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Andrew Reid

How is this funded? Mega rich YouTubers

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Look at the amount of money on screen here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNJe8uQhM2G4jJFRWiM89Wg/videos

I am not making any comment on the quality of the channel, clearly people like his content. I might even like it. Haven't watched any yet.

But what is amazing is the relentlessness and the amount of money in the gear he has used in just 1 month.

Screenshot 2020-01-10 at 14.18.39.png

- C500 II
- Macbook Pro 16"
- EOS R and new RF Speed Booster
- Arri Alexa (a snip at $6000)
- Mavo LF
- 90D
- Insta360
- Moment anamorphic

And that is just in 1 month, a little under 1 month in fact.

Hardly anyone can compete with this relentless pace.

And even fewer can afford to.

It looks like the doors are swinging closed to YouTube as we speak.

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

I doubt it's fully ad funded if that is what you mean, money per view isn't that amazing.

Views and subscribers isn't that great compared to a blacksmith for example.

https://www.youtube.com/user/alectheblacksmith/videos

Or urban exploration

https://www.youtube.com/user/TheProperPeople/videos

I do recommend watching both since they do a really well in the quality department.

uh where where I, sorry got distracted watching videos.

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With the amount of subscribers he has, it's possible some companies have provided him with kit to review - at least in the case of Insta360, Kinefiniti and DJI maybe?

As for the Arris and Canons, if he's a DOP or there's a DOP he works with who has a good relationship with a rental house - sometimes the rental house is happy to provide a good deal or return a favour if the DOP has brought them a lot of business previously. Who knows if he does something like this. 

Although he does say he bought an old Alexa so he must have some money

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I watch a lot of YT and I think it behaves in similar ways to any other marketplace.  More specifically:

  • Those with more money / resources / connections can get access to things that aren't available to many/any others, which leads to unique content, which leads to more views, which leads to more money / resources / connections
  • There are gaps where a lack of competition exists and there are openings to new players, and the only way to find these is to either get very lucky, or do a lot of experimentation, which of course is easier when you have more money / resources / connections because a few failures doesn't mean you go broke or get excommunicated altogether
  • Those two are what separates the successful from the unsuccessful, but there are other factors in play too, such as talent and authenticity and hard-work which can give you an advantage, but this is difficult

but the separation between rich and poor is bound to expand when the successful people also work hard and try to be as authentic as possible too.

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Must be some very wealthy sponsors involved, most artists I know don't have 1 million dollars a year to spend on stuff they don't actually need.

So if we are seeing extreme gentrification of the internet, with nothing but hipsters, then count me out.

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13 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

Must be some very wealthy sponsors involved, most artists I know don't have 1 million dollars a year to spend on stuff they don't actually need.

So if we are seeing extreme gentrification of the internet, with nothing but hipsters, then count me out.

I think we've seen this for the past 2-3 years. Instagram turned into a platform for selling you stuff a few years ago and now Youtube is exactly the same. This is rampant consumerism at an all-time high. And honestly, camera gear and electronics are one of the worst offenders. 

There is a large selection of Youtubers who seem like fine people but are making a good chunk of money by promoting incredibly wasteful consumerism. I believe our current widespread depression and addiction epidemic is based on these false "social" channels and "relationships" that are actually more about envy, greed, and jealousy than actual real human connection.

Maybe without knowing it (but some of them do), these Youtubers and Instagram "influencers" are contributing to people's increasing unhappiness. 

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There's this one guy I follow that's always been transparant and sharing of his earnings, which gives an interesting insight:

I suppose the same goes for a whole lot of other YouTubers. Hustle. Be smart. Find some side gigs. Profit.

The most successful YouTube channel apparently is this kid Ryan that plays with toys... 23M+ subs and $26M yearly earnings.

Fanbases are pretty mindblowing as well. Just take a look at the whole beauty guru thing on YouTube, it's insane. Social influence = monie$.

Cringefest. That Jeffree Star fella has an estimate networth of $75M in 2019... probably more like $200M in 2020. Like... whut. lol

There's money in YT no doubt. A little less perhaps for camera channels, because not enough people might care enough to geek over that kinda thing. But just the amount of sponsored video. I can't take any more Squarespace, Skillshare, Freshbooks, NordVPN, Audible, etc sponsored videos. You have YouTube Premium to fence off ads... and then you still need to skip the timeline! Ugh. I mean, I get it... but, argh.

