Do you wanna be famous? Get on YouTube. You know the saying – YouTube: where stars are born!
Ok, so no one says that, but maybe they should. YouTube may seem like a place of humble beginnings – after all, all you really need is an internet connection and a cheap webcam to start out – but it has become an interesting phenomenon when it comes to fame. YouTube personalities are actually proving themselves to have real star potential.
This is especially true in the eyes of teens. One survey suggested that YouTubers may actually be more popular than traditional celebrities. Half of the top 20 influential figures were YouTubers, including the top 5: Smosh, The Fine Bros., PewDiePie, KSI, and Ryan Higa placed 1-5 respectively. (Full top 20 ranking here.) These users have millions of video views and channel subscribers.
YouTube has become a way for “normal” people to enter the showbiz world, both short and long term. Short term, YouTube can gain people the opportunity to hold guest spots on the small screen. Talent search shows like America’s Got Talent dedicate entire segments of the program to YouTube-specific entries. The scripted dramedy Glee did a YouTube audition contest for a guest spot on the show. Ellen DeGeneres invites YouTubers onto her show all the time.
And then there’s the longer-term fame of the biggest YouTube stars. YouTube trio Hannah Hart, Grace Helbig, and Mamrie Hart are now involved in a feature film, a few novels, and most recently, a talk show on E! network. Shane Dawson similarly published a book and produced/starred in a couple films. The Fine Bros. greenlighted a Nickelodeon TV series based on their “react” videos and Smosh is contributing their voices to an animated Angry Birds movie, plus their own self-titled film, “The SMOSH Movie.”
Of course, the growth of YouTuber fame is not yet limitless. We haven’t reached the point where PewDiePie gets seated next to Brangelina at a red carpet event. But who knows? With the growth of YouTube and the ever-blurring definition of fame, anything can happen.