Editor's Note: YouTube anchors are no longer new words, and the group is constantly growing. For many teenagers abroad, the YouTube anchor image has almost replaced the well-known movie or television stars and has become a new career aspiration. But what exactly is going to happen to YouTube anchors? YouTube culture on them, to our society in the end what kind of impact and change it? In this article, author Joe Zadeh explores the behind-the-scenes life scenes for YouTube anchors through one-day contact and interview with Will Lenney, the YouTube Willne channel anchor.
Will Lenney's hometown is in Whitley Bay, a coastal town in northeastern England. Two years ago he resigned from his vacation work at the dinosaur themed golf course. At that time, the boss of his evaluation is "and lazy and stupid". Now, Will is sitting in his bedroom six days a week, staring at the computer in front of him and checking his cellphone frequently. And when he opened the camera on the corner of the desk, he would appear in front of a million people. These people want to hear what Will Lenney is saying.
The term YouTube anchor is not a novel word in the UK. You do not have to be a sociologist to appreciate the tremendous influence of YouTube giants such as Zoella and Pewdiepie. Just weeks ago, two English YouTube anchors, a boxing match between KSI and Joe Weller, attracted more viewers than the FA Cup final. But, in fact, we've only just begun to understand some of the deep-rooted effects that YouTube culture has had on this society.
There are more professional YouTube anchors than ever before. In the UK alone, there are currently over 250 YouTube channels (most of which we've probably never heard of before), more than a million users and an average weekly watch count of "apprentice" (The Apprentice) The company's hit reality TV show, a reality show that rivals such horrifying children like Horrible Histories (produced by BBC, moderated by British national treasure Stephen Fry) TV shows feel shameful.
Two months ago, the British Communications Authority Ofcom released the 2017 Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudinal Report, in which the data presented is thought-provoking. The report shows that YouTube is the most recognized content brand among children between the ages of 12 and 15, even ahead of ITV, Netflix and the BBC. Ninety percent of these children use YouTube, and most children prefer to play YouTube over TV shows.
In January of this year, at the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, the Education and Employers Taskforce published an essay entitled "Drawing the Future" for senior business leaders from around the world report. The report surveyed more than 13,000 primary school children in the UK and interviewed children needed to draw up what they wanted to do when they grew up.
The survey found that among all the more than 13,000 children, the fourth most popular job was "social media / games" related work. In terms of boy student groups alone, "Social Media / Games" related work ranked second, followed by police, scientists, doctors, teachers, firefighters and other forms of military work. The report pointed out that the image of the YouTube anchor has almost replaced the well-known movie or television star and has become a new yearning for the modern children. YouTube audiences are now listening more than ever before, and they are full of yearning for YouTube anchors. But what about YouTube anchor life?
From the dinosaur themed golf course to London Canary Wharf commercial center
It's 11.25 a.m. I am located in Canary Wharf, an important commercial center in London. I was in the lobby of the 43-storey building and the security guards were keeping a close watch on me and they knew I was not the resident here. Ten minutes later, Will Lenney came out of the elevator. He wore a OVO (tide brand created by rap star Drake brand) hat, wearing a Supreme hoodie. He gave me a big smile and then called me with a cheerful Newcastle accent (eg "Heard" "Hord", "And" "Alang") call.
In January 2017, Will's YouTube anchor career began to take off, moving from Whitley Bay's hometown. HisNEnne, the YouTube channel, now has over 1 million subscribers and another channel has nearly 500,000 subscribers. In addition, he also has a fast-track channel for selling a range of products featuring his dog Darcey and his verbal "subtoWillNE" verbal marketing. Will, 21, has become a self-made entrepreneur."They hate me," said he laughing at the door of the neighbor before entering the door. He never spoke to these neighbors, and the only intersection was after a meeting where the neighbors delivered a noise nuisance complaint letter through his lawyer to his mailbox. After entering, you will find that the interior of the apartment is beautiful and the apartment area is small. A glittering pink plastic strap hung on the wall and a flashing sequins on the lamp, and a glass filled with this "bling bling" on the table. When I looked around, Will stood by and waited for me. "It's not mine," he said. "My roommate is also a YouTube anchor, and she's selling this glittering thing." "There is also a YouTube anchor, Memeulous, who lives in this building.
