Who first started the word YouTuber

YouTube or Twitch star as a job, that is the dream of many young people

Sebastian Meyer walks through the halls of the world's largest video game fair Gamescom. Sporty stature, white sneakers, black shirt, black pants and sunglasses. A crowd of people forms around him, young people excitedly rummaging their cell phones out of their pockets and taking photos, parents who just don't seem to really understand what is suddenly going on. An entourage of large securities shields the 26-year-old, he is in a hurry. Meyer is a star at Gamescom, on the Internet he calls himself “Rewinside”, or “Rewi” for short. Born in Cologne, he produces videos on YouTube and makes live streams on Twitch - mostly about gaming.
Watching other people play computer games has long been the main program of many young people. Rewis reach: around three million subscribers. This makes him one of the most famous gamers in Germany. Rewi told WirtschaftsWoche what the life and profession of a so-called "content creator" looks like.

WirtschaftsWoche: How did you become a YouTuber?
Sebastian Meyer: In 2012 I was extremely bored one evening when I clicked through YouTube. I came across a Minecraft video from Gronkh ...

... the largest gaming YouTuber in Germany with 4.8 million subscribers.
I hadn't heard of Gronkh before, nor did I know what Minecraft was. The game immediately got me hooked. I used to love playing with Lego, which is why I found Minecraft's building block principle great. My friends and I always had so much fun playing games that we thought other people might find it funny too. So we recorded ourselves while gambling and uploaded the whole thing to YouTube. So in the beginning it was just a hobby, we didn't say to ourselves: We want to make money with it in two months.

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How quickly did you have success with your content?
In the beginning, my growth was quite moderate. Until then I met a few other YouTubers; together we moved into a house in downtown Cologne and produced a lot of content. That was the turning point at which I could say: this is going to be something I could do in the long term. Before that, however, I finished my apprenticeship as a real estate agent. That was important to me and my parents. After that, I fully concentrated on YouTube.

Could you imagine working as a real estate agent again?
In any case. Nevertheless, I kept looking into the topic, looking around in the real estate sector and buying real estate. It's an exciting and cool business area. This is of course also a good thing for investing my money long-term now. The success on YouTube and Twitch can also be over quickly.

What did your friends say when you started YouTube?
My friends thought it was funny from the start, but somehow also stupid what I do (laughs). At first they asked themselves why I was constantly sitting at the computer instead of going out with them, having a drink, driving a kart or something. But by now they have understood that.

And what about the family?
Of course, my parents had problems understanding this at first. My father wondered why I kept pounding on the keyboard at 11 p.m. But that subsided relatively quickly. You noticed that I am passionate about it and maybe one day I will be able to earn money with it.

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Are your parents now fans too?
Partly yes - my father is the first to write to me if a video appears too late again. Or he looks at my statistics and then says 'strong day', 'great week' or 'great month'. This is of course always a topic of conversation when you are at home with the family.

What is your day-to-day work like?
It is difficult to mark out a day so precisely. I always try to get up as early as possible, usually around 8 a.m., then I go to exercise. After that, it always depends on what's coming up: video shoots, meetings with management or live streams on Twitch. I also do music as a DJ. There is no such thing as a typical working day. The end of the working day is often only between 10 p.m. and midnight.

They also make live streams on the Twitch Internet platform. Do you have something like a schedule?
I used to have a fixed schedule. At the moment, however, I tend to start streaming spontaneously when I have the time. I think that's a good thing at the moment, but I also notice that a regular streaming schedule can have advantages. Now, after the Gamescom week, I will probably notice again that there are significantly fewer viewers than before. They then migrate to other streamers who have streamed more regularly.

How do I handle this?
That's just the way it is, you can't do everything and you have to see that you divide your strengths well. YouTube is much more consistent there. We can pre-produce content that appears regularly.

The gaming industry is booming. How do you notice that in your work?
Audience numbers have increased as the gaming industry has grown. You can always see that quite well at Gamescom. It is no longer just young people who recognize and address you, these are now also people who are already 35 or 40 years old and say that they think the content is super good. In the meantime, they also watch gaming streams in the normal evening to relax, instead of football. For many, this has become a replacement program.

Does the commercialization that accompanies the boom also harbor risks?
Sure, unfortunately, shady characters are also romping around in the business and trying to make short-term profit. You can see that particularly well in e-sports. Many of the players are extremely young, barely 13 years old. Then organizations come and give them contracts that are sometimes relatively low-paid. At the end of the day, that's poker: they hope that the boys will then pick up the big prize money. The teams get a share, of course. Unfortunately, that's part of it. Wherever young people achieve success and money relatively quickly, there are people who want to get involved as free riders.

What should young beginners especially watch out for?
You should always think carefully about where you are. Do I need management right at the start and sign any three-year contracts, or can I get it done myself first? Above all, parents should keep an eye on it and check everything carefully.

The target group of gamers is getting older and more diverse. For example, many Germans who have managerial responsibilities like to play console or computer games. This makes the environment more interesting for advertisers.

How is the esports boom affecting live streaming and YouTube?
E-sports is of course a huge trend, and we content creators notice that too. An esports title does not necessarily have to be played seriously in competition. As a streamer, in the end it all comes down to entertainment. The big streamers in Germany are not all that good at the games. I would describe myself as a solid to good Fortnite player. However, I am worlds away from professional e-athletes.

Would you also consider yourself a kind of influencer?
I don't like the word influencer, it implies that I am an opinion maker. I'm not a mannequin presenting some hat with a price tag on it.

How would you describe yourself?
I would say we content creators are just entertainers. Of course we also have partnerships with brands, but it's no different with footballers or moderators. Our main thing is and will be content creation, and it should stay that way.

How has YouTube and live streaming changed since they started out?
Because of the boom, more people have just joined in to make content. From drawing to political shows, the whole scene is incredibly diverse. I think if I want to, I'll be able to find a stream on Twitch at two o'clock in the morning, where someone paints Lego figures. It's kind of cool.

Are you competing with traditional media?
At first it looked a little like a frontier between the two worlds. But we notice that there is now a lot of interest from the traditional media. They see our creative spontaneity and want to learn from it. On the other hand, we can also learn something about the professionalism in production. I think it's cool that that's getting closer. I also feel like taking part in TV productions more often.

Twitch, bought by Amazon for $ 970 million in 2014, has dominated the streaming market for years. Now Microsoft wants to create competition with its own service called Mixer. Can it work?
I think Mixer just has a lot of money, you saw that with the ninja deal ...

... the 28-year-old American Richard Tyler Blevins, alias Ninja, is the world's largest streamer with almost 14.5 million followers. Recently, Ninja switched from Twitch to its competitor Mixer. Transfer unknown ...

... no matter what amount was actually paid, I've heard everything from $ 60 million for two years to $ 2.3 million a month. What is certain is that a large amount went into this. The fact that streamers are now being treated like footballers sends a strong signal for the position of the industry. Competition stimulates business; new platforms also bring new features.

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