This year has been marked by the rise of the YouTube star.
People are noticing that YouTube is creating the next generation of mega media stars, who are making millions.
Last week, I flew to LA from NYC to attend an event called INTOUR, put on by Fullscreen, to see what it was like when 15 famous YouTube stars (most of them very cute teenage boys) showed up to perform and hang out with thousands of their fans (most of them young teenage girls.)
Because the fans are minors, all tickets came with a free ticket for a parent or guardian.
The parents milled around, seemingly super confused as to why their daughters were shrieking and crying over these young kids that the majority of the world has never heard of. But it was amazing.
After spending the day with the talent and the fans, one thing was clear: YouTube celebrity is a culture of access, unlike Hollywood A-listers that remain untouchable.
These kids want to be friends with their fans, they all took the time to say hi, take selfies, and give hugs. As I completed interview after interview with these young stars on the rise, one thing was clear: they were humble to a fault, and really interested in spreading a message that being yourself is the best thing you can be.
What better idea to send to young and impressionable kids?