Since 2009, Bethany Mota, a beauty and lifestyle YouTube ingenue and sensation, has been uploading videos to her channel MacBarbie07. Six years later, Bethany has amassed over 650 million video views and over 8 million subscribers, making her the most subscribed to beauty channel on YouTube. Now, with a presidential interview and countless conference talks on her resume, Bethany has invested an undisclosed stake in BeautyCon.
BeautyCon is a live conference and symposium where fans have the opportunity to meet their favorite YouTube beauty gurus and see them give talks and participate on panels. Bethany has partaken on panels at BeautyCon since it’s inception in 2012, and has said she loves the comaraderie she finds in the BeautyCon space. “I’ve seen up close that the BeautyCon team puts the fans first and creates the sense of home for me, a place where I can feel comfortable to be myself and talk to the fans in a truly authentic way,” Mota said in a statement (also see our spotlight on Bethany Moto).
BeautyCon is in the midst of launching a content based website where contributors as well as well-known YouTube influencers, bloggers, and instagramers will contribute. They also have a BFF fan club where members receive exclusive gift packs with curated BeautyCon items distributed four times a year. Members receive added perks like social media shout outs from influencers and YouTubers, exclusive contests and giveaway, and exclusive meetups, concerts, and movie premieres (Variety).
In the past, Bethany has partnered with JCPenney and Forever21 and in December of 2013 she launched a clothing and accessories line with Aeropostale where she maintains creative control. She’s been featured on Dancing with the Stars, as well as toured cross country for her Motavatour tour where she met and inspired fans. But Bethany isn’t the only YouTube influencer who has been able to leverage their audience and fame to launch their own brands and invest in relevant companies.
Bethany represents a new genus of YouTubers. These blossoming, up and coming stars are superseding their Hollywood peers (YouTubers trump celebrities for most popular among teens) and changing the rules of entertainment. They’ve effectively become studio, talent and producer all in one, much to Hollywood’s chagrin. And Hollywood has been left scrambling to keep up. Bethany is repp’ed by UTA, one of the Hollywood’s largest talent agencies. Brand sponsorships with Bethany have a high bar and are rumored to be far in excess of $100,000 and carry a string of additional requirements. In spite of this, brands are clamoring to partner with her.
Michelle Phan started her YouTube channel in 2006 and since then has reached over 7.5 million subscribers and over 1 billion video views. In addition, she has since co-founded Ipsy, the first beauty subscription box of it’s kind, as well as Generation Beauty, a conference similar to BeautyCon. She is a published author, as well as the founder and executive producer of FAWN (For All Women Network), a women’s lifestyle network specializing in the development of female focused content. Michelle recently launched her own line of cosmetics ranging from eye shadows and full palettes to matte lipsticks and eyeliners.
Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg is the Swedish gamer behind the most popular YouTube channel PewDiePie. With over 35 million subscribers and over 8 billion video views, he is the gaming community’s most popular channel, as well as YouTube’s most popular channel (also see our post on 10 YouTube statistics you should know). Because of Felix’s following and authority, he is known for having the “Oprah effect” with his audience and has a great deal of control and influence with game sales. He uses his clout to raise money for charities through his “Bro Army” fanbase. McPixel creator Sos Mikolaj Kaminski said, “The largest force driving attention to McPixel at that time were ‘Let’s Play’ videos. Mostly by Jesse Cox and Pewdiepie.” (Eurogamer)