Troye Sivan and the Rise of the Youtuber

In Music, Opinion

I’ve got a track stuck in my head. It’s not the first time i’ve been stuck listening to a track on endless repeat. I’m a music blogger, I listen to far too much music. But the track i’m currently obsessed with is a bit of a surprise. ‘Happy Little Pill’ is the debut release from Australian youtuber Troye Sivan. At first I was sure this was going to be a rather gimmicky release from EMI Australia, a release that was designed to appeal and cash in on the tween girl audience that Sivan along with numerous ‘Youtube Celebrities’ have garnered over the last few years. But where ‘Happy Little Pill’ succeeds is in it’s use of what you could call grown up production. It’s not a cheese fest, far from it. This is a dark powerful track which blends glitchy RnB style with a rather convincing vocal performance from Sivan all wrapped in powerful lyrics.

‘Happy Little Pill’ stands up on it’s own without the need to rely on Sivan’s online fame. Which is probably the most surprising fact. It’s also a fact that Youtube itself has moved from the realm of bedroom producers, filming on webcams to become a real alternative to traditional television consumption. The average user now spends over six hours on the site each month. This rise in viewing times and Youtube’s move into the living room have in part been thanks to the advent of smart TVs, smart TV boxes such as Apple TV and the rise of the tablet and smart phones.

“… TV quality content is now been produced specifically for youtube.”



This rise in viewers and also the introduction of the Youtube partner scheme, where by content producers can now claim some of the revenue from the adverts shown around, before and during their content. Now means TV quality content is now been produced specifically for youtube. It’s a trend that I can only see becoming more widespread in the future, as viewership moves away from mainstream TV consumption towards TV over IP.

Sivan is by no means the first Youtuber to branch out into the professional media arena. Last year saw the release of Camp Takota featuring Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart and Mamrie Hart who have all found widespread fame through their respective Youtube channels. The film was met by mixed reviews, but thanks to the trio’s ability to market the film to their large subscriber base, the film featured in the iTunes download chart for sometime.

So take the chance now to log onto youtube and check out the talent that might be making your next favourite album, or presenting that new TV show on a prime time slot BBC one. It’s an exciting time, not least because we all have the tools available to produce, create and disseminate content, and if Sivan et al have shown us one thing it’s that these tools can be harnessed to create solid, successful mainstream careers.

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