YouTubers from this country are killing it, thanks to the rest of the world
It’s no surprise that having a popular YouTube channel can be lucrative — but just how much has always been a source of curiosity.
The video platform has released a report detailing how much creators earn on the site, with more than 100 Australian channels earning over A$100,000 (US$76,000) in advertising in 2016.
On top of that, 2,000 creators earned between A$1,000 (US$763) and A$100,000 in the same year.
This is revenue earned through advertising that’s displayed alongside their content on the platform, like those pre-roll ads you watch before a video.
Interestingly, 90 percent of views from Australian YouTube channels are from outside the country. It’s the case for Josiah Brooks, the creator behind Draw with Jazza, a drawing tutorial channel which has more than two million subscribers.
45 percent of Brooks’ viewers are from the U.S., followed by 12 percent in the UK, then Australia at 10 percent. His channel also has pull from non-English speaking countries, with a strong following in Germany “for some reason,” as well as the Netherlands and in South America.
Brooks laughs off the suggestion it’s his Australianness that gets people coming back to his videos, but instead sticking to the adage of “content is king.”
“I don’t think people really feel they watch a content creator based on geography, it’s just based on their comedy style,” he explained.
“Arj Barker (Flight of the Conchords) for example seems to perform as a comedian a lot in Australia, because his style seems to really strike well with Aussies. YouTube must be a similar thing, where your style latches onto different groups.
“Some people do really well in India, or they do well in Japan. The U.S. is one of those places for me. I’m really big on pop culture, internetting, memes and other dorky humour, and that’s definitely a core of my audience.”
There’s also the simple fact that there are more U.S. consumers on the platform, and because Australians are native English speakers too.
The popularity of Australian YouTubers overseas is an interesting contrast to how other Australian stories on traditional mediums like TV and film fare in other markets.
Many Australian formats are often recast for local appeal, as in the case of FX’s Wilfred or the U.S. TV version of the film Animal Kingdom. But YouTube’s open nature mean it’s never played the same rules as traditional media, attracting niche formats that never would get to TV.
YouTube’s report is keen on emphasising that it no longer wants to be seen as a stopgap for content creators who want to one day make it big on a traditional medium.
They can perhaps be just as big — but on YouTube instead.