Australian YouTube stars are million dollar hot property complete with agents

Veritasium’s Derek Muller delivers a TEDx speech on how to make great science videos. Photo: YouTube Trent Stanley at his home studio in Falcon, Western Australia. Photo: Philip Gostelow
Wuxi Plastic Surgery

Trent Stanley turned a hobby into a nice earner, thanks to YouTube. Photo: Philip Gostelow

Ashley, five and Charli, eight, rising stars of Charli’s Crafty Kitchen. Photo: Screen shot

Whether it be stupidity, comedy, cooking or gaming, making YouTube videos has become a real profession for a number of ordinary Australians – and big business wants a cut.

Australian Trent Stanley has been making YouTube videos since he was 13 – parodies of the original Thomas the Tank Engine kids’ show famously narrated by Ringo Starr.

Now on the cusp of 20, Stanley has never had a day job at all: advertising revenue from his YouTube channel, DieselD199, is his only source of income. It’s essentially a five-figure salary, part-time job supporting him through university.

“I’m happy to say I’ve never had to flip burgers as a teenager,” he quips.

Stanley, from Perth, Western Australia, says he is approached “several times a week” by multi-channel networks (MCNs) – YouTube-approved agencies that help build a channel’s subscriber base through cross-channel promotion and branded content. Essentially, talent scouts for the YouTube generation.

Australia’s number one YouTuber, in terms of subscribers, makes how-to videos with a difference: they don’t teach you anything.

HowToBasic “shows” its viewers how to twerk like Miley Cyrus or rap like Eminem, aided by revolting props such as chicken carcasses and urine. Each “tutorial” invariably ends with smashed eggs.

While not for the faint-hearted, its elusive creator, also based in Perth, has hit on a winning formula that has allowed him to quit his day job in pursuit of YouTube fame. HowToBasic boasts more than fourmillion subscribers, and YouTube tracker Social Radar estimates it’s raking in as much as $1 million a year.

HowToBasic is signed to major US agency, Fullscreen.

Boom Video, the first YouTube-approved agency in Australia, also counts some of the country’s top YouTubers in its stable.

Among its channels is the current Australian number two: 19-year-old Perth boy wonder Troye Sivan, who played a young Wolverine in X-Men. His YouTube fame helped propel his first music releases high into the charts.

Boom co-founder Tim Cooper says Sivan had “about 60,000” YouTube subscribers when he joined the agency; he now has more than three  million.

Google, which owns YouTube, recently promoted Sivan’s channel on Australia billboards and on Melbourne trams – just as a TV network would an upcoming series. saw troye at town hall today and we shared a moment it was magical ily @troyesivanpic.twitter整形美容医院m/n30yCXDGO7 — A R / A N A (@princesstroye) October 5, 2014Charli’s Crafty Kitchen, a cooking show starring their daughters Charli, eight, and Ashley, five, is quickly working its way up the ranks thanks to a collaboration with already popular Boom channel, Simple Cooking Channel. The agency helped it gather some 250,000 subscribers.

She won’t discuss income for the kids’ sake, but suffice to say, her husband gave up his job in phone sales to help build the business.

“In the last six months or so it’s just gone crazy,” Mrs Kelly says.

Others, however, are finding great success by going it alone.

Controversial teen pranksters The Janoskians, who regularly pack out shopping centres with screaming fangirls, claim the 8th most popular local channel. Originally from Melbourne, they’re now pursuing fame in Los Angeles.

Australia’s number five channel Veritasium, meanwhile, has been a resounding success for Sydney-based former science lecturer Derek Muller.

The full-time YouTuber says he earns six figures from advertising revenue, on par with the salary of an established university professor – only he’s able to reach about 100 times the number of “students” with his popular science videos.

“It’s an incredibly powerful way to scale what I do,” Muller says.

In fact, Muller gets extra income on top of his YouTube advertising revenue, thanks to the profile he has built on the platform.

He’s just finished filming a three-part documentary for SBS on the history of uranium, that took him across the globe. He has also appeared on ABC’s flagship science program, Catalyst.

This week the Australian Tax Office noted local YouTube stars need to lodge their earnings as as any other actor, comedian or musician would.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.