If you want to feel the merciless ravages of time as it has its way with you, simply ponder the fact that as of this year, YouTube is 10 years old. Founded in 2005 and sold to Google the following year for $1.7 billion, it’s been the go-to source for leaked movie trailers, musicians of dubious talent and kitten videos ever since.
It didn’t take long for people to figure out that YouTube was a great source of free publicity, but turning millions of YouTube views into actual, paying careers is another matter entirely. Just ask Rebecca Black, or Chris Crocker,or Tay Zonday, who all found this out the hard way.
Despite this brutal reality, a few people have beaten the odds and parlayed YouTube popularity into actual careers. With paychecks and everything! Fortunepresents a list of these lucky luminaries, who jumped out of our computer screens and into our hearts.
The omnipresent hit single “Gangnam Style” is the brainchild of South Korean musician Park Jae-sang, better known by his stage name, Psy. It was released in July 2012 as the lead-off single from his sixth album, “Psy 6 (Six Rules), Part 1,” and though the album did well in his native land, it became an international sensation thanks to YouTube.
韩国音乐人朴载相创作了风靡全球的震撼单曲《江南Style》，他的艺名“鸟叔”则更为人所知。2012年7月，鸟叔发布了自己的第六张专辑《Psy 6 (Six Rules), Part 1》，《江南Style》是其中的主打歌。尽管这张专辑在韩国本土销量出色，但它能够成为轰动全球的神曲，还必须感谢YouTube强大的传播力量。
On November 24, 2012, the artist took to Twitter to announce that the video had just become the most watched video in YouTube history, and less than a month later, it became the first in history to reach one billion views. This led to the song peaking on the USBillboard charts at number two, and its presence on every DJ playlist in corporate Christmas party history in the last couple of years. Psy’s next album is expected to be released later this year.
There is no surer sign that one has hit the big time than when one becomes the subject of a Comedy Central Roast, the fate that befell pop singer Justin Bieber in March 2015. He became the butt of cruel jokes by such celebrities as Snoop Dogg, Martha Stewart and comedian Chris D'Elia, who said, "You literally are a guy who has it all, except for respect, love, friends, good parents and a Grammy."
Bieber would never have reached the dizzying heights of stardom had he not first been plucked from obscurity in 2008 by his current manager, Scooter Braun, who had seen his YouTube videos. Just two years later, he had sold over one million copies of his debut CD, “My World,” and he has never stopped dreaming big, even when visiting the Anne Frank House in 2013, where he wrote in the guestbook, “Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber.”
2008年，比伯现在的经纪人斯科特•布劳恩在YouTube视频中看到了他，并把他发掘了出来。如果不是这样，比伯可能永远不会像现在这样名扬四海。两年后，他的首张大碟“My World”卖出了超过100万张。他从未停止过自己的远大梦想，即使在2013年参观安妮之家（Anne Frank House）博物馆时，他也在留言簿上写道：“安妮是一个好女孩。希望她能成为我的粉丝。”
Progressive political commentator Cenk Uygur is the host of “The Young Turks,” which calls itself “the largest online news show in the world.” Known simply as “TYT” for short, it started in 2002 on Sirius Satellite Radio, but YouTube put it on the map and provided it with 2 billion views by the time July 2014 rolled around.
秉持进步主义信念的政治评论员坚克•尤格是《少壮派》（The Young Turks）栏目的主持人。这一栏目自称是“全球最大的在线新闻秀”。它以TYT的简称为人所知，于2002年在天狼星卫星广播推出，但YouTube为它提供了一个积聚人气的平台。到2014年7月，该栏目在YouTube的点击数已经超过20亿次。
Three years prior to that, the MSNBC network was impressed enough with Uygur’s YouTube popularity tooffer him a spot vacated by Ed Schultz when the departure of Keith Olbermann led to a frantic re-shuffling of time slots. The stint lasted only six months, and his slot was given to the Reverend Al Sharpton. From there he went on to host “The Young Turks with Cenk Uygur” on Current TV for two years. He is still a frequent guest on numerous political talk shows, and is a contributor to Daily Kos, The Huffington Post and Politico.
YouTube has brought the attention of the Western Hemisphere to artists from parts of the world that don’t often get it, as in the case of Filipina singer Charmaine Clarice Relucio Pempengco.
Better known simply as Charice, she found that videos of her 2005 appearance on the Filipino talent competition “Little Big Star” had not only made it to YouTube, but had been viewed 13 million times, prompting performances on “Ellen” and “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” all while she was still very much a teenager.
她更为人所知的名字是夏瑞丝。2005年，她参加了菲律宾的选秀节目《Little Big Star》，节目视频随后被上传至YouTube，并最终获得1300万次浏览量，这让她得到了在《Ellen音乐秀》和《奥普拉脱口秀》上登台献艺的机会，尽管那时她当时只有十几岁。
After going on to perform duets with Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion, she joined the cast of “Glee” in 2010, playing a Filipina exchange student. Luckily, they didn’t hold her brief appearance in 2009’s “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” against her.
Michelle Phan is a cosmetics entrepreneur who got her start giving make-up application tutorials on YouTube in 2007. In 2011, she told Forbes that she took her inspiration from that painter of happy little trees, the late television painting instructorBob Ross.
Guffaw if you must. Her methods brought her to the attention of Lancôme, the French cosmetics giant, which made her their official video make-up artist in 2010 after seeing her feature their products in her videos.
In 2012 she started the subscription cosmetics service Ipsy, and in 2013, L’Oreal created a makeup line for hercalled “em.” This year, she graced the “30 Under 30” lists of both Inc. and Forbes.