Merchandise has become an increasingly important revenue stream for these top digital stars, almost all of whom (No. 1 being a notable exception) are in their 20s and 30s. Each of the 10 on our list now has a line of merchandise, whose blossoming sales help account for that 42% income increase from a year ago. “I’ve built this huge community, and we’ve made a lot of people laugh,” says Fischbach, who sees Cloak as the first step toward an empire built on assets more tangible than video uploads. For now, though, all those gaming clips serve as a force multiplier for the man known as Markiplier. Like any savvy businessman, he’s thinking ahead. “I’m not going to be able to make videos on YouTube forever,” he says. “I need to plan for the future.” 
But even in relatively limited doses, these videos can affect young toddlers’ development. If kids watch a lot of fast-paced videos, they come to expect that that is how videos should work, which could make other educational videos less compelling and effective. “If kids get used to all the crazy, distracting, superfluous visual movement, then they may start requiring that to hold their attention,” Johnson says.

YouTube began as a venture capital-funded technology startup, primarily from an $11.5 million investment by Sequoia Capital and an $8 million investment from Artis Capital Management between November 2005 and April 2006.[11][12] YouTube's early headquarters were situated above a pizzeria and Japanese restaurant in San Mateo, California.[13] The domain name www.youtube.com was activated on February 14, 2005, and the website was developed over the subsequent months.[14] The first YouTube video, titled Me at the zoo, shows co-founder Jawed Karim at the San Diego Zoo.[15] The video was uploaded on April 23, 2005, and can still be viewed on the site.[16] YouTube offered the public a beta test of the site in May 2005. The first video to reach one million views was a Nike advertisement featuring Ronaldinho in November 2005.[17][18] Following a $3.5 million investment from Sequoia Capital in November, the site launched officially on December 15, 2005, by which time the site was receiving 8 million views a day.[19][20] The site grew rapidly and, in July 2006, the company announced that more than 65,000 new videos were being uploaded every day, and that the site was receiving 100 million video views per day.[21] According to data published by market research company comScore, YouTube is the dominant provider of online video in the United States, with a market share of around 43% and more than 14 billion views of videos in May 2010.[22]


Additionally, in response to PewDiePie’s rec of the E;R channel, its owner described PewDiePie as producing “redpilled content.” And it’s easy to see why. Before declaring in 2017 that he would stop making Nazi jokes, PewDiePie made a whole lot of Nazi jokes. Even since then, he’s produced a long line of “satirical” videos and commentary that his alt-right followers have praised as examples of his “dropping redpills” on the rest of his fans.
YouTube's still-rapid viewing growth -- driven by smartphones and to an extent connected TVs -- has a lot to do with its revenue momentum. At last week's NewFronts online video ad event, YouTube disclosed it now had over 1.8 billion monthly logged-in viewers, up from 1.5 billion as of last June. And back in February 2017, YouTube said it was seeing over a billion hours per day of viewing -- that's about three times what Netflix (NFLX) witnessed on a record-breaking day in January, and 10 times what YouTube saw back in 2012.
Instead, YouTube success takes time and dedication. Kelli Segars, the co-counder of Fitness Blender, a YouTube channel with over 5 million subscribers, spent two years posting new workout videos every week before she and her husband could quit their day jobs in 2010 to focus on the brand full time. Still, without YouTube, Fitness Blender probably wouldn’t exist. “When we first set out to create free online workout videos, we found that most streaming platforms charged so much to host content that we were never going to be able to break into the industry at all, let alone offer free content to our (then nonexistent) audience,” says Segars.

YouTube began as a venture capital-funded technology startup, primarily from an $11.5 million investment by Sequoia Capital and an $8 million investment from Artis Capital Management between November 2005 and April 2006.[11][12] YouTube's early headquarters were situated above a pizzeria and Japanese restaurant in San Mateo, California.[13] The domain name www.youtube.com was activated on February 14, 2005, and the website was developed over the subsequent months.[14] The first YouTube video, titled Me at the zoo, shows co-founder Jawed Karim at the San Diego Zoo.[15] The video was uploaded on April 23, 2005, and can still be viewed on the site.[16] YouTube offered the public a beta test of the site in May 2005. The first video to reach one million views was a Nike advertisement featuring Ronaldinho in November 2005.[17][18] Following a $3.5 million investment from Sequoia Capital in November, the site launched officially on December 15, 2005, by which time the site was receiving 8 million views a day.[19][20] The site grew rapidly and, in July 2006, the company announced that more than 65,000 new videos were being uploaded every day, and that the site was receiving 100 million video views per day.[21] According to data published by market research company comScore, YouTube is the dominant provider of online video in the United States, with a market share of around 43% and more than 14 billion views of videos in May 2010.[22]
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