The definition of cool maybe changing for the next generation. In survey of 1,500 US teens, Variety found that heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio was less appealing than quirky YouTube personality Jenna Marbles, and Hunger Games sweetheart Jennifer Lawrence got outranked by Swedish video gamer reviewer PewDiePie.
“U.S. teenagers are more enamored with YouTube stars than they are the biggest celebrities in film, TV, and music,” concludes Variety.
The entertainment newspaper ranked 20 of the top YouTube celebrities against an equal number of well-known Hollywood A-listers on a battery of questions “in terms of approachability, authenticity, and other criteria considered aspects of their overall influence.” A score out of 100 was assigned to each entertainer, which is ranked in the graphic below (YouTubers in Red).
YouTube celebrities, writes Variety, “were judged to be more engaging, extraordinary, and relatable than mainstream stars, who were rated as being smarter and more reliable.”
If you haven’t seen the top-ranked Smosh, here’s their low-budget skit on the viral game Flappy Bird:
These YouTube stars, however, are making significantly less than their Hollywood peers. Business Insider estimated the amount of money YouTubers make from views alone (not counting endorsements), and the richest, PewDiePie, makes about $8.47 million. Katy Perry, the ninth richest celebrity in the world, according to Forbes, raked in $40 million.
Either way, YouTube seems make stars out of the most unusual suspects, and that makes the world of entertainment a lot more interesting. You can read more about Variety’s survey here.