Survey: YouTube Stars More Popular Than Mainstream Celebs Among U.S. Teens

Survey: YouTube Stars More Popular Than

U.S. teenagers are more enamored with YouTube stars than they are the biggest celebrities in film, TV and music.

That’s the surprising result of a survey Variety commissioned in July that found the five most influential figures among Americans ages 13-18 are all YouTube faves, eclipsing mainstream celebs including Jennifer Lawrence and Seth Rogen. The highest-ranking figures were Smosh, the online comedy team of Ian Andrew Hecox and Anthony Padilla, both 26.

Despite having minimal exposure in the mainstream media, another comedy duo, known as the Fine Bros., Benny and Rafi, finished a close second, followed by the Swedish videogamer who has the most subscribers on all of YouTube, Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg — otherwise known as PewDiePie. Interestingly, the highest-ranking non-YouTuber is Paul Walker, who tragically died in a car accident late in 2013.

SEE ALSO: New Breed of Online Stars Rewrite the Rules of Fame

The survey, conducted for Variety by celebrity brand strategist Jeetendr Sehdev, asked 1,500 respondents a battery of questions assessing how 20 well-known personalities stacked up in terms of approachability, authenticity and other criteria considered aspects of their overall influence. Half the 20 were drawn from the English-language personalities with the most subscribers and video views on YouTube, the other half were represented by the celebrities with the highest Q scores among U.S. teens aged 13-17, as of March.

A score was then assigned to each YouTube and mainstream star based on how they fared in respondents’ answers to the questions, and the resulting number was translated to a 100-point scale. The top five — and six of the top 10 — were YouTube stars.

Drilling deeper into the survey, Sehdev found that YouTube stars scored significantly higher than traditional celebrities across a range of characteristics considered to have the highest correlation to influencing purchases among teens. YouTubers were judged to be more engaging, extraordinary and relatable than mainstream stars, who were rated as being smarter and more reliable. In terms of sex appeal, the two types of celebs finished just about even.

Looking at survey comments and feedback, teens enjoy an intimate and authentic experience with YouTube celebrities, who aren’t subject to image strategies carefully orchestrated by PR pros. Teens also say they appreciate YouTube stars’ more candid sense of humor, lack of filter and risk-taking spirit, behaviors often curbed by Hollywood handlers.

That should sound a warning to YouTube celebs looking to cash in on their fame via the traditional Tinseltown infrastructure, Sehdev notes.

SEE ALSO: Survey: YouTube Stars More Popular Than Mainstream Celebs Among U.S. Teens

“If YouTube stars are swallowed by Hollywood, they are in danger of becoming less authentic versions of themselves, and teenagers will be able to pick up on that,” Sehdev says. “That could take away the one thing that makes YouTube stars so appealing.”

Better perhaps that Hollywood take a page from the YouTube playbook, Sehdev observes. By encouraging unvarnished individualism, studios and networks can help foster traditional celebs’ appeal among younger demographics.

Q scores were determined to be the most reliable indicator for the survey’s selection of mainstream stars, whose popularity can be fleeting among teenage demographics. In addition, many prominent celebrities well known to younger consumers may not necessarily be the most popular among them because their prominence is driven more by notoriety, as opposed to true appeal.

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  1. I have the faintest suspicion this list is bull****. Smosh? Paul Walker, who died in 2013, is the top “regular” celeb at number 5? Isn’t PoopiePie in an Israeli prison or something? Bethany Mota (?????) is more popular than Leonardo di Caprio?

  2. Hello to all, the contents existing at this site are genuinely awesome for people knowledge, well, keep up the
    good work fellows.

  3. isv says:

    Well, there are 2.960.000.000 of people in the world that have Internet. Perhaps “only” 1.900.000.000 of them have “uncensored internet”. Even in this case, 8 million of views only represent 0,42% of people who are watching Internet. Even 900 million of views , the most viewed videos of youtube history, represent only 47% of global population that has Internet. So, Youtube is the most overrated fiasco in human history. So I laughed a lot when I read this article. Sorry, Tutube. Even the most popular movie of all time had 2.900.000 of viewers, not to say the people who saw Gone with the wind at cinemas. Sorry Variety, sorry Tutube, but cinema still does well. Tutube doesn’t.

