Five YouTubers Who Made It Bigtime!

3:09 pm
0 Rob Ashley
YouTube is full of people who work full time in making videos with advice about life, what to buy, what to cook, and where to go. But millions of followers are just the beginning. Here are five YouTubers who went beyond online fandom and created a career out of their popularity.
Casey Neistat
Photo by Joe Schildhorn/BFA

Casey Neistat – The New Guy

The newest member on the list just sold his app to CNN for an estimated $25 million. Neistat has over 5.8 subscribers on YouTube, and he used his success on the social media platform to launch Beme, a social app. Beme was designed to be a reversed Snapchat, which let users share their surroundings instead of taking selfies. The app didn’t enjoy the anticipated success, but was purchased by CNN for $25 million nonetheless. Sources familiar with the deal comment that the purchase is more of Neistat and his team, than the app itself as experts believe that CNN wants Neistat to join its ranks to help it draw in younger viewers.

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Ze Frank – The Original YouTuber

Ze Frank is considered by many YouTubers to be the inspiration for their own video blog. Frank started his own web-show in 2006, simply titled “The Show with Ze Frank,” which became widely influential thanks to its humor and its community projects. After years of media silence, Frank returned to YouTube in 2012. The new show gained popularity and allowed Ze Frank to sign in with Buzzfeed. Ze Frank moved up the ranks, and is now the President of Buzzfeed Entertainment.

Lindsey Sterling
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Lindsey Sterling – The One Who Made Violins Look Cool

After flunking out of the famed reality competition, America Got Talent, and being told that “What you’re doing is not enough to fill a theater in Vegas” by the judges, Lindsey Sterling turned to YouTube, and launched a successful music career. Her videos combine violin performance with hip-hop dance and electronic music, and are set as massive productions complete with costumes, makeup and special effects. Over YouTube, Sterling was able to grow her fan base, which currently spreads over 8.6 million subscribers. Sterling translated her talent into sales and published two studio albums. She continues with a successful and very lucrative touring career, as she files theaters all over the world.

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PewDiePie – The Gaming God

No list of successful YouTubers is complete without mentioning PewDiePie. His real name is Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, the Swedish-born gamer is YouTube’s most subscribed creator. His channel includes mostly videos of him playing various video games and adding his own commentary. This became greatly popular with viewers at a wide variety of ages, even as young as 6 years old. His videos are known to have an Opera effect, propelling obscure video games to popularity. In 2015, PewDiePie made the transition from game commentator to game creator, and has produces two mobile games that were downloaded by millions of users.

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Zoe Sugg- The Online Fashion Queen

Zoe Sugg, better known as Zoella, has made her YouTube fame with videos of her showing her shopping hauls and favorite fashion products. As she gained more followers, fashion companies sought her endorsement, which resulted with an income of approximately $7.2 Million. Not satisfied with just an online career, Sugg wrote a novel, Girl Online, which broke the record for highest selling first time novel on its first week. Sugg continues to both produce videos and write, with a third novel hitting the shelves shortly.