And with YouTube 'celeb' status, like red carpet parties where actual celebs get free 'swag bags' with like fashion and electronics (headphones for example), there's freebies too. Like... two or three years ago I suddenly started noticing people wearing 'Canada Goose' jackets all of a sudden. Apparently one of their ploys was to hand out their parkas to Hollywood celebrities. They'd get photographed wearing them = awesome promotion. In the camera world you'd get sponsored with free gear for promoting a certain product, store or service (plus possible sponsorship moniez; but usually not because YouTubers often claim not to receive straight up money (but they'll happily take the free gear as payment (ok, sometimes just 'on loan'), so...?) and can say whatever they want: give their honest opinion. Of course... if you want to stay in the good graces of the company... you're likely not to mention any downsides and just highlight the positives, that way you're not exactly lying, just withholding the complete truth; of course we see this happen in more industries... like car journalism where getting exclusive early insights is crucial).

Btw. Also YouTube:

 

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Potato Jet has access to all that gear through a variety of ways. He is an active video producer so he has access to rentals and other equipment used for that. He has many filmmaker friends that loan him stuff. He has many sponsors that send him items for review. And he is has a healthy case of G.A.S as well that leads to many of his own purchases. 

If you watch enough of his videos, he eventually tells you how/why he has basically every piece of kit. Sometimes he'll reference a RED he rented or borrowed for a video from months prior, for example.

TBH Potato Jet is my favorite Youtuber right now. He feels very genuine and I legitimately like watching his stuff.

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I think it's a couple of things, possibly a combination of them:

A lot of YouTubers come from money. Some come from wealthy families, others had/have good paying jobs that allow them to indulge in an expensive hobby, etc. Even if they have gotten to the point where they're self sustainable off of YouTube revenue and freelance work, it's likely they started from an advantageous position to begin with. Living in NYC or Los Angeles isn't cheap, you need a lot of money just to get set up there. 

I also think the ease in which you can get credit to buy stuff probably has a lot to do with it. Literally every time I order something off of Amazon, eBay, B & H, etc. I get credit offers. Wouldn't shock me to find out a lot of YouTubers are going into debt. 

Then there's the freebies/sponsored content. A lot of them have built up relationships with B & H so they'll get loaners, which I don't really object to and prefer over them getting freebies. But a lot of them just get stuff sent to them. I remember Tom Antos did a video where he unboxed like 30+ things he'd been sent and had been sitting on that he never bothered to review. No clue what he did with all of it, probably sold it? But it really opened my eyes to how freely all this equipment gets sent out and is viewed by the companies as the cost of doing business. Then of course you've got your Canon, Sony, etc. sending people review copies, flying people out, etc. 

Potato Jet I think probably comes from a well to do family, because even though I know he's a working professional it's very hard for me to believe that he can afford everything he has while living in Los Angeles, even with a profitable YouTube career and his freelance work. His house alone has to cost half a million or more! But in general I feel like he's honest, and he gives away most of the stuff he reviews. 

Once a YouTuber starts to feel like they're compromised I start to gravitate away from them and their content. It's why I enjoy smaller channels (see my thread dedicated to them ?) because they're not big enough to be getting stuff from companies and instead use/review things they've spent their money on. In general they're a lot less biased. 

14 minutes ago, MurtlandPhoto said:

Potato Jet has access to all that gear through a variety of ways. He is an active video producer so he has access to rentals and other equipment used for that. He has many filmmaker friends that loan him stuff. He has many sponsors that send him items for review. And he is has a healthy case of G.A.S as well that leads to many of his own purchases. 

If you watch enough of his videos, he eventually tells you how/why he has basically every piece of kit. Sometimes he'll reference a RED he rented or borrowed for a video from months prior, for example.

TBH Potato Jet is my favorite Youtuber right now. He feels very genuine and I legitimately like watching his stuff.

Yeah that's another thing he has to his benefit by living in LA. The availability of equipment, whether it's from rentals or friends, is on a completely different level. 

He seems like a very kind person so I don't wanna come off as too critical. There aren't a lot of people that'll go out and buy equipment for their friend that's starting a YouTube channel, and then give that same friend his bike as a gift. 

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Personally, I like Potato Jet. I think he has a funny personality, I like the way he puts his content together. I also like that he runs the gamut of everything from covering a 360 camera to buying a used ARRI. It personally makes for entertaining content on a subject I like. 

Is he making his living in part by getting brand deals, partnerships? Absolutely! But I do think on the surface level looking in, as others have stated- he seems to be fairly transparent. 

That said, if someone offers you a sneak peak at a big product to make a video review or let’s you keep it, even if no money is involved and you transparently state that, you are being used as a marketing arm for that company. Companies have taken to all the big youtubers so that on launch week, everyone suddenly has a review up. I think this goes both ways. It’s cool that we as consumers can get a look at said product, but it is consumerism. It is shoving paid promotion content at us. It also feeds a mentality that we need product xyz or everything we have is inferior. 