    • mdearm5 says:

      there’s a slight flaw in your logic. You assume that all of the views of videos on youtube come from the same people. You also assume that every single one of the 2,960,000,000 people who use the internet are teenagers between the ages of 13-17 (after all, the article states that they are more influential among TEENAGERS). Besides, a video made by pewdiepie one day ago has now reached 2,519,249 views. If a movie could possible do that in a day the director would crap his pants. Another thing you forget is that while the internet isn’t necessarily accessible everywhere due to lack of infrastructure, movies have no such limitation. They simply need the movie and a place to show it, so it can be argued that roughly the entire population of the Earth has access to the movie. Further, based on your claim 2,900,000 out of 7,125,000,000 have watched the most popular movie coming to a measly .0407%. Clearly, youtube reaches, out of its available audience, more people quantitatively and percentagewise than movies.

  4. nkotbjoeymc says:

    On Twitter John Stamos Love’s Those Teenager’s! As Well As His Bullyied Who Have Been Blocking Me, Bullying Me, And ETC! Also These John Stamos Bullyied Fan’s They John To Put Me On Mute!

  5. Juanita says:

    Has any network picked-up Danny Pino………….?? He’s a wonderful actor and deserves more then NBC did to him,,,,shame on NBC!!!!!

  6. Rajendra Ghogare says:

    Hindi tv sireal mere rang me rengne wali radha is very cute

  7. Ok… there’s Katy Perry… but where are Boyce Avenue?!

  8. ? says:

    Yeah, popular among the teenagers. It’s not like they are going to stay though. Their 15 minutes is almost up.

  9. john cool says:

    This study doesn’t make that much sense to me. Jenna Marbles is way above KSI as far as people know in USA which I assume this study is done.

  10. While I agree that Youtube stars can be vulgar and “filthy”, people need to realize that the vulgarity and brutal humor is one of the reasons teenagers like them. Most arguments against this are invalid. Teenagers appreciate the authenticity that Youtube stars deliver. There are no corporations behind the stars, stop trying to make teenagers hate them. Also, for you people clearly using Google Translate, just leave. I can’t understand what half of the comments say because the spelling and grammar is just shit. Translatirs are innacurate and the people that translate this article into their language might be reading “Pewdiepie sucks dick on camera and teenagers watch it”. If you have no arguments and no real evidence, fuck off. Kids and teenagers will not conform to adult standards anymore.

  11. Bear says:

    One thing I would like to see discussed in an article is about image. All these YouTube stars are attractive. NO ONE will ever be famous on most social media unless teens find them attractive, no matter HOW much talent they have. They could be the next Mozart but if they wear the wrong close and have the wrong hair or don’t look hot or cute… they will get NO likes and subscribers on the level of somebody cute who just posts videos of them doing random things and calling it comedy. Because in the “real” world looks are not everything in the end, they help in certain fields but you other skills can also get you in the door if you have them. Now, that is a discussion I’d love to have.

  12. Sian says:

    People say that others are “degenerates” for voting YouTube stars as the favourited, but what better would it be for teens to vote Nicki Minaj or Miley Cyrus as their favourite celebrity, they don’t exactly show a good image nor are they legitimate, twerking all over the place and stuff.

    They also have a bunch of people to do their “talent” for them. YouTube stars started from the bottom being ordinary people who still are ordinary people and show it through their humour and personality, they’re like a friend to everyone who watches them, not just some puppet played about by agents to try and get teens to follow a trend.

    I say good on the teens who voted for these stars, it gives me faith in the future generation of down to earth, respectful people.

  13. Jake Perkins says:

    Yeah… Tyler Oakley and others aren’t on here soo… this study needs more input but there is some validity to this.

  14. Bj Majad says:

    I don’t how PewDiePie and FineBros or KSI are better than Ryan Higa. Ryan Higa has pure talents and creativity if you look at his vids. I do however admit that Smosh is pretty funny and deserve it’s number 1 spot

    • Steven says:

      No one said Pewdiepie and finebros or KSI are better than Ryan Higa. That list is showing how popular thet are not how good or talented they are.

