YouTube: Modern Version of Cave Painting

By George Farris

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Scene: Some-time during the Paleolithic Age (aka the Stone Age) near what is now Spain. A cavewoman named Canta and caveman named Lopa are spear fishing in a river. 

“So Lopa,” says Canta. “What’s new?”

 “Same ol’, same ol’ for me,” replies Lopa. “But some of our friends saw one of those giant winged dinosaurs last night.”  

“Dude! A winged dinosaur? That’s crazy,” Canta says.“How do you know?”

“There was a new illustration on the community cave wall this morning. It tells the whole story,” Lopa says.  “I’m surprised you didn’t see it. I think it has 100 or so views already.”

“I’ve been trying to cut back on checking the cave wall,” an upset Canta says. “Once I start, I end up spending hours on that.”

“I know what you mean,” Lopa says. “How can we ever evolve as a species if we’re always reading cave walls?”

It seems like civilization has always had a primary media choice that served as the source of the education, information, news and entertainment of society.

Once it was cave walls. Later it was town criers and newspapers. Still later, it was the trusty radio and eventually three giant television networks that became the must-have, must-watch media of choice in America.

Who’s Watching

Today, the largest video aggregation of education, information and entertainment might be YouTube.

According to, over one billion people use YouTube. YouTube gets 30 million visitors per day and 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute! Eighty percent of those 18 to 49 watch YouTube. Thirty-eight percent are female and 62% are male.

Who’s Earning

YouTube is unique because anyone can post a message that can potentially make him millions of dollars. YouTube owner Google will put ads on your videos and pay you $68 of every $100 it collects. So far, individuals and small groups have produced the most content and made the most money.

Forbes reports that the top earner was 9-year-old Ryan Kaji, with $29.5 million in earnings, 12.2 billion views and 41.7 million subscribers. He’s famous for so-called unboxing videos, where he takes toys out of their packages and reviews them. Yes, that’s right. A 9-year old boy earned $30 million with videos of himself unboxing toys.


The second-highest earner is Mr. Beast (Jimmy Donaldson) with earnings of $24 million. His videos are a mix of stunts and humor: In the last 12 months, he has frozen himself in ice, gone around a Ferris wheel 1,000 times and constructed the largest Lego tower ever. The third-highest earner is the Dude Perfect channel at $23 million. It features five young adult males who have fun playing with lightsabers, Nerf Guns and paintballs.

Who’s Advertising?

New choices in media mean new opportunities to promote your brand, products and services. says about 9% of U.S. small businesses are advertising on YouTube. With YouTube ads, you pay only for what viewers saw. And it’s easy to target the right group by what they are watching. That makes it very cost-effective for small business. The big guys like it, too. reports Apple, Turbo Tax, Expedia, Geico and Disney were the top five YouTube advertisers in 2020.

Canta and Lopa would probably be YouTubers were they around today. And they would probably give you this advice: If you don’t want to go extinct, adapt to new media choices.

George Farris is CEO of Farris Marketing. Email [email protected].