Blink and you’ll miss it: it’s 2018 already!
What a year 2017 has been for the UK YouTube community – we simply can’t believe it’s already over! And through it all TenEighty has been here to cover the ups and downs, the big and small successes, and elevate creators and discussion points within this creative online world.
Our big interviews
We kicked off the year with the internet’s favourite twins, Niki and Sammy Albon. Hanging out in a storage unit full of neon artwork, we chatted about what it’s like working with your sibling, their quest into presenting, and that time they filmed a video with former Labour leader Ed Miliband.
For LGBTQ+ month, we caught up with Connie Glynn and had an unapologetically gorgeous pink photoshoot in an American style diner just outside of London. She opened up about her journey to becoming part of the YouTube community, as well as her relationship with femininity and pansexuality.
In July we spoke to Rose Ellen Dix and Rosie Spaughton about – well, everything! The couple talked openly about their marriage, LGBTQ+ tokenism when working with brands, as well as some… interesting incidents backstage on their tour.
For our annual print edition, released in August, we managed to catch Joe Sugg for an interview! He was very candid about his origins (and bringing out shoe horns), discussing his journey from building roofs to building his own mini media empire.
As autumn rolled in, Josh Pieters stopped by to talk about how his career in professional cricket eventually led him to the path of YouTube fame and everything in between.
And rounding up the year, we chatted to Scola Dondo in November. She talked passionately and candidly about the YouTube community, diversity online and body image. Holding nothing back, it’s one of the frankest interviews we’ve had this year.
Sweeping up success
With each year that passes it seems more and more of our fave creators are having staggering success or embarking on incredible projects. It’s getting increasingly difficult to pinpoint the particular achievements we’re proudest of. Nonetheless, we’ve given it our best: here’s a snapshot of some of the projects and YouTubers that smashed it in 2017!
Dan Hardcastle raised an incredible £17,000 for Comic Relief in his 10 hour livestream, exceeding his original goal by 240%! He also trialled a new way of uploading in a Netflix style, releasing all 21 episodes of his Planet Coaster playthrough in one day. Dan’s other project is an upcoming book – which we chatted to him about here.
Jacob Collier, who’s been posting his compositions on YouTube since 2011, won two Grammy awards in the Jazz categories: Best Arrangement (Instrumental or Acapella) for his cover of the Flintstones theme song and Best Arrangement (Instrumentals and Vocals) for original track You and I.
Connie Glynn released her debut book, Undercover Princess, in her series The Rosewood Chronicles. It’s a five-part young adult series following the adventures of roommates Lottie Pumpkin and Ellie Wolf (Princess of Maradova) as they navigate school, teenagehood and magical realism. Here’s everything you need to know about the book. Connie also went on a three-date book tour from Edinburgh to London.
Celebrating their ninth anniversary as a comedy duo, we recounted our favourite moments from Jack Howard and Dean Dobbs. Jack and Dean of All Trades was renewed for a second season which screened in 2017. Sadly, this was their final season as Fullscreen shut down – however, you can relive the best moments from the series here.
Speaking of shows on Fullscreen, Hazel Hayes put a creepy twist on the world of YouTube pranksters with her original series PrankMe, and we gave you everything you needed to know before diving straight in.
Riyadh Khalaf presented and produced a six-part documentary series called Queer Britain for BBC Three. Exploring what it means to be LGBTQ+ in the UK today, the show is an emotional roller coaster – check out our favourite moments. To end the year, he announced his upcoming book, that he hopes will be “a life bible for young gay boys”.
Our favourite YouTube power couple Rose and Rosie took to the road with their Exposed tour, bringing a live show of improv, meet and greets and unpredictable fun across the country. They also scooped the Best British Vlogger award at BBC Radio 1’s Teen Awards.
Sean McLoughlin, better known online as Jacksepticeye, had his tour debut with the Game Grumps, taking their show across Europe and the UK for live gaming with the audience. And he topped off the year raising over $260,00 for charity with his Christmas livestream.
Dan Howell and Phil Lester announced a brand new world tour for 2018, Interactive Introverts. After the success of The Amazing Tour Is Not On Fire, we can’t wait to see what they have planned. They also released a board game, Truth Bombs: something to keep you entertained in the queue for the show?
Emma Blackery dropped her EP Magnetised in March and went on tour – you can read our favourite moments from the tour here. Her debut book Feel Good 101 became a bestseller and her EP was featured at Apple’s launch for the iPhone X.
dodie released her EP You in July, touring the UK to bring her music to the nation. Throughout the year, she released music videos for You (directed by Bertie Gilbert) and 6/10 (directed by Sammy Paul). Her debut book and audio book, Secrets for the Mad, were also released this year!