Open a sliding glass door, came to the apartment balcony, stand up to make people feel dizzy. There, you can admire the Canary Wharf business district and see the flashing lights of Barclays, HSBC, Citibank and One Canada Square. This type of panning is often used in movies to show the audience that we are really in London. This is a completely different dinosaur themed golf course.
A Twitter-triggered chain reaction
Will's entire career is actually related to a Twitter. One day in 2016, he was sitting in a dormitory at Loughborough University, scrolling through Twitter content and going back to Whitley Bay in the northeast for a summer vacation. At the time, he had just passed the first year of a degree in automotive engineering and he hated the profession.
Someone was forwarded to him a link to a YouTube video on Twitter, a 13-year-old boy from Blackpool in the middle of the video talking about a freestyle. The boy claims to be "little T", speaking a thick Lancashire accent English.
Will started making videos in his spare time from the age of 14, focusing on more than 15,000 users. His childhood coincided with the early days of the YouTube anchor, when their advertising revenue and earnings were not as strong as they were now, and Will had dreamed of being one of them as a YouTube anchor sometime.
In the first year of college, he only spent about £ 10 a week, bought a Nikon camera from a remaining £ 600 student loan, purchased other equipment for £ 400, and bought Alan a 25-pound Alan, (Alan Shearer) portrait as a video background. His video mode is simple and very common on YouTube: he will taunt and attack the weirdest and most shocking content he finds on the web. He calls it "This Week on the Internet" this week, and Little T's freestyle is an introduction to his career at YouTube.
This freestyle comes from a channel called Blackpool Grime Media (also known as BG Media, Grime is a genre of music), browse this channel you will find that it is not only small T so that it is a child rapper, there are other Many rap singers of this age, both of whom attack each other through a very vulgar, obscene language (VICE 2016 Documentary"Blackpool Grime"This phenomenon was recorded). When Will spent a day in the dorm after the holiday, he shot and edited the themed video, and after that he posted the video titled "World's Cringiest Children Ever Make Grime" online and returned to Whitley Bay.
After leaving the golf course, Will spent a lot of free time. One night, his companions meet together to play Pokemon Go outdoors. It was 1 o'clock in the morning and they parked near a lighthouse called St Mary's on the northern beach of Whitley Bay. Five hours after they looked in the darkness, Will turned on his cellphone to see his YouTube data. The data graph looks like the heart-monitor graph of cardiac arrest, with tens of thousands flocking to its channel. His video is crazy spread, this is his feel the best moment in his life.
After that, he spent a few months making more videos at his hometown and taking pictures of his parents taking the time to walk the dogs. He also gradually formed his own style, video clips more neat, write their own segment to become more and more adept. Each of his videos is full of self-referencing humor, interspersed with a variety of processed small pictures and manga-style subtitles, which flicker for two seconds on the screen and disappear quickly.
His tone has become more and more ironic, and there has been a lot of self-deprecating, encouraging people to like and subscribe, but also to some extent reveal the sincerity of the old YouTube anchor. The first time I saw Will's video, from a teenage brother, his video made people feel very sharp and crazy, just like snooping to another reality. In this world, the influence is not the Kardashian sisters or Taylor Swift, but Danielle Bregoli, Net red is too Jacob Sartorius and singing "Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen" that person.
Get on the full-time YouTube anchor
After Black Grimes theme video, Will launched a passionate middle-aged watch salesman as the theme of the video, the salesman named Archie Luxury, usually uploaded videos are mainly for luxury reviews, but occasionally It also shows that I am an alcoholic and I have no problem with the sex workers in Thailand. Since then, Will has released a video on ASMR (Spontaneous Perception, Meridian Response) video maker. However, following the release of the new video, there was always a great deal of comment asking him to talk more about Grime's Blackpool.
Will obeys the fan's voice and produces another video about "Little T", followed by a video about Soph Aspin, one of the "little T" opponents. Soph Aspin also belongs to this age group, the difference is that she is a girl, Will ironic her "Queen Grime". Seemingly overnight, real-world Grime musicians Jammer and JME are starting to talk on Twitter about T-T and Soph Aspin. And Will benefited from the obsession with YouTube in the past, know how to skillfully write a title for their videos and what kind of labels should be added in order to get higher traffic. This way, every time someone searches for Small T or Soph Aspin or anything related, Will sees the video in the search results.
