Internet Stardom

I am surprised that the U.S government didn’t keep the internet to themselves as it was created initially for the military in 1960’s because of its power, but now it is accessible to nearly everyone world wide. Since then it has grown to what we see as a social platform, this has given some people opportunities to achieve what many people desire in life; fame. Of course the internet isn’t just about fame and viral sensations but this is the subject I am most interested about, especially the media platform YouTube and how it has grown since February 2005, also how it has created a new type of fame. When YouTube was first released in 2005 it was a place where people could go and search for their favourite videos and it created a world where people could upload videos of their own, soon people were uploading what is called ‘Vlogs’, these are video logs which can be of anything but are mainly logs of an individuals life. YouTube soon became one of the fastest growing websites on the internet and had millions of people intrigued, in 2006 when YouTube introduced adverts that’s when popular YouTuber’s started getting an income for the material they were releasing and could pursue YouTube as a career instead of a hobby.

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Some of the most famous British vloggers include Zoe Sugg (Zoella) and Alfie Deyes (PointlessBlog) who together have managed to build up their YouTube empires to over  15 million subscribers and over a billion views on their videos, now the couple are living life in a £1 million house that Zoe recently purchased and they even have their own wax figures in Madame Taussauds that the public voted for. Another channel that has taken the world by storm is Felix Kjellbergs’ channel PewDiePie which is more of a gaming channel. He has managed to wrack up over 41 million subscribers and over 10 billion views for his videos alone. YouTube has created this new breed of celebrity that is taking over and just to think that these famous vloggers and YouTubers started out at home making videos as a hobby, now they have achieved a kind of A list level of fame and are known across the world. These famous vloggers and YouTubers are pioneering the future of fame today, it is exciting to be able to watch these channels grow and see what can be achieved by essentially being yourself and doing what you love on YouTube.

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3 Comments

  1. Do you think YouTube ‘celebrities’ will ever be able to cross platform into other sectors of the media industry such as TV and radio? It is obvious these personalities have massive audiences but that is often due to them providing content for niche markets (gaming, lifestyle, beauty, etc.) so is there a space in traditional media for these celebrities to fit in or would mainstream audiences feel alienated by these new media personalities?

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    • Dan and Phil were originally YouTube stars, I think, and then went on to have a BBC Radio 1 show – to clarify, I have never seen or herd anything they’ve done, and actually I think they’re radio show ended recently? But it shows that these ‘YouTube stars’ must be worth something, socially and for social culture, in that they can transgress mediums and media platforms.
      More broadly, particularly stations like BBC Radio 1 are featuring more and more online, visual content – including on YouTube. Especially for radio, we live in a time where things are rapidly changing in people’s media tastes; and to keep up, radio is having to change to, and offer new things. Young radio listeners are more likely to listen to the radio online than on an actual radio – I do, but this still counts towards radio audience ratings. It’s just that to stay alive in an environment in which everything is moving online, and offering various forms of content, audio and visual, radio needs to provide the same to keep up and stay relevant.

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  2. I really like that you focused on the social media aspect of the Internet as I am very interested in this area too. The facts and figures you have given in relation to the YouTuber’s really puts things into perspective, when you consider how the Internet has developed over time and the power it can have today. I think due to YouTube still being in it’s infancy and developing with opportunities, it’s something that the younger generation have jumped onto and claimed as a space of their own. It provides a platform for people to voice and share their views to a much wider audience than would have ever been possible before and I think this is a brilliantly creative use of the Internet.

    It is also interesting that you have described it as creating a “new breed of celebrity” as it begs the question whether the power of the Internet will soon eradicate the need for television. For example; BBC 3 has now gone completely online. However, from discussion with others, this received mixed reviews with some being unhappy with the change. I also wonder whether the two sector’s will simply merge with the rate that technology is rapidly developing. Either way, I think YouTube is here to stay and is only the beginning of possibilities and opportunities.

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