Jump to content
Andrew Reid

How is this funded? Mega rich YouTubers

Recommended Posts

Simon Cade, DSLRGuide, the little chap who used to always shoot on a 550D was sharing as he learned and branched out. Right now he only posts a vid every few months or so when a sponsor of his pushes him to finish one before a deadline.

Bit of a shame. YouTube used to be Skillshare. A place where you'd get wiser. Where people were genuinely excited to share wisdom and had fun making videos they cared about themselves. Hardly the case anymore these days (though still a few around, luckily). All about creating a brand for yourself raking in that Googoo money. Might be a generational thing. People don't really want to know about the artform of shooting video anymore. It's about how to get results the easiest. Gadgets and gizmos play a big part in that of course. But that kinda shifts the focus away from the creative side... for which that should actually open up some capacity for due to these advancements, but kinda seems nobody is taking an interest in (in turn forcing the channels wanting to make a living offa being a YouTuber to shift more towards being gear reviewers; which doesn't necessarily leave them any happier. But atleast with a wallet full of stacks, so who's complaining).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs
28 minutes ago, Video Hummus said:

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.

I agree.  It's always about the content.  However, gear reviewing channels are harder to maintain or garner views/likes. There's just too many competitors now.  You have to have a competitive advantage like being an actually DP w/ free (or cheap) access to equipment people want to know more about or become extremely niche which limits the number of people who want to watch your content which limits your income from creating content.  Blue ocean strategy, my friend...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

...

Hardly anyone can compete with this relentless pace.

And even fewer can afford to.

...

Hey, Andrew. Long time no see.

As other posters have said, YouTube has become a massive marketing tool. It started as a place to spread knowledge. But now its 99% marketing.

More specifically "Content Marketing". For charismatic youtubers, this is a godsend, even when their analytic perspective is....cuestionable.

As you've astutely noted, it would be impossible for the average person to buy the gear big video-centric channels feature each month.

That's where content marketing comes in. Canon, Apple, Sony, etc. provide the gear and the YouTuber provides some semblance of "journalism". But, as with all marketing efforts, it's a controlled voice: said YouTuber will seldom ever criticize the gear they have received. They weasel out by saying "it's good, but this other model by Canon/Sony/Fuji" is even better" because they have already "reviewed" and placed the corresponding Amazon link to that other gear. So basically, they never lose. 

They will never destroy the camera with a scathing review. Never. That would mean no more camera review trips to Hawaii and being thrown "out of the loop" by electronic companies.It's always "it's very good but maybe spend a little bit more and get X gear and X lens". Most of the time, they already have newer and better gear under embargo. Weasel tactics.

The marketing wheel must be pushed forward to newer, better,  more expensive gear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Video Hummus said:

Only if you choose to review gear like all the rest do.

A lot have either given up or are trying to create their own "brand".  Doing straightforward reviews are no longer viable due to so many competitors.  When youtube first started, there were very few people doing straightforward reviews and they could survive.  Now there's just too many people and not enough views to share around.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, Cinegain said:

Simon Cade, DSLRGuide, the little chap who used to always shoot on a 550D was sharing as he learned and branched out. Right now he only posts a vid every few months or so when a sponsor of his pushes him to finish one before a deadline.

Bit of a shame. YouTube used to be Skillshare. A place where you'd get wiser. Where people were genuinely excited to share wisdom and had fun making videos they cared about themselves. Hardly the case anymore these days (though still a few around, luckily). All about creating a brand for yourself raking in that Googoo money. Might be a generational thing. People don't really want to know about the artform of shooting video anymore. It's about how to get results the easiest. Gadgets and gizmos play a big part in that of course. But that kinda shifts the focus away from the creative side... for which that should actually open up some capacity for due to these advancements, but kinda seems nobody is taking an interest in (in turn forcing the channels wanting to make a living offa being a YouTuber to shift more towards being gear reviewers; which doesn't necessarily leave them any happier. But atleast with a wallet full of stacks, so who's complaining).

The attention seeking, race for sensations, lifestyle vlogs, all that has somehow crept into many of the channels about enthusiast and artistic subjects.

I don't think it makes a very good bedfellow to the arts.

If you are constantly going bigger, bigger, more more more, I think it is greed, always looking over one's shoulder at a competitor or another youtuber and trying to outdo them for attention.

I am not against spending lots and lots of money on camera gear, I do it myself.

