YouTubers: A New Type of Celebrity

rebecca-black-friday-youtube-page“It should be harder to be an artist. You shouldn’t just be able to put a song on YouTube and go out on tour,” Miley Cyrus commented on Rebecca Black’s overnight stardom. As YouTube has grown into a revolutionary social media platform that uses videos to entertain and inform viewers, it has also created a different kind of celebrity. There is even a yearly event called VidCon that is the world’s largest conference dedicated to the medium of online video. This conference gathers online video viewers, creators and industry representatives from all over the world.

There are billions of viewers who follow specific YouTubers who consistently upload videos. As a result, when certain YouTubers reach a certain number of views, they also reach a certain level of fame and begin to receive attention from mainstream media. For example, Ronald Jenkees is an American composer and musician who uploaded videos of himself performing his songs on his keyboard.  By promoting himself on YouTube, Jenkees recieved attention from the G4 channel and Paste Magazine. Then, Bill Simmons from asked Jenkees to record his podcast theme. Since then, Jenkees has released two albums that are now available for purchase at the iTunes Store or on his personal website. Several of his songs were included in the videogame “Sequence” and have appeared in track listings of Pandora Radio and Spotify.

Phillip DeFranco is another American video blogger who has become a YouTube celebrity with his channel. He is best known for his YouTube show, The Phillip DeFranco Show where he talks about news and pop culture that he finds interesting or important. He has over 1 billion views and over 2.2 million subscribers. In 2008 he won Wired’s Sexiest Geek competition. In October 2008, Philip DeFranco co-starred in Hooking Up, a scripted 10-episode Web-based series written by Woody Tondorf as a promo from HBOLabs.

During the presidential election race, DeFranco was invited to join distinguished journalists at the 2012 Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention as part of YouTube’s “Elections Hub” channel. This channel included ABC News Digital, Larry King, The New York Times, Univision, Buzzfeed, Al Jeezeera English, Wall Street Journal, and Philip DeFranco to bring together different perspectives under one channel to share news coverage. DeFranco’s videos for this project were a huge success receiving tens of thousands of viewers while most major news networks were struggling to reach 1,000 views.

DeFranco has recently signed on to work with Revision3, an Internet television network that creates, produces and distributes web television shows on niche topics. He is also the Main Editor for, a newsfeed blog site that focuses on current events, pop-culture, and media coverage.  As a result of DeFranco’s huge success, he has also dedicated himself to being a helpful mentor in the online community for new talent.

As YouTube continues to grow, so will the level of fame of YouTube celebrities who have made a career from their YouTube channels. Ronald Jenkees and Philip DeFranco are only two of many who have created their own careers and profited as a result of uploading videos and developing a large fan-base.


About Ariana Hoyos

This blog will be a collection of funny life stories written by someone who seems to have a knack for running into awkward situations. After hearing for the past few years from friends that my life is like a movie, I figured that maybe I somehow cosmically attract interesting situations. I really don’t know, I’ve always been an open book about my life, so hopefully my fun stories help make your day a little better. Being Ecuadorian isn’t a big theme in the blog, but I think being a minority in a country can make one feel permanently out of place, which might be one of the reasons why I have so many awkward occurrences. My ethnicity is a big part of who I am and yet it's a part that I don't show often, because most people here don't understand it. I hope to share that part of myself here on this blog. My life started getting fun and interesting as early as middle school so my stories will range from when I was as young as 11 to my present age. I’ve changed the names of the people in my stories because I don’t know if I can legally write about them online and I’m too lazy to look up all of the rules that go along with writing nonfiction short stories, so I figured I’d play it safe and change names. Anyway, I hope you think I'm funny and enjoy my life stories and if you don’t…well then I guess this is goodbye.

Posted on November 27, 2012, in Other. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on YouTubers: A New Type of Celebrity.

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