Ryan, like other kids, enjoys riding his bike, playing with toy trains and cars. At three and a half years old, Ryan's mother started uploading his toy unboxing videos to YouTube for sharing, which was sought after by many children-which allowed Ryan to earn a total of 22 million between June 2017 and June 2018. The US dollar (about 150 million yuan) became the YouTube star with the highest income on the Forbes list that year, and in 2017 it ranked eighth with 11 million US dollars.
Currently, home channel Ryan ToysReview has more than 20 million subscribers and 30 billion total video views: When it all happened to an 8-year-old Texas boy (now living in Los Angeles, California), it was amazing Curious about his success.
The youngest star on YouTube
The phenomenon of shooting toy videos on YouTube is not new. In the fall of 2013, a channel called DisneyCollecterBR entered the top 10 most popular channels. It is run by an adult woman who never shows up. During the video, only the toys were unboxed and close-up shots. In the summer of 2014, she often topped the list of the most popular channels in the United States.
Once the child becomes the protagonist of this video, this type of enthusiasm will soar. In March 2015, just as Ryan's family was launching their channel, media reported another family who made money by sharing videos of children playing with toys. According to the Guardian, 20 of the top 100 channels on YouTube are about toys, generating more than 4.5 billion views a month. Before Ryan came to the camera, he was also an audience.
After watching other toy review channels (such as EvanTubeHD), Ryan created the home channel Ryan ToysReview in March 2015 and did not get much attention initially. But about four months later, the channel released a video called "GIANT Lightning McQueen Egg Surprise with 100+ Disney Cars Toys" (a huge Disney surprise egg with more than 100 Cars) cars, and viewed It's climbing exponentially every month.
In the end, Ryan's mother quit her job as a high school chemistry teacher and devoted herself to the YouTube channel.
In less than two years, Ryan ToysReview has 5.5 million subscribers, more than two channels that inspired him. Ryan ’s channel complements this weird new art, a mix of personal video blogging and “unboxing” videos. The American tech media The Verge described the channel as “a fusion of innocent children ’s comedy and ruthless, overwhelming Consumerism."
Ryan ToysReview channel subscription data (Figure · influencer)
In the first half of 2016, Ryan ToysReview became the most popular channel on YouTube and the second largest channel in the world. It is more attractive than household stars like PewDiePie and Justin Bieber, and media empires such as BuzzFeed, The Tonight Show and WWE.
In 2017, Ryan's parents signed an agreement with pocket.watch. pocket.watch is an entrepreneurial kids media company founded in 2016. pocket.watch provides marketing and merchandise for Ryan's YouTube channel.
In 2018, Ryan ToysReview partnered with pocket.watch and WildWorks to create an app called Tag with Ryan, an endless parkour game for iOS and Android platforms.
In 2019, Ryan ToysReview and pocket.watch produced a 20-episode TV series for preschoolers called Ryan's Mystery Playdate.
Over time, evaluation is no longer limited to one or two brands, and the multi-brand mix has become the norm, which has brought more entrances for the acquisition of video traffic. In the second video, Ryan has a maximum of two toys. Gradually, the video has developed into a collection of dozens of toys. Among the most popular clips posted on the channel, Ryan got more than a hundred toys at a time. Ryan played with each toy for a few seconds, and in the end he walked over a bunch of toys that had just been opened and quickly discarded, shoveling them together.
The channel often turns the names of four or five toys into the title of each video, and extends hundreds of words in the video description, with dozens of them linking to brand-name merchandise. "His parents are very smart," said TubeFilter founder Cohen. "They are playing with toys that Ryan likes, but they also showed him toys that are popular on YouTube."
The Washington Post has concluded in the feature that many of the video titles of Ryan ToysReview include the capital "SURPRISE" (surprise):
"GIANT EGG SURPRISE"
"HUGE EGGS SURPRISE TOYS CHALLENGE" (Huge Egg Surprise Toy Challenge)
"BALLOON POP SURPRISE"
"SURPRISE TOYS Giant Ball Pit Challenge"
You may find it very boring to use repetitive words, but in fact, as Ryan's mother pointed out in an interview, their largest audience is children aged 3-7, which is exactly what they need. And a successful market.
YouTube stars are driving retail
Ryan has influenced the toy industry, and the toy industry is also aware of this problem. Ryan's toy reviews, especially those with millions of views, can affect toy sales.
At the 2018 Toy Fair in New York, Ryan ToysReview partnered with pocket.watch and Bonkers Toys to announce a series of toys called Ryan's World. These toys were first sold exclusively at Walmart on August 6, 2018. Later sold on Target and Amazon.
"If a product gets 10 to 20 million views and you see Ryan like it, or other kids like it, it can have a huge impact on retail," commented websites Toys, Tots, Pets, and More CEO Jim Silver said. "He is the youngest successful man we have ever seen. When your child resonates with other children, this toy is on fire. Especially nowadays children love watching videos on their mobile phones."
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Motley Fool's toy industry analyst points out that this is a new, very creative and effective way, even if it is a subconscious form of advertising for toy companies. The nature of these videos also complements YouTube's broad target audience, and the algorithm happens to match the viewing habits of Ryan ToysReview viewers. Children watching such videos use YouTube longer than ordinary users.
Ryan ToysReview view data (Figure influencer)
Ryan's story is full of inspiration. According to public information, nothing in Ryan's family background can predict three or four years ago that they will achieve such success today. In this way, videos with toys as the main role of children are a new way of marketing. As a child, Ryan has an affinity for children who watch videos and his reaction to toys is relatively real, rather than making judgments like adult logic.
Videos with themes of out-of-the-box evaluation have become an important category of YouTube. Evaluation is not only about toys, but also other supplies such as mobile phones and cars. Such videos are influencing consumer decisions.