You may or may not have heard of Fred, but it doesn’t really matter, as many people have. In fact, Fred is probably the hottest thing on YouTube right now, with the possible exception of Avril Lavigne who is about to overtake The Evolution Of Dance as most watched video ever.
Which is pretty amazing seeing as Fred is just the 6-year-old alter-ego of a 14-year-old kid from Nebraska. And all he does is speak in a squeaky voice and mug to camera.
Who, What, Why?
So why the success? And where has it come from all of a sudden? Fred is one of those Internet phenomenons that seem to come from nowhere and blind side you with their sudden and unexplained appearance.
Created In 2006
Fred has actually been around in video form since 2006 when Lucas Cruikshank began making videos with his two cousins, Katie and John Smet. But nothing much happened until a few months ago when he exploded on to the scene.
For those of you who haven’t got a clue who or what I am talking about, I wrote a short piece on the kid over on WebTVHub, which gives you an introduction to the character without any real details of who he is or where he came from.
Why The Fuss?
You may be wondering what the fuss is all about, and rightly so. But Fred’s YouTube channel is now the fourth most subscribed to channel in the history of the site, with over 250,000 subscribers.
What’s amazing about Fred’s rise to dominance is that Cruikshank is just one kid, writing, directing, producing and uploading his own little skits to a site, and all done using basic video equipment.
The Evolution Of YouTube
But for all that, Fred has had about 23 million video views on the site during May, which has earned Cruikshank an estimated $16,000. He has also earned another $14,000 for non-Fred clips on YouTube.
What Fred’s success shows is: even the simplest (and some would say dumbest) ideas have a possibility of succeeding using new media, and the old guard is over. A 14-year-old kid is showing what can be done using a basic idea, some video equipment and a desire to get noticed.
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