YouTube has made celebrities, and millionaires, of a host of young “creators” who produce videos and build a devoted global fan base. Their presence can sell out arenas and shut down shopping malls. The likes of KSI and Jake Paul are some of the biggest stars in the world, accruing millions of views and advertising dollars, but most people under the age of 25 have never heard of them.
In his book YouTubers (Canbury Press, 2019), Chris Stokel-Walker tells the story of the platform – a cultural phenomenon the effects of which we are only just beginning to appreciate. He expertly explains how people have grown to stardom and wealth, and rightly describes the shift of advertiser dollars from traditional media to YouTube as “a revolution,” explaining: “YouTube is different to a conventional media company: its reach is wider, its diversity is broad, it demographic younger, and its power stronger.”