5 Reasons Why It's Harder To Be A YouTube Star Than A TV Star

17 March 2016, 17:12 | Updated: 17 July 2017, 12:14

We the Unicorns

By Benedict Townsend

It's not all money and book deals

1. The Amount Of Work

I'm not saying that mainstream stars don't work hard - clearly they do, but they often work in a very focused way. A TV actor will focus on acting - and if they're really accomplished maybe also some direction, but that will be it. By contrast, a YouTuber is often the writer, actor, director, sound guy, the person dealing with lighting, editor, publisher and person in charge of promotion. You have to be a god-dang swiss army knife of a person.



Of course an online star will be operating on a vastly smaller scale than most industry TV production, but they are infinitely more stretched. Even a 'simple' vlog involves far more behind the scenes work that the viewer might realise.



2. The Sudden Rise

The rise to fame on TV and in film can be slow and difficult or (in very rare instances) a sudden and sharp rise to the top. In the case of YouTubers, it is different and much more strange. You do not 'become' YouTube famous you just sort of slowly grow a following until one day you look around and realise 'holy mackerel, a million people are subscribed to my channel'. All of a sudden you've gone from a person in your bedroom with a camera and a pocket full of dreams to a modern-day celebrity. In fact, it would probably make a great plot for a book:



3. The Lack Of Management

While TV and Film stars will often have a legion of agents, managers, PR people and so on, YouTubers are once again often on their own. This means that YouTubers are often ill-prepared for the pressures of being very famous. This was something I discussed in my breakdown of the pressures of YouTube fame (read that here, friend!)


Zoe, it's Estelle!

This can sometimes have serious consequences. Zalfie experienced people turning up at their house because, to be fair to them, they probably never expected that they would get to a point in life where that would happen - who does?


4. The Expectations

Film and TV stars are obviously under great public scrutiny and frequently have their careers damaged by mistakes - but how often are their finished by mistakes? Despite the great amount of judgement society piles upon traditional media stars, they often seem to be able to overcome controversy and carry on - just look at Chris Brown and his inexplicably still-successful career. YouTube, by contrast, is sink or swim. If a YouTuber makes a faux pas, it can often be instant death for your career.



Granted, that career death is frequently deserved, because a small minority of YouTubers sadly have a habit of sometimes being terrible human beings


5. The Lack Of Respect From The Media

Here's a weird phenomenon: although the traditional media loves to make fun of celebrities and pry into their lives, there is always a air of respect that surrounds them. Newspapers may make fun of TV stars, but they still seem to find it fundamentally impressive that they're a TV star. YouTubers, on the other hand are not so lucky. Honestly these days it seems like the media is actually mad that YouTubers have found fame and fortune, they routinely run stories making fun of YouTubers, calling their job fake, or saying they don't deserve the money they make.