Are Vtubers the Future of Digital Content Creation?



Tomato sauce or ketchup, is the most typical type of condiment present in most households and of course, restaurants, worldwide. Although its manufacturing is almost simple, it can be made into an interesting video to watch through digital content creators and their creativity skills. Content creation has been the epitome of infotainment for the common man who moved from paper, radio, podcast, television, to mobile, tablet, laptop and computers among other digital devices, who often engage in social media platforms. Likewise, digital content creators or influencers have not only been shifting their work station through aforementioned mediums but are becoming non-human beings taking content creation completely into virtual reality. These content creators or influencers are Vtubers (virtual YouTubers), who are transforming content creation online by changing the way people look, sound and act.

However, the idea of anonymous influencers or content creators was not born yesterday, considering Marshmello, Gorillaz, or Corpse Husband constantly charming the world with their talent and online persona. Then there are Vocaloid idols, which have performed concerts in their virtual form in front of thousands of people since 2007. The same is being done by celebrities like Marshmello, Ariana Grande and Travis Scott, except that the concerts were entirely held in the virtual realm. Even the concept of Vtuber emerged during 2016, with Kizuna AI becoming the first virtual youtuber and eventually ascending into the Japan National Tourism Organization as its cultural ambassador. This was when the limelight shun on the Vtuber brand which again basked in fame thanks to Kaguya Luna and Mirai Akari, which became the 2nd and 3rd most popular Vtubers achieving beyond 5,00,000 subscribers after Kizuna AI.

Upon this burgeoning fame of Vtubers, business followed suit by founding agencies such as Nijisanji, VShojo and Hololive taking into emerging and popular Vtubers, rebranding them in unique marketable personas who livestream themselves by gaming for hours, cooking and even making short series videos among others. This opened up interactivity between Vtubers and their audience.

From YouTube to Twitch, From Japanese to English and Still Counting

These online personas began entering other platforms besides YouTube such as Twitch, TikTok, Facebook Gaming, Niconico, and Bilibili.

The majority of VTubers are Japanese, and the language is used for most of their material. However, all Japanese VTubers produce material that connects with an English-speaking audience as well. Since millions of people across the world watch anime and read manga, VTubers have a potential audience who crossed Japan and reached other parts of the globe. Other Asian nations like South Korea have seen a similar upsurge in the phenomena, which is now a significant component of popular culture there.

Unsurprisingly, the Covid-19 lockdown boosted a significant increase in VTubers' popularity. Numerous indoor events, such as concerts and conventions, were postponed, pooled masses of people to learn about VTubers. To exclusively reach English-speaking viewers for its sub-project HoloLive English, the VTuber entertainment production business Hololive Production launched its first five English-speaking VTubers in 2020.  But thanks to the strong mark carved by the pioneers, Vtubers like Gwar Gura, Mori Calliope, Ninomae Ina'nis, Takanashi Kiara, and Watson Amelia are now attracting English-speaking audience, while earning insanely high subscription counts. These reasons explain why the VTuber community has flourished.

Take Gawr Gura of the Hololive agency, who overtook Kizuna AI for the title of most subscribed VTuber with 2.97 million subscriptions, with over two million in just four months from debut. In fact, Gawr Gura still remains in the top 30 highest-earning YouTubers.

According to Market Watch, the global Vtuber market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 35.6 percent from $ 2804.7 million in 2022 to $ 17400 million by 2028. This is due to the economic shift brought on by COVID-19.


Now How do Vtubers Make Money?

Similar to how social media influencers and digital content creators earn income, the extent of VTubers' popularity is what draws in sponsorship offers. VTubers and content producers make money through donations, goods, and campaigns in addition to viewer donations, collaborations for significant advertising campaigns, and viewer donations.

The majority of VTubers rely on sponsorships, merchandise sales, and contributions for funding. The main source of income for VTubers is the advertising they run on their channels. They also receive a share of their money from running Super Chats or working with other VTubers.


The common method for animating a VTuber's avatar is to use a webcam and software to record the streamer's movements, facial expressions, and mouth movements and translate these to a two- or three-dimensional model. For loading models and performing motion capture, both free and paid programs have been created; some of these can be used without a webcam (though with pre-determined animations), and some of them additionally support virtual reality gear or hand tracking devices like the Leap Motion Controller. Some applications employ the infrared-illuminated sensor in iPhone smartphones, particularly those with Face ID, as an external webcam to capture motion more precisely.

Are Vtubers the Future of Digital Content Creation?

The boundaries between artificial intelligence and reality are blurred through VTubing, giving internet producers access to a universe of limitless possibilities. Although after there are fewer people with plenty of free time, the VTuber craze is still on the upswing. A huge amount of popularity also opens up marketing chances. It's become commonplace for fictitious characters to engage with actual people. Motion capture has been used extensively in video games and movies, and VTubers have evolved as a result of the technology's increased accessibility.

The VTuber craze is moving away from being a fringe phenomenon and toward being more mainstream thanks to the enormous popularity of English-speaking streaming behemoths like Gura and Mori. Now, most parts of the globe are opening to consume eastern media. By the looks of it, VTubers appear to be here to stay, with hundreds of new personalities making their debuts each month and experienced streamers raking in large sums of money.

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