Sex education guru Hannah Witton released her book Doing It. She toured three cities, selling out her London show, and was invited to speak at the Southbank Centre’s London Literature Festival. She also picked up the Book of the Year gong at the Summer in the City Awards.
It’s been quite a year for Carrie Hope Fletcher! She won BroadwayWorld’s Best Actress for her portrayal of Truly Scrumptious, released her second novel and a book tour, and sold out her upcoming solo concerts in a matter of hours. To end the year, she starred in the musical The Christmasaurus, a stage adaptation of her brother Tom Fletcher’s children’s book.
So many achievements, and those are just the ones we’ve listed! Please give us a second to redo our new year resolutions…
The nuts and bolts of 2017
It’s no doubt that this year gave us a metric tonne of online material to pour over. From breaking news to featured debates and discussions, here are the highlights of this year’s coverage.
Felix Kjellberg found himself at the centre of controversy early this year with a now-deleted video depicting him using a website called Fiverr to pay two young men from South-East Asia to hold up a sign reading “Death to all Jews” while shouting “Subscribe to Keemstar”.
The stunt led to Felix being dropped from his network, Maker Studios, the cancellation of his YouTube Red series and, consequently, the dissipation of his own company Revelmode. Creators and fans alike weighed in on the issue, some chastising him for normalising anti-semitic remarks and others coming to his defence for what they claimed to be satirical humour out of context.
In February, an article published by The Guardian struck up notable conversation within the community. The piece, Zoe Sugg: the vlogger blamed for declining teenage literacy, accused Zoe Sugg of using her own alleged self-obsession as a marketing tool to exploit young viewers. Numerous creators flocked to her defence, citing the the article’s selective omission of Zoe’s book club as well as the unsubstantiated headline.
For LGBTQ+ History month, TenEighty looked at how YouTube could help combat bisexual erasure. Speaking to Melanie Murphy, Savannah Brown, Courtney-Jai Niner, Rosie Spaughton, and Sammy Paul, the feature explored the pros and cons of using labels, legitimisation inside and outside the community, and normalising communication and education on the topic.
YouTube itself ran into a few controversies in 2017, primarily around the content it does and doesn’t restrict and monetise. YouTube’s restricted mode, a feature offered since 2010, came under fire after several LGBTQ+ creators reported that content featuring Queer titles and themes was being unfairly censored. Shortly after YouTube released an apology via the YouTube Creators twitter, which many found lacking, YouTube released a more in-depth blog post detailing the system’s current faults and how they were best trying to remedy them.
YouTube then later released a second blog post stating that the company had fixed an issue that was incorrectly filtering videos. During pride month, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki elaborated further on YouTube’s plans to make the platform more LGBTQ+ inclusive through video spotlights and continued partnerships with nonprofits like The Trevor Project.
News about restricted content didn’t end there. Videos under the guise of cartoons that featured violent and otherwise inappropriate content were reported, using popular children’s characters like Peppa Pig and Anna and Elsa from Disney’s Frozen to target children.
After a report from the BBC, YouTube released a statement recommending solutions such as using the YouTube Kids app and removing the search feature, reminding consumers that flagged videos are manually reviewed. When the issue resurfaced months later, YouTube stated that such content would be immediately age-restricted and demonetised but would require users to report said videos. YouTube also made a sizeable increase to their moderator staff, now at 10,000 members.
In May, the YouTube community raised money in the name of the victims of the Manchester Arena terrorist attack. Donation efforts organised by dodie, Luke Cutforth, and Social Chain, raised over £30,000. Several YouTubers recognised the victims on Twitter, some of which had also been active in the YouTube community.
The community also stood together in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire with the #YouTubers4Grenfell livestream. Organised by Em Ford, the stream was co-hosted by Niki and Sammy and featured performances from Bethan Leadley and Talia Mar. The JustGiving page raised over £5,000.
With the help of Lily Pebbles, Evan Edinger, Steven Bridges, and Daniel J. Layton, TenEighty tackled the ethicality of clickbait and its unique tie to success on the platform in Clickbait: Tactical or Unethical?.
2017 was the year of the Adpocalypse, and in August we spoke with Sam Saffold-Geri, Jake Edwards, and Leena Normington about why sudden drops in Adsense revenue may be driving creators to crowdfunding sites like Patreon.
HelloWorld took place in October and hit news headlines with a noticeable force. The event was advertised as an “epic four-hour, immersive live show like nothing on Earth”, and boasted some of the highest profile UK creators from Louise Pentland to Alfie Deyes.
However, immense criticism came both during and after the event with several attendees concerned about poor organisation and overpriced tickets. While the HelloWorld lineup largely defended the event, others like Jana Damanhouri openly criticised the event’s poor communication, preferential treatment, and lack of diversity.
