Utahns making millions on YouTube

Published: Wednesday, March 13 2013 4:55 p.m. MDT

And that's exactly what Stirling has done in less than two years. Currently on her channel, Stirling has 245,551,024 video views and 1,699,490 subscribers to her channel. Because of her success, Stirling found multiple means by which she can make a living. Google advertising and iTunes is where it began, but Stirling's interest in Zelda and other video games opened the door for advertisement opportunities, such as Assassin's Creed, Just Dance and Skyrim.

"As a musician, it's like free advertising for me," she said. "I put my videos out there, people hear my music and (the) first thing they do is they click my link to iTunes to buy my music. And also I get offers all over the world for performances."

In September of last year, Stirling released her first album, which features 10 original tracks. She is currently on her 2013 tour, playing in Utah on March 29.

"You know, I love to create really positive music," Stirling said in an interview with the Deseret News. "I like the vibe to be positive. I like it to be something with energy. I love anything that makes me dance."

Old Spice: Jason Bagley hails from BYU, as well. Although he doesn't manage his own channel, Bagley was one of the masterminds behind Old Spice's YouTube success.

"The Internet and social media has opened up so many creative opportunities in all fields and all areas of creativity, but certainly in advertising as well," Bagley said.

Shortly after the Old Spice commercial “The man your man could smell like” hit YouTube and national TV, the idea exploded. But Bagley said it was when they began to interact with users on YouTube by creating video responses to viewer comments that they realized the real success they could have with this social media site.

"No one is going to go on YouTube and search out commercials just for the sake of looking out commercials," Bagley said. "They are going to go because of entertainment. So your commercials have to be at the same level of creativity and entertainment as everything else on YouTube."

ScottDW: Scott Winn was also a BYU film student with Graham, but it took him awhile to believe that YouTube was the way to go. Five months ago when Winn produced his first video for his channel, Cute kittens fly in slow motion to hip hop, he recognized the opportunity available on YouTube and decided to pursue it full-time, rather than finishing school.

"My whole perspective has changed," Winn said. "Going the traditional route is all about connections and is really slow. It's a lot easier to get yourself out there with YouTube because it's a straight shot to show people. I'm already getting offers with bigger films than I've ever done."

Winn not only uses his channel to show his exciting slow-motion film in videos such as Fruit Ninja, but he has found an opportunity to produce music, which is his true passion. Currently, Winn is writing original music for his videos as well as some of Graham's videos.

Cute Girls Hairstyles: Mindy McKnight didn't study film or advertising, but she has lots of hair to do — she’s got five daughters. Many people commented on the stylish looks her girls adorned each day, so in 2008, McKnight created a blog in order to share the fun hairstyles with family and friends.

"It grew bigger and bigger and my husband said, 'Hey, why don't we try filming them instead of just taking pictures, and stick them up on YouTube?'" McKnight said. "We really did not even go into it knowing that you could make money off of YouTube. It never was our intention for it to become our career or our business."

But that's exactly what it became. Not only do they receive revenue from the Google ads, but companies have contacted them as well. Disney purchased some of their footage for a style website.

"I was a stay-at-home mom before I started this," McKnight said. "And initially it started out making a few extra bucks here and there, and then it became where it was a pretty good secondary income and now my husband has quit his career and he's working full-time with me to run our YouTube business."

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