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To the uninitiated the following names may mean little, but if you want to retain your credibility with the next generation, take note of Tanya Burr, Thatcher Joe, Marcus Butler, Jim Chapman, Caspar Lee, Sprinkle of Glitter, Pointless Blog, the Saccone Jolys and of course Zoella.This little lot are the superstars of British vlogging.But Gleam’s top stars now make a living as a result of their vlogging.In fact they make more than enough to pay the bills despite it not being their primary motivation. ‘The only difference between it being my job and not being my job is that I have more time to put into it.‘We try to make the most of what they have on You Tube while planting seeds for the future.’ But for some of Gleam’s stars those seeds have already borne fruit.
‘This is about establishing them in this new medium and giving them the tools and opportunities to achieve a long, illustrious, respected career,’ he says.‘I was amazed by their power – to publish a video on You Tube and be in the top five or 10 being watched in the world almost straightaway, right up there with Ferraris crashing, man falls out of tree naked and dogs on skateboards.’ Soon he was helping them with commercial decisions, and now they are among the biggest names on Gleam’s books.The British vlogging community is close-knit, and through recommendations Gleam’s roster has grown into a who’s who of You Tube’s leading lights.To those who use Facebook purely to keep up with old friends and still struggle with the concept of Twitter, this new kind of celebrity can be baffling. ‘The big talent can’t go out shopping without being stopped multiple times in any British city – or indeed the world,’ Dominic Smales, the founder of Gleam Futures, a social media talent agency that manages the careers of this new breed of celebrity, says. Having worked for a production company that creates content for digital consumption, he saw the potential and left to start Gleam in 2010.‘I was fascinated by the way the distribution platforms were changing from television and radio networks to social media,’ he says.
‘It was just beginning to be massive.’After three months in business Smales was managing Pixiwoo, two sisters from Norwich who give online make-up tutorials and makeovers.