  15. :) says:

    I don’t understand why this has anything to do with the “stupidity” of this generation. I’m a big fan of certain YouTubers as well, and although there are really some who act or speak inappropriately, there are also those who set a good role model, those who mean well and only wish to make the viewers happy. The same goes with TV celebs. After all, no one’s perfect, right?

  16. nushkino says:

    Reblogged this on nushkino and commented:
    When being a celebrity is no longer enough, watch out the YouTubers are coming out. #socialmedia #youtubers

  17. RGGold says:

    Watch his Flappy Bird posting….it’s “filth” and he’s degenerate, “someone having lost moral quality considered normal”

  18. T. Scott says:

    I wish iJustine was still able to be on a list like this one

  19. RGGold says:

    And thank goodness there are more people watching TV and other media …I watched a 10 minute piece from that Pew guy the other day never have I heard such disgusting filth …he’s a degenerate and You Tube should be ask ashamed to allow him access…

    • Mirza says:

      I’d never watched Pewdiepie, though as someone not much older than the demographic polled for this piece I may be expected to enjoy this kind of media. I watched a few of his videos after reading your comment and I have absolutely no idea what you mean by “disgusting filth” and “degenerate”. His videos are silly and not very sophisticated, but there is no “filth” in them. Also, I don’t think you understand how YouTube works. YT does not vet or approve videos or users who upload them. If viewers believe a video contravenes YT terms of use (e.g. pornographic content), they can report it, and YT can remove videos and ban the user, but clearly, no one else seems to have flagged Pewdiepie as “degenerate filth”.

  20. Jen says:

    The “authenticity” that young viewers love so much:

  21. johanleide says:

    Want to understand more about how they do it? Listen the Radio Show “Sommar” with PewDiePie describing his rise to fame. It was aired 9th of august and is about an hour long.

    Sommar i P1 is one of the biggest radio shows in Sweden and a staple in Swedish culture – everyone knows the well-known signature and the show which is on air every year during the summer, and has been ever since its start in 1959.
    The show is made up by interesting Swedes who get free hands to create their own hour and a half-long show; they get to choose their own music and what they want to talk about. Being a host on Sommar i P1 has been compared to receiving a knighthood in Sweden.

    Due to his popularity he published his program also in English

  22. It’s heartening to know that the 4th most popular “celebrity” on this list (KSI) is someone who was banned from the UK’s biggest gaming expo for his behaviour towards women and is well known for participating in a meme called “rape face”.

  23. PMG says:

    So based on what just 1500 people said, you’re saying this represents an entire country of millions of teens? Yikes.

  24. cool8man says:

    Is this really any different than Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, and MTV stars being more popular with teens/pre-teens than actual celebrities? I have never heard of a single one of the people in red and I use YouTube every single day. I am an adult so I just naturally filter out all the little childrens garbage. When these teens grow up their tastes will mature and they will filter out this crap too.

  25. balashi says:

    I think of Laina (OAG) who was highly regarded as an overnight Youtube success, who then took a LOT of flak the moment she started shilling for KIA and other stores… kids don’t like products, they like people. If the industry wants to keep making money off these people, they are going to have to find a stealthier “back door” approach.

    • Bear says:

      Kinds are the world biggest trendwhores. I know I was a kid. They *think* they are being unquie but really they are doing the same thing every other teen is doing. And even these YouTube celebrities are doing the same thing as each other it’s just that some got there first. BUt it won’t last because the kids will grow up and have bills to pay and to go to work and won’t the hours spend on these youtube “stars” like they did when they were kids. So I am waiting to see how is plays out for some of them in the long run.

    • ThomT says:

      Actually kids don’t “think” they like products yet they are the biggest consumers of the newest, biggest, fastest, whatever that is put in front of them via non-traditional marketing. Most of the people on this list will fade just about as quickly as they have risen to be replaced by the newest, biggest, fastest, whatever.

  26. gunnar puleman says:

    guy, this article dont make sence

  27. RGGold says:

    That’s a really in depth and meaningful survey then, select from just 20 people….!!!

