Local YouTube channels contributing to the Canadian economy

With 20 employees and growing, a popular YouTube channel is helping to pump money back into the economy with expansion plans

A new report says Canada’s YouTube creator ecosystem supported 34,600 full-time equivalent jobs, 20 of them by Cambridge-based YouTube creator Hacksmith Industries.

The new research comes from a recent YouTube Impact Report which estimates that the country’s YouTube creator ecosystem directly contributed $1.1 billion to Canada’s GDP last year.

Now in its tenth year of creating videos for YouTube, Hacksmith Industries, founded by James Hobson, is a multi-million dollar business.

Hobson started making videos on his own in his garage in 2012 and quit his job to do it full time. His early goals were to own his own workshop and be able to make whatever he wants whenever he wants.

Hacksmith Industries takes fictional ideas or gadgets and brings them to life in a working prototype for which they have gained popularity. One of their most popular videos is of a prototype Star Wars lightsaber, which has 36 million views.

“We put money back directly into the economy and the majority of our revenue actually comes from US and international advertisers, so it’s very positive to be able to support local and gain international and to be able to bring it all together” , Hobson said in an interview with CambridgeToday.

The channel now has 12.8 million subscribers. Hobson grew the YouTube channel from a team of one to a team of 20 including three co-op students.

They were recently able to buy a new workshop in Cambridge, thanks to the income generated by their YouTube channel.

“It’s not a very typical way of making money, it’s not like building a product and selling that product. It’s building one of those projects and then making lots and lots and lots of money. with this prototype in videos and advertising,” he said. . “It also feels more efficient too.”

“We don’t use a lot of resources to earn income and grow the economy. A fraction of the materials come in, we build a single product, we make a video about it, but that video might make more money than ‘one thousand items. We don’t waste, we keep everything together.”

The revenue from the channel has allowed them to hire more people and continue to do bigger projects, like the gigantic Thor Hammer they recently completed.

Hobson continues to funnel revenue back into the business, wanting to continue to expand further into new ideas.

Revenue generated by YouTube can be difficult to calculate, Hobson said. It’s not as simple as pay per view. Instead, they’re paid per view with an ad attached.

The tipping point for Hobson was going from 100,000 subscribers to 500,000 subscribers and when the views on Hacksmith Industries videos would get hundreds of thousands of views.

“If you get a million video views, you make between two and five thousand dollars.”

Hobson mentioned that revenue varies by YouTube channel, video location, audience location, video content, country paying for the ad, and category in which the video or channel belongs.

There are also various other ways to generate income from YouTube channels, such as channel subscriptions or in-video sponsorships.

“If I was a solo YouTuber, I might be very rich, but I might not have achieved this kind of success if I hadn’t developed a team to help me do bigger things. And so on.”

The goal is for Hacksmith Industries to become self-sufficient so that Hobson doesn’t have to work as much as he currently does. He is looking to keep growing, growing the business and having different sources of income.

YouTube creators have to go through different stages to earn revenue from their channel. The first is to have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of valid public viewing.

Amazing Cambridge, Ontario is a local chain that is eager to take this step.

Ingrid Talpak takes people to the streets, paths and shops of the city to see all that Cambridge has to offer.

Her travel and tourism YouTube channel was created less than a year ago, out of love for the city she lives in.

“I wanted people to know how amazing Cambridge was,” Talpak said. “There is so much history, so many beautiful buildings here, so many shops, people, events happening.”

Having been in Cambridge for over 30 years now, Talpak said many people she meets still don’t know where to go or what to do in Cambridge, so they always venture to Toronto. She wanted to create videos that give them reasons to explore more of their own city.

Her channel has yet to see any revenue, but she hopes to expand into other avenues to earn money with the channel while she waits to take the first step.

The time it takes him to shoot each video varies. Her recent video on the Cambridge trails took two hours to shoot and about four to edit the video. Talpak mentioned that his favorite videos to film are the more complex videos that take longer.

Most of the fun comes from chatting with shop owners and being able to find out more about people in the city by making his videos.

“My biggest thrill was when I put out a video and people came up to me and said, ‘I had no idea this was there, I had no idea we had did that or you could buy that here.”

Raymond T. Helms