A survey commissioned by Variety magazine and published in the latest issue found that among teenagers in the United States, the five most influential figures they list are all YouTube favorites rather than mainstream celebrities. Even Jennifer Lawrence and Seth Rogan failed to make the top five.
The highest-ranking figures, according to Variety, were Smosh (Andrew Hecox and Anthony Padilla), the YouTube comedy team sensation. Coming in second was the Fine Bros. (Benny and Rafi), another comedy duo who’re tearing up YouTube bandwidth. Third is Swedish gamer PewDiePie, who has more YouTube subscribers than anyone else in the world (hear that, Aston Kutcher?).
The survey Variety commissioned was done by Jeetendr Sehdev and it asked 1,500 respondents questions about 20 well-known personalities. Half of those on the list were YouTube personalities with high subscriptions and video views on YouTube and the other half were celebrities with high Q scores among U.S. teens aged 13-17 as of March of this year. Respondent’s answers were then quantified into scoring for the 20 personalities on the list. Six of the top ten on the list, when it was all done, were YouTube stars. Significantly, one of the top non-Tube celebs died in 2013 (Paul Walker of Fast and Furious fame).
Notables in the twenty were Betty White (rank 12), Leonardo DiCaprio (rank 20), and Katy Perry (rank 9). Jennifer Lawrence and Seth Rogan, mentioned earlier, were ranked 7 and 11 respectively.
More significantly, YouTube celebs scored higher on metrics that would indicate they are more influential to buying decisions among teens. This and other details of this fascinating survey can be read online at Variety.com.