Small T also saw a video of Will, the message is also the usual vulgar, trying to threaten Will. Will made another video of his message. Another member of Blackpool Grime, Afghan dan, made a counterattack video of insulting YouTube video content, very insulting. So, Will also produced a video for this. In his comfortable home environment, Will is planning a detonated audience war in the audience, his point of view is very powerful. He told me: "(This is well understood.) Like I was a musician, BG Media was my debut album. & rdquo;
By September, it was time for him to return to school for a degree in automotive engineering, at which point he had accumulated 250,000 users and his channel averaged 200,000 video views per day. Prior to this, his mother remained silent about his addiction to the computer. Now she also saw the potential of her son in this area. One night she sat down and talked with him. "Since you do not like college life," she said, "give it to you for a year and concentrate on being a YouTube anchor to see if this road can go. & rdquo;
When Will walks down the street, it begins to be recognized, usually by teenagers. Five o'clock in the morning on Christmas, someone stoned his bedroom window. Sleeping Will did not notice it, and his mother got up and opened the door to see a young man standing there. "Excuse me, can I say something to WillNE? "he said. "Uh-oh," his mother replied, closing the door. The same day they joined the Christmas dinner, a group of children sneaked through the front window of their home.
Will Lenney's "Studio"
In Will's London-based bedroom, there is a desk with a whiteboard on his wishes and plans for 2017, and finally a big black hook. He wants to be on the Twitter platform (not currently done), trying to stick to an intensive day-to-day fitness plan (and not stick with it). However, at the top of the list, there is a goal of "1 million users" written with a red marker.
He is struggling to achieve this goal every minute of his own soberness, working 16 hours a day, in a state of extreme obsession. He completed this goal at 1.30 am on December 22, 2017, and posted a message: "We did it! Sincerely thank you. Never so long to achieve a goal. Love you, without reservation! "Followed by a heart-shaped emoticon. But the excitement disappeared in minutes and he reopened Adobe Premiere Pro and returned to work again. In 48 hours, he needs to upload a new video.
Since then, his pace of work has always been the case. Today, he has been working until 4 o'clock in the morning to complete a video production, slept four hours, eight o'clock to get up, because before I see there is still some work to be done. His bag can tell me that his sleep is actually irregular. Often he does not know how much it affects his body until he slept for two days at a time, eventually waking up at half past five in two days. In winter, sometimes he can only see two hours of sunlight. His roommate often goes out, a week down, the most contact with him is the downstairs coffee shop staff.
I said with a smile: "Are you kidding? "I want to hear from him, this is just an exaggeration.
"No, I am very serious, I have coffee shop staff as my partner. & rdquo;
Will's workplace is his bedroom. There is an electric power balance car in the corner, a layer of dust, bedside hanging Alan Shearer photos. The desk has a desktop Mac, a camera-mounted tripod and a microphone, each with a softbox on each side. When shooting a video, he closes the curtains and opens the device. The basic is this: This is the popularity of the YouTube channel WillNE the entire backstage. I know some town nightclub cameraman equipment more than this.
"lonely" work, living conditions
Typically, a video about seven to eight minutes, Will takes about 9 to 10 hours to study, then write the script for two hours, shooting 45 minutes. Prior research work is usually on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube access a lot of relevant information. He said to me: "I personally like Twitter the most, but I need to be able to criticize and satirical content, then you will find really some weirdo on Facebook, there are also dark corners on YouTube. & rdquo;
What is the study, what is the delay, seems to have been the boundaries of which there has been controversy. Is it procrastination to see the news of a man putting his head in the microwave over and over again? If he can produce a ten-minute video with four ads after watching it, it's not a delay, but a study.
"How much time do you spend on the internet each day? & rdquo; I asked.
