While we weren't watching, YouTube and Vine stars took over and became the most followed and respected #Celebrities in the millennials arena. Some of them are making millions, like Zoella and PewDiePie, and others are crossing into television and cinema. That's the case with Jenn McAllister, a YouTuber that recently moved to Los Angeles and became an actress. She started her channel in 2009, at only 12 years of age.
"When I started YouTube I fell into it, YouTube stars wasn't a thing," she said at a panel in tech conference Collision, in Las Vegas. "The relationship with my audience is very personal, they know everything from my life. #Social media is all about having a conversation," she added, saying in fact it is her job. Really, her job is to be on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat all the time. "It's important to always have a constant stream of communication, it keeps you relevant in what's going on," she explained. It's been working out so far: with almost 2 million subscribers on YouTube, she just finished her first movie as an actress and has written a book.
Andrew Bachelor is making his own way too, but starting from Vine, the 6-second video platform operated by Twitter. "It got me auditions and I ended up on House of Lies and The Mindy Project," he told the audience. But there's a major difference between these stars born out of social media and traditional artists: they grew the fanbase alone, by being themselves.
"The benefits of having your own following is being able to do whatever I want. I can make a movie and have my fans just go on iTunes and buy it, since it's all digital, and make money." In other words, there's more creative freedom because their success is not tied to a contract with a studio. He's getting 8 million views on his vines, which is more than shows like The Voice get on ABC.
Actor Josh Peck, who actually made the opposite road - from film to YouTube - said that "the freedom is unprecedented" and stars are "very self governed in the digital world." They don't even have to live in Los Angeles or New York anymore, even though these are still major celebrities hubs.
"The digital world is a microcosmos of the real entertainment world," Peck added. "The model for all digital media is adapt or die. The digital world emerged in a way I would be crazy not to take advantage of it."
For the younger generation, a lot of teenagers don't watch television or go to the movies anymore. But do you know any who doesn't use the Internet?