My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Variety Survey says YouTubers more popular than Hollywood Celebrities – Popularity driven by Teenage Fandoms and iCarly Effect

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Variety Survey says YouTubers more popular than Hollywood Celebrities – Popularity driven by Teenage Fandoms and iCarly Effect

Cynicism aside, CNET writer Chris Matyszczyk does manage to unearth some great nuggets of news that’s worth its weight in Gold!

He’s recently done and article that reveals what I’ve known personally for a long time: YouTube Stars are more popular than Hollywood Celebrities as stated in his article “Teens prefer YouTube start to Hollywood celebs, survey says”, published August 6, 2014 3:47 PM PDT by Chris Matyszczyk, CNET News.

The survey, which was conducted in July 2014 and reported in the noted magazine Variety Magazine article “Survey: YouTube Stars More Popular Than Mainstream Celebs Among U.S. Teens”, published AUGUST 5, 2014 09:00AM PT by Susanne Ault, Variety, ranks the Top 20 Celebrities, be they Hollywood or YouTubers, as we Generation X (ages 29 to 45), Millennials (ages 18 to 28) and Teenagers (ages 13 to 17) call them.

The survey was conducted by Mr. Jeetendr Sehdev, a PR (Public Relations) Manager specializing in Celebrity Brand Strategies and involved some 1,500 respondents. Albeit there is no information as to the Demographic, based on the raw results, it appears to be mainly be Teenagers (ages 13 to 17) who probably made up the majority of the 1,500. Thus, to be clear, this survey isn’t representative of the US population or their opinions as a whole.

And the results? Well, no surprise to persons like myself who spend most of their time on Social Media as illustrated in the graphic below.

According to the Survey, the Top 5 Celebrities were all YouTubers:

1.      Smoosh
2.      The Fine Brothers
3.      PewDiePie
4.      NSJ
5.      Ryan Higa

The Top Hollywood Celebrity was Paul Walker of Fast and the Furious Fame, who’s dead by the way as stated in “Paul Walker died after crashing at over 100mph, coroner's report reveals”, published Friday 3 January 2014 22.51 GMT by Conal Urquhart, The UK Guardian. This makes the Top 5 Hollywood Celebrities mainly Millennials:

1.      Paul Walker
2.      Jennifer Lawrence
3.      Katy Perry
4.      Steve Carrell
5.      Seth Rogen

YouTubers vs Hollywood Celebrities – iCarly Effect and Teenage Fandoms

Clearly, albeit this study may be flawed, especially given its source, it’s got scientific backing.

Mr. Jeetendr Sehdev suspects that the reason for their popularity is because of Social Media i.e. you can interact with the YouTube Heart-Throbs directly via their YouTube Comments on their channels to which you can subscribe and get regular updates.  You can even send them email, as many maintain Twitter and Facebook Accounts. This phenomenon I refer to as the iCarly Effect.

Hollywood stars are polished from the very moment they become Celebrities to shine with a hue of falseness typical of traditional Hollywood. They are held up as the Gods of the Silver Screen and aren't easily approachable unless you want to risk getting put down by their bodyguards or bouncers in the club. Worse, direct contact is next to impossible, as their cellphone contacts, email and social media are all meticulously micromanaged by their team of PR (Public Relations) Mr. Jeetendr Sehdev.

YouTubers, reasons Mr. Jeetendr Sehdev, are more “real” and easily identify with Teenager admirers as they’re usually regular folks who just began putting up really good and in most cases outrageous Video Memes, not industry polished like the unapproachable and unreachable Hollywood Celebrities. This makes them look more down-to-earth, not false!

But there another explanation that as plain as their faces; the YouTube Stars have very feminine features. This makes them irresistable to Teenagers (ages 13 to 17), especially little girls, who are prone to feigning Fandoms over these Playboy of the YouTube.

This phenomenon of fandoms, which is a completely healthy reaction of Teenage girls expressing an emotional love interest in a sexy, feminine looking YouTuber, is best witnessed at VidCon, the Video Convention for YouTubers.

The above video from Laci Green of DNews Fame, a YouTube Channel dedicated to applying Scientific Reasoning and Studies published by PhD's to explain real life phenomenon, explains this phenomenon of Fandoms quite clearly. It’s a girl thing apparently, and totally quantifiable by science.

