Can YouTube Stardom Translate To The Real World?

Can YouTube Stardom Translate To The Real World?

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A lot of YouTube stars are trying to move from online video stardom to the kind of fame and career enjoyed by typical entertainers in the world of movies, television, and music. We’ve got the upcoming Chronicles of Rickroll movie, starring Double Rainbow Guy and the kid from Boom Goes The Dynamite. We have Epic Meal Time pitching a show and Rhett & Link already inking a TV deal. And now we have a traveling musical show called the DigiTour, with a lineup comprised of some of YouTube’s biggest acts.

What Is The YouTube DigiTour?

DigiTour is presented by YouTube–though I’ve yet to see any mention of it on YouTube’s blogs or websites. But it makes perfect sense. No one wants to see YouTube stars legitimized by the real-world entertainment crowd more than YouTube themselves. If it succeeds, it’s only going to drive even more consumer interest in video creation–and further cement YouTube in their minds as the best place to do it.

Other sponsors include Sony and Lugz, but the DigiTour website says they’re still accepting sponsors. Here’s how they summarize their own project:

The DigiTour is the first ever, large scale 6-week national tour bringing your favorite YouTube musicians to you!

Maybe it’s best to let their teaser video do the talking:

Artists include:

  • Dave Days
  • Mystery Guitar Man
  • David Choi
  • Destorm
  • The Gregory Brothers
  • Ricky Ficarelli
  • Nice Peter
  • & many more

It appears as though the lineup will change here and there throughout the tour, with some artists only appearing in certain cities. And it looks like they’re still adding to the roster right up until the event. Detailed information about tickets, each city’s venue and artist lineup, and more, see the DigiTour Facebook page.

Tickets start as low as $10. For most tour stops, there are also three VIP packages you can purchase:

  • $24.99 gets you a Ticket, Digital Package (whatever that is), and Collectible Laminate
  • $49.99 gets you the Ticket, Digital Package, Collectible Laminate, & a Tee Shirt (so… $25 more gets you a t-shirt, yikes!)
  • $64.99 gets you all the above, plus backstage access

Bigger Picture

I’m a tiny bit worried about this tour, for one big reason. Most of these YouTube stars are used to getting hundreds of thousands of views (if not millions) within days of each of their video releases. And yet, none of the DigiTour videos–almost all of which star the artists who will be included on the tour–has many views at all. The most-viewed of the lot is two months old, and sits at 70,000 views.

So it could mean that people don’t know about this thing yet–which might suggest the YouTube stars aren’t tapping into their built-in audience enough… or that YouTube themselves haven’t done enough to promote it—a Google News search for “DigiTour” at the time of this writing returns a whopping three results. It’s possible they have a bigger promotional push planned in the coming weeks—but if that’s the case, they’d better get it in gear, because the Tour begins on April 12th.

Of course, the low view count could mean something much more foreboding: viewers don’t care about DigiTour. And I’m really worried that’s the real reason.

We love our favorite online video stars… but are we ready to put them on the same level as Dave Matthews Band or U2 or any of our favorite musical acts? I’m not so sure we are. It used to be a lot tougher for a television star to cross over into movies, because television was seen as a junior medium to the silver screen. That’s not the case anymore, as we’ve seen enough evidence in that last several decades that networks are just as capable as Hollywood studios of delivering a top-quality entertainment experience. I think YouTube is on a similar path, but is currently at a much earlier point in the timeline… it’s still seen as a junior medium by most viewers–or a medium not to be taken too seriously.

But that will change. You know it and I know it. It’s just a matter of time. As the quality of video content online grows, so too will the audience’s respect for the medium and its stars. And that can only happen through experiments like Life In A Day and now the DigiTour.


I have no idea what this eclectic bunch of video creators is going to put together for this tour. It could be fantastic and it could be a train wreck–most of these artists have little experience performing live. Either way, I’ll be sure to document it for you. There’s a tour stop in Nashville, and I plan to check it out so I can report back to our readers (maybe Mark can spring for the $69.99 package). I’ll be hoping for the best, but cautiously so… I think the days of YouTube stars being equal to traditional musicians and actors are coming… but they’re still a little ways off.


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