Asian American Stars Find Fans Online

Over the weekend, The New York Times highlighted the growing trend of Asian Americans in the arts and other non-“Model Minority” vocations to find their audience via non-traditional means – primarily through the Internet and YouTube:

Of the 20 most-subscribed-to channels on YouTube, which include series like College Humor Originals and Annoying Orange, three belong to Asian-Americans. Ryan Higa, 21, a Japanese-American comic who lives in Las Vegas, has 4.1 million subscribers to his channel, in which he melds sketch comedy and personal musings. … Michelle Phan, 24, a Vietnamese-American in Los Angeles, has 1.5 million followers, the most-subscribed channel of any woman, Asian or not, on YouTube. … Mr. [Kevin] Wu [KevJumba] has 1.8 million followers, making his YouTube channel the 12th most subscribed in history. “I’ll talk about things that Asians don’t like to talk about,” Mr. Wu said. “We’re a new breed of Asian-American, and I’m a representative of that.

This trend is highlighted in a new independent documentary, “Uploaded: The Asian American Movement,” which examines the rise of Asian Americans in nontraditional media, which is self-funded as well as funded through donations through Kickstarter.

Of course, if you’ve been a avid follower of 8Asians, you already know about Higa making tons of money via YouTube, Phan’s phenomenal success as a beauty guru, and funny man KevJumba and his and his father’s adventure on The Amazing Race. It’s no surprise that the Internet has been a democratizing force for Asian Americans who, according to Pew Research, are the most Internet connected demographic in the United States.

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About John

I'm a Taiwanese-American and was born & raised in Western Massachusetts, went to college in upstate New York, worked in Connecticut, went to grad school in North Carolina and then moved out to the Bay Area in 1999 and have been living here ever since - love the weather and almost everything about the area (except the high cost of housing...)
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