It’s no secret that YouTube has grown in popularity and influence in recent years becoming the platform of choice for content creators everywhere. It’s responsible for the discovery of Justin Beiber and the popularity of the Old Spice Guy. Television stations like Much have hired YouTube creators to come on board and create under their brand. Some of the top companies in the world have hired YouTube sensations to test their products and in return tap into their followings. With subscribers in the millions, YouTubers have become just as, or in some cases even more, popular than mainstream celebrities. To put their influence into context, NCIS, the most watched show on network television averaged 17.26 million viewers this past season. Some YouTube stars top these numbers with one video.
Adults in the U.S. consider YouTube stars to be up to five times more influential and believable than traditional celebrities, according to a study conducted by University of Southern California marketing professor Jeetendr Sehdev. The study’s findings could hold particular significance to brands looking to hire new celebrity spokespeople.
According to the study, the most popular YouTubers among adults are:
Meanwhile, over at Variety magazine they recently partnered with Tubular to come up with their #Famechangers Digital Star Ranking for 2015. Variety used the Tubular Influencer Score (TIS), which goes beyond simply looking at subscriber counts to include 10 different measurements, to develop their ranking. Here’s how they ranked the world’s top digital stars: