Model, student, coder, baker, businesswoman, Nike-endorsed athlete, Victoria’s Secret Angel, and Taylor Swift’s BFF; and that is only the start of St. Louis’ most famed export, Karlie Kloss’s CV. But there’s another word you’ll have to use to refer to the 22-year-old as she clearly not content with her lot: YouTuber.
The young star, who Forbes say has an estimated £2.55m net worth, has a L’Oreal contract, her own cookie range, a booming catwalk CV and is even heading to a NYC college. Kloss launched her own YouTube channel, aptly called Klossy, and produced by Casey Neistat, the opening clip features the model speaking directly to the camera about her journey to superstardom, and the tales and tidbits subscribers can expect to find on her stream.
In essence, the content that seems to be the main feature of her vlogs is similar to what her 2.8 million fans can already find on Kloss’ Instagram: a behind-the-scenes look at the Victoria’s Secret show, a peek at a road trip across the country with Taylor Swift, and a glimpse into the daily life, along with a quick Q & A, of this 20-somethings amazing success.
The reason? Reach and reward. While 2.8 million of the total 300 million active Instagram users see Kloss’ snaps, YouTube offers the opportunity to reach an audience of more than 1 billion users. Instagram boasts about 30 billion photos shared; YouTube averages over 157 billion minutes of video uploaded per year. The difference in audience is outstanding to say the least. There is also the differences in the two platforms’ advertising policies that might just appeal. Instagram’s model is not upfront. Posters can either arrange deals with brands independently or use a third-party app to ‘monetize’ their streams. With YouTube, the ads are built into the platform, allowing users to earn a profit from their streams quickly and with little ancillary hassle. The latter of course, being the most appealing for those wanting to build themselves, and their bank account. The appeal of Karlie’s channel speaks for itself, as all I, and I am sure millions of others, want to see is a mixture of fitness and beauty tips, recipes and those BBF vlogs with Miss Taylor Swift right from the comfort of my own home.
And while Instagram has, without question, boosted a group of models to a new level of fame (landing them fashion campaigns and brand ambassadorships), YouTube let’s people turn themselves into the brand. Someone like Michelle Phan, YouTube’s de facto heroine, doesn’t need brand partnerships; she’s her own moneymaker, with a line of cosmetics, appearances, and a book that all resulted from her makeup tutorial videos. The point is YouTube can turn a person into a profitable brand in a way that no other platform can yet. Kloss has certainly just started.
Words: Annabel Bolton (@Mascaramalteser)