"Generally more than 12 hours a day. I have no rest days, no weekends, even if I rest one day, and I think if it is at work. "Get up every morning, first check the phone notification, and then take the three steps, came to my work desk. & rdquo;
When I asked him what time he was cooking himself last time, he was embarrassed and asked if the tomato spaghetti was not counted, saying that he mainly relied on the takeaway app. He used to like reading books, but he has not read books for six or seven years now and he can not read it later.
"Now I say I read 140 characters in length or 280 characters. I do not know what type of tests I need to verify these changes, but I think that made a big difference to my brain. & rdquo;
I then asked: "I guess your social life & hellip; & rdquo;
Before I finished, he replied: "There is no such thing as social life. I stay here for six days a week. "He chuckled a few times, then said:" This is a lie, in fact, seven days. & rdquo;
Is not this a very lonely job? & rdquo; I asked.
"It's really lonely," Will said, "my roommate often goes out to work, so for me, the only real interaction is with the screen itself." Like a dog, it's lonely. I can force myself to go out more, but I am very focused on what I'm doing now, and I've shielded everything around. & rdquo;
& ldquo; Can you handle it well for such a person? & rdquo;
"I work alone, and I've always felt OK." He pauses for a moment, thinking how it should be expressed, "but that will still affect you. Long night will make you feel tired, but you have to take care of yourself, because if your own state is not good, I feel collapsed, then your video will be affected. So, you have to take good care of yourself. & rdquo;
"It's like cocaine in our generation. & rdquo;
We are all quantifying ourselves through social media. Experts and media reporters are also constantly exploring how the internet affects us, in fact one thing is certain: we get good or bad feelings through our interaction (or lack of interaction) with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. However, Will, as far as I know, there are many other YouTube anchors, they seem to experience more extreme feelings.
Will showed me a Web site called Social Blade, which he will continue to check on because he has (and others) all the statistics he wants on his YouTube channel. The site counts and analyzes Will's video traffic, his number of users, estimated revenue, and the health of his channel over the past 30 days. It's like a barometer to help him gauge the development of his channel, and the site compares his channel with that of his friends and adversaries and even rates them as YouTube anchors: Will is currently B + grade.
I asked him: "Do you like this pressure? & rdquo;
"I've never loved anything else like YouTube, but I've also realized how it has affected me. I would be very happy if my video had a good start in an hour after it was released, but sometimes I would calm down and produce the idea that the numbers on the screen control my whole Emotional state, this is not right, very dangerous. Although I feel good, it is dangerous. It is like the cocaine of our generation. & rdquo;
"You can not watch your own YouTube analytics data one day? & rdquo;
"I would rather not sleep," he said with a smile, full of "honestly, really can not" means, "This is an obsession."
However, despite their painstaking efforts, they can still feel the instability of their own forms of labor. Will seems to have psychologically accepted the fact that he knows he may not know when the current moment of his influence on YouTube will disappear. He said to me: "We all have a fading day, and there's always a day for the audience to become indifferent to my video. Now, I can only work hard to improve my skills, try my best to push back the day. & rdquo;
"Cataclysm", "Vine aggression" turmoil, moral constraints thrown behind the head & hellip; & hellip;
Last year, brand companies found their ads sometimes appearing in videos that contained extremist or hate speech, sparking controversy over YouTube content reviews, and large numbers of advertisers pulled back their money from the YouTube platform. As a result, YouTube responded by changing the rules for monetization of video ads, but how these rules changed in reality was unpredictable to YouTube anchors.
This change has dealt a heavy blow to midsize YouTube anchors. From March 2017 to April 2017, Will's monthly revenue dropped 85% in just a month. The YouTube anchor said the incident was "Cataclysm" and Will found that some channels soon diminished in popularity, disappearing into the field of vision. He told me: "Your life and your livelihood will change overnight. "His rent for that month was paid for by sales fingertips, and here he felt embarrassed. Now, he tries his best to ensure his income is diversified, including YouTube ads, but also products and sponsors.
In 2016, Vine, the once popular short video social network, was shut down by Twitter and a wave of reds from the platform started to move to the YouTube platform. It was once known as "Vine Invasion" storm, Logan Paul, Jake Paul and Lele Pons belong to this wave of reds. YouTube anchors have long been in a need to constantly exceed themselves, and the need to constantly innovate ideas to surpass platform competitors, this intense competition (and the disappearance of advertising revenue) so that they are eager than ever a large number of video clicks frequency.
