An article written by Lee Sonogan
The Buttsman informs the masses once again! Would it surprise you that the highest-paid YouTube in the world is only eight years old? Ryan Kaji has featured on this channel since he was three years old, unboxing toys on camera. With an estimate of 31 billion views from children and parents alike, the content does bring up some moral questions.
Making around 26 million in 2019, these videos first and foremost hit their target market. Children around the world are YouTube’s biggest audience as more impressionable kids are allowed to search the internet freely. With access to almost anything at their fingertips, their interest in kid-related content such as toys delivers unrealistic expectations.
Little would they know that this demographic is exposed to the nature of the advertising industry. From the clips I’ve seen, it’s full of product placement and it does not show it so clearly. For example, only the brand name will be mentioned most of the time. Even go so far to add in video/special effects to make the toys seem more interesting.
Branching out into other platforms such as television and more, as Mr Butterfield suggests down below, hopefully, the parents are not pressuring the kid into all of this. Children have short attention spans so I would not put it past them. On YouTube, many families have attempted such kid family content for much less.
This brings up the questions of laws involved in the promotion of influencing children. Who people are in front of and behind the screen. And how far people are willing to go for fame and fortune. Shouldn’t the most paid YouTube stars be of people of the most influential and world-changing work for the positive? Or is that just a pipe dream where in reality it is all about manipulating the widest watchers into consuming?