The online video platform YouTube has captured the attention of billions all over the world, accelerated a thirst for fame among new generations, and altered the way we consume, distribute and monetize content. The documentary YouTube, YouTubers and You profiles several of the website's most successful users, and examines the impact it's had on the youth culture and content creation and consumption in general.
YouTube enjoys an unprecedented worldwide viewership. Collectively, these visitors watch well over 3 billion hours of content every month. These are the kinds of numbers that can result in great fame and fortune for many of the last platform's most recognizable stars. Celebrity used to be born from the silver screen or musical stage; today, all you need is a webcam and a passion.
The film introduces us to Kwebbelkop, a young Dutch entrepreneur who heralds an international subscriber base of over 7 million. He is one of YouTube's brightest stars, and his fame follows him wherever he travels around the globe. His shtick? He takes viewers inside his love of gaming and shares morsels from his daily life on his personal vlog.
Every year, he joins thousands of other creators, media influencers and celebrity hopefuls at VidCon, an online video convention based in southern California. Here, superstar YouTubers rub shoulders with potential investors, advertisers and other executives who are eager to capitalize on their success. Many others attend simply for an opportunity to glance their favorite online celebrity in the flesh, or to learn the skills they need to eventually join their ranks.
YouTube, YouTubers and You shows us the business side of the website; a world inhabited by algorithm specialists, brand marketers and talent managers. Without exception, if a company wishes to engage the eyeballs of an international audience, they have to play in the YouTube sandbox. The film also invests in the personal struggles and triumphs of the site's content makers. The forum is completely democratic, and invites participation from all ages and ethnicities. These creators are encouraged to share their personal lives and insights with the world. They are the product. Success or failure, particularly among the very young, can either inflate or crush their sense of self-worth.