A growing number of YouTubers are scoring six-to-seven-figure paychecks, studio development deals, A-list Hollywood agents, book and record deals, and more because they've harnessed the power of web video production, distribution, and monetization.
Comedian-gamer Felix Kjellberg (aka PewDiePie) launched the most subscribed to YouTube channel of all time and made $7.4 million in 2014 for his expletive-filled video game commentaries. Not too shabby for someone who quit college and sold hot dogs to afford to buy a computer.
Actress-writer Awkward Black Girl Issa Rae was working odd jobs and contemplating business school when her web show went viral. What followed was a Shorty Award, a development deal with HBO, and representation by United Talent Agency.
Dissed by traditional media, hip hop violinist Lindsey Stirling found a following via YouTube, racked up hundreds of millions of views, a deal with Lady Gaga's manager, a sold-out European tour, and an album that debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 albums chart.
Former substitute teacher Harley Morenstein (ask Epic Meal Time) racked up over 800 million views, a partnership with Taco Bell Canada, and a TV show on A+E-owned FYI. Oh, and the Sauce Boss stars in Kevin Smith's 2016 release Moose Jaws and has an estimated net worth of $6 million.
Video blogger Jenna Marbles signed with CAA, got her own Madame Tussauds wax figure, and even has her own line of dog toys. She's accrued nearly two billion video views and has more Instagram friends than Oprah Winfrey.
Civilians are getting paid to create web video content, while iconic brands like Toyota, Lionsgate, and Macy's are shelling out big bucks for other people's videos. What makes those videos better than yours? Or are they?
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