Did you hear about the seven-year-old kid who made eleven million dollars last year reviewing toys on YouTube? Does this mean that every kid with a YouTube channel can become a millionaire?
Seven-year-old Ryan of Ryan Toys Review is one of several very successful YouTube stars who have made it very, very big. According to Business Insider.com, Ryan – actually, his parents – made more than eleven million dollars in 2017. His channel has 15.2 million subscribers and his top video, “Huge Eggs Surprise Toy Challenge” has more than 1.4 billion views. All his videos have a combined total of more than 23 billion views, putting this second grader in the same league as YouTube artists like Justin Bieber, Maroon 5, Taylor Swift and Katy Perry.At Talk to the Camera we’ve been teaching kids how to express themselves on YouTube since 2013. While it’s true that a very small handful of kids out there on YouTube have become extremely successful, I need throw some ice water on the whole notion of the “YouTube Kid Millionaire” and remind parents where the real magic is for every kid who wants to make YouTube videos.
What makes Youtube powerful isn’t the fact that there are 5 billion videos watched every day, that it’s in eighty-eight countries, or that YouTube is the largest TV network in history. What makes YouTube so powerful is the fact that our kids can make amazing shows for THEMSELVES while connecting with kids all over the world who also love the same things they love to talk about.
Think for a moment of how regular TV works. You’ve got grownups telling kids what to watch and what grownups think is cool. Kids, however, know what THEY want to watch and film. Can you imagine Disney or Nickelodeon putting a seven-year-old in charge of programming? Of course not! But the reality is, when you put kids in charge of what they want to make, they come up with programs that tons of other kids their age like to watch.
Kids don’t think about advertisers or audience share or demographics, they just want to know what it’s like to play with toys or eat candy. This doesn’t always make sense to parents, and that’s the power of YouTube. A show made by a seven-year-old only needs to make sense to kids just like them.
So don’t start counting those big fat YouTube checks. You kid doesn’t want to make videos to start a TV career. They’re making friends and having fun and really learning some amazing life skills, like how to work with people, how to communicate visually, and a dozen other things that will help them succeed in their future careers.
A few of our kids in our YOUth TUBEr classes have made some awesomely fun videos, like “How to Stand Up for a Friend” and “Random Acts of Kindness.” These are personal stories and, if they get ten views or a million views, all that matters is they had fun making them.
The chances of your kid becoming a YouTube millionaire is really kinda small. So just let your kiddos focus on having fun. Their future will take care of itself.