As an artist, I want to be discovered. I want to be able to share my films with the whole world. So maybe one day, I would be able to change the way people perceive the world; I would be able to leave an impact, make a difference, and eventually bring people from all around the world together. And since we live in a world where a person simply cannot survive without money, I would love to make a good amount of money that I can support myself with, and produce more films. If I had said all of this to you before social media was born, you might sit there and think… ‘hmmm this girl is a little bit too optimistic, and perhaps totally unrealistic’. But we live in a world where this is all very possible. A filmmaker, a singer, a dancer, or a comedian, could upload their art on any social media platform, and will get some sort of recognition. One social media platform that many performers and artists use and embrace, is YouTube.
But before YouTube and other social media platforms came about, artists were discovered through their live performances, the sharing of their physical mixtapes, or word of mouth. Although these means allow physical interaction between the artists and their audience (fans or agents and managers), they are still expensive, slow, time consuming, and reach a small number of people. An artist would have to sing on the street for a whole day in hopes that one of the people who pass by him is a music producer.The Queen of Jazz, Ella Fitzgerald was discovered during one of her performances at the Apollo Theater’s amateur night. Frank Sinatra, the Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, was discovered when he was waiting on tables and singing at the Rustic Cabin. The legendary Tupac Shakur was also discovered through his live rap performance in Digital Underground’s “Same Song”.
After social media emerged, artists could share their art from the comfort of their homes. Soulja Boy paved his path to fame through his constant use of MySpace and YouTube. After publishing his hit single Crank That, hip hop producer Mr. Collipark got him a deal with Interscope Records. Some artists are not even looking for fame or money when they share their video, but it comes to them anyway. Justin Bieber’s mom posted a homemade performance video of her son singing on YouTube to share it with her family and friends. Little did she know that manager Scooter Braun would discover her son’s talent, and convince Island Def Jam Recordings to sign a contract with The Biebs. Later in his career, JB discovered the Canadian sensation Carly Rae Jepsen on YouTube. With one tweet from his account her song Call me Maybe went viral.
YouTube became a talent search engine. However, this talent engine is not only used by producers and managers looking for talent, it is also used by ordinary people. And these ordinary people could potentially become the reason why a user becomes successful and scores a job on YouTube. See, YouTube allows users to upload their videos and share them with the rest of the world. The rest of the world becomes the users’ audience. To catch the audience’s attention over a long period, the users must constantly create unique and creative content. This audience is able to create interpersonal relationships with the users by commenting, subscribing, messaging, and even liking or disliking their videos. Users and their audiences have a shared space, shared practices, shared identities, and shared support and resources. Once they build a fan base, they are able to monetize their videos; aka allowing YouTube to place ads in your videos. Once they have done all the above, they can become YouTube partners. They would be able to make money by doing something they love.
You do not even have to be a singer, dancer, actor, filmmaker or a visual artist to become a
YouTube partner. One of the most famous YouTube sensations Jenna Marbles, says in one of her videos that she does not have any tangible talents, and that she is only famous and is able to make a living by being herself. Being yourself and showing the audience what it is like to be you is now a part of entertainment thanks to YouTube. Seems pretty easy for Jenna Marbles, but not all YouTube partners have a net worth of $2.5 million like Jenna Marbles. Some YouTubers find that there is divide between internet fame and financial stability that prevents them from getting a second job though they really need it. Others eventually find themselves uploading videos of stunts, pranks, fights, and other dangerous and unethical actions to gain fame on YouTube. YouTube is a great place for people to share their talents or lifestyles and make some money out of it. It is easy, cheap, fast, and allows users to reach out to the rest of the world. However, I believe that this job comes with great responsibility since the content a user is sharing could possibly reach people of different ages and beliefs. Also, constant contact with fans is expected and is necessary for a YouTuber to maintain his/her success.
YouTube changed the face of entertainment.