In two weeks we’ll be heading out to the West Coast to attend VidCon, which is the annual convention for all YouTube video makers and their fans. We went last year and had a blast.
One of the YouTube channels Ben watches a lot is “nigahiga” (pronounced neega heega, in case you were wondering), the creation of Ryan Higa and his friends. They excel at spoofs and satire, and have well over 12 million subscribers. This means the channel is monetized and although there are no published numbers, similar channels with half as many followers are estimated to bring in between $200-$300K a year in revenue. That’s not revenue for YouTube (although they are making money as well) but for the creator of the channel.
In other words, Mr. Higa & friends do very well.
One of my personal favorites among their videos (ok, my very personal favorite) is called “Honest University Commercial”. It tells the truth about debt and universities – especially the for profit variety. Interesting to note is that Mr. Higa went to UNLV to study film-making, and his little YouTube channel which started while he was still in high school (he’s 24 now) has ensured that he is not carrying around a bunch of debt. So you cannot say that Mr. Higa is opposed to going to university, but I will point out that from what I can gather, he went to college with a specific purpose – he was already making videos and short films and that was his focus at university. (He was also already making money from his channel.)
Watching this makes me excited for VidCon this year. The nigahiga crew was not in attendance last summer, so we’re hoping they’ll be there this time around. But even if they aren’t, VidCon will be three days of excitement, laughter and fun. With good doses of satire and spoof thrown in for good measure. Just like this video: