Arts & Culture Editor
Sophomore Stefan Kempe may seem like a typical Millersville student – he is a Communications major with a minor in German, is a member of Club Soccer and the German Club and graduated high school at Mercersburg Academy, where actors James Stewart and Benicio Del Toro also attended high school. What you may not already know about him is that he makes between $1-6 for every 1,000 views his videos get on YouTube.
In an age where YouTubers such as Shane Dawson, Ray William Johnson and Jenna “Marbles” Mourey are considered internet stars, Kempe may someday join the ranks of them as well. Kempe has had a couple channels since he first joined YouTube in high school, but is now mostly active on his channel ThirdAgeFilm.
On his channel, he posts video game tutorials for games such as “Runescape” and “FIFA World Cup,” as well as tutorials for Photoshop and Sony Vega. While he was still in high school, he posted 2-3 videos a day. Though he’s busier than ever with college, he still manages to stay active on his channel and posts 2-3 videos a week.
“I always liked the idea of making videos, having people from all over the world watching them and connecting with them,” said Kempe, who currently has approximately 37,650 people subscribed to his channel and over 7 million views for his channel.
Although Kempe started his channel for fun, he was eventually offered a YouTube partnership with The Gaming Network, or TGN, a network on YouTube dedicated to videos about game lore and countdowns. Through this partnership, an ad system was installed on his channel where, for every 1,000 views his videos get, he gets between $1-6.
Though this changes from month to month, the views and the dollars eventually add up, and Kempe is able to do what he enjoys doing and make some extra money while doing it.
His YouTube career also keeps him busy. Between playing games for his channel, recording the footage, editing his videos and then uploading them onto YouTube, about 30 hours a week is dedicated to creating content for his channel and for his subscribers to enjoy. “It’s definitely a challenge to balance YouTube with school,” said Kempe. “Sometimes I’ll really want to play a game from my channel, but I have an exam the next that I have to study for. But I’ve gotten better with time management, though.”
However, even the most popular YouTubers have their share of critics and internet trolls. “My videos are mostly tutorials for games, but there will always be people who will watch my videos, who don’t like or disagree with the way I play something, and will write comments on my videos such as ‘You suck,’ or ‘dislike,’” said Kempe. “Most of the time I just ignore it, but if I’m in a bad mood or if people are being inappropriate or just start mouthing off on me, I can just block them and they can never comment on my channel again.”
Even despite the busy schedule and critics, Kempe wouldn’t have it any other way. “The money’s definitely nice, but I also get plenty of practice out of video editing, and I get a lot of satisfaction out of being able to help people who watch my videos,” he said.