Tonight might be a landmark appearance on the Tonight Show with Steven Colbert. The famous YouTuber PewDiePie will make an appearance on the show, maybe as a counterpoint to Jimmy Kimmel’s bit(s) about gaming last month. While many regular viewers of the Tonight Show might not realize who PewDiePie is and what he means to his fans, this is a monumental event.
It’s no secret that cable subscriptions have been going down as many younger viewers decide to cut the cable cord and go their own way. Services like Netflix are on the rise. I for one have never had a cable subscription. And I’m not the only one. This is impacting every sector of television from daytime viewers to ESPN subscriptions. Quite frankly, I believe this has many in the industry worried.
While the Netflix takeover has been talked about by many in the last year or so, what’s less talked about is the influence of YouTubers. I’d venture a guess that most view a successful YouTuber as a very lucky person who had that one cat video go viral on facebook to make them millions. While this is likely true in rare cases, a case like PewDiePie is a story of hard work, smart marketing and a loyalty to his fans that can’t be matched by anyone on TV. Yes that’s a broad statement, but I firmly believe that a YouTuber’s connection to their fans is nothing short of incredible.
A story like PewDiePie’s is the leading reason why YouTube is now getting billions of views a day and more and more of those viewers are spending more time watching personalities like PewDiePie and less time suckling at the end of a cable. A cable that has many layers of editors and executives deciding what you should be watching. Need proof? How about PewDiePie’s 10 billion views since he started the channel in 2010.
I know this is baffling to many people who have never experienced this type of entertainment, but these are not just gamers in their parents basements. These YouTubers are professional content creators who work hard at what they do. They are beloved by their fans and PewDiePie is just one example. And he isn’t the only one.
Recently I was privileged to see a video by a very talented YouTuber by the name of Corarius. He is amazingly talented at creating spectacular buildings in Minecraft (seriously, check some of these out). But the video I’m referencing is a moment of him opening up at a very tough moment in his life.
He was reaching out for comfort from his fans and his fans responded. This closeness is something you can’t get from a regular TV star. It is something that only YouTubers can provide and that is why more and more young people are finding their favorite stars among this crowd and away from the scripted stories found on cable TV.