Bart Baker is a YouTuber who specialized in vulgar videos and pop-star parodies, but his income withered when the site demonetized all the horrible things we didn't realize our kids were watching. So he's abandoning his 10m subscribers there to focus on conquering Chinese social media instead. Baker's even learned enough of the langage to pander to its nationalist vanities and bottomless consumerism, which Vice highlights in this 7-minute interview.
Now, Bart’s days start with live chat and song sessions with his millions of Chinese followers on Kwai, a Chinese social media app. Then, his Chinese manager sends him a Chinese song, which Bart translates into English, with the help of Google Translate. Hours later, Bart’s English version of the track is burning up the top ranks in Douyin (China’s version of TikTok).
Bart sees immense potential in the Chinese market, and has already announced that he is quitting YouTube. Meanwhile, his Chinese manager is concerned that Bart’s American persona could be trouble in China, if it isn’t properly handled.
I liked his boss in Shanghai, who knows two things: that westerners who can speak Chinese are a media gold mine, but also that it's likely
they will eventually utter something offensive to Chinese authorities and get everyone involved in trouble.
Right now Americans are fascinated (and appalled) by how quickly the progressive ethics of large corporations (Apple, the NBA and Activision-Blizzard) are being switched off by Chinese power and money. But Baker is a sign of what's to come: American kids blathering in machine-translated Mandarin about the superiority of China, happy to humilate themselves for a little money and fleeting attention. Read the rest
How much money does a YouTuber make from 1,000,000 views? Anywhere between $500 - $10,000, but the average is $2,000. This is according Shelby Church, who has 1.3M subscribers. This particular video has over 4 million views.
Her advice for making more money on YouTube? Make videos that are over 10 minutes long (because you can include more ads).
Image: Shelby Church/YouTube Read the rest
Welcome to 2018.
Here's an archived clip of ghost-hunting vlogger Moe Sargi having an oops moment. This peek behind the curtain was supposedly left in a now-removed original posting due to an editing error. The interesting thing, though, isn't the embarassment of a paranormal poseur, but the fact that the only consequence is a new layer of kayfabe: both his official twitter account and channel are currently "occupied" by an anonymous-style "hacker" character, Project Zorgo, who supposedly forced him to post the obviously-faked video.
Ah, but is it this the real fake Project Zorgo?
Millions of subscribers! The future of entertainment! The older you are, the more likely you are to bring something with you, cultural receptors from an earlier media age, that means this kind of thing (if not this exact thing) somehow manages to fool you. But Sargi's tween fans just want him to knock it off and go back to the spooky basement crawls. Read the rest
The Fitness Marshall has over a million subscribers and over 150 videos on his channel. His paltry take after three years of work comes to about $20 a video after record labels and everyone else take their cuts. Read the rest
Logan Paul made a video posing near of a suicide victim in Japan's Aokigahara forest. He was widely condemned, seemed chastened, made a soft-focus video about his learning experience, then went back in front of the camera to taser a dead rat and poke a fish. YouTube issued a statement saying Paul's been suspended again from their advertising program, but you get the feeling that, like him, they just aren't learning their lesson.
YouTube has suspended advertising on video blogger Logan Paul's channels owing to his "pattern of behaviour". ...
“After careful consideration, we have decided to temporarily suspend ads on Logan Paul’s YouTube channels,” YouTube said in a statement Friday. “This is not a decision we made lightly; however, we believe he has exhibited a pattern of behavior in his videos that makes his channel not only unsuitable for advertisers, but also potentially damaging to the broader creator community.”
YouTube is fixated on Brand Suitability as the problem, but that's how you expect YouTube to fail at PR, apologizing to advertisers in the place it's supposed to be apologizing to viewers. The bigger problem is how it's trying to serve Brands in the first place, by financing a dystopian cargo cult of adolescent fameballs in the hope of incubating true talent. The social milieux they've created is a breeding ground for shark-eyed nasties and bug-eyed nazis, and their job depends on not understanding it. Read the rest
YouTube stars Alissa Violet and Ricky “FaZe” Banks were ejected Saturday night from a Cleveland pub. FaZe ranted on his stream. Violet, selfying her way to hospital, sported a fat lip. The couple immediately went on an online offensive, identifying the Barley House and claiming to have been innocent victims of its bouncers. What happened next is all too predictable: their army of millions of social media fans formed an "unrelenting internet harassment campaign," issuing insults, death threats, some even driving hours to intimidate staff in person.