For the record and as my disclaimer, I’m a fan of DNews, TestTube and Revision3 Games along with Rihanna, Rebecca Black and 2NE1, one of my favourite Korean K-Pop Groups and whole lot of other YouTube Channels. Strictly speaking, they aren’t all independent YouTubers, but I love the quality of the content of both Celebrity and Independent YouTuber Channels.

The Growing Power of Social Media – Traditional Media not needed for iCarly Effect

So basically, we’re witnessing here the growing power of Social Media. Here in Jamaica, we don’t have readily available Broadband Internet. However, many Jamaicans who live abroad and have a YouTube Channel often become Celebrities online by starting YouTube Channels where they post personal hilarious personal outtakes and opinions on a variety of Topics.

For that reason, we don’t have a VidCon….yet. That’s because a Jamaican YouTube account cannot be monetized, resulting in Local YouTubers having to resort to using Proxy and VPN (Virtual Private Network) access to log into YouTube and create their YouTube Channel as if they’re a American Citizens as explained in my blog article entitled “How to find Free TV online and how to Stream from Hulu or Netflix in Jamaica - Jamaican Pirate of the Caribbean on Stranger Tides Streaming Restricted US Content”.

A US Address, preferably that of a relative or one given to you by a Courier as my blog article entitled “How to purchase items and subscribe to Magazines online and ship them to Jamaica” and the Geezam blog entitled “How to ship things to Jamaica after you’re purchase them online”, will add to your American Identity, with your funds accessible via PayPal Account, which you can withdraw and deposit into your Scotia VISA Debit Card or CIBC VISA Debit Card.

But Jamaica is slowly catching on to the idea of making money via Social Media. Ever since the Social Media hit that was Clifton “Clif-Twang” Brown back in June 2011 exposed the power of Social Media Marketing as analyzed in my Geezam blog article entitled “Social Media Marketing – Advertising and Marketing in Ja on a Shoe-String”, Traditional Media is slowly catching on to its remarkeable staying power for the purposes of Marketing.

Fast Forward to 2014 with a quick look back at the Rising power of Social Media in 2013 as per Kelroy’s list in the Geezam blog article entitled “9 Stories from 2013 that show the rising power of Social Media in Jamaica”.

More up to date, Jamaica just recently held our first official Social Media Day 2014 Tweetup on Monday June 30th 2014 from 6pm to 9pm at the Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston as reported by Kelroy’s in his Geezam blog article entitled “Social Media Day 2014 Tweetup set For June 30th”. This was a trend started by the Mashable blog some five years ago to celebrate the power of Social Media to connect people.

4G LTE Broadband Coming – Writer’s Guild and VidCon for Jamaican Social Media developement

More needs to be done however.

The coming of 4G LTE as announced in my blog article entitled “Digicel and LIME's 4G LTE Adoption in Jamaica – Budget Tablets with Microsoft Productivity Software spark Wireless Broadband Revolution” is a glimmer of hope.  It suggests that faster speed Wireless Broadband will empower Jamaicans living anywhere in the island with the ability to create content and have access to foreign markets via the Internet.

But we need to have a Writer’s Guild for Bloggers and other publishers of written content online along with a revival of the Jamaica Blog Awards. Also, there is a need for a meet-and-greet Awards Ceremony to recognize the work of Jamaican YouTubers that’s the equivalent of VidCon.

Independent Animators also desire to make more than just advertising revenue from YouTube videos and having to endure screaming Fandoms from hero-worshipping Females. It would thus be great if we had programming on Cable TV or even Traditional Media that collected the best of YouTube Videos and broadcasted them in a manner similar to syndicated TV program  RightThisMinute on HLN as explained in “A TV Show About Online Videos Shows Us We’re In A Weird Place With Content Right Now”, published June 30th 2014, Sarah Buhr, TechCrunch.

Finally, more support from the GOJ and the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining for Independent Animators as well as Video Game Creators, as their content has a huge market that’s begging for Gaming Apps and programs to partake of the $82 billion spent in 2014 purchasing on Video Games Globally as stated in my blog article entitled “Netzoo's 2014 Global Games Market Report - Developed World idle time Opportunity for Jamaicans in Video Gaming Design”.

Until then many stars of the Social Media World in Jamaica will have to struggle in obscurity until they can protect their IP (Intellectual Property) and eventually monetize it as noted in my blog article entitled “JANN to host Intellectual Property Workshop at UTECH – How Independent Animators can Make money from Animation and thwart Copyright Infringement”.

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