But I am against the internet becoming a exclusive walled garden and a show-off's playground.

It is also a very personal and persuasive form of 'consumer advice'... well, consumerism.

I probably own 10 headphones due to one channel I liked, Z Reviews.

He was charismatic, knew his stuff, an incredible enthusiast.

but the HYPE... oh the hype.

Then you see the comments under it, all backing him up and saying, yeah, get this... get that... it is a recipe for bankrupting your audience.

It gets boring fast, all this hype. If every release, every week, every day, is AMAZING then it becomes monotonous.

I'd prefer to see a more level headed approach but still with the HYPE and excitement - only when justified. Just turn the fucking dial down a bit, pleeeeease.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Video Hummus said:

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.

...

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.

I agree. When McKinnon started out, for instance, I'd watch his videos the second they dropped, guaranteed. It was bound to be an interesting tutorial with a bit of Pete's fun personality thrown i. Now that he's a big successful brand, I don't watch nearly as much of his content. For one, his fun personality has grown a bit obnoxious and I don't need ANOTHER tutorial on how to shoot b-roll of making a cup of coffee in some exotic location. He, and others like him, have gotten a little navel-gazely about their success with their blogs. But that's fine, there are always other channels out there to discover.

47 minutes ago, Cinegain said:

Bit of a shame. YouTube used to be Skillshare. A place where you'd get wiser. Where people were genuinely excited to share wisdom and had fun making videos they cared about themselves. Hardly the case anymore these days (though still a few around, luckily). All about creating a brand for yourself raking in that Googoo money. Might be a generational thing. People don't really want to know about the artform of shooting video anymore. It's about how to get results the easiest. 

YouTube is still a great Skillshare platform. You just have to look harder for it. I think the fault lies with YouTube, not the creators/influences who are charismatic enough and clever enough to have figured out how to make a successful career off of the platform post Adpocalypse. When YouTube decided to slash the ad revenue going to channels and aggressively demonetizing them, it changed the platform. 

We all know how much work it takes to produce good videos. If you can't earn enough ad revenue off of your creative content to make it pencil as a business venture, you either have to figure out how to get other revenue streams, hence the growth of the channels we're talking about, get off of YouTube, or only due it as sort of a hobby. Some folks, like the Crimson Engine guy, are figuring out ways to split the difference. He for one, posts a fair bit of gear review, but he also posts some technique stuff and interesting content about the business side of making indie films and other content. YouTube is sort of a jungle; if you want to find worthwhile content you just have to keep hacking a way at it. Sometimes you'll find interesting trails to follow (channels) and they may take you somewhere awesome and they're just as likely to peter out.

 

That's my take on it, anyway. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

But I am against the internet becoming a exclusive walled garden and a show-off's playground.

It has always been about "showing off".  Youtube only cares about views.  If you have stuff to "show off" you will have views which makes the youtube gods happy.  If you don't have the tangible things to "show off", than you have to "show off" intangible things like personality, lifestyle, etc. etc...  It's always about having content that people want.  If thousands of people do straightforward reviews of the pocket 4 k camera, you're doing another one --- well, that video isn't going to do well because it's not unique.  In the past, you could do a straightforward review because you weren't competing against thousands of other reviewers.  Youtube was at it's infancy... Heck, the general public back then were even making fun of youtubers.They thought you were stupid because the whole youtube stuff wasn't "going anywhere" and only teens uploaded stupid stuff like their rants or their tantrums.   People must surely remember those times??? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The other day I was looking up at people who were testing the new Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III with the new firmware updates...

... there's still, on the daily, tons and tons of people making Mark II unboxing videos and reviews!1!!

I never understood unboxing videos to begin with, mind you. Let alone finding it interesting years later when all's said and done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not a fan of the YouTube consumerism era, but I'm so old I actually resent my iPhone and what it's doing to me, so there you go.  Same shit applies with the glorification of stuff.  We've all done it as young people. Now it's just a different generation. 

As with most new people, they do everything a lot more and they do it with their own style.  The fact that they have this modern and new infrastructure that's never existed in the course of human history is rather fascinating and really is kind of nuts...but that's for the 20 and under set to cope with.

Screw all you young kids.  You can pound sand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Cinegain said:

 YouTube used to be Skillshare. A place where you'd get wiser. Where people were genuinely excited to share wisdom and had fun making videos they cared about themselves. Hardly the case anymore these days

I think it's got less to do with people not doing it anymore, and more to do with Youtube's algorithm pushing certain content.

