Many people may see YouTube as just another social media venue for sharing their content publicly, or privately with family members and close friends. However, YouTube has proven to be much more, especially to those who broadcast their videos to millions of subscribers, and use YouTube as a means of generating yearly revenue.
On 14 October 2015, Forbes magazine published a list of the top-earning (millionaires) YouTube stars of 2015 which includes Felix Kjellberg (a.k.a. PewDiePie), Ian Hecox and Anthony Padillia, Lilly Singh, and the sensational LDS dancing violinist, Lindsey Stirling. According to Forbes, Lindsey Stirling is the 4th highest paid YouTuber earning approximately $6 million a year, which is enough, according to People magazine, to purchase 3,000 pounds of Ossetra caviar.
Lindsey started her YouTube channel on 20 May 2007, and since that time, she has amassed a following of over 7.1 million subscribers, and over 1 billion views worldwide. The description of her channel reads, “I love to play the violin, dance, write music, edit videos, play dress up, and perform. So, I combined it all together and this is what happened.”
Lindsey served a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in New York City, and she is also a graduate of Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah. She has also participated in the Church’s new interview series for youth called Face to Face.
She has been signed to a record label and has three albums to her credit, the self-titled Lindsey Stirling, Shatter Me which reached no. 2 on the Billboard 200, and Lindsey Stirling: Live from London. She has also scored a book deal, and has a lucrative touring career. LDS Daily reports that in an interview with Forbes, Lindsey commented about the use of YouTube, “What I love about YouTube is that it allows the platform to go anywhere. We all use YouTube in our own unique way to create our own careers. However, you can branch off. YouTubers now write books, they are starting TV shows, [and] they are going into film-making and acting.”
Speaking about the benefits of a YouTube career at Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Summit, Lindsey stated, “It’s a very loyal fan base (that) wants you to succeed because they found you. It wasn’t some big radio station or record label that shoved art down someone’s throat and said this is what’s cool.”
On 6 October 2015, Lindsey collaborated with three other successful music acts under the age of 30 – Hanson, A$AP Rocky, and Shawn Mendes to co-headline the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit Music Festival which was held on Live Nation’s Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing, a 7,500-plus capacity outdoor venue in the shadow of Philadelphia’s iconic Ben Franklin Bridge. The free concert in partnership with Global Citizen was for people who are actively engaged in helping to end extreme worldwide poverty. To show their support for the cause, the acts forewent their usual five-and six-figure performance fees, and performed in exchange for travel and lodging, and a chance to give back. Lindsey was the third to perform. She danced across the stage and played a repertoire of her most popular songs including “Shatter Me.”
Further commenting on her success as a YouTuber, Lindsey has stated, “I was told I was too far outside the box from what was marketable. The same reason I was told I would fail was the reason why I succeeded. It was different and intriguing.”