The Kids That Dominate YouTube
A Little ditty about Roma and Diana.
There are about 100 VHS videos sitting in a cupboard at my moms’ house at this very moment with moments from my kids’ childhood on them. It’s a whole thing to get them out, fire up the ancient VCR and gather round the tv to watch the grainy video of sports, beach trips, and theme parks.
Nowadays, we can capture high-def videos of our kids right on our cell phones and upload for everyone to see anytime. You don’t have to invite the whole neighborhood over to your house, schedule flights, and bring in more chairs for all of the people that you would love to show your kids’ first ever reaction to the Easter Bunny.
No, you simply record and upload.
Unless you’re Roma and Diana’s parents. The parents of these two little cuties decided to take it up a notch. Or a thousand notches. They set out to monetize their kids’ creativity, their imagination running wild, and their playtime. Everyday life became a self-documented reality show that started 6 years ago when Diana was about two years old and Roma was four.
I don’t know if you’ve ever been a fly on the fence at recess or even just listening to two kiddos in the back seat of the car on a road trip. The topics of conversations, the things that they notice, or the “games,” they create out of thin air, to play on the playground are absolutely amazing. I’d say viewers agree that there is a niche for watching kids at play.
Diana and Roma have 123 million subscribers across all of the channels that they produce, they have signed enforcement deals with likes of Pocket.Watch where they created an animated series, mobile game, and merchandise for “Love, Diana.”
The little dynamic duo got their start in the Ukraine but the whole family made the move to America back in 2018 to one of the most beautiful cities we boast, Miami, Florida. If your imagination is running wild trying to picture what kind of house they would choose, don’t sweat it, just go check it out, OF COURSE there’s a video that takes you on a tour, and if your mind wanders into the $$$$$$$$$$$$$ how in the world could they afford that???? Just know that their videos are raking in anywhere from $2.8 mil – $44.7 mil a year. I know, I know my mind is blown too. I’m sitting here wondering why I haven’t uploaded the 7,300 videos of my kid that are just sitting on my phone, eating up iCloud storage, to YouTube. But there’s that pesky privacy issue that Russian and Ukraine parents don’t seem to be as concerned about.
You’re probably wondering if you should chance it and turn your kids into multi-millionaires. Is YouTube stardom really possible? To help answer that question, I compiled some commonalities between those that HIT IT BIG on youtube.
While Diana and Roma are the highlights here, they are not alone. Nope, there’s room for MORE youtube stars than even the sky can hold. Check out Vlad and Nikita, Ryan, and Nastya.
Yep, just go type their names into the youtube search bar, it will take you where you didn’t even know you wanted to go. I think once you check all of these out you will find some commonalities. But I’ll save you some leg work. Peep these tips below.
The Secret Sauce for Getting Paid on YouTube
Tons of videos
It’s not always quality like one would think. No, it’s about quantity. Everyone wants to see MORE, MORE, MORE. So a lot of YouTubers will break things down into segments, episodes, parts 1-2-3, etc. to keep viewers coming back.
How many princess dresses can one kid own? Evidently, if you’re DIana, the answer is infinity.
Video production values
While most once started out with sloppily edited (or unedited) videos, as the channel itself matured, the videos gained sophistication, scripting, and professional editing. Most of the now “mainstream” YouTubers, didn’t make their first video in a home studio or have a microphone even. The content brought in the viewers. Over time as they gained attention, the production value increased for most. While some continue to do the more “real life,” version of things. I think it’s truly about understanding what your audience will respond to. Clean and crisp or real and raw?
As you can see in this video capture from 6 years ago when Diana was a toddler, the house they lived in wasn’t fancy, the lighting was clearly an offscreen lamp, and the video quality wasn’t great – a stark contrast to their videos today.
The family has come a long way from the Ukraine. Yes…that’s their Miami beach house. And yes, that’s a motorized princess carriage.
Now more than ever people are looking to escape through their screens. It is way more entertaining to watch something that’s taking place at an amusement park or poolside at a beautiful resort. It takes the viewer to that location with you and adds another element to the intrigue or even engagement of the video. Perhaps the viewer has been there before and comments about familiar landmarks in the background. Or maybe it’s a location that they have always wanted to go to and you’re showing a “behind the scenes,” view they have never seen before. So they are more inclined to comment and share with family or friends.
Lots of toys
YouTube is like the Toys R Us catalog on steroids. If you are reading this and you don’t know what those words mean, go ask your mom. I remember my kids grabbing that catalog and circling things and dog-earring pages. Now kids search YouTube and then run and show mom the coolest new toy that they found that they just have to have. Showcasing different toys is a BIG, BIG, BIG draw. Because then the viewer gets to see it in action. They get to see the colors, the movement, the actual size, and not a 2-dimensional photo without context. Many toy companies invest heavily in YouTube marketing today. As you gain audience, you also attract toy sponsors, and that means payday PLUS free toys.
Unboxing is a huge draw. Kids can live vicariously through another kid opening a toy and sharing in the excitement of its newness. Parents get to see exactly what comes with the toys and how they can be used.
Challenges are common across social media and YouTube is all in – and so are the kids. Some examples are: singing in public, dancing, eating a weird combo of food, innocent little pranks on family members, and the good ole, “try not to make it through this whole video without laughing.” Getting involved in a challenge in an adorable way is a good way to build your audience and introduce your kids to new fans.
The more the merrier. Getting the siblings, dogs, parents, grandparents, etc. involved is a huge draw. Just like television, people love to see themselves mirrored. That family dynamic that they either have or wish for is entertaining and feels comforting at the same time. However, it should be noted that the kids are always the center of attention. In this fantasy world, the parents exist almost solely to provide entertainment and a never-ending supply of new stuff.
All in all, popularity boils down to entertainment, of course. Keeping the attention of kids, since those are the typical youtube viewers. If you want to get a family YouTube channel started with your adorable tots, just go for it and have fun. The fact that all of these parents are in it with their children and help them come up with fun but appropriate ideas is a big key to their success.
The next time you surprise your kid with a new toy, video their reaction of them opening it up.
The next time you plan a family trip, chronicle those steps and then the adventure, to perhaps help another family be inspired to take that same trip and they will have a road map to do so.
There is just so much that you can do with being able to create your own shows with a few clicks, so if you find yourself bored and can’t find anything for you and your family to sit down and watch together, Check out some of the names mentioned in this article and be inspired.
But is Exploiting Your Kids for Money Ethical?
Ok, that’s a big question, and it’s something you have to decide for your family. Every family, and every kid, is different. Some are natural performers. Some are really, really not. But this is not significantly different from pursuing an acting, modeling, or performing career for your child. Mary Kate and Ashley didn’t choose to steal the stage on Full House when they were 6 months old. Is becoming a YouTube star any different? If anything it’s less disruptive. Kids don’t have to uproot their lives, leave school, work with a tutor, and live on location. They just play with their own family and friends at home and at fun places every family goes, like the beach, toys stores, and parks.
If you try it and your child wants to quit, you can quit (after you fulfill any contractual obligations with sponsors). And you have the option of keeping your location and real names secret. So I think the honest answer depends on whether you and your family are comfortable with the exposure.