When it comes down to it- I like his stuff. If you’re asking about affordability- his vlog channel stated he has at least another roommate (besides his gf) at his house. I don’t think he’s living that glamorously. He probably is in debt (topic for another convo) unless he’s just a brand/product mastermind negotiator. But hey, makes for an entertaining watch every now and again.

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I think one thing to remember is that flashing/reviewing/showing off all the new gear is part of the business model some of these YouTubers use to make their living. It's the affiliate links. The key for channels like Potato Jet, Matti Happoja, Crimson Engine, Peter McKinnon, Kai W, etc, etc, etc, is to get reviews up as often as possible, especially when flashy new gear comes out, to pull in viewers. Yeah, they only make pennies per view, but they make a lot more through affiliate link purchases. 

The next $ tier up is the big brand deals that people like McKinnon get to  fly somewhere posh like Dubai and shoot ~10 minute advertorial/blog videos about products. And the bigger the channel gets, the more likely big companies will loan or give away gear for a video review and little/new/Chinese companies will just send random product to them in hopes of getting a mention. Matti Happoja has mega swag-opening sequences pretty regularly on his channel that highlights this phenomenon. I wonder how much of brands' marketing budget has shifted from TV commercials, magazine ads and other traditional media purchases to social media placement. For marketing people, it's all about the impressions per $ spent.

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6 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

Must be some very wealthy sponsors involved, most artists I know don't have 1 million dollars a year to spend on stuff they don't actually need.

So if we are seeing extreme gentrification of the internet, with nothing but hipsters, then count me out.

It probably does not cost him that much since a lot of that stuff is likely sold after he reviews it. Ad revenue would make up the balance, provided he has enough viewers. Plus, if his channel is popular and he maintains contacts with marketing people from manufacturers, chances are that he gets a fair amount of gear free or for evaluation.

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He's a working DP in LA. Most of the high end gear would come from connections there, or rentals he's already got temporarily. He's one of the few Youtubers who've impressed me when they've actually shown some of their professional work.

Perhaps at some point his Youtube stuff became more lucrative and is now the main focus, but the connections he'd have within the industry would certaily make it easy to get his hands on gear temporarily.

Of course, the lower end stuff is probably all brand deals or stuff he went and bought. The Alexa was an older model that he paid $6000 for. That's nothing in terms of professional cinema cameras. He may or may not have ever used it on a proper job but if he did it could've saved/earned him most of that back in rentals. And he could've easily sold it a week later for the same - or even more (the buzz around that video alone would've caused quite a few people to go looking for rock-bottom Alexa's).

It might seem like he's flushed with cash but really he's just in a saturated local market. It's not rocket science and if you're already making a full-time living as a cinematographer, gear all just becomes part of the cost of doing business. Most working DP's will rent/borrow any new cinema cameras that come out so they can test them out anyway - only difference is he puts some time in to shooting a Youtube video at the same time.

 

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55 minutes ago, barefoot_dp said:

He's a working DP in LA. Most of the high end gear would come from connections there, or rentals he's already got temporarily.

This. He also rents gear to other productions.

The rest is sponsored deals.

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8 hours ago, currensheldon said:

Maybe without knowing it (but some of them do), these Youtubers and Instagram "influencers" are contributing to people's increasing unhappiness. 

Agreed. But I’ve also watched a lot of things that have been motivating.

It’s all about balance.

Gear channels like potato jet work because we all like our gear. We like new things. Improved things.

But it has gotten extremely stale for me as of late. Everybody on YouTube seems to morph into a brand because that’s the only way to make money. It’s all starting to blur for me. Everything is the same shit.

And as much as Peter McKinnon or Matti think they are filmmakers or don’t want to be labeled as “influencers” they are in essence influencers that use their clout to peddle corporate products to their fans bases. Is it bad? Well, it’s the same as TV except even more successful.

I don’t know why any corporations would spend so much on TV ads when YouTube ads and sponsored deals with select youtubers is cheaper and more effective.

Im not going to by an EOS R from a TV ad. If I watched some sponsored video from a YouTuber (Matti for example; and yes Canon sponsored those videos by giving you a free camera!) I’ve chosen to watch, im much much more likely to buy It.

Look at the launch of the Insta 360 R, peak design tripod, DJI Mavic whatever. It’s all the same corporate talking points on different sets.

I think there is tremendous space left in YouTube for unique and engaging content with an original spin from people that aren’t brands, or have managers, or company logos.

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7 minutes ago, chadandreo said:

I could’ve sworn he posted a video recently talking about the money he makes from YouTube, but it looks like it’s gone now. 

The video has been renamed. Not sure why. 

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