We explored the topic of meetups further in our feature The Creator/Viewer Divide. The feature delved into the unique power dynamic between creator and viewer and the atmosphere of YouTube meet-and-greets, with both creators and viewers weighing in on the growing celebrity status creators are earning (extrapolated on further in YouTube Goes Mainstream) and the impact that has on an interactive platform.
The holiday season began with a bit of a hiccup for Zoe Sugg in the form of her advent calendar. Controversially priced at £50, high street retailer Boots reduced the price down to £25 following widespread criticism from both fans and onlookers.
Jack Maynard was the first vlogger to be appear on popular ITV show I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here, and it initially seemed as though he’d take the jungle by storm. However, his stint on the show was short lived as Jack was removed from the show after The Sun reported homophobic and racist comments he had made on Twitter. Jack released an apology statement citing his personal growth since the time of those comments.
In November, Estée Lalonde was called out by a B&B for using their bedrooms for a sponsorship post without crediting them. While this sparked an interesting discussion among creators about relationships with small brands, The Reading Rooms ultimately apologised after several creators reached out in defence of Estée.
Wrapping up this year, TenEighty spoke to Carrie Hope Fletcher, Jack Howard, Tim Hautekiet, and Patty Walters in The Post Play Button Transition. The feature examined the intricacies of breaking ties with YouTube, moving on to other products, and the impact that has on the creator/viewer relationship.
Shining a light
As much as we like to keep you lot informed, we also dedicate a fair amount of time to keeping you entertained as well, and that means regularly curating the best content on YouTube for your viewing pleasure. Here’s some of our favorite highlights from 2017.
Five of the Best continued to capture top content in every niche, from mental health, to first uploads, to the most creative Halloween looks. We narrowed down our prestigious nominations for both the kings and queens of comedy, and lifted up women celebrating women. Looking for the best videos about YouTubers playing with fire? We, err, have you covered. And would it be 2017 if we didn’t dreamily reminisce on our favourite La La Land covers? We didn’t think so.
Our Weekly Round-Up has kept dedicated viewers up to date on some of the best content every week since TenEighty’s inception, and 2017 was no exception. This year saw an increasingly diverse selection with creators of varying orientation, race, and subscriber count, and we’ll be sure to continue capturing all of the voices represented on YouTube into 2018.
TenEighty also shone spotlights on creators who caught our eye in our Channel Spotlight. Creators like Maja Anushka, Sam Carr, Maddie Moate, Angela Innes, and Antoinette Belle each earned themselves a mini feature in the section.
We took a closer look at the work of Guy Larsen, whose portfolio moves from dodie music videos to refreshing, self-aware short films, and picked his brain about future forays into the film festival world.
TenEighty made a nod to AmeliaAce as well, highlighting her exceptional content surrounding education on asexuality.
We showcased the talents of Eilidh Gow, the filmmaker behind the channel ThatArtyGirl. While also creating content for BBC The Social, Eilidh’s channel has become home to experimentation and self-expression through travel vlogs, shorts, and monthly scrapbooks.
DoodleTube, an art collective founded by Guy Larsen, Matt Ley, and Chloe Dungate, nagged a showcase as well. Though the group does not have a YouTube channel yet, their Twitter feed is a hub for flourishing internet artists of all mediums. “DoodleTube is open to everyone and I hope it becomes a place where artists feel at home,” says Chloe.
Hitting up the events
The YouTube community have been all over the country – and the world – attending conventions, talking at panels and bringing the YouTube world to real life.
In February, Niche hosted #CreatorDay at Twitter HQ in London, for a day of talks and panels on authenticity, staying power, working with brands, and ping pong! Online coverage on the official @TwitterUK account was hosted by Lucy and Lydia Cornell.
2017 saw the debut of Vidcon Europe! We headed over the canals of Amsterdam to cover the event. Some of the panels we covered include Kickass Women Doing Kickass Things and LGBTQ+ in Online Video, and you can read our full recap here.
In May, we weaved through the many Suicide Squad cosplayers to attend VidFest at MCM London Comic Con!
Jumping across the pond, TenEighty covered the fifth annual Buffer Festival in Canada, featuring screenings from creators such as Taha Khan, Adrian Bliss, Calum McSwiggan, Hazel Hayes and Ridydh Khalaf.
HelloWorld made its debut this year, promising to be a “the world’s first fully immersive live show”. While it was a controversial topic within the community, TenEighty were there recapping the whole event, and catching up with the likes of Marcus Butler, Oli White, KSI, and Rose and Rosie.
