KSI vs Logan: the rise of the 'micro-celebrity'

KSI vs Logan Paul is fast approaching and the fight is gathering plenty of attention form both sides of the Atlantic. The whole boxing world has their eye on the bout, with wide opinions. Eddie Hearn before the last fight in Manchester said ‘I don’t think I could stand up there and be part of […]

Andrew White
19th November 2019
Wikicommons

KSI vs Logan Paul is fast approaching and the fight is gathering plenty of attention form both sides of the Atlantic.

The whole boxing world has their eye on the bout, with wide opinions.

Eddie Hearn before the last fight in Manchester said ‘I don’t think I could stand up there and be part of that’.

Yet one year later, here Hearn is promoting he fight seeing ‘a phenomenon, a sold-out arena but more importantly an energy of a new audience to the sport of boxing’.

Money talks...

The fight itself is being held at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, one of the most iconic venues in the world. How did a fight between two online vloggers turn into the most anticipated fight of the year?

With 40 million subscribers between them, KSI vs Logan Paul have a mass audience which has made the fight a promoter’s dream.

None of this would be possible without Youtube.

In 2018, Youtube was the most downloaded app worldwide on the IOS store, rising from second in 2017. Youtube is continuing to grow as a platform year on year with the number of channels earning six figures per year growing around 40% every year.

KSI and Logan Paul owe everything to the rise of Youtube and the fight would not be possible without the platform, YouTube has allowed KSI and Logan to grow but simultaneously the popularity of the two channels has made YouTube an even bigger platform.

What attracts people to Youtube is the ‘Micro-Celebrity’ of which KSI and Logan both are. A Micro-Celebrity is ‘ a person famous within a niche group of users on a social media platform’.

The term first coined by Theresa Senft in 2008 Is an ever-growing phenomenon, people are attracted to micro-celebrities and their content because it is a more personal interaction than that of your favourite actor/favourite football player. You feel like you really know the person based off their online persona and it is this phenomenon of the micro-celebrity that has made YouTube such a popular platform.

YouTube will continue to grow at such a rate that ‘micro-celebrities’ drifting into the mainstream media will become much more common, as Zoella has done and now KSI.

What’s interesting about the fight is unlike the previous, it won’t be streamed on Youtube and it is instead being shown on SkySports box office for a fee of £9.95.

YouTube has always been portrayed as a rival to the mainstream media, but it now suggests that YouTube is becoming part of the mainstream media and acts as more of an ally than a foe.

KSI and Logan Paul having such a big audience on them come November 9th can only be a good thing for the platform. Despite the move of KSI and Logan into the mainstream media’s attention they will always be known as ‘YouTubers’ primarily. The fight is bound to add to YouTubes exposure and audience.

Eddie Hearn has suggested that the worldwide audience for the fight could be more than 50 million, this should be taken with a pinch of salt given promoters love to exaggerate. However, with 40 million subscribers between the pair of them all bound to watch the fight, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this figure matched and eclipsed.

November 9th we’ll see two of the world’s biggest online personalities finally settle their differences and it wouldn’t have been possible, without the rise of YouTube.

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