Ping! A young girl gets a notification on her iPad that her favorite YouTuber posted a new video. She rushes to open the app. She is glued to the screen, watching her favorite YouTuber’s videos for hours, while her parents are trying to unglue her.
The Internet plays a huge role in the lives of Generation Z (1996-2010). In the entertainment world, YouTubers are taking over the industry, becoming more and more popular as years go by. They are posting videos in hundreds of different genres from DIYs, beauty, or gaming. They are signing multi-million dollar record deals, buying mansions and writing books. YouTubers are becoming the role models the youth look up to, rather than traditional Hollywood celebrities.
The rise of social media and its stars have redefined the word celebrity. Now, a celebrity can be your neighbor who is setting the trends and driving opinions, and they are doing it all through their computer. The “classic” celebrity is still popular, but not as broadly popular as YouTubers.
A survey by Defy Media in 2015 stated that 63 percent of respondents aged 13-24 said they would try a brand or a product recommended by a YouTube creator, while only 48 percent would do the same from a movie or TV star. Businesses are realizing that if they put an ordinary person to promote their products, teenagers will be more inclined to buy. Big makeup brands, including MAC Cosmetics, Tarte and Too Faced, use YouTubers to promote their products.
Connection is the word that many use to describe the relationship between YouTube stars and their teen subscribers. According to a study by Business Insider, teens and young adults describe YouTubers as someone who is "just like me, understands me, someone I trust, has the best advice, doesn't try to be perfect...and likes the same things I do." All of these values are what teens need their role models to be.
Think With Google states that since YouTubers have a stronger and more engaged audience, in comparison to a traditional celebrity, the top 25 most popular YouTubers earn on average three times as many views, two times as many actions and 12 times as many comments. On Ariana Grande’s posts on Instagram most people give one word responses or heart eye emojis. While on The Ace Family’s channel, a family that documents their regular everyday lives, it is common to see paragraphs of how they helped someone overcome some type of struggle. YouTubers are known for making millions of people’s happiness possible.
While the Internet continues to be the main hub for new talent, YouTubers are winning over the hearts of this new generation by being authentic and true to themselves.