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YouTubers extend reach to movies

Many YouTubers, including Smosh, The Fine Brothers and Tyler Oakley have used their fanbases to expand beyond YouTube.

Smosh, The Fine Bros and Tyler Oakley have all grown to become well-known names in the YouTube community. Over the past decade, YouTube has slowly been evolving into a major medium of entertainment. With increased popularity, popular YouTube personalities have gathered millions of loyal followers who watch their daily videos and support whatever new venture they may have. But, of course, these growing channels are looking for ways to expand beyond online video sharing. Using their large fanbases, many YouTubers are now launching themselves onto the big screen and into the realm of TV shows.


At one point, Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox had the most subscribers on YouTube for their channel Smosh, known for its crude humor and appeal towards younger audiences. Smosh currently is the fourth most subscribed channel on YouTube with 21 million subscribers. The duo has been posting YouTube videos for over 10 years and recently released their new movie aptly titled “Smosh: The Movie.”

The comedy film features several other prominent YouTubers including Jenna Mourey, who is better known as Jenna Marbles, Shane Dawson and Dominic Sandoval. The script was written by Eric Falconer, the same person behind CBS’s hit show “How I Met Your Mother.” Although the movie received mixed reviews by critics, Smosh fans were thoroughly delighted to see what essentially was a 2-hour YouTube video. It took the number 1 spot on Apple’s iTunes comedy chart soon after it was released on iTunes and DVD.

Padilla and Hecox have also recently released their first scripted series, called “Part Timers.” The comedy series is being shown for free, exclusively on Smosh’s channel, and is also one of the first productions that is being funded under YouTube’s original-content strategy. This initiative was funded by Google in order to help kickstart Google TV by bringing original and produced content onto YouTube. The first season of “Part Timers” is set to include 11 episodes, with the first one debuting on Jan. 11.

The Fine Bros

Brothers Benny and Rafi Fine gained their Youtube fame by making videos that show kids, teens, elders and even YouTubers reacting to popular internet fads, including songs, technology and other various topics. Their channel, “The Fine Bros,” now has more than 13 million subscribers and 3.3 billion views, and is currently the 16th most subscribed channel on YouTube.

“React to That” was a reality TV series created by Benny and Rafi Fine that premiered Dec. 15, 2014 on Nickelodeon and was an elongated version of the react videos that the duo has been producing on their channel. Every episode was split into different challenge and questionnaire segments in which children, teens or celebrities respond to a common trend or item. However, due to  unsustainable viewership, the show came to an end after one season on Jan. 1, 2015.

Not deterred by this setback, the Fine Brothers launched a new TV series called “Six Degrees of Everything,” which aired on TruTV on Aug. 18, 2015. This comedy reality show is based on the theory of six degrees of separation, which states that something can be connected to something else in six steps or less. On the pilot episode, The Fine Brothers demonstrated how Albert Einstein relates to breast implants in six steps. With this show, fans are able to experience the well-known combination of humor and dorkiness that the duo commonly explores.

Tyler Oakley

This YouTube sensation has spent the past eight years posting short snippets of his everyday life on his channel. To this day, Oakley has gathered nearly eight million subscribers on YouTube with 537 million views, and many more followers on his various social media platforms. Recently, Oakley has transitioned from posting short videos to a full length film. His documentary, “Snervous Tyler Oakley”, released on Dec. 11, 2015 on iTunes, is a film that looks deeper into his life and relationship with family, followers and fame.

Coming out as gay nearly five years ago, “Snervous Tyler Oakley” explores the struggles that he has had coming out to his parents and large fan base, as well as judgement that came along with it. The documentary was received tremendously well by his loving supporters, as they were given the privilege to look behind the scenes of the cheerful YouTube persona.

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