5 things mums must know about their teenagers – Youtube fan clubs

I know you’re thinking you know all about YouTube, you use it for work, you might even have posted something up on YouTube for your blog, but you don’t really know YouTube; not the YouTube your kids know.

youtube logo

YouTube is big amongst teens. Think MTV when we were teenagers and blue eyeshadow was en vogue.

I was first alerted to this craze when my teens started wandering around the house bursting into loud oratory performances proclaiming –


Then they’d laugh. As if they knew something perilously funny, that I didn’t know. Apparently trains are very amusing, and liking trains, even more so.

I had to figure this out. This was not normal behaviour, even for teenagers, even my teenagers. So I casually pulled Dark Princess aside.  Deep down inside I quietly feared they were all turning into their Uncle who has had a fascination with steam trains his entire life..was it one of those hereditary conditions that family didn’t talk about?

“You like trains?” I asked her.

Not books, or boys or makeup or music or philosophy or poetry?

And then she sang ‘I like trains’ and giggled. I would have completely starting looking up weird teenage ‘things’ if she hadn’t mentioned Tomska – and then pointed me in the direction of Tom Ridgewell, the kooky Brit who developed the hugely successful asdf movies. So successful that over 55 million people have viewed his channel. Or maybe it was one person, 55 million times….?

He’s a YouTube partner, has a merchandising arm of his business, oh yeah, and at 20 years old Tom Ridgewell makes thousands of pounds per month through his YouTube empire.

He makes it look easy!

But I forgave him when I saw this video – Marmite is Terrible http://youtu.be/am6fco14Gi0 which the young YouTube entrepreneur turned into a marmite is terrible party.

Amazing Phil – But TomSka isn’t the only shiny new YouTube entrepreneur making it big amongst teenagers, Amazing Phil (Phil Lester) also has a nice thing going on with over 22 million views on his vids and even a Christmas Day gig on  BBC Radio One with sidekick – Daniisnotonfire.

Daniisnotonfire has over 24 million views on YouTube and his latest tube put up only 4 days ago during the Edinburgh festival has already clocked up over 400k views. That’s pretty impressive! It’s a gentle almost Viz type of humour with a laconic darkness that is typical of teens these days. (When wasn’t it?)

Tobuscus/Toby Turner – A Canadian who has turned his passion for the latest, coolest video games into a hugely popular vlogging channel on YouTube. Toby has over 518 million…yup….million….views on YouTube.

Let’s just pause on that for a minute.

Talking with my oldest teen (Son 18) I got the impression that the YouTube fandom phase was a young-mid teen thing, though interestingly the actual ‘stars’ themselves are all in their early twenties. Toby Turner markets himself as a viral marketing consultant tuned in to the youth market.

The last name that came up was Carrie Fletcher, sister of one of the McFly blokes, who doesn’t do comedy but certainly can sing. And whilst I can’t relate to her desire to be ‘a Disney Princess’ (what’s that about? Overdosed on Disney films and  pretty-in-pink toys since birth?) I was reminded only today of another young pretty girl who made it big on YouTube and propelled her way into pop music stardom. She didn’t want to be a Disney Princess, she was more upset about not being able to put Flowers in her Hair, and just today Sandi Thom was on Breakfast TV  releasing her latest CD.

The only major difference is that these kids won’t have to wait for the increase in popularity of the YouTube medium to make it big, they’re already using it and making big money right here, right now.

Just like real digital natives.

Just like their audience.

Have you heard about the rising stars on YouTube? Or did you think it was only funny dog and baby videos that made any money on YouTube?



'5 things mums must know about their teenagers – Youtube fan clubs' has 6 comments

  1. August 21, 2012 @ 11:07 pm Looking for Blue Sky

    Here the talk is all about Chuggaconroy and Total Biscuit…. gamers obviously and my 11 year old aspie is obsessed with them. What my 19 year old watches – apart from gymnastics – I dread to think!


    • August 22, 2012 @ 9:34 am vegemitevix

      Isn’t it funny the names these kids use…I’ve not heard of either of them but no doubt they’re big in the gaming culture. Two out of three of my kids are also into gaming with Son (18) even taking his interest offline and playing strategy board games with a club. I guess it’s better than hanging around on the street..


  2. August 21, 2012 @ 11:16 pm expatmum

    My almost 17 year old son is all over You Tube. Now it’s legit and he’s playing with his band (although the quality is terrible) but when he first got bitten by the bug, he thought sending my video camera down the laundry shoot would be funny. I ask you.


    • August 22, 2012 @ 9:35 am vegemitevix

      I was surprised at how tame the jokes were. I guess not all of them are like that but I’m glad the ones my kids watch are. I was also surprised that my daughter is more interested than my Son…maybe shades a of a crush going on here? You should post one of his band’s vids here and we can all help to raise his likes and views.


  3. August 22, 2012 @ 4:32 am JoCountrylifeexperiment

    One of my students last year had his own channel. He was getting enough hits that youtube contacted him to ask him if he wanted to join their affiliate program. He makes enough money each week that he doesnt need a part time job, and his videos are him playing computer games with his brother and talking about random stuff – hmmmm


    • August 22, 2012 @ 9:37 am vegemitevix

      Isn’t it staggering!? And for people like me – middle aged bloggers – it makes me wonder what I’ve missed, but then there’s nothing worse than a middle aged person trying to be down with the kids! I guess this is just the new MTV for this generation, complete with their own stars and cliques.


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