When YouTube launched eight years ago, the first major videos were Charlie Bit My Finger, Evolution of Dance, along with other hit videos that came out of nowhere. After a few years, recurring videos from the same person started cropping up and video gaming became one of the YouTube communities’ most popular video niches.
What started as a way to show funny moments quickly became one guy playing a game from start to finish, with an audience watching every episode of the “Let’s Play” and following the YouTube personality through the game.
In 2014, there are dozens of million dollar YouTube channels who regularly do Let’s Play’s as a way to make a living. The biggest in the bunch is Swedish personality PewDiePie, who currently has 24 million subscribers, grabbing around $140,000 to $1.4 million per month.
PewDiePie managed to grab this huge number through his personality more than anything else, the loud foul mouthed Swede has drawn in millions of peoples to the simplest of games and tends to play horrors and Indies, he is well known for his screaming in horrors.
Other personalities like Toby Turner, Yogscast, Roosterteeth and SkyDoesMinecraft also draw in millions of viewers, but unlike PewDiePie they like to mostly focus on Minecraft. The open world builder has been a huge hit for plenty of YouTubers, who can use their imagination and personality to build Let’s Play’s, rather than use the IP of gaming creators as back up.
While this all sounds easy to do, this YouTube success is only available to the 1%, with hundreds of thousands of content creators not being able to gain a living making content for YouTube and not being able to attract an audience big enough to even pay rent for a flat.
Even if the YouTube luck does not hit some content creators, there are valuable lessons to learn from making content on YouTube. The biggest one is video editing and being able to create and sync video with audio, something a lot of media companies would pay you for if YouTube doesn’t work out.