YouTube provides young Hongkongers with alternative careers

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 February, 2013, 4:09pm
UPDATED : Friday, 01 March, 2013, 12:15pm

Struggling as a young person to find that dream career? No don’t write a book - make a video. And if it sells, you might find yourself making money from it.

Auman Yick, 18, a Chinese University law student, has been making videos for Google as a part of its video sharing site’s YouTube Partner Program since it launched in Hong Kong last year.

“It’s hard to put a finger on what the audience wants nowadays, but I do it as a hobby,” Yick told the South China Morning Post on Thursday.

The partner programme shares advertising revenue with its “partners” in exchange for producing proprietary content that helps the site generate traffic and views - a process it calls monetisation.

The Hong Kong programme was launched last July, but its US counterpart has been around since 2007. Whole careers have since been built around YouTube. Channels such as Epic Meal Time and RealAnnoyingOrange, have gone on to become franchises in their own right. 

According to YouTube, there are now more than a million creators from over 30 countries creating original content for them. 

Yick applied and was accepted to the partner programme last year while studying in the United Kingdom after churning out a steady stream of “original, quality and advertiser-friendly content” approved by Google for monetisation.

He makes about HK$3,000 a month producing five-minute comedy video blogs, or "vlogs", where he talks about everything from Hong Kong culture to internet "memes".  Memes are concepts which spread from user to user quickly on the internet.

“There are no constraints to what topics I cover but I try to avoid politics,” he said.

And with an average following of 60,000 views per video - a sizeable amount by international standards - Yick can easily earn more if he want, but is limited in his time because he is a student.

“I don’t really have a fixed schedule for when I post videos and they can take up to a whole day to script, film and edit depending on the topic,” said Yick. His channel, ChinglishVlogs has already garnered him 4.2 million video views and more than 24,600 subscribers since he started it in 2010.

Like Yick, local YouTube sensation "Loui5Ng" is also one of millions of independent content creators around the world working for YouTube. He manages to make a very good income.

According to Hong Kong-based Sky Post in an article on Thursday, the form-seven graduate makes about HK$10,000 to $20,000 a month producing and posting online videos on YouTube - double the city’s median pay for people his age.

He started his career with vlogs - but eventually started specialising in what he enjoyed doing most: playing computer games and providing live commentary. Videos on his YouTube channel generate anything from 20,000 to 150,000 views each.