"They're going to laugh anyway...Might as well get paid."
Stellar commentary *and* historical recap. I was never a big PewDiePie fan (wife and I both still watch Markiplier and Jacksepticeye regularly to this day), so I missed the rise of Mr. Beast until I heard my students gushing about one of his stunts one day.
A family of ophthalmologists in my city run a charity organization where they go down to a couple major cities in Mexico a couple times a year to perform cataract surgeries for free. A couple people from my church usually tag along to share the Gospel with people after they’ve received the surgery. When I heard about Mr. Beast’s surgery video, I was deeply conflicted - on the one hand, it truly is a life-changing surgery for those who need it, but on the other hand, it grieved me that professionals who do this with their own equipment, on their own dime, often do not get credit for that kind of work - much less YouTube ad revenue!
A reflection of my age I guess, I have only recently heard of him. And nothing yet appeals to me. I’m not his target audience for sure.
Interesting thoughts! MrBeast is not merely a top YouTuber/creator but top media personality in the world. Lining up his viewership with any primetime show whether live or streaming I'm sure he beats most if not all. That broadens the discussion I think.
You had a line about the "morally suspect creator economy" towards the end. Have you explained more elsewhere what makes it morally suspect? Or is it this motivated by views element you touch on in this piece?