|Andrew, Charles, Graci and Randi at Playlist Live Orlando|
It's summer and that's means most kids are out of school, on vacation and have more time to be on their phones or other electronics. It's the age we live in and we can't do too much about it. As a mom, I try to keep up with my kids and what they are doing on their electronics. I have two daughters ages 12 and 13, so as you can imagine they are on either their phones and iPads quite a bit. What's interesting is what my kids do on their phones and iPads. Most of the time they are watching videos made by YouTubers. YouTubers are people who create videos and usually star in the videos. These videos can be anything from their everyday life to do-it-yourself (diy) videos. These YouTubers or video creators have a fan base. It's incredible when you really start learning about this whole new world of social media stars.
These YouTubers are like Hollywood actors and actresses, most of them though aren't on the big screen or on television. They are on social media sites mainly YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Musical.ly. And yes, they do make money, some of them make millions of dollars.
I recently went with my girls and my friend's twin boys to a convention called Playlistlive in Orlando. It's a place where fans and YouTubers meet. I took my older daughter Randi by herself the year before and she loved it so much that my other daughter Graci wanted to go this year. It's the eighth year the convention has gone on and it truly was an eye opener to me. I had no idea what it was all about until going the first year and this year I learned even more about this whole new world of social media from how my kids are influenced to how companies are marketing.
This convention had all types of YouTubers and Creators. There are about 500 of them and more than 13,000 fans from all over the United States. The convention sells out every year. It is three days long and brings in fans from all walks of life and ages mainly from 13-25 with about 80 percent who are female. The event includes concerts, panels, meet-and-greets and fan convention.
My kids have their list of YouTubers they watch daily and some of them were at this convention. They also met new people who they now follow. When you buy your passes you can purchase meet-and-greets with the YouTuber or creator you want to meet. These meet-and-greets are great for the fans. The fans get to talk to their favorite celebrities, take photos and get autographs. The YouTubers are wonderful and really take time with each fan. Most of the kids I saw and talked to loved this part of the event. Some were even star struck.
It's funny as a parent to watch some of the YouTubers who have a huge following go in the lobby of the hotel and have kids yelling and chasing them down the hall. It's as if the Beatles were there. I am not kidding! There's lots of security at this event, so not to worry too much, but still you have to watch your kids.
I found there was plenty to do throughout the three days. My kids had meet-and-greets and we watched some of the concerts. One of the concerts my daughter Randi loved was with Scotty Sire, a YouTuber who does daily vlogs and some music. She actually had been practicing one of his songs on piano "Mr. Glassman" for a few months prior and when she heard he was coming to Playlist, she was so excited to see him live. Yes, she even got a photo with him when he was walking down the hall.
During the convention they have an area where they sell merchandise. This year there were more vendors. I always like to ask the vendors how the YouTubers help them with their products. One of the vendors was trying to launch their makeup website called Wheesearch, where they help people find the right makeup products. They were looking for a vlogger to help them out. I interviewed the founder of the company and she told me by the end of the convention it looked like they had found someone.
Another company Crofter's Premium Spread, sells organic jams and they were there because last year a YouTuber Thomas Sanders, said in one of his videos, "This is the only jelly I'll put in my belly," and their jelly sales skyrocketed. They ended up making him a spokesperson for their jelly and even came out with a special jelly called "Logan's Berry" named after one of his characters on his YouTube channel. They were giving out samples at the convention and of course my daughter had me buy it.
Yes, YouTubers are huge influencers on our kids of today. It's important to know who your kids are watching.
To see behind the scenes videos and interviews from Playlistlive go to Kadi's Facebook page www.facebook.com/mom2momwithkadi