A quick glance at Social Blade’s Top 500 YouTube People Channels reveals that parenting and child vlogs are the most viewed videos on the medium. Most of these videos revolve around mundane everyday stuff but somehow captures the hearts of millions of viewers. Who would think that a regular family outing to the park will bedazzle thousands of viewers! Despite being criticised for branded content and junk food ads, YouTube videos harness social media’s viral tendencies to send families on the highway of riches.
Family Fun Pack: The channel chronicles the antics of five siblings — Alyssa, David, Zac, Chris and Michael with occasional appearances by their parents Kristine and Matt and two adorable dogs. It has amassed over 4 million subscribers and 8 billion views since it started in October 2011. Staying true to their motto of “fun with the family, every day,” the channel creators post a new video everyday. Road trips, toy reviews, games, clothes and hardships form the bulk of content. According to Social Blade, the channel earns around $1.2-$19.1 million annually.
Daily Bumps: The Lanning family — Missy, a stay-at-home mom and baking aficionado, singer-songwriter Bryan, and their sons Oliver and Finley — capture on camera all their happy, sad, silly and troubling moments. In 2012, Missy began to vlog her attempts to get pregnant. Through these videos, she connected with many people who could sympathize with her experience. Daily Bumps became more popular when Bryan joined the project. One vlog led to another and now this southern Californian family videos of everyday life has 2 million subscribers. They also earn around $229,000-$3.7 million annually.
FGTeeV: Compulsive gamers FGTeeV Duddy, his wife FGTEEV Mom, their sons Shawn, Chase and Mike, and daughter Lexi invite you to their world of gaming, sketch comedy and toy unboxing. These game plays, which are part review and part sketch comedy, has nearly 3 million subscribers and more than 3 billion views since the channel started in 2013. The over 1,000 videos generate for the family $755,000-$12.1 million annually.
J House Vlogs: Revel in the simple joys and challenges that this family experiences. Parents Jeremy and Kendra share their awesome lives with five children (Isaac, Elise, Caleb, Laura and Janae) and upload videos six days of the week. Since it started in 2014, J House has gained 750,000 subscribers and annual earnings of $191,000-$3.1 million.
Family Playlab: Videos of children frolicking in indoor playgrounds has earned 9 million views since the channel was created in 2006. The family makes around 378,000-6.1 million annually!
How they make money: YouTubers make money by partnering with the company. You get 55 percent of revenue when you allow Google to place ads on your videos. Additionally, you keep all the revenue for an ad inventory that exceeds YouTube’s rate card. It’s also helpful to sign deals with a video network to optimise programming, content, advertising and audience development.
Sponsorship opportunities: Apart from ad revenue, channels are often sent products for review. Sponsorship opportunities in lieu of free publicity are also easy-to-gain deals. This has spawned a new genre of vlogs on YouTube. Unboxing videos are easy to make and as bizarre as it sounds, children wait with bated breath to discover what toy is inside the egg!
Maintaining relationships with brands, YouTube, and engaging with viewers is a lot of work. It is a full-time job for many successful YouTubers. If your vlogs are raking in the moolah, why not devote all your energy to it?
It’s hard to pin the success these families have achieved onto one single reason or video. To a parent like me, most of these videos, which revolve around children and their antics, are every day stuff. Perhaps that’s part of the attraction, and fans have embraced the craziness, care and compassion espoused in these vlogs.
Nithya Caleb | The Edge Blog