YouTubers Facing The Real World


Photo by Google Images

Zoe Sugg and Michelle Phan’s commercials for YouTube.

Story by Valeria Munoz, Staff Writer

Social media celebrities are quickly becoming household names thanks to the latest television and book deals they have scored recently. The British Youtubers Zoe Sugg and Tanya Burr have both launched beauty lines ranging from bath soaps to lipstick in the U.K. under the brands “Zoella Beauty” and “Tanya Burr” respectively.

Sugg has also released Girl Online, a young adult book being sold in the United States. Her first week book sales of 78,109 copies surpassed J.K. Rowling’s first week sales breaking the record for most copies sold. Similarly, Alfred Deyes, her boyfriend and fellow British YouTuber wrote The Pointless Book. Both are set to release sequels to their respective series under the publishing company of Penguin. Burr has teased her upcoming book on social media by posting pictures of her book titled Love Tanya. Although the premise isn’t quite clear, Burr has announced it will be categorized under nonfiction and “be quite personal” as well as visually aesthetic. The person responsible for these deals is Dominic Sales, a British entrepreneur who represents British YouTube talent. He started Gleam Futures, a talent agency geared to social media personalities assisting them with business negotiations and the overall management of their careers.

Across the pond, Internet beauty guru Michelle Phan began a subscription box business similar to Birchbox under the name “GlamBags.” Its purpose was fairly simple: to send subscribers little bags filled with makeup samples for a monthly fee of $10. Her practical idea has grown to be a company generating an $84 million annual sales rate with a total of 700,000 subscribers.

On a completely different spectrum of entertainment, Grace Helbig has been offered her own television show on the lifestyle and fashion network E!. With 2 million subscribers and a bestseller (Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to Be A Grown Up) it’s no wonder the producers of the Talking Dead along with E! executives see potential in the young comedian. Although no title or time allotment has been confirmed, the television show is believed to replace Chelsea Handler’s previous talk show as the new E! comedic series.  The release date is yet to be announced but Helbigs’ subscribers couldn’t be more proud.

Despite the fact that many people see a YouTuber’s online fan base as “cheating” their way into financial success, the job of a YouTuber is a lot more demanding than it may seem on the surface. For British daily vloggers such as Zoe Sugg and Alfred Deyes, the pressure of uploading daily “follow me around” videos takes a toll on their private lives as people ambush them on the streets. If that wasn’t enough, they also must upload constantly on their main channels and edit videos night and day to keep their followers satisfied. Not to mention the social media accounts they must maintain to update their fans. Although it doesn’t seem physically strenuous, being a YouTuber certainly takes a toll on a person psychologically.

“Doing this is a bit scary because you’re putting your life out there,” said Zoella.

Therefore, the amount of effort they put forth into their channel content and the selflessness with which they upload more than makes up for the fact that they don’t have a traditional job. The business world is expanding to incorporate technology and social media nowadays and people just need to accept that with opportunity comes change and it seems that it is for the better.

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