YouTube Celebrity Or Traditional Celebrity: Which is The Way To Go?

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YouTube Celebrity Or Traditional Celebrity: Which is The Way To Go?

The dictionary defines celebrities as famous people, typically in the entertainment or sports industry. That means that this person is someone who has wide public recognition and a huge fan following who are passionate about his or her work.



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The dictionary defines celebrities as famous people, typically in the entertainment or sports industry. That means that this person is someone who has wide public recognition and a huge fan following who are passionate about his or her work. 

Most celebrities work very hard to gain the fame and recognition that they enjoy today. While gaining this fame comes at a price, such as loss of privacy and even receiving threats and harassments, there is still a lot that these celebrities stand to gain for having a huge fan base. For instance, celebrities will get approached by businesses to do shoutouts and promotions for their brands and products. This is because these businesses understand the level of influence that celebrities have, and they want to leverage on this power to capture a bigger slice of the market pie; in other words, get more people to buy more!

In recent years, social media usage has increased tremendously. YouTube happens to be one of the social media platforms that has gained a massive surge in the number of users. Since its inception in 2005, YouTube has attracted more than 2 billion users and 30 million subscribers worldwide! As such, YouTube has given birth to a group of influencers who have gathered for themselve huge followings and fan bases; we call these people “YouTube Celebrities”.

There have been debates that YouTube Celebrities are not “Real Celebrities”, and that only Traditional Celebrities (typically from the entertainment of sports industry) are qualified to be called celebrities. On the other hand, the counter argument for that is equally strong as well, since some of these YouTube Celebrities may even have a wider fan base than some of the Traditional Celebrities. 

But to be honest, for most business owners and marketers, they don't really care so much about the definition. Rather, they simply want to know which of the two is more engaging, more entertaining, more popular; or in simpler terms, who is better at selling their brand and their products and/or services!

In this article, we will discuss the differences between a YouTube Celebrity vs a Traditional Celebrity. If you are a business owner or marketer who is trying to figure out and decide who you should be engaging to promote for your business, read on and find out more!

Do YouTubers Qualify As Celebrities? 


Some people will refer to their favorite actor or musician as a celebrity but will not refer to their favorite YouTuber as a celebrity. But does this mean that YouTubers are not celebrities?

Traditional celebrities have usually always been assumed to have more influence than YouTubers. For example, a celebrity like Beyonce can provide brands with outreach to millions of people. However, due to the growth of YouTube, YouTube Celebrities can rival Traditional Celebrities’ level of influence, fame and public recognition. This has blurred the distinction between YouTub Celebrities and Traditional Celebrities.

YouTube has become such a big part of people’s lives. It is one of, if not, the biggest online video sharing social media platforms with billions of people sharing and viewing videos. Some YouTube Celebrities get millions of views for videos they create and upload every day! This means they in fact, do gain as much public recognition as Traditional celebrities (sometimes even more)!

In fact, YouTube Celebrities have proven to be incredibly powerful collaborators for brands. According to research, the public demonstrates preference for YouTube Celebrities as opposed to Traditional Celebrities due to their relatability as “regular people”.

Truth be told, whether these YouTuber Celebrities are defined as celebrities or not doesn’t really matter. The indisputable fact is that some of these YouTube Celebrities have a very strong influence over their fan bases, and that’s what really matters!

Contrast Between YouTube Celebrities And Traditional Celebrities

Although both YouTube Celebrities and Traditional Celebrities can be regarded in the same manner (the fact that they both have strong influence over a large number of people), there are still some distinctions between the two. 

When it comes to pricing for business collaborations, Traditional Celebrities’ prices will not be cheap. Take Beyonce for example. According to mediakix, she reportedly charges $1 million for a single Instagram post! This kind of pricing easily puts herself out of reach for a lot of brands out there! One of the reasons for this premium pricing is because of her branding as a “Traditional Celebrity”; and she does have numbers from her box office and music charts to back her reputation. Another reason is because Traditional Celebrities are usually managed by established, reputable and professional talent management agencies as well.

