Vines, videos and YouTube careers

By Hayden Perkins

“Star Wars Kid”, “Chocolate Rain”, “Evolution of Dance” and “The Sneezing Baby Panda” are some of the most easily recognizable pieces of history in the entire existence of the internet. Shortly after the birth of AOL, Myspace and the reigning champion of social media and overly invasive relatives, Facebook, YouTube exploded onto the scene. 

The video hosting website began as a little more than a place to post clips of your sweet parkour routines and snowboard tricks, yet quickly became a household name under its parent company, Google.

YouTube’s popularity quickly rose over the next few years as various cable networks, artists and record labels began to partner with the company, allowing them to place ads before videos and intermittently within larger ones. As YouTube grew, so too did the number of viewers and most importantly, the number of videos. 

Alien to prior generations and almost entirely unbelievable to many of those not a millennial, there exits a very substantial subculture of “YouTubers” and the video makers who they follow.

Everybody on earth with an internet connection is aware of YouTube and its one-off videos, but users or content creators, such as PewDiePie, Rooster Teeth and Smosh, have been able to create videos on a regular basis to sustain their own ways of life, and now, their companies. They generate revenue just like McDonald’s and Disney and they employ hundreds of people to write, direct, produce and act in their shorts or other shows.

How do they generate revenue? Those pesky little advertisements, of course. When a YouTube personality or growing star intends to take their channel further and reaches roughly 1,000 subscribers, they can split ad revenue with YouTube itself, ensuring YouTube stays afloat. However, devoted content creators also receive endorsements from companies and comply with their product placement rules within various works. Another method used frequently are outlets for viewers to donate to them, like GoFundMe and Patreon.

The idea that an individual can make money by creating YouTube videos is a baffling one, but with a little work your video game streams, cooking tutorials or music videos might make you a little extra cash someday.

Hayden Perkins is a staff writer at the Northern Star. She can be reached at