Joey Graceffa, a 24-year-old YouTube star with nearly six million subscribers and a recently released memoir that hit the New York Times’ celebrity best-sellers list this summer, spent the week at the Consumer Electronics Conference in Las Vegas.
He tells Business Insider that all the virtual reality tech caught his eye while wandering the showfloor, but he also shared a funny reason why he loved being at CES:
No one recognised him.
At most conventions Graceffa attends, he’s one of the stars of the show. He, like many other YouTubers, attends digital video conventions (VidCon being a major one) where the creators can’t walk the showroom floor without being swarmed by mobs of young fans.
Just in his everyday life, Graceffa gets approached all the time — whether he’s in an LA mall or travelling in China.
Being unencumbered by selfie and autograph requests for once is a relief.
“Ugh, I love it,” he sighs dramatically. “I can walk around! I’m free! It’s nice. It’s definitely a different vibe, which is great.”
Unlike the teen crowds of VidCon, CES is mostly packed with older tech nerds: Definitely not Graceffa’s typical demographic.
Though, at YouTube’s keynote address with chief business officer Robert Kyncl, the company made sure to emphasise how its video platform jump-started the careers of countless people, including Justin Bieber and Psy.
Overall, YouTube puts a lot of time and money into making sure the world knows the star-power of its popular creators as it seeks to increase its premium advertising dollars.
The company has plastered the New York City subway with their pictures and often quotes a Variety study that shows that teens idolize YouTubers more than Hollywood celebrities. At a big advertising conference last year, it invited a whole bunch of young people to sit in the front row of CEO Susan Wojcicki’s keynote (they cheered ferociously every time a new YouTuber trotted onstage).
In Graceffa’s case, barely anyone may have recognised him at CES, but his first Vegas video already has more than 100,000 views. And each pre-roll ad his teen fans watch before the video clip means dollar signs in the bank for both he and YouTube.