Anyway, let's look at how the phenomenon of young vloggers is leading to talented millennials offering a new way to interact with their peers. Caspar Lee and Joe Sugg have broken the aforementioned record with the pre-release of "Hit The Road," in which they will go around Europe in a van and only live off what they can earn that day. The pre-order appears to be a way of crowdfunding the movie which will be produced and directed by former Top Gear executives.
The news coincides with an announcement that McDonald's is hiring British vloggers Gabriella Lindley and Oli White to host a YouTube channel that it hopes will help improve its engagement with millennials.
I know vloggers can quite often get a bit of flack for producing what us of a certain age may consider inane, pointless videos but I think there are two more helpful conclusions. In fact, there's probably three if you start off with the point that the people who sneer are not the intended audience. Just as the latest heart throb boy band are not expecting to be liked by me on Spotify, these young vloggers have a very different key audience.
Taking that as a given, the two key learnings are that even talent is now data-driven and that the traditional channels are very much far from dead --only they have a new route opening up to get onto them.
Think about how the stars we have on television got there and compare it to today's vloggers. Today's stars worked hard, that's for sure, but they usually needed a break or someone to turn a gut feel in to a position in front of camera. Today's vloggers assume that position for themselves and then justify it through data. Trust me, the vloggers just mentioned wouldn't get anywhere near a McDonald's channel or breaking an Amazon pre-order record if they couldn't back up claims with huge viewing figures. Remember, these are counted digitally, they're not forecast from 1000 homes with a BARB set-top box.
The other takeaway is that these guys are not killing traditional channels but will change them. They're not sticking themselves on YouTube and simply hoping to get big numbers, they're using their followings to break in to the very traditional route of DVDs and, no doubt soon enough, television shows. The only difference is, these young creatives are bringing an audience with them.
The truly fascinating part will be how the two worlds mix. Clearly, vloggers want to get beyond YouTube but just how much power are they going to be given, how much control are they going to have compared to wannabe presenters without a following hit DVD behind them?
The overall question, then, is what happens when data-driven millennials meet the gut-instinct world of television and movie casting? These announcements about four British vloggers are interesting in themselves but, as ever, the more fundamental questions come when you mentally fast forward and ponder how, while we accept content is king, what happens when a new generation enters the game driven by data on what works and what doesn't? What happens when people start their careers as most finish them, by joining a project with a following that can make or break it? Digital isn't going to kill traditional entertainment channels but it will change them through a huge shift in power.