Fifteen years ago, the words “applications developer” probably didn’t mean much to you, today – thanks largely to the power of the Internet – it has become one of the most sought after careers in the field of technology. Another phrase which may sound all too familiar in today’s age is “YouTube celebrity”, but what about “YouTube career”?
Many individuals and business entities have centered their entire business on the Web. As the most popular video sharing and hosting platform in the world, YouTube has come to be a part of many peoples’ lives – extending into becoming their livelihood. The partnership program was officially launched in the MENA region in March 2013 to all users in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. It allowed anyone with a YouTube channel and original content to monetise and benefit financially from their videos.
Content creators can make money from their YouTube videos if they opt-in to monetisation in their YouTube accounts. People are given this option in their accounts if their accounts are in good standing and they are making original content. There are people using their YouTube income to support their hobbies or contribute to groceries, and there are others taking it all the way to a full-time career – even hiring other people and building bigger teams.
Another reason many have made the switch towards working full-time on YouTube is the freedom it provides content creators. The ability to be your own boss, to work with your preferred team, to avoid boardroom censorship and control in addition to many other freedoms make YouTube an ideal medium for original content creators. The open nature of YouTube has also allowed individuals with limited budgets to make a breakthrough due to the low startup cost associated with setting up a channel and shooting videos.
Some individuals even found out that a YouTube career was more than just a replacement of their current one – it was a passion. Ashraf Hamdi was an Egyptian dentist who dabbled with video animation as a hobby, eventually joining ranks with Jordan-based entity “Kharabeesh” to create online cartoons. Ashraf eventually took his hobby to a new level by quitting his dentistry practice altogether and making his EgypToon channel his full time job.
The MENA region is booming with creators as much as it is booming with activity on the platform. More than 310 million views everyday – and more than 13 million daily watch hours signify the growing importance of the platform in the region. In addition to original content creators whose sole business exists on YouTube, many major broadcasts are also realising the benefit and importance of being on YouTube. Some are even creating custom-tailored programs specifically aimed at the YouTube audience.
Many individuals and businesses have made the transition from traditional mediums onto YouTube in search of better opportunities. With more than four billion hours of watch time every month, YouTube can provide more options for creators than TV. The two-way street nature of the platform means that creators can tell stories in multiple ways. The feedback loop is so much faster than on TV: creators can respond to viewer behavior and iterate. A creator’s success ratio should be much higher, and viewers more satisfied.