  28. ehhh says:

    I don’t know how I feel about this list… it seems more heavily geared towards acting than celebrities in general. you’d think Beyoncé would be on there at least. or a long list of other musicians.

    • Beyonce wasn’t an available choice. The participants were only given this list of 20 celebrities from which to choose. The limited options do make these results questionable though. Would’ve been more interesting to have, say, 100 choices and just ask the participants to rank their top 10.

      • Bear says:

        Actually a better way to do this would be to have the kids make there own list of celebrities they worship. Because the trend I’m seeing is that if queried this way the is would be VASTLY different because there is so much niche celebrity happening that you might gets 100s upon hundreds of different names mentioned. And PewDieAPie may have the most subscribers that doesn’t say whose actually still watching or just because his video gets a view doesn’t mean it was watch either it could’ve been clicked on to send hate or some girl just wanted to post about how cute he was.

        I think this is why major companies have been slow to gather up YouTube stars because they don’t appeal to the vast market, they are too niche. And maybe the entertainment world is going niche and you won’t have megastars anymore but I do think the quality of our entertainment and the arts will decline if these kinds of stars just quit school to become “famous”.

  29. KT Chong says:

    Justin Bieber became famous on YouTube before he went mainstream, but he has turned out to be a disaster.

  30. KT Chong says:

    The survey was conducted among children aged 13 to 18. My guess is if a survey was done on the 18-to-25 age group and college kids, it would produce similar results. My children are younger than 13 and the samples in the survey. My children and their friends actually spend more time watching YouTube than TV, cable and movies – combined. So I know YouTube personalities – affectionately called “YouTubers” – have even stronger influences among the below-13 age group. So I know this trend will only continue to grow in the near future.

    I see from other comments that many adults of my generation are offended by the idea that YouTubers are more popular than the “real” celebrities with whom they are familiar. The comments accuse the YouTube generation of being “stupid”. I disagree. YouTubers are certainly smarter and better than the likes of Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton.

    Paul Walker is the mainstream celebrity who has the highest survey score. I suspect the reason is he was recently in the news and mentioned by many YouTubers. I know because that was how I found out about Paul Walker was killed in a fiery car accident. I had no idea who he was before I repeatedly heard about him on YouTube.

    • Gabs says:

      As a part of the 18-25 demographic, the only “youtubers” I know are Smosh, PewDiePie, Tyler Oakley, and the Harries brother. I only know of these people from my cousins who are 6-10 years younger than me.

      I watch a lot of youtube, but definitely do not consume more youtube than TV or Film. In fact, I don’t know many people my age who watch more youtubers than TV. Yes, there are a few who consume more “Youtubers”, but I’d say that among the 18-25 demographic, there’s still more of a traditional celebrity fan culture than a youtube-celeb fan one.

      • Bear says:

        I don’t know how I’d feel about my kids using other kids as role model or “heroes” I know adults aren’t perfect but it feels to me like we have a wave of celebrities who have yet to fully mature acting like kids for kids, with nobody body around to sort keep things “in line” or to make sure it is appropriate for children to begin with. When I hear boys claiming Bieber as there inspiration or PewDiePie, I get concerned that this idol worship is solely based around they got famous for really doing nothing special and so can. Study show that many kids/teens today are more interested in becoming famous than going to college for a career. This kind of entertainment I don’t think it likely to be the type of thing that put food and clothing and shelter into the lives, of most of the kids that aspire to this.

        And also it must be said, there are NO unattractive YouTube stars. Seth Rogen is cute in that comedic actor way and Stephen Hawking has a brilliant mind and Madeline Alrnight could work politics but you cannot make it on YouTube unless this teen demographic deems you attractive (ugly people will never be famous on most social media period) and frankly I would love to see a discussion on that and how it affects the esteem of teens who don’t get the followers and likes and all that.

      • Raymond Goldsmith says:

        Let us all hope there is more 18 – 25 year old following traditional celebrity culture and that this trend ever increases….I watched a piece from that PewDiePie the other day to get a feel for what he’s about….never have I watched and heard such disgusting filth…he’s a generate and You Tube should be ashamed to allow this gutter level media..

