The Innovators

Spinning Viral Stars Into One-Man Empires: The Rise of YouTube's Multi-Channel Networks

The Innovators


Innovators push the boundaries of the known world. They're change agents who are relentless in making things happen and bringing ideas to execution.

Spinning Viral Stars Into One-Man Empires: The Rise of YouTube's Multi-Channel Networks
Ingrid Nilsen

Nilsen, too, is a lofty dreamer. One day, she envisions her own healthy lifestyle brand of skin care, clothing, food and more decorating the aisles of a major national retailer like Target.

And given YouTube’s enormously untapped potential, Penna says, it’s a vision that’s becoming more likely every day. They look to the empires of Oprah and even reality star-turned-fashion mogul Lauren Conrad for what the future could hold.

But Nilsen makes sure to never forget the community that made these opportunities possible in the first place.

Related: How 'Kid President' Robby Novak's Viral Videos Are Bringing More Awesome Into the World

While YouTube’s beauty gurus frequently showcase the wares of their costly shopping hauls, or chronicle -- through delightful pastiche -- their getting-ready routines, Nilsen sought a decidedly different spin on her “What’s In My Purse?” video last May: she gave it away.

In offering up a designer tote to one of her 2.5 million subscribers for charity, Nilsen shared that her mother is a breast cancer survivor.

Forging an intimate relationship with her audience and staying true to her creative vision are two qualities Nilsen names as fundamental to her channel’s success -- and two qualities she asserts Big Frame has helped her to preserve.

“I’m sending you all a big virtual hug,” she says at the end of the video, her arms outstretched, signing off with a giggly grin. “Bye!”

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