By Courtney Echerd
Just What Is A Vine Star?
To be honest, being a “vine star”, as they are called, sounds pretty ideal to me. The “stars” get some of the perks of stardom (freebies and getting paid to be funny), but, I would guess, vine stars do not get mobbed at the grocery store or recognized everywhere they go.
There’s also several different ways famous or popular Viners can bring in money. The first is probably the most obvious – advertising.
Brands will pay top dollar for their name to be mentioned or their product to be shown in a Vine post. Vine stars also can count on big money from appearances. Just like any other celebrity, famous Viners have very loyal, and often very obsessed, fan bases. Every year there are dozens of video, Vine, and other internet conventions where fans can buy tickets to meet their favorite Vine stars or see them perform. Another tried-and-true way for Vine stars to make money is selling merchandise. Vine stars often have a tagline or catchphrase from their vines which they then put on mugs, hats, shirts, just about anything. Like I mentioned, Vine stars often have diehard fanbases that eat this merchandise up.
Vine stars can make up to $40,000 for one 6-second vine post. Despite all these ways to monetize their craft, some of Vine’s most prominent stars have still chosen to head out of the Vine industry.
Where Are They Headed?
It is important to note that viners, at the root,are truly content creators, just like us. They have to place their content where it will perform best, and for some creators, that platform is no longer Vine.
Take Andrew Bachelor, for instance. Bachelor boasts almost 16 million Vine followers and is estimated to be worth around 2.8 million dollars. Bachelor recently posted a Vine-style video on another social media platform, Facebook, and kept it from Vine. While Bachelor’s fame comes from Vine, he stated that he no longer sees it as “crucial”.
Another Vine celebrity, Logan Paul, is also on his way out, despite his 9.3 million count following. Paul, like many other famous Viners, feels that Vine has “plateaued”, was merely his start, and does not allow much room for growth as a content creator. Vine was essentially his introduction to the entertainment world, aiding him in landing parts in movies, commercials, and TV shows.
For many content creators and their managers, Vine is no longer a platform they can count on. Executive John Shahidi has helped several Vine stars further their career outside of Vine and feels, “Vine never really was dependable…I would not put our brain energy or focus into making anything exclusively for Vine anymore.”
How Does This Affect Vine?
Vine’s momentum has been slowed. Around 5,000 of vine’s most popular actors, athletes, and public figures have stopped producing content, and those who do rarely post content exclusively for Vine anymore. The content more often than not also makes an appearance on the user’s’ Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Tumblr accounts.
Vine’s user count is dropping substantially. From my perspective, Vine has developed somewhat of a cult following. Those who still watch Vines do so religiously, but there is a small amount of my very tech-oriented friends who even still have the app downloaded, much less check it as frequently as they would check Snapchat or Instagram.
Vine’s best days seem to be in the past, as its novelty has worn off. Vine’s target demographic has moved to Snapchat, where users can add fun lenses to their faces or put their videos in slow motion, and to Instagram, where videos are allowed to be 15 seconds (nine seconds longer than Vine) and there are a multitude of colorful filters to choose from. Meanwhile, Vine still offers essentially the same limited features it did at its early 2013 launch. Vine has also been described as a much more hostile online environment than other social media platforms, such as Instagram.
I mentioned earlier that depending on the promotion, Vine stars can earn some big bucks for their posts. While that incentive is alluring, Vine offers have been outshone by other platforms. Facebook offered Vine star Andrew Bachelor and several other Vine stars very appealing contracts, shelling out $119,000 for the content creators’ live videos. Facebook and YouTube provide so many perks for their creators that producing content can become the user’s career, rather than just a hobby.
So, tell us! Do you think that Vine stars are making wise moves for their career or should they stick to their roots? Tweet us at @FirstCom_Music