Study shows that the most influential celebrities are on YouTube, not the big screen.
Step aside Taylor Swift; YouTube personalities are making more impact on millennials than you.
Variety Magazine conducted a study that asked participants ages 13-17 about 20 well-known personalities’ approachability, authenticity, and other characteristics that rank their overall influence. While they may not be as “mainstream,” YouTube personalities proved their influence by claiming the top six spots on the list.
In regards to celebrity marketing, YouTubers scored significantly higher than traditional celebrities in both emotional attachment to teens and engagement levels.
Meet the six YouTube stars that beat out Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, and Jonny Depp in millennial influence:
- KSI: Olajide Olatunji, better known as KSIOlajidebt (or KSI for short), is known for his YouTube channel where he does play-throughs of videogames. Currently at 17.5 million subscribers, he has a large viewer base. KSI mainly focuses on reviewing the games themselves or the equipment used to record his gameplay. Olatunji is someone who gaming companies look at as a top YouTube celebrity.
- PewDiePie: Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, or PewDiePie, is a Swedish YouTube videogame vlogger. He is known for his ‘Let’s Play’ videos where he records himself playing video games while providing ridiculous and unfiltered commentary to his 60 million subscribers. Acting like the goofball friend, PewDiePie creates entertaining videos that give viewers the sense that they are hanging with a buddy; he even calls his fans the “bro army” and “bros”. PewDiePie keeps endorsements to a minimum but did an online interactive campaign with Mountain Dew earlier this year.
- VanossGaming: Evan Fong is also a videogame commenter. His videos include “funny moments” of him and his friends playing videogames while laughing and joking around. Another set of videos are of him completing difficult game modes and challenges. His channel shares authentic and relatable content, which has attracted his 22 million subscribers.
- Nigahiga: The fourth influencer, Ryan Higa, is a comedian. He began his career while in high school creating a lip-synching and comedy YouTube channel with a friend. After his videos kept being taken down due to copywriting laws, he began to create the music himself. Popular music videos include “Nice Guys”, “Bromance” and “Coffee Shop Love”. The channel includes other original comedy skits as well. Ryan has created 1 full length and 2 short comedy films.
- Smosh: Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla are the guys behind the comedy YouTube channel Smosh. Smosh posts new videos every Friday that include skits such as “If Board Games Were Real” and an original music video titled “We Rule High School”. The comedy-duo has 22 million subscribers on their main channel and an additional 7 million subscribers on their secondary Smosh Games Channel. Smosh premiered their first feature-length film, Smosh: The Movie, on July 23, 2015, which featured fellow YouTube stars and actor Michael Ian Black.
- Markiplier: Mark Edward Fischbach is a YouTube videogame commentator who posts videos to his channel, MarkiplierGAME. He shares his comedic “Let’s Play” videogame commentary with his 20 million subscribers. Markiplier goes beyond most YouTube videogame channels by also posting original comedy sketches and original animated parodies.
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