I've been makingfunof Smosh for at least eight years, but their rise to popularity and ability to remain popular has been truly astonishing.
Today, via a finebros' tweet, I noticed this article/study in Variety that concluded that youtubers are huge stars with U.S. teenageers -- bigger than mainstream celebs.
AND GODDAMMIT THE NUMBER ONE CELEBRITY AMONG EVERYBODY - NOT JUST YOUTUBERS - IS GODDAMM SMOSH.
I give up.
Worth a read. After a quick read, I agree with the general conclusions that youtubers are far more popular than mainstream media including print media is recognizing, as mainstream media doesn't really know what to do with them.
Back in the LG15 Days, I spent a lot of time thinking about this especially after Bree 'died. (spoiler warning). I couldn't figure out why it effected people as if a real person had died. I think the fact that one the screen is closer (most people still watch web content on a computer, but that is rapidly changing) and people on the web look directly into the camera, which gives the feeling that they are talking to you. Add in the social media interaction and the falsely perceived notion that they are your 'friends' (they aren't people on youTube are like any celebrity, fans are useful only to the extent that they are useful) along with a sense of belonging and you have a receipt for manipulating easily manipulated minds.
Look for the NSA to start vlogging in the coming months.