Forget auditioning and waiting for a big break. Today’s stars are more likely to be found harnessing the power of social media, writes Jack van Beynen.
WHENweatherman Jim Hickey turned up for his first day at Television New Zealand in 1988, he was taking up a position at the cutting edge of broadcasting.
Thirty years on and Hickey’s daughter, 24-year-old Sally Jo, is a pioneer broadcaster in her own right: she’s a professional YouTuber with 202,000 subscribers.
And she is not alone. As of March, there were 99 Kiwi YouTubers hosting channels boasting 100,000 or more subscribers.
Young people are growing up with dreams of becoming YouTubers and it’s hardly surprising, New Zealand’s top YouTube channel earns between $400,000 and $6 million a year in paid advertising through the Google-owned company’s videosharing platform.
Back in the day, Hickey attracted TVNZ’s attention through acting work in shows and commercials.
‘‘Someone just rang me . . . and said, ‘Look, we’re auditioning because we’re moving into the digital age’,’’.
The ‘‘digital age’’ involved graphics on a green screen and TVNZ wanted new faces to front this bold new development.
His daughter needed no audition to win a spot on Youtube, she