Today Pewdiepie released a video discussing recent discussions surrounding the discussion of whether or not discussing the amount of money he earns is disgusting or worth discussing.
Got it? I don’t care.
Apparently someone figured out he earned a massive £4.8 million last year in his role as the biggest entity on Youtube.
So what is the source of the vitriol against him?
There are a couple of things at play, some of it simple and some of it under-the-hood industry shit so we’ll start with the simple.
If you comment on YouTube videos it is highly likely you rank just under wasps on the list of mammals people would enjoy interacting with, “but wasps aren’t mammals, Simon?” – my point exactly, keep up.
In this mix are a select group of people who are adults, mainly male, and who are generally annoyed that their prowess at videogames hasn’t translated into a multi-million pound career as a YouTuber.
This is a fantasy, in the same way most footballers don’t make £250k a week, but those ones aren’t worth talking about are they?
Next is the actual reason the money he makes is a problem, and it has very little to do with Pewdiepie.
In fact, I’m positively pleased for him. I can’t stand his videos I’d rather have a terrible simile happen to me, however, they aren’t for me so it doesn’t matter what I think and he shouldn’t care either. He seems like a perfectly nice chap so good luck to him.
But why is he making so much money? Really we are talking about the current machine of YouTube churning out kids who all seem to be making crazy money without anyone having the slightest notion of who they are, so what’s going on?
Basically it’s a big dirty secret that is being perpetuated by three interested parties. The secret is that it’s all bullshit.
First, YouTube. Owned by Google they are the industry, they control everything about it. So much so that in some Orwellian nightmare people get degrees in Google Analytics probably I haven’t really researched that bit. However, the analytics aren’t a simple tool for seeing in depth information about your videos. What they are is a variety of ways to show potential advertisers what a worth while investment it is paying you to make videos.
This brings us neatly on to the second party: Advertisers. Their job is to make as much money as possible by pepetuating the myth that all these millions of views somehow convert into more sales of portable vaginas or toy cars or whatever it is people are selling. One of the ways of doing this is buying views. It’s well known there is a “tipping point”, around a million views depending on where you are in the world, after this it gets caught up in the upsurge of YouTubes rankings and higher levels of advertising – that’s where YouTube makes more money too.
So quite simply what they have to do is come up with all sorts of stats and bullshit about how certain audiences do this, that or the other and whammy! You’ve got yourself a viral hit and a lucrative advertising contract.
Now the third interested party. Companies. The marketing departments have a vested interest in perpetuating the same myths as the advertisers, their lives depend on it, and the higher-ups of big companies are the perfect mix of arrogance and dumb-dumb to be marks for any scam.
All these people have created a bubble, one that involves lots of companies spending shit loads of money on an advertising platform nobody has any interest in revealing or even understanding the actual workings or ramifications of.
Underneath all this there are all the hangers on. All the big YouTubers have about three agents and companies like Maker Studios who aren’t really agents but get to bob around and try and get deals for all manner of content based on being able to get top YouTube talent.
Bringing it all back round to Pewdiepie, he just likes making videos, and happens to be the honest tip of an iceberg of bullshit he has very little to do with the manufacturing of.