prospective right from their smart phone. Although the company is brand new, it has already started to gain some traction and has raised over $2 million in funding.
3. Jenna Marbles
Jenna Marbles (real name: Mourey) has long been one of the most recognizable stars on YouTube. Though she initially started her career with BarStool Sports, Mourey quickly moved into video after posting “How To Trick People Into Thinking You’re Good Looking,” which quickly blew up.
She has been pegged as the model YouTube star, reportedly making as much or more than $350,000 a year off her channel, which features comedic videos about being a young Millennial woman (some examples: “Things Girls Lie About,” “How To Avoid Talking To People You Don’t Want To Talk To“).
4. Ryan Higa
Ryan Higa, 24, who goes by the username NigaHiga, was one of the first major YouTube stars. Higa produces a variety of comedy videos, including sketches, music videos, and short commentaries on pop culture. His current videos have high production values and a professional touch, but he remains as quick, funny, and incisive as ever.
5. The Fine Bros
Brooklyn natives Benny and Rafi Fine are two online producer/writer/directors who created the extremely successful React video series. In React’s various iterations (Kids React, Teens React, Elders React, and YouTubers React), TheFineBros show viral videos to subjects and film their reactions. The duo has been sponsored by both Ford and Comedy Central. Many consider TheFineBros to be two of the first YouTube stars.
6. Ray William Johnson
Ray William Johnson is a 33-year-old YouTuber best known for his show “Equals Three,” during which he provides comedic commentary for viral videos. He has long been one of the most popular YouTubers thanks to the show, which has featured huge celebrity guests like Robin Williams and Sarah Silverman. He recently stepped away from “Equals Three” to focus on new projects in TV and live shows. “Equals Three” will live on with a new host, and Johnson has also continued to post life blogs from the channel.
Smosh is a comedy duo consisting of YouTube veterans Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla. Smosh was one of the first YouTube sensations, becoming well-known for the duo’s slapstick comedy videos that parody video games and pop culture. The duo has shown no signs of slowing down, opening up multiple channels and an app for their content. They now have eight YouTube channels producing content, all with significant views and subscribers, including Smosh, IanH, WatchUsLiveAndStuff, ElSmosh, SmoshGames, and Anthony Padilla. They have also been in talks to begin airing their comedy content on television.
Photo Cred: BlueCowCreative.ca