Violet’s fans view her not as just a celebrity but one of their closest friends. She posts daily videos about her life in Los Angeles, photos of recent modeling shoots, jokes, and personal stories on Twitter and Snapchat. She tends to her legion by faving tweets, shouting out fans, and making her followers feel like they’re intimately involved in every detail of her life.
Her online army dedicates an enormous amount of time to watching her videos, commenting on her posts, and setting up stan accounts in her likeness. When they saw someone had hurt her on Saturday night, that fanbase didn’t ask questions.
But the Barley House has the receipts, and, it turns out, the gumption to post them in public: security footage recorded that night that shows the pair instigated all the trouble, were ejected without harm, then got into a fight outside with other patrons. Banks even appears to throw a glass into the crowd.
Read the rest
After a crazy few days of cyber bullying including death threats to our employees, our website being hacked, our social media channels forced to be privatized, and false online review efforts to punish our reputation, we finally get the opportunity to put the facts together of what really happened and clear our name of Ricky Banks' and Alissa Violet's accusations towards Barley House.
Something odd is happening in makeup-vlogger country: a wave of searing criticism of overpriced and useless cosmetics, and of consumerism itself. The Outline's Mehreen Kasana reports that "anti-haul" videos have gained a special status in the community.
Most anti-haul videos are somewhere between 12 to 20 minutes long, and typically focus on beauty products. The host details a list of things they don't plan to buy and the reasons why not while detailing the often exorbitant prices. There are anti-hauls about Kylie Cosmetics, Sephora, Colourpop, Maybelline, and other brands. These videos have gained a special status in the makeup community on YouTube where cosmetics-focused videos — whether in tutorials or reviews — are always pointing at products. In anti-hauls, these items are critically evaluated outside the bubble of hype that gets inflated around products on YouTube. The verdict? You don’t need most of the stuff marketed to you. ...
This may be a generational thing. Retail industry research shows that millennials would rather pay for experiences than for stuff, suggesting materialism is out of style. These videos empathize with today’s overworked and underpaid consumer. They speak to the condition of being overwhelmed by options, having little to no financial comfort, and being visually harassed by high prices.
Thing is, beauty product reviews on the web are the fakest part of the internet, a pastel mountain of bullshit driven by a relentless stream of cosmetics care packages from PR people and undisclosed affiliate marketing. It's practically impossible to find out if anything's good by googling it. Read the rest
We all did so well keeping our kids away from obvious traps like 4chan, but it turns out that during those endless unsupervised hours watching Minecraft videos and Twitch streams, their hosts were muttering on about anime and black IQs and what to do about The Jews. And now our kids are hitting their teens, it's coming out of them like the first belches of sewage from a blocked toilet, and, well, here we all are in 2017!
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...again this week with the news that YouTube video gaming personality JonTron had made several racist and anti-semitic statements. JonTron — real name Jon Jafari — started his week by tweeting support for Iowa representative Steve King on Sunday, after King made the troubling claim that “we can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies.” Jafari then doubled down on this stance in an interview with fellow streamer Steven “Destiny” Bonnell, complaining of the erosion of a “unifying culture” in the United States, portraying Black Lives Matter as violent terrorists, and repeatedly making portentous warnings that white people would become the minority in American society. ...
On YouTube, these fringe opinions are insidious, too. They’re not set to Leni Riefenstahl films or videos of the Nuremberg Rallies — they dribble out during video game streams, or in Twitch chat, or in YouTube’s never-ending “up next” queue. These are ostensibly benign spaces that have become politicized in recent years, but not so loudly that the average parent will be able to clock the association.