YouTube Takes Care of Business


Courtesy of CNN

YouTubers Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox, who make up the channel Smosh.

Helen Burdier, Entertainment Editor

It all started in 2005. Legend has it that the creators of the video haven planned to make it a dating website, called  “Tune in to Hook up,”  but after realizing that wasn’t a great idea, the YouTube we know of was formed. YouTube allows users to spread viral videos, watch tutorials to impress their friends, and even create careers.

Those who plan, film, and edit their own content for the site are called YouTubers. The most subscribed YouTuber, currently, is Felix Kjellberg for his channel “Pewdiepie.” His audience is made up of over 31 million people who watch his  videos that don’t revolve him answering life’s mysteries or performing magic. Instead, his videos feature him playing video games. According to, he rakes in $4 million annually.

YouTubers make money based on the advertisements on their channels, with revenue spilt between YouTube and the YouTuber, but if the YouTuber is owned by a corporation- such as Smosh, who are owned by Alloy Digital- then the portion the YouTuber makes is further spilt. YouTubers can also earn money from being sponsored by brands, such as beauty focused channels that are paid to mention, review, or use certain products and include codes that their subscribers can use to purchase those products, which the YouTuber gets a portion of, too. YouTubers can also make money from sales of their merchandise- from T-shirts to calendars.

Despite the money YouTubers can make from the website, many have ventured away from it.

Comedy duo Smosh- long time best friends Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox- were one of the original YouTubers, posting videos to the site during its conception and becoming youtube partners two years after, and have created a brand of comedy out of the hobby they started at 17. Smosh now has five channels: “Smosh,” where they upload their main videos; “Smosh 2nd Channel,” where they video blog; “Shut Up! Cartoons,” “El Smosh,” where their videos are dubbed in spanish, and their gaming channel, “Smosh Games.”  The duo also have their own website,, and Padilla runs a separate channel with his fiancée called, “WatchUsLiveAndStuff.”

Outside of the YouTube sphere, the two have a game available on iTunes called “Super Head  Esploder X” and launched their own magazine in July. The pair also recently had Lionsgate buy the rights for “The Smosh Movie,” marking the comedians’ literal move from small screen to the big screen.

Comedians aren’t the only YouTubers expanding their horizons. Beauty gurus- those who produce videos on makeup, hair, and skincare- are also breaking through the glass of computer screens. Michelle Phan, one of the most notable beauty gurus, launched her own makeup line, called “Em cosmetics,” after partnering with makeup corporation L’Oreal.

Bethany Mota, another beauty guru, is a contestant on this season’s Dancing With the Stars. Mota has also launched her own eponymous line at Aeropostale and released a single “Need You Right Now,” all before reaching 19. 

YouTube has become more than a website to view brothers biting their brothers fingers and goats making screaming noises – it’s a platform, and its stars are jumping off and making splashes.