On the other hand, YouTube Celebrities generally have a lower asking price as compared to Traditional Celebrities with similar number of followers. This makes them much more easily accessible to most brands. Some of these YouTubers are actually not really public figures or entertainers. They may just be your regular joe who happens to be super passionate about a particular topic or niche, so much so that it has gained the attention of a large group of people who share the same passions and interests. An example might be a retiree who loves to DIY his stuff and shares his process on YouTube. Another one might be a Stay-home Mom who loves baking cakes and love sharing her children’s reaction while eating them. They may not be professionally managed by agents, and hence may not have both the knowledge nor the desire to charge a high fee, since making money may not be a high priority to them, as compared to Traditional Celebrities and their agents.

Another obvious distinction between the two is that Traditional Celebrities do not have to be experts in a field to promote a brand. Traditional Celebrities typically build their reputation by standing out in areas like sport, cinema, television or music. The fame they get is due to their success in these areas. They have a huge following because people are fascinated or impressed with their talent. They tend to have a huge and diverse audience and do not really get a chance to get close to their fans. 

YouTuber Celebrities, on the other hand, gain influence through the content they create and the niche that they are focusing on. They earn their reputation through sharing the knowledge and experience about the said niche, and their followers are usually people who are extremely passionate about the same topic as well. As such, their words carry weight, and if they are willing to do a shoutout for a related business, you can imagine how popular the response will be from their fan base!

Who Is More Influential: YouTubers or Traditional Celebs?

Over the years it has been noted that the YouTube Celebrities are gradually making their presence felt in the current marketplace. A study by Ipsos Connect has shown that most YouTube Celebrities are more influential on millennials (aka "The YouTube Generation") than Traditional A-List Celebrities. Unlike many of the traditional celebrities, these YouTube Celebrities tend to engage more actively with their followers and have developed closer and more direct relationships with them. YouTuber Celebrities’ fans experience a more authentic experience and are able to build deeper emotional attachment with their YouTube idols. This sense of authenticity and approachability makes YouTubers an attractive collaborator for businesses to consider.

Of course, Traditional Celebrities still have influence over their fans. However, their fan base usually consists of a wider and more diverse group of people. Engageability may not be as high as Youtuber Celebrities. On the other hand, because they are exposed to a wider market, brands that serve a wider and more diverse customer pool might be more inclined to engage them for collaboration opportunities. A good example of such brands would be soft drink brands like Coca Cola, or fast food brands like Mcdonalds. 

So back to the question: who is more influential: YouTube Celebrities or Traditional Celebrities? For business owners or marketers asking this question, the answer really depends on the nature of their business, whether they are selling product(s) and/or service(s) that appeal to only a very niche group of people, or are they more general in nature that can appeal to a diverse group of customers. Answering that question will naturally provide a better idea which type of celebrities to engage and collaborate with!


The contrast between YouTuber Celebrities and Traditional Celebrities has become quite blurred over the years due to the increase in YouTube consumption. YouTubers now can potentially have a bigger and more passionate fan base than Traditional Celebrities. The barrier to becoming a celebrity figure now is much lower as compared to just 10 or 20 years ago. One simply needs to whip out his/her handphone, start recording and posting video content on YouTube, and then potentially gain hundreds, thousands and even millions of followers to achieve some sort of celebrity reputation.

Whether or not YouTubers qualify to be called celebrities doesn't matter. What matters is that there is the level of influence they have over their fan base. 

But if you are a business owner or market trying to figure out who to approach for collaboration opportunities, consider reaching out to a YouTuber within your niche and who is able to work within your budget, since YouTube Celebrities tend to have a lower and more budget-friendly asking price. Since YouTube Celebrities’s fans tend to be very passionate people who share the same interests as their idols and are very receptive to what their idols share in their YouTube contents, if you get Youtube Celebrities to do a shoutout for your brand, products or services, the ROI might turn out to be more pleasant than anticipated!

Have you worked with either a YouTube Celebrity or a Traditional Celebrity before? If so, what has your experience been like? We would love to hear them! Share with us in the comments section below!