Despite all this fun, the big homecoming event for the UK YouTube community was, as always, was Summer in the City in August. Across the three day weekend, we sold our fourth physical magazine and covered 33 panels and events.
You can relive the weekend with our top ten moments here or find out who picked up a prestigious Summer in the City Award here, but if you wanted dive deeper, we recommend our recaps of the Ethnicity Online, YouTube Honesty Hour, LGBTQ+ and Smaller YouTubers panels (where our very own Gemma Dunnell was randomly selected from the audience to participate!).
We also paid tribute to the forgotten heroes of conventions: the dads. The dads who drive their kids to the event, make sure they’re fed and watered, and comfort their offspring when they met their favs, despite having no idea who they are. Here’s to the sad dads of Summer in the City!
Let’s get silly
Two things that are great on their own are always better together right? Well, perhaps not with food (dairy milk and spag bol sandwich, anyone?), but definitely with fandoms. This year we cast our favourite creators as characters from the Harry Potter and Doctor Who universes, and we think the results were pretty fitting.
Did somebody say listicles? …yes? Well we’ve got plenty of those! From seven YouTubers slaying their Instagram game; to nine times Louis Cole’s travel videos gave us wanderlust; and eight times Jamie Jo’s art blew us away; what about our seven favourite Caspar Lee pranks?; or our ten favourite episodes of Tipsy Talk?; maybe six times Gary C and Pete Bucknall were BFF goals?; or nine times Phil Lester was too precious for this world?. Ok, we may have gone overboard in 2017…
dodie killed it online this year, and TenEighty was sure to document all the ways she took over the world in 2017. She also made an appearance (among other TenEighty faves) in our seven favourite YouTube housemates as well as in our favourite moments in the beloved series Baking with Layton. This girl really is everywhere, isn’t she?
The Nintendo Switch release sure made a splash this year across several online communities, and YouTubers were no exception. Several reactions were well-documented at the Nintendo Switch event early this year, and we only got more emotional when everyone got their hands on the console’s debut title The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Alternatively, we could’ve titled the article “Dean Dobbs Gets A Bit Teary-Eyed”, but hey, could we really blame him?
Speaking of some hardcore gaming, we couldn’t look past our favourite moments from Dan and Phil’s Sims 4 series. If you’re not emotionally invested in the Howlter family’s antics by now, we think you might be doing YouTube wrong.
In the spirit of looking back, we went deep into the Twitter archives and unearthed YouTuber’s very first tweets. Can’t get enough of our Twitter coverage? Luckily we’ve started collecting our favourite tweets of the week. Them YouTubers are a funny bunch!
TenEighty smashed it
TenEighty itself has achieved so much in 2017, so excuse us while we take a moment to share what we’re most proud of.
We released our fourth annual print magazine in August, with an exclusive interview with Joe Sugg: it was a pleasure to have him. Across 76 pages, the publication includes the very best of our articles from the previous year. Copies of the magazine are still available here on our BigCartel store.
And of course, with another year come and gone, our TenEighty family has only gotten bigger! We now have over 50 regular contributors and, fortunately, this meant we’ve been able to up our game in the spotlight department.
Launching in June, our Spotlight section got its own tab with two sparkly sections: Channel Spotlight and Video Spotlight. TenEighty is committed to shining a light on up-and-coming talent and through this section we can do just that. Whether it’s channels who are smashing it but we feel deserve recognition and a larger reach, or videos that are worthy of more in depth look.
Finally, our crowning jewel has to be the TenEighty Yearbook 2017, a stunning photoshoot with as many YouTubers we could find backstage at Summer in the City. This is only the second time we’ve done this and we wanted to make sure we upped our game from 2016.
We completely owe this to photographer Dave Bird, who organised, transported equipment, took the snaps and edited them. We even managed to turn over the photoshoot within a week of the event. Thank you to Summer in the City for allowing us a space backstage and the 80+ creators who took part.
The photos are all quite nice to look at, so if you’re feeling particularly reminiscent after this article, we’d definitely recommend the gallery as an apt remedy.
Here’s to 2018!
All that’s really left to say is thank you – our readers – for sticking with us throughout this year. We’re passionate about the world of YouTube, just like you, and will continue to champion all the talented creators within the UK community. So don’t worry, we’ll be here throughout 2018 and hopefully bigger and better than ever before. We’re not going anywhere, and neither should you.
Want more? Read some of the our the articles mentioned above, or our reviews of previous years:
- TenEighty Yearbook 2017
- Joe Sugg: Living The Sugg Life
- Rose and Rosie: Open, Loud, and Proud
- The Creator/Viewer Divide
- The Post Play Button Transition
- 2016 on TenEighty in Review
- 2015 on TenEighty in Review
- 2014 on TenEighty in Review