Forget American Idol and America’s Got Talent–YouTube is the biggest talent show in the world and the prize is way more than $1 million. Top YouTubers earn multiple millions by advertising to extremely loyal subscribers on their channels. And the media crossover is massive. One of the top attractions on this season’s Dancing With The Stars is YouTube sensation (that’s always what they’re called, sensations) Bethany Mota, who has more subscribers (7.3 million) than the New York Times. As the Internet continues to merge with TV as a consumer choice–blending so that the line between TV and Web is disappearing, look for TV stars to want to be YouTube sensations the way previous YouTube stars hoped to cross over into mass media (Justin Bieber, for example). The payscale may just flip.
This week, Fullscreen, a company that manages YouTube stars, sold a portion of itself for almost $300 million to Otter Media, which is co-owned by AT&T and the Chernin Group. Fullscreen clients get more than 4 billion pageviews a month. By way of comparison, Jon Stewart’s Daily Show has about 1.5 million viewers per night.