Walking through a local Barnes & Noble, which few people do anymore, I went to browse through bestsellers and saw a few names I recognized.
Names like Tyler Oakley, Mamrie Hart and Shane Dawson stood out to me. I had known these people as creators on YouTube. I was surprised, in a way, because I had always thought that the title of “bestseller” could only belong to established writers or celebrities.
Growing up in a time when convergence was a newly -blossoming idea, I would have never thought to see people who top the charts in one medium being wildly successful in other media.
A Los Angeles Times article written by Saba Hamedy explains the all-encompassing career of YouTube star Grace Helbig. Hamedy explains Helbig’s most recent
accomplishments are based in convergence, consisting of a book, millions of subscribers on YouTube, a podcast and a traveling comedy show.
The important question to ask is, “How does this affect the television industry?”
In an article from Business Insider, Lara O’Reily explains that ever since Google purchased YouTube in 2006, Google has been comparing YouTube to television. In fact,
YouTube’s ratings are up, and consumers are starting to turn to it in the same way they used to turn on the television and channel surf.
This newfound success for YouTube has been brought up though dedicated and consistent content creators — and Google knows it. Google has even gone to great lengths to support these creators.
In an article for the New York Times, David Carr wrote about his visit to YouTube Space New York. He explains the space is available for content creators with 5,000 subscribers or more. It serves as a place of collaboration and creation.
Much like how television grew from a few consistent channels to thousands, this space will seriously increase the amount number of experienced and polished YouTube content creators.
Traditional media, like cable television and radio, are still seen as the most common forms of entertainment, information and advertising, but they are going to have to fight to keep their ranking. As YouTube continues to grow and its creators continue to develop their convergence and cult followings, YouTube could become the dominant force in entertainment and information media.