Jamie Morton

Jamie Morton is science reporter at the NZ Herald.

Kiwis cashing in on YouTube hits (+ videos)

YouTube musician Matt Mulholland in his Wellington Studio. Photo / Mark Mitchell
YouTube musician Matt Mulholland in his Wellington Studio. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Kiwis are cashing in on their own YouTube clips to create full-time jobs for themselves.

More than 100 New Zealand "video bloggers" have so far joined YouTube's Partner Programme, which was first offered to producers of popular content and has been extended to everyone in the 20 countries where it's available.

It rewards owners of most-watched clips by sharing profits from advertising that runs alongside their videos, or vlogs.

The number of members earning more than $1000 each month has tripled in the past year.

The man behind one of New Zealand's most subscribed YouTube channels, Wellington comedian and musician Matt Mulholland, would not reveal how much he is earning, but expects a new development project launched last week will soon be his sole source of income.

He said signing up to the "Next Vlogger" programme would provide him free equipment and $10,000 of start-up advertising.

"The whole point of it is to build your channel up to a bigger point and that will be my plan to get the money coming in."

Mr Mulholland said he had a taste of the website's potential when one of his early videos - a cover of Beyonce's If I Were a Boy - garnered hundreds of hits.

"But the one I found super-surprising was a multi-track of the Ghostbusters theme ... that was the first one to get a couple of hundred thousand views in the first few days."

Because of copyright, he can profit only from his original material, but that's already what he wants to do with a second channel.

"Now I'm just doing what I want to do and hopefully people will continue to watch. It just makes it more fun that way."

He admitted the concept of full-time vlogging seemed impossible a decade ago.

"Now it's slowly becoming an actual possibility and it's awesome. The biggest appeal for me is I can go anywhere in the world, and as long as I have a camera with me, I can be making money."

Wellington travel vlogger Andrew Strugnell, who is developing YouTube NZ communities on Facebook and Google +, says his goal is to make a full-time job out of YouTube.

"Over the last four or five months I've been stepping up my game and I want to tackle the challenge of climbing the partner programme to become successful on YouTube."

Mr Strugnell hopes to boost New Zealand's YouTube profile during a three-month vlogging trip around Canada and the US.

Natalie Tran, Australia's most successful vlogger, is pulling in more than $100,000 a year from her parody videos.

YouTube spokeswoman Kate Mason said vlogging had become one of the fastest-growing YouTube trends to date, with an increasing number of Kiwis broadcasting themselves to the world.

Matt Mulholland's YouTube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/user/mattmulholland26

Matt Muholland's 'Ghostbusters' cover:

Andrew Strugnell's YouTube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/strugsnotdrugs

New Zealand Anthem on helium by Andrew Strugnell

- NZ Herald

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