Video services on the Net
Germany, your YouTube stars!

The Youtube Generation

What do the most successful German Youtube stars have in common? At first glance, hard to say. Their formats are varied: music, comedy, tutorials, interviews. But there is a key to success: authenticity. And it has many faces.

Y-Titty – the name is derived form the abbreviation „Y. T. D.“ for "Youtube Dummies". The three boys of the comedy team Y-Titty, however, do everything right: they are currently the hottest Youtube channel in Germany – more than 2.7 million Youtube users are subscribers.

Y-Titty started small. In their free time, the three boys produced videos that they found funny. Gradually, their humour found more and more followers: a fan base grew steadily. Today Y-Titty no longer produce their videos in their own flat, but use a production company in a studio.

A hobby became a profession: their music has landed on the charts and they now go on concert tours. “Youtube has become a movement and we’ve been able to become a part of it”, says Y-Titty in interviews. As if they could not quite understand why they have gone down so well with users.

Personal style developed over years

The success can be explained by several factors. First, comedy and musical parody, such as Y-Titty do, are successful genres on Youtube. But they are by no means the only ones: interview programmes and tutorials also find many fans. Y-Titty, however, manages to do what all successful Youtubers, each in his or her own way, do: they speak the language of their young audience, without having to dissemble it.

“As a rule, Youtube stars have in common that they succeed very well in addressing their target group. An important factor here is the authenticity of the actors and their experience, which they have usually developed over many years”, says Bertram Gugel, media analyst and expert on internet TV and video services on the Net.

Other top German self-made comedy and musical acts that are particularly successful on Youtube in Germany are the channels Die Aussenseiter (i.e., The Outsiders) and freshaltefolie (i.e., clingfilm). Another audience segment is served by the channel Gronkh: The team plays computer games and explains how you can best game your way from level to level. A simple concept, which has enthralled many Youtube users. With 2.5 million subscribers, the channel belongs to the most successful Youtube channels in Germany.

Youtube amateurs in Germany, who later become popular and professionally marketed, benefit from the lack of competition on the internet: in Germany the Youtube channels of TV stations are often still in their infancy. “In contrast to the American market, in Germany, with the exception of musicians, there are hardly any successful offers from classical producers and media companies”, says Bertram Gugel. Thus some channels look like alternatives to the classical television programme. Casual and unabashed instead of stiff and stale is the motto.

The jump from the internet to television

Young & Naïve – Politics for the Indifferent is one of these unconventional Youtube formats. Blogger Tilo Jung meets politicians, experts and company representatives to discuss socially relevant issues and confronts them with very “naïve”, easily understandable questions. He consistently addresses his interlocutors by their first names and asks them right off who they are – even if he is interviewing the social democratic candidate for federal chancellor, Peer Steinbrück.

The effect: the person interviewed cannot, as on other talk shows, slip into empty phrases. He is forced to give specific answers. With currently 6,800 subscribers the programme is not particularly successful, but it has caused quite a stir in the media industry. Laudatory newspaper articles and Web reviews have made Young & Naïve known, so that its maker Tilo Jung can now get hold of more prominent interlocutors. Finally, the show made it into television: it is now on the youth channel Joiz Germany.
To be somewhat different from the rest, throw conventions overboard and be deliberately amateurish and so authentic and real – this seems to be the recipe for success on Youtube in Germany. If the videos then find enough followers, the career of a professional, remunerated Youtube star beckons. And in the end perhaps the award of the Web Video Prize or an invitation to the annual Youtube gathering Videoday. Both events were launched in 2013 and show that the scene is becoming more and more professional and gaining in importance.