Will Youtube become a cash cow for Malta’s local content creators?

Malta's most popular YouTuber believes so

Could Malta be about to see an explosion in its fledgling community of YouTube content creators? With the long-awaited announcement that Maltese video makers will finally be able to monetise their work, the country’s most popular YouTuber believes so.

With more than two million subscribers and just shy of 400 million total views on his videos, the 24-year old Grandayy (who asked for his real name not to be used) has achieved huge international success and has been endorsed by some of the top names on the video-sharing platform.

While Grandayy had already been earning money through what is known as multi-channel networks – and in fact works full-time on his YouTube channel despite graduating as a doctor – monetisation remained closed to smaller Maltese creators, unlike those in other countries.

This changed last Thursday when YouTube announced that its Partnership Programme, which had long been available to video makers abroad, had been opened to Malta, meaning content creators will now get a share of advertising revenue for their videos.

Having the option to apply for monetisation directly with YouTube… is a great incentive to keep working hard

“I think this new development will surely help inspire more Maltese content creators, as having the option to apply for monetisation directly with YouTube, when your channel is still relatively small, is a great incentive to keep working hard and producing more video content,” Grandayy told The Sunday Times of Malta.

The potential revenue is not to be sniffed at. Top YouTubers can earn hundreds of thousands from the platform: Grandayy said his own income was “nowhere even remotely close” to a €500,000 figure quoted in a new report, but he earns enough that he sees YouTube as a viable career for him now and in the future.

Grandayy believes his success lies in the specific appeal of his content: starting out making content in and about the videogame Minecraft, he soon segued into memes – internet-specific jokes and images – music remixes and parodies.

This sort of content, he believes, is always growing in popularity and would soon be a mainstream form of comedy as it largely already is among teenagers and young adults.

“Unfortunately, with Malta being so small, the only real way to make it on YouTube is to make content for an international audience, since it’s pretty much impossible to get enough views to make significant revenue just from a solely Maltese audience,” he said.

“This shouldn’t really be a bad thing either though. Connecting with an international audience can be really interesting and it teaches you a lot of things as well.”

As for life as a full-time YouTuber, Grandayy finds it rewarding, but perhaps not as idyllic as some would imagine.

“I pretty much live on the computer,” he said. “I have to spend a lot of time brainstorming for ideas, video editing, just browsing memes on the internet, interacting with the community on social media etc. There are no vacations, weekends or sick days for me, but I still love it, all things considered.”