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YouTube stars shine brighter than mainstream Hollywood for teens

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YouTube personalities have more of an influence on American teens than the big music, TV and movie stars of mainstream media.

According to a survey commission by Variety, YouTube-famous stars are more authentic and have a greater influence on purchases made by teenagers because they are more relatable and reliable than their rich and famous Hollywood counterparts.

The survey by Jeetendr Sehdev, a celebrity brand strategist, found that YouTube sensations all earned top spots on the list that measured how influential stars are to American teens.

1,500 teenagers ages 13-18 were asked a series of questions to see where popular personalities ranked according to influential criteria, such as authenticity and approachability.

Half of the list included celebrities with high Q scores, the industry standard for measuring consumer appeal of personalities, and the other half were English-language YouTube personalities with the most subscribers and views.

According to a number score that was translated into a 100-point scale, the top five personalities on the list were from YouTube fame. Ian Andrew Hecox and Anothony Padilla of the comedy team Smosh took the number one spot; followed by Fine Bros. Benny & Rafi; and Felix Arvid Ulf Kjelberg—better known as PewDiePie—rounding up the top three.

The late Paul Walker made the list as the highest-ranking Hollywood celebrity. Walker, known for the "Fast and Furious" franchise, died tragically in a car crash last year.

Other mainstream Hollywood stars that made the cut include: Jennifer Lawrence, Kay Perry, Seth Rogen, Betty White and Daniel Radcliffe. Leonardo DiCaprio closed out the top 20.

Susan Wojcicki, who took over as CEO of YouTube in February, called the video creators the "lifeblood of YouTube." Since Wijcicki has joined the YouTube team, there is a push to promote YouTube stars that can bring both attention and money to the company.

YouTube stars shine brighter on the list because they were found to captivate their teen audience better than mainstream Hollywood.

"If YouTube stars are swallowed by Hollywood, they are in danger of becoming less authentic versions of themselves, and teenagers will be able to pick up on that," Sehdev says. "That could take away the one thing that makes YouTube stars so appealing."

The survey found teens also favored YouTube-famous personalities because they were believed to be smarter, have less of a filter and take more risks than traditional A-listers.

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