In January of this year, YouTube anchor Logan Paul was in dispute in Japan's "suicide forest" for filming the body of a suicide victim. Just six months after the incident, YouTube anchor MonaLisa Perez shot her boyfriend Pedro Ruiz as she tried to shoot a prank video of "Book Block Bullet." They simply thought that if Ruiz had a hardback encyclopaedia on his chest, the bullet could not penetrate. However, in fact, the bullet shot through the book directly and shot Ruiz's chest, causing death on the spot. Perez, who was already pregnant, was convicted of second degree manslaughter. When Will saw Logan Paul's suicide forest video, he was not really shocked at all. He seemed to have preconceived something similar.
"If such a video can bring traffic, then someone would shoot such a video, because it can bring revenue, bring attention, bring fame. In this current environment, we all wonder: "What would be the next big event that catches the eye? What makes the audience feel shocked? Apparently some people are out of bounds. They only want to meet their own goals, this time will be placed outside the moral constraints. & rdquo;
But in the meantime, the advent of these controversial videos has helped fuel YouTube's entire ecosystem. When Logan Paul or Jake Paul made some mistakes, or when TGFbro tucked his head into the microwave oven and eventually sent the fire brigade to rescue it to get out of the world, news quickly became international news, in which case many YouTube anchors Of the channel to comment on these events, which attracted a large number of audiences flocked. It's a bit like the scene in the documentary "Blue Planet," whose body feeds other creatures in the ocean when a whale dies.
"If this road can not go on, what would you do? "I asked," Will you switch to television? & rdquo;
Will was silent for a few seconds and went on to say: "I think many YouTube anchors see TV channels as their own escape route. You can look at the first episode of the new season's Apprentice, and you may find it a great hit, but in fact it does not play as much as I was with a buddy playing with my brother in the backyard. & rdquo;
"I am very fortunate, I am grateful for being born at such an age. & rdquo;
In some ways, you can see YouTube anchors as the ultimate sublimation of modern neoliberal culture: the entire community is a self-made individualist entrepreneur who desperately battles for financial gain while at the same time The results of the work to advertisers to bring revenue, and promote the success of the giant YouTube company.
But you can also think from another perspective: These young people are incapable of working in traditional education and career paths, and YouTube gives these creative, entrepreneurial young people an opportunity. Having been trapped in a car engineering course he did not like before, Will carried a growing student loan at a Loughborough University student apartment, and YouTube later changed his life. Seems to be in the twinkling of an eye, such a very talkative boy from Whitley Bay have the opportunity to display their talent, have the opportunity to succeed. In a time when widespread complaints of nine-to-five, stereotypical work, and post-job social perceptions are becoming more and more realistic, the non-traditional profession of professional YouTube anchors is intrinsically intriguing.
"You should be proud," I said to Will, "You're 21 and you live in London and you've created a miniature business empire. & rdquo;
"I'm lucky," he replied, "I think I should put myself on top of a very fortunate position. But this actually reflects the times we live in and we are experiencing one of the largest social revolutions. If you come back to 10 or 15 years ago, look at what is going on right now and you're bound to find it absurd. The opportunities presented by these technologies, which are at our fingertips, are truly great. I am thankful for being born at such a time. & rdquo;
After the interview, Will walked me to the subway station with me. People coming and going on the road, but no one noticed us. He referred to Nathan Zed, a very admired and respected YouTube anchor, when the recording equipment was closed and I forgot it until two weeks later, just one late night after my first draft, the name suddenly appeared In my mind I searched for Nathan Zed on YouTube and saw a video he's up-to-date, titled "25-year-old success or never fail?" "(Succeed by 25 & OR FAIL FOREVER?)
Nathan said in the video: "I am now 20 years old and I am 21 years old and I feel like I am in the state of trying to be as successful as possible. I think a lot of people in the same age group feel that way, and we have to be successful and feel as soon as possible. Everyone around us feels faster and succeeds when he is younger. & rdquo;
It made me play Will, then I remembered that ignorant myself at age 21. I do not know which of them is better with our youth.Compiled group produced. Edit: Hao Peng Cheng