        Raymond Goldsmith Sent from my iPad

    • Jenovo says:

      Without the internet, there would’ve been no Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton, so that argument is moot.

      • KT Chong says:

        Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton actually do not have much of a presence on YouTube. I watch a lot of YouTube and very little television. (The only shows I watch on TV are Game of Thrones once a year, The Legend of Korra that has recently become an online-only show, and very few occasions CNN and MSNBC; Hm. Maybe it’s time for me to cut my cable.) I know Kardashian and Hilton are reality TV “stars” who have done nothing worthwhile to deserve their success and wealth. I know they became famous because their sex tapes were “leaked”, and then their publicists leveraged their ill-gotten fame to gain success and money. When YouTubers talk about them, it is almost always to take jabs at their decadence or to use them as examples as to why we need to tax the spoiled rich more.

  31. QOOLOS says:

    … and this was a surprise to the author? Oh, wow. You’re missing out.

  32. It’s because YouTubers are FABULOUS!

  33. Baized Haq says:

    its a sad day when Leonardo Di Caprio gets a score of 8…..

    • Rinko says:

      Not knowing mainstream celebrities is not a problem but not knowing great actors is a disaster. Now I really get worried about human beings’ future.

      • avmanm says:

        Not knowing about Hollywood celebrities is not a “disaster” The vast majority of the world’s population lead perfectly fulfilling lives without ever knowing who these “great actors” are. You should take a good look at yourself instead of worrying about humanity’s future.

  34. Today’s young people are stupid. No doubt in my mind. But, you can’t blame them for it. Because just about every parent shoves cell phone, tablet/iPads, any kind of computer in the child faces so they don’t have to deal with them. In turn, these kids watch the dumbest crap out there. These kids can’t tell you what their teachers name is, but they can tell you all the names of the equally dumb Kardashians.”youtube is so cooool. Omg. What’s math?”

    • avmanm says:

      In other words: “I mindlessly consume whatever mainstream media wants to shove down my throat. How could these kids possibly dare to do otherwise? They must be really stupid. How could parents not see the consequences of giving their kids iPads? Oh, the horror of people younger than me seeing how superficial my fawning over celebrities is.”

    • Keith says:

      How the heck did you relate Kardashians to Youtube? Dude, some of the most cultured and intellectual things ive learned ive done from Youtube. While people who watch TV talk about Kardashians, i was busy looking for someonet o talk about Israel-Gaza because of the people covering it on Youtube.

    • Joseph says:

      I kind of find it offensive that you call you young people stupid. I’m 19. I like watching PewDiePie. I do agree with you about parents just giving kids technology to just not deal with them, but there are some kids that don’t use technology to just waste away their lives on Facebook, YouTube, and other social sites. I use technology to stay aware of the politics of our country, health issues, science topics and much more.

      • Keith says:

        How the heck did you relate Kardashians to Youtube? Dude, some of the most cultured and intellectual things ive learned ive done from Youtube. While people who watch TV talk about Kardashians, i was busy looking for someonet o talk about Israel-Gaza because of the people covering it on Youtube.

  35. Andrew Scrivener says:

    Before anyone says this, these YouTubers are not bad. This is not reflecting upon the stupidity of this generation. This is the new form of celebrities. We must not argue about this like everywhere else, we need to accept this, because there’s going to be no change in a while.

  36. Mjkbk says:

    Betty White is #12 among teens? How did THAT happen? Go Betty!

  37. Raymond Goldsmith says:

    They may be here today but they’ll be gone tomorrow !!’

  38. David Ferguson says:

    Q-scores are dated and pritty useless. Never knew Youtubers had such appeal but this is very interesting indeed.

  39. Sarah Cross says:

    That is true. Like I tell my mom these people on TV are a big lie. And Youtubers do more like giving charity to kids that need it. When have you seen a Hollywood star give charity? I haven’t seen one.

  40. Mike says:

    Hollywood Reporter eat your heart out.

  41. Idle says:

    That’s because American teens are idiots. Let’s not care and say we did, shall we?