For example, do a Youtube search for something really simple -  eg: How to Speed ramp in Premiere Pro.

That should take about 1 minute to teach. Maybe 2, if you explain the reasoning or context. But most of the results will be over 10 minutes. Youtube wants you to watch the ten minute videos because that means the'lly get more ad revenue, so that's all they show you. And a ten minute video for that particular topic is going to be full of irrelevant waffle or sponsor appraisals.

There's still plenty of people showing you how to do things in an efficient way, Youtube just doesn't want to show them to you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I watch potatoJet stuff all the time. 

1 - He works very had. The amount of stuff he is uploading and reviewing is insane.

2 - He is very good at time management. He is very effective at using any extra time he has to shoot his YT material. 5 minutes here 5 minutes there. 

3 - He has external professional gigs and seems very professional.

4 - He has charisma for YT and knows how to play the YT game well. His followers are skyrocketing in the last few mounts. 


He works very hard, he has talent that translates well to YT followers and he just seems like a  very nice likable guy. 

Good for him! I wish I could be as good and as productive as he is. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

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

I don't think he is mega rich at all. Just normal middle class American, perhaps upper middle class. 

 

He himself only owns a RED Dragon (I think? Some kind of RED anyway) and recently a dirt cheap ARRI ALEXA Classic, plus some cheapie cameras like Canon mirrorless / DSLRs.

 

So how does he do it? Via his network of contacts and collaborating. He lives in LA after all, and is connected to that world. 

19 hours ago, Alpicat said:

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. 

 

Exactly. Plus look at his old videos from a year or two ago. They were somewhat less "flashy", but as his channel has grown then brands are more willing to want to work with him. And other YouTubers too for collaboration etc 

His channel has really grown a lot since he started. I've been watching it for a while now. 

19 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.

He is not spending a million dollars a year on his YouTube channel. (MrBeast though would be spending way more than that!!) 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, barefoot_dp said:

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).

That one video alone might stop ARRI ALEXA Classic prices from falling any further in 2020

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I draw the line at anyone wearing a baseball cap backwards.

Also, it’s not a Tiny Home, it’s a garden shed.

And Van Life is no life when you don’t have a toilet.

Good for folks who are making a living and enjoying life, but so much of it is so shallow.

Having said that, there is a ton of good stuff and it’s free.

I both love and detest YouTube but it’s a rare day I do not go on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, barefoot_dp said:

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.

 

This. 

 

If you're friends with professional DoPs it is normal to see them posting on social media a new camera / lens / gimbal / drone / light / toy / whatever  that they're using on a shoot. (which is a smart idea by the way! To share what you're working on and doing. If you're a working DoP and not making use of social media then you're missing out) 

 

Potato Jet is just taking this to the next level and posting it on YouTube as well, by making videos about it. (although that can be an additional full time job in itself, you've got to work very very hard at it to have a successful YouTube channel) 

8 minutes ago, MrSMW said:

And Van Life is no life when you don’t have a toilet

You can have a portable toilet in your van. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like PotatoJet's channel, not gonna lie. He strikes a good balance between being really charismatic and entertaining and actually knowing what he's talking about. He posted something about the Edelkrone slider recently and it seemed pretty obvious it was a product that had been sent to him for review, which is pretty standard in other industries. He's also done some other posts on lighting breakdowns and how to plan short film shoots which I found useful.

So he's good. There are some really awful channels out there that just flaunt this luxurious lifestyle that they just happen to be filming with the latest RED camera. They're gross.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think mega rich was a figure of speech on Andrew's part. But still a lot of YouTubers obviously come from some wealth, especially those that are millenials that are set up in major cities straight out of high school / college. It costs a lot to get set up in Los Angeles or New York; if it didn't a lot of us would do it! 

It's not an attack on them, but that they're the top names on YouTube when it comes to this stuff, it kinda overshadows the rest of those channels trying to put out helpful / good content. Like I genuinely feel bad when I stumble across a channel of someone that is putting out good content and only gets a couple dozen hits. When YouTube never bothers to widely promote them a lot get discouraged and stop uploading or they'll start copying what others are doing because it's apparently what YouTube wants out of creators. Then all the sudden I'm watching people that used to put informative stuff out now riding boosted boards, drinking coffee and doing things I don't care about. ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...