Social Media Stars: Owning vs Renting Their Fans

A new company named Victorious, founded by former YouTube executives, is aiming to provide social media stars with a new business model that lets them own their fans on a third party app as opposed to renting them on YouTube, Vine, and Instagram. The argument is that these social media stars such as beauty adviser Michelle Phan are currently at the whims of YouTube in terms of monetizing their fan base and maintaining their identity. YouTube takes a hefty 45% of pre-roll advertisements and other platforms such as Vine and Instagram do not even offer a direct method to generate revenue. With Victorious, the social media stars will be able to create their own customized apps which will contain ads, in-app purchases and subscriptions while Victorious will charge a lesser fee. An additional benefit is that the stars will have more control over this app than their YouTube page so it better enables them to convey their persona in they way they want it to be perceived.

I think this is a good idea because it helps people such as Michelle Phan to have more control over their brand, how it will be perceived by others, and how to monetize it. Do you agree or do you think these social media stars owe more loyalty to YouTube for originally creating the platform which launched their fame and fortune? Do you foresee YouTube paying more of the advertising revenues to these people in order compete with Victorious?


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