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What Is The Secret Of Success For YouTube Stars?

If you want to aspire to be the top in whatever niche you are in or aspire to whether that be sport or business it always worthwhile to look at what the top players do and have a closer look at how they have achieved their success and study their habits.What is the secret of success for YouTube stars

The thing to keep in mind with these YouTube stars is that with the demographic of YouTube being predominantly 18-34 year olds (they make up 34% of the viewing audience) that if you are a little older you might not find the top ten to your liking.. I certainly have felt the cringe factor cut in while viewing some of these videos but hey I am not 34!

Before we take a closer look let’s look at some more of the latest facts about YouTube.

  • The monthly unique visitors to YouTube in May, 2010 totaled over 103 million
  • An average of 24 hours of video is uploaded every minute
  • 5.8 billion videos were streamed in the US in June , 2010
  • 2 plus billion videos are viewed globally every day
  • 1 hour and 12 minutes is the average time spent on YouTube per month in the US
  • 47% of the global internet audience visited YouTube.com in April, 2010

Source: Flowtown

Yesterday we listed the top five ranked YouTube stars, today we look at those that round out the top ten.

Ranked Six

Shay Carl is a 21 year old who is very prolific with over 300 videos on his YouTube channel titled “Kalebnation” and again comedy is the thing (it didn’t make me laugh though). Total views in the past year stand at 192 million with Tube Mogul estimating his earnings at $140,000.

Ranked Seven

This is Greg Benson with his channel called “Mediocre Films” which he produces and publishes once a week (yawn…comedy again).  What does he say about himself on his channel

Hiya! We’re the idiots who bring you Gay Leprechaun, Retarded Policeman, Excellent Questions, Gorgeous Tiny Chicken Machine Show, Celebrity Sock Puppet Theatre, Greg Hits Hollywood and lots of other insane stuff. NEW VIDEOS EVERY THURSDAY!!!

Greg’s video views total 159 million and the estimated banner ad earnings stand at $116,000 as estimated by Tube Mogul an online video aggregator and distributor.

Ranked Eight

This comedy duo (Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox) call their channel  ‘Smosh‘ with the viewing numbers around 154 million with estimated earnings  at $112,000. (I certainly felt the cringe factor engage here)

Ranked Nine

So here we have a YouTube channel called “The Young Turks” and it is a daily talk show with a focus on politics with some news, pop culture and entertainment thrown in for good measure.  On viewing it the presenter’s demeanour and style remind me a young Jay Leno.  What does their profile say

The Young Turks (Winner – Best Political Podcast & Best Political News Site of 2009) were the first original talk show on Sirius satellite radio and the first live, daily webcast on the internet

Total views to date stand at 153 million plus and estimated earnings for the last 12 months approximately $112,000

Ranked Ten

This is the Australian, Natalie Tran who uses her YouTube titled “Community Channel”  to discuss some of the day to day issues with Gen Y women but done with a clever dose of subtle humor and satire and has currently attracted  138 million views with estimated earnings of $101,000

For me the learning from all of these whether you hate or love the content is that they are passionate about what they do. In essence that is the number one secret to their online video success.

What do you think?

Image by by Rego – twitter.com/w3bdesign

Jeffbullas's Blog


  • To be passionate about what you are doing is the first clue to success , whatever you are offering to the viewer , as people got different tests on choosing the things , so the success always exists !

  • How interesting, Jeff. YouTube is definitely an area of social networking that I am rather unfamiliar with! It was inspiring and exciting to see those numbers.

  • What is astonishing to me is that you have people making $100k+ from home videos and low lvl humor

  • Fortunately there are so many different Youtube stars, so as lame as some can get, there’s always something for everyone.

  • The Young Turks channel has given the main host Cenk a major launching pad–he’s guest-hosted on MSNBC several times in the past few months, and is a regular contributor there, all thanks to his fans’ campaigns to get him on the network.

  • You Tube is one of the most powerful applications that the internet has.. Most marketers understand the power of the Video! I’m just starting to learn how to organise video’s… One day I hope to be as successful as your top 10! LOL! RICH :0)

  • People are really bored! I think when I start making videos about the horrors that are going on with our food supply and all of the things going on with the environment,etc., I guess I am going to have to incorporate something about abandoned diaries…lol…it IS adding to the landfill. Very interesting concept!

  • Erin McDonald

    Good article Jeff, great statistics. I feel the question was left unanswered however as to what exactly is the secret to their success and would love to hear an analysis of how they manage their Youtube accounts e.g. engagement/followings and if they integrate other social properties/marketing into the mix.

    It would be great to see what types of engagement work well and why – there are so many talented people on Youtube it is so interesting why certain ones make it as stars.

  • Arthur

    Great title for an article that provided only statistical information, but no real clue on the success of youtube stars, aside from being 18-34.

  • VW

    Agreed, the stats were interesting, but did not provide any conclusive insight. One can surmise that low-brow comedy, gross-out, and juvenile pranks would appeal to a sophomoric male demographic. Question becomes, does the mentioned audience have any relevant buying power and do these channels equate to increased sales/ROI for Advertisers (Other than the video game providers). Moreover, so-called success appears to be only relevant within the environment of Youtube. Most have not achieved main stream success and have not been able to translate Youtube visibility to an outside career, nor a long-term sustainable business with a viable model. Lastly, will the mentioned still be around in 5 or even 2 years from now, after the novelty has worn?

  • Thanks for the insight Jeff. I am still having a hard time wrapping my head around how youtube works. I mostly post videos for fun. I recently posted a video of a girlfriend who was recovering from a snowmobile accident so her friends and family out of state could see she was doing well. Somehow, that video has more than 45-hundred views? How does that happen? Is it because it gets rated? Tags? Description? I am guessing it must show up for people somewhere as a suggested video? Thanks for your help navigating the very complex world of social media.