The Gleam Team

Recently there has been quite a divide among the YouTube fandom. Some things have come to light in recent months, proving to us exactly how much of a business being a YouTuber has truly become. After reading countless articles from dozens of different outlets, I’ve decided to bring my own opinions to light.

Please know that this is just an opinion and is in no way meant to change your views on your favorite YouTubers! They are all very talented individuals. Mainly, this is a rant about YouTube and its business scheme in general. I don’t mean to hurt your feelings, but I certainly would love to hear your opinion if it differs from mine! 

I tried to be a YouTuber for nearly two years. I tried BookTube, daily vlogs, even challenges and none of it really seemed to resonate with me. Worse yet, it wasn’t resonating with anyone else. Every video I put out, I would have three viewers: myself, my brother, and my best friend. And that just wasn’t enough for me to keep going, so I ended my attempts at starting a YouTube channel and instead focused my efforts on writing humor articles and reviews for a local web-based newspaper called Trendmill Entertainment. That was where I really hit my stride and that’s why I have this blog today.

Others were more lucky. For every thousand of YouTubers like me, there is one who becomes outrageously successful (Zoella, PointlessBlog, etc.). That’s all fine and dandy. I’m happy for them. I’m so glad that they get to do all of the things they do because of Youtube. However, there are a couple of things that are happening on a more and more regular basis by the core group of British YouTubers (known by some as The Gleam Team or The YouTube Crew) that are now beginning to bother me.

Now, I understand that YouTube-ing is a job for these people and they work hard to produce quality material, but one thing that is truly disheartening to me is when I see new videos being put up every single week tagged AD. To me, that’s a huge turn-off. It’s okay to me to plug a certain item or business in a video (like when they do plugs for Audible) but when an entire video is sponsored by Walmart that’s where I draw the line. Like I said, I know that this is a job for many YouTubers; therefore I expect advertisements and business plugs. That’s how they earn their keep. But to this day, I have vowed not to watch a single video which is tagged as an ad, because I don’t think that’s fair to the viewer. We look forward every week to a clever, witty, and original video from our favorite YouTubers and it’s a total bummer when we find another advertisement in our sub boxes!

Another big thing for me is the fact that I am beginning to see YouTubers distancing themselves from their fans. Once upon a time, they would respond to us in the comments section, tweet us back, and even mention some of us in videos if we were super lucky. That was one of the things that drew me to YouTube in the first place.

Three or four years ago, it felt as though YouTube videos were conversations between the viewers and the creators. It was just a kid sitting in their bedroom talking to us about whatever was getting their goat that week. Now, although video quality has definitely been on the rise, material quality has not.

Don’t get me wrong. I love our British YouTubers just as much as the next guy. Last month I made it a point to marathon every single video that Joe and Zoe have ever made. Caspar Lee is my literal spirit animal and SprinkleofGlitter never ceases to brighten my day. And I honestly love the fact that they’ve become so wildly successful. It’s wonderful for them. I just hope that they don’t get too swept up in the excitement of it all and forget why they started their channels in the first place.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this! I know it’s a little bit less put-together than past posts. It’s mostly because I haven’t updated the blog in about a month because I’ve been trying to decide exactly how I wanted to word this. 

Let’s have a conversation in the comments! Let me know your opinions about The Gleam Team! Who are your favorite YouTubers? Would you all be interested in me doing a ‘Part 2’ of this, discussing American YouTubers?

Have a wonderful evening ~

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One thought on “The Gleam Team

  1. Really interesting to stumble across and read your thoughts on the Gleam Team. In my opinion, major props to them for realising that YouTube personalities were the way of the future and finding a way to earn money off that. I follow all of the ‘British Crew’ so I’m happy for all of their successes. However, I do agree with your thoughts about the inundation of #AD posts that have cropped up recently. I definitely think it’s important for online influencers to consider who they are working with and how often they collaborate with them. After all, it’s the connection with their subscribers/followers/audience and their appearance of authenticity that sets them apart from the huge corporations that churn out product messages. I too get turned off when I see that bloggers and vloggers are have a significant number of sponsored posts – it reeks of a cash grab, even if that’s not the reality.
    Check out my blog (https://whyarelesspersonality.wordpress.com/) for more bits on YouTubers and bloggers – Mariel

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