    • avmanm says:

      They are less idiotic than Boomers/Gen X-ers who fawn over celebrities with fake personalities and carefully groomed media image.

  42. Hard Cold Truth says:

    YouTube superstar stories are B.S. Many of these “Internet celebrities” are manufactured by the same old studio system from behind the curtain.

    Research shows young consumers don’t want to feel manipulated to buy by big corporations, so you camouflage the corporate involvement by making the product/star appear a “grass roots success story.” The new Brittney Spears is filmed in a set that looks like a suburban bedroom in Peoria, talking about her boyfriend and her taste in sweaters. Now, put it on YouTube, boosting the rankings with Vietnamese click farm views so it appears already popular, and plebeians will join in to see what’s the hubbub.

    Next, write the story, “17-year-old girl makes six figures talking about her cat’s farts on YouTube!” Include quotes from major entertainment execs saying, “This little lady has us by the short and curlies!” Great story!

    Now launch the mainstream TV show/movie with the “viral sensation.” The audience feels bought into the success of the project because they helped “elect” the celebrity with YouTube clicks. A million Davids have beaten the Goliath from the iPhone their mom bought them – or so they feel.

    After reading about the gold rush, the proletarians go spend their lawn mowing money on cameras and mics trying to replicate the success, but wonder why it’s taking them six months to accumulate 12 views. (Hint: Because they’re the REAL “viral stars.”) There are people with decades-long performing resumes and even Emmys that struggle to get a thousand views with personal YouTube projects, and you’re telling me some unknown teen has 12 million? Yeah, right!

    • avmanm says:

      Actors with decades of experience and Emmy winners are precisely the kind of “celebrity” younger viewers tend to avoid, so I don’t see why you are surprised they can’t get views. Other than that, don’t spout nonsense about something you are ignorant about. There are no “big studios” behind most successful Youtubers, and most of them do not aspire to a career in mainstream media. I follow a handful of Youtube performers who are unknown in mainstream entertainment and have no intention of making the jump. I watch them because they are talented and entertaining, not because a “Vietnamese click farm” drove up their views and young people will watch anything that seems “popular”.

      Also, not everyone is talented, so don’t be surprised all your lawn mowing friends’ Youtube channels didn’t work out. For every one successful Youtubers, there are thousands who don’t achieve popularity. This is not because they are drowned out by corporation-backed celebrities, but because they are not talented enough. The same thing happens in the “real world”, so I am not sure why you are surprised that many aspiring Youtube performers cannot replicate the success of others.

    • Keith says:

      I would really like to know who are these ‘youtube’ stars you seem to think are manufactured by studios and big corporations. Most of these Youtubers started off small and then became big corporations themselves. But they are still the ones pulling the strings and putting out content. There is no mysterious suit&tie behind them, the ones pulling the strings and taking in the income and the ones you see on camera. The End.

    • Hard Cold Truth says:

      Everyone wants to believe they, too, can plug in a $30 webcam and become a multi-millionaire movie star, thus they’re resistant to my message. But I can point you to a two-time Emmy winner who is frustrated her YouTube videos only draw about 1,200 views. Or two guys who were instructors at the UCB Theater in New York for 20 years, who make videos 10x funnier than anything you’ll see on Saturday Night Live, and they only get about 350 views. Or a musician who’s played Carnegie Hall and huge European festivals who’s YouTubes only get about 200 views apiece. Former large market radio DJ’s who’s podcasts get 300 downloads on a good day. But a teenybopper in Grand Rapids has outsmarted them all? Sorry, but large corporations setting up fake “indie labels,” and now TV companies setting up YouTube channels and manufacturing “homegrown” stars, is real.

      • avmanm says:

        I’ve watched UCB’s videos on Youtube (though maybe not the people you are referring to), they are not that funny and just come across as forced and melodramatic. Playing Carnegie Hall is a great achievement for a musician in certain circles, but most younger people do not necessarily like that type of music. Winning an Emmy is not a guarantee of future success; think of how most of the Seinfeld cast never achieved the same level of success afterwards. At any rate, unless your Emmy winner still has a successful screen career, she is quite likely a washed-up former star who no one has followed in some time, so there is no surprise her YT doesn’t do well.

