David Dobrik Is Again On YouTube. However Will His Tens of millions Return, Too?


David Dobrik was one of YouTube’s brightest stars – with 18.3 million subscribers – before a sexual one … [+] The attack scandal last spring forced him to pause his channel. (Photo by Steven Ferdman / Getty Images)

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David Dobrik recently traveled to Hawaii with a dozen of his friends. They swam, they lay in the sun, they drove around, they ziplined, they rode a boat, they played around on a golf course, drank and filmed the excursion.

The highlights of the trip were posted on YouTube on Tuesday to mark Dobrik’s return from exile. He completely disappeared from social media since March after accusing one of the cast on his YouTube channel of sexual assault.

The trip to the South Pacific was typical Dobrik: great, wild and apparently expensive. The latter is perhaps the most interesting element as Dobrik’s once significant business has been decimated in recent months.

Almost all of Dobrik’s major sponsors have left him, brands like SeatGeek, EA and HelloFresh. YouTube demonized its YouTube page and freed it from the shared advertising revenue that normally makes up the bulk of a YouTube star’s revenue. His podcast went off the air. He no longer posts on TikTok, where he received funds from the company’s Creator Fund, a cash pool that is paid out to a select few stars based on the popularity of their videos. And he left the Dispo photo-sharing app he founded, which had recently received a valuation of around $ 200 million.

These sources of income accounted for nearly three-quarters of the $ 15.5 million he made in the 12 months ending December 2020, making him one of the highest-paid YouTubers.

Dobrik has a particular style of video: the expensive stunt. He likes to give away cars and loses $ 48,000 a night in Las Vegas. It’s a genre that will be hard to maintain if the dollars don’t come back.

YouTube stars have proven to be pretty Teflon in the past. The Paul brothers are still there despite numerous controversies and are currently enjoying a second life in the boxing ring. Gamer PewDiePie still makes millions despite anti-Semitic remarks in the past. While makeup vloggers James Charles and Jeffree Star have weathered allegations of inappropriate relationships, they continue to bet millions.

Her staying power is a comment on the difference between social media celebrities and traditional ones. Category 1 stars can use YouTube and other platforms to build and maintain a direct relationship with their fans, making it easier to stage comebacks and get paychecks back. (YouTube only temporarily demonized Dobrik and didn’t rule out turning it back on.) Old-school stars don’t have the same skill: if they get in trouble and then get the boot of their hit TV show, stand in front of the camera again not as easy as putting off an iPhone, flying to Hawaii, uploading it to YouTube and hoping everyone overheard the scandal.

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