In 2015, three-year-old Ryan Kaji applied to his parents to play YouTube like other children.
Therefore, Ryan’s mother Loann and father Shion created Ryan’s toy channel (later renamed Ryan’s World) in the same year, and uploaded some videos of Ryan’s toys unpacking, playing with toys, and doing scientific experiments at home.
At first, they thought it was just a child’s hobby, a joy to be able to share life with children from other countries.
But within a year, Ryan’s channel turned out to be one of the most popular children’s channels on YouTube.
Ryan’s parents said that they were very confused at the time.
These videos were very simple and did not cost much to produce. When the popularity skyrocketed, they thought that the channel was hacked.
Today, Ryan, who is only 9 years old, has become YouTube’s highest-paid children’s blogger for three consecutive years.
According to “Forbes” reports, his income in 2020 is estimated to be 29.5 million US dollars.
His channel has more than 45 million subscribers and more than 62 billion views.
According to the author, children’s content is the most viewed content on YouTube.
However, the platform’s policy requirements regarding content and monetization are always changing, and the ecological environment of creators is very unstable.
In 2019, Google was fined $170 million because YouTube violated the Federal Trade Commission’s “Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act” and failed to protect the personal data of children under 13 years of age.
This fine has led to YouTube’s new privacy regulations for children’s videos, including restrictions on advertising, which are the main source of income for video producers.
Since the implementation of the new regulations, Ryan’s revenue from YouTube has been reduced by more than half, and it has become increasingly difficult for Internet celebrities to do it.
In order to expand the business, Ryan’s parents opened up new ways, betting on PocketWatch, a children’s entertainment studio founded by former Disney executive Chris M. Williams.
This entertainment studio is well-established and has strong backing. Investors include Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey, as well as United Talent Agency.
In 2017, when PocketWatch was launched, Ryan’s parents began to cooperate with it, and also reached a licensing agreement with Colgate and Kellogg’s.
In addition, Ryan’s personal image brand is exposed on Amazon, the popular game “Roblox” and so on.
In this way, Ryan’s World (Ryan’s World) sales in 2020 exceeded 250 million U.S. dollars, surpassing YouTube advertising revenue in the first year.
The company also poached other major talents on YouTube, including Love, Diana (194 million fans), EvanTubeHD (12 million fans) and Eh Bee Family (11 million fans).
Of course, PocketWatch must also solve the problem of children’s network safety.
The children’s audiovisual industry is full of safety, labor, and advertising concerns.
These companies and institutions must ensure that these little Internet celebrities are still children.
In addition, the regulatory agency also considers that most of the audience of these content is also children, and it is necessary to avoid content that easily induces children to imitate dangerous content.
I also worry about the so-called parents who are frantic in order to let their children become internet celebrities and make money.
According to the author, Ryan’s parents quit their jobs as structural engineer and high school teacher to help their son develop channel content. This began to change from a hobby to a family career.
Now, Sunlight Entertainment, the production company founded by Ryan’s parents, has grown into a 30-person team consisting of producers, editors, animators and voice actors.
But another mother on YouTube was arrested for allegedly abusing her children and forcing them to perform.
In October last year, France took the lead in passing legislation to protect children.
According to the new regulations, children have the right to delete content they don’t want, and their income will be deposited into a special account until they are 16 years old.
In PocketWatch, all these questions and suggestions have been adopted and used for reference, and a set of guidelines have been formulated.
Ruian World also has many sub-channels developed for animated characters, which are integrated into various peripheral products.
It can be said that this nine-year-old boy has unknowingly created a movie world of his own in the play of his own life.
For example, Ryan began studying geography and American history last year, which inspired the idea of ”Ryan’s World Road Trip.”
He has a dream of becoming a game developer, so he took a coding course and created his own virtual world in “Roblox” last December.
The success of being a children’s internet celebrity blogger has made the whole family financially successful, but Ryan simply believes that he is a child and he is doing what he likes to do.