Top YouTube stars are cashing in - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Top YouTube stars are cashing in

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MYFOXNY.COM - PewDiePie, Smosh, the Fine Bros. You may not recognize their handles, but according to Variety Magazine no one in the world resonates as strongly with American teenagers.

Celebrity branding authority Jeetendr Sehdev conducted that Variety survey but did not expect to discover the five most influential figures in the world of the American teen found their fame on YouTube.

"The results were quite surprising," Sehdev said. "They're seen as being more risk-aggressive. They're seen as being more unique, more individual and as a result they're creating this greater bond and greater appeal."

And they're making money, often without leaving their homes or even the comfort of their computer chair.

"The most popular YouTube channel makes somewhere between $850,000 and $8 million a year," said Cherlynn Low, a writer for Tom's Guide and Laptop Magazine. "That's after YouTube's 45 percent cut."

Low was referring to PewDiePie, whose nearly 30 million subscribers watch him play video games.

"Now teenagers are looking to celebrities and feeling they own them, that they have an equity stake in them because they've actually made them," Sehdev said.

The strength of that allegiance leads teens to wake up early in the middle of their summer vacation to greet YouTube crooner Shawn Mendes before his appearance on Good Day New York and poses a threat to celebs of other mediums as this generation of fans grows up.

"The larger more traditional celebrities need to take a leaf out of the page of YouTube celebrities and they need to come across as less filtered and more authentic," Sehdev said.

If that happens we might credit YouTube and this generation of teenagers with an evolution in the relationship between fan and celebrity.
 
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