        I don’t think you understand something very fundamental. Your age-old definitions of “successful artists” simply does not hold in the online world. You cannot expect Emmy winners or Carnegie Hall players to do well on YT because the viewing demographic just doesn’t care about those achievements. This is not because people are watching TV company backed “fake homegrown stars”, but because people find independent YT performers more relatable/”genuine”/entertaining. The reason your “successful artists” are unsuccessful online is precisely that their success offline has nothing to do with success online.

        Lastly, I can think of several well-known TV personalities who have successful YT series; the British comedian David Mitchell being one I enjoy (watch “David Mitchell’s Soapbox on Youtube).

      • Can you tell me the names of these under appreciated YouTube celebrities? I’d like to check them out

    • Eric says:

      You really don’t get it do you? The only thing that’s bs is your cynical perspective in thinking that everything is powered by big corporations. Obviously you don’t understand that almost every youtube star has built up their success gradually and over time the quality of their videos improves. Pewdiepie and KSI both started off with pretty hilariously awful videos, but then improved them over the course of 3-4 years and started gaining subscribors. Once they reach 1-2 million subs by making great videos and being genuine with their audience by having q and a’s, more mainstream kids find out, and the sub count skyrockets. Many popular youtubers also have iconic videos that everyone saw, and this led to rapid growth in their channel. If you understood anything about youtube stars you wouldn’t have just made that comment.

    • Jonny says:

      The people who get so many millions of views, get them because they’re way more entertaining and likeable than those who are getting maybe 10 views in days (like me).

      • Bear says:

        Well personally I cannot vouche for ANY authenticity in any of the youtube celebrities. They are young and have a lot of life experience left to do before I’ll take their authenticity as authentic and not you know whatever every other teenager is trending at the moment. YouTube videos like these are kind of like the popular kids in HS for some reason you got jealous and wanted to be them even though you didn’t know them at all. And how is polishing your video and editing out every flaw authentic, it may be professional. But authentic is when you fuck up on camera and leave it in.

        Also as I said elsewhere on here make sure you are cute.

        That said I can totally believe that big business is behind some of these people. Because let’s be honest some kid starts out making low tech silly videos get a little popular the suddenly they have a website and better production values. I think somebody is definitely helping them out behind the scenes with branding and, you know paying taxes, and managing the business side. Because if there is anyone behind the scenes helping all this ventures will fail because you don’t learn business management of wikipedia. And so let’s not confuse realistic business practices with being “authentic”.

  43. So YouTube reveals that audiences do prefer true over manufactured authenticity. But will that make celebrity branding more honest? Or even more cunningly deceiving? Wonder what celebrity branding expert Jeetendr Sehdev thinks.

    • Youtube is not always “Authentic” there is a LOT of fakeness in online content as there is in more “Traditional” contect (I.e. movies, tv). But i do understand your point and there is some validity to it.

  44. Password1 says:

    Fascinating and couldn’t agree more with celebrity brand strategist Jeetendr Sehdev. Hollywood definitely has more to learn from YouTubers than vice versa. Great insight.

  45. Slizzy says:

    Not surprising at all. Youtubers actually interact with their fans/supporters, unlike the “mainstream celebs”.

  46. ForeverM says:

    Love. Love. Love.

  47. OG-3 says:

    Youtubers are someone people choose to watch by themselves, yet celebrities are someone who were noticed by talent scouts and producers and made famous, that’s why teens fins Youtube starts much more appealing.

  48. Oscar says:

    I believe Pewdiepie is the most popular figure among teenagers. his videos always rank #1 on youtube trends map and his channel gets more views than any other youtuber and mainstream celeb including shakira, rihanna, pitbull, etc. Currently his channel has the biggest amount of views: 5,465,112,448, over 200m more than Rihanna 5,250,539,864 and he gets over 250-300m every month.

    • FlameZ says:

      The reason, I think, that PewDiePie isn’t #1, is because this survey only involved US teens. Many of Felix’s fans are Europeans, mostly Scandinavians, and Asian.

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