Emma Chamberlain, the 19 year old behind her own coffee brand, brand deals and more
Emma Chamberlain is a creative director, founder and well a teenager worth millions already
Welcome to a weekend edition of Creators Digest! I was planning on sending this out yesterday but I wanted to provide a deeper look at a creator who just hit 10M subscribers and why people love her and her content.
With that, let’s just jump into it.
Meet Emma Chamberlain, a 19 year old with one of the biggest YouTube channels (10M+ subscribers) and owner of her own coffee line, Chamberlain Coffee.
Emma is only 19 years old but is an internet superstar. With 10M subscribers on her main channel, almost 10M followers on TikTok, her own coffee brand, her own podcast called Anything Goes, and a ton ton more, (along with being called one of the most influential people on the internet, Emma is a bonafide superstar creator.
Emma Frances Chamberlain was born in 2001 in San Bruno, California. As an only child, she was the center of attention growing up. When she turned 5 years old, her parents divorced.
Growing up in San Carlos, California, she attended an all-girl Catholic prep school and was a competitive cheer leader for five years on the California All Stars Pink cheer team. In her junior year, she left high school and graduated early by taking the California High School Exit Exam to start on YouTube.
Starting on YouTube
Upon graduating, she turned her sights to YouTube at age 16 uploading her first video to her channel on June 2nd, 2017. It’s summer lookbook she filmed in San Francisco (the city she refers to in her video) which is basically a combination of different outfits. It was the start of what would become known as the “Relatable YouTuber” edit that Emma basically pioneered. The idea is to have quick fast pace edits but still make it feel like you’re listening to a friend talk.
She took YouTube very seriously posting almost daily for the entirety of summer 2017. This was right around the time when daily vloggers like Casey Neistat, Roman Atwood and many more began posting daily content. Many channels that post daily would eventually stop going daily because it very quickly leads to burnout when you have to think of everything as content.
Nonetheless, Emma stayed committed to uploading daily content, just a quick snapshot of her content from three years ago, you can see the diversity in her content. She’s got DIY, product reviews, vlogs, travel and more.
From reviews to vlogs to trying snacks and “what I do” type videos, Emma was creating a library of content for her fans. That said, her subscriber traction was not very much even after uploading almost daily for over a month.
But she kept at it. She stayed consistent.
And she saw a bit of a break happen on July 27th, 2017. She uploaded a video called “We All Owe the Dollar Store an Apology” and it was the first video that started getting traction!
That first video led her to get her first 100K subscribers on the platform and she was off to the races by consistently uploading quality content. Now many might think that quality means having the fancy cameras, a studio, lighting and sound quality. While that is definitely one type of quality, it’s not the quality that Emma chose.
Instead Emma banks on her relatability. The quality is what value to you give to the viewer, how easily can the viewer relate to you. If you watch Emma’s earlier videos, they’re handheld camera shots, vlogging style and very minimal production. Her most recent video? The same exact thing. She’s herself thru and thru.
Here’s a graph of her channel in 2017 to April 17th, 2021 where she just passed 10M subscribers.
What’s really interesting about this graph is how quickly she hit 5M and how long it took her to reach an additional 5M to get to 10 Million subscribers. Her first 5M was in a little over a year. She started uploading June of 2017 and hit 5M subscribers around October 2018, so almost in a little over a year. Her consistency stayed and people kept coming back. Conversely, the other 5M subscribers took much longer, almost 3 years. The one thing that is easy to see though is that Emma’s style of video has not changed despite doing YT seriously for almost 5 years. It’s the same small camera held vlogging style where she talks about coffee, her day, whether she’s tired or sleepy (or often both) and more relatable ideas.
How Emma Makes Money
It’s no secret that when you’re a full time content creator like Emma, the majority of your revenue is made from brand deals. She’s done deals with Hollister, PacSun, Louis Vuitton, Target, Google and more.
The logic is simple. Emma has a broad young audience and when someone sees something she’s wearing, they’re more likely to be “influenced” to buy because someone they relate to is wearing that type of clothing. Which inevitably leads to people saying “I want to buy that because I want to wear what she wears”. It’s a classic marketing line and works really well with Emma because many people see her as a relatable friend not just a YouTuber.
A Merch Line
Another popular way that creators make money is thru launching their own merchandise. Thru their content, they’ll develop themes and recurring designs, patterns and a whole aesthetic or vibe. And once a big enough audience is built, they’re very likely to support their favorite creator by repping what they wear.
It’s a way of converting a fan to a supporter with something that is physically tangible to them. If I’m wearing a shirt of my favorite creator, it’s a very clear signal to the outside world (whether they know that person or not) that I support them. And everyone wears shirts, so naturally people who want to support buy them.
Emma’s aesthetic is just like her: simple, approachable and for everyone. Just a small glimpse at her store can tell you that:
A Coffee Connoisseur
But Emma also is the owner of her own coffee line, Chamberlain coffee. Chamberlain coffee is the ultimate creator product because of three things.
Daily use. People drink coffee every freaking day. Some people spend $5-10 on their daily cup of joe.
Relatability. How many times have you asked someone for their favorite coffee recipe? Now here’s your way to support your favorite creator (read friend) by literally drinking what they made.
Packaging & Friendship. Owning a bag of Chamberlain coffee is a non-merch way of supporting Emma. If you’re a huge fan of her, you think and associate her with your daily cup of coffee which makes her brand equity go up astronomically.
YouTube Ad Earnings
Now the other three categories above are largely unknown and for good reason. However, another stream of revenue for creators is ads. And this is where we can kind of talk numbers. These numbers are probably very very far off but can help paint a brief picture of what she pulls in from her YouTube channel. Now these are probably a bit misleading but hopefully helps clear some things up.
Generally, YouTubers get paid $2-$7 on every 1000 monetized views on a given video. Emma draws about 2-3M views per video. If we just look her last few videos and last week of subscriber growth, you can kinda see how much she makes. Here’s just the past week.
So, doing some quick math, she uploads a few times a week, last week netted about $30K which means in a month she makes about $120K and that comes to a highly conservative number of roughly $1.4M for the year with some wide ranges on views, income and many many other factors.
As I said, those numbers are highly variable and not an exact science and no you probably won’t make $1M a year from your ad earnings if you are just starting out but it does provide some context into what can happen if you stay consistent, relatable and authentic to your audience.
So What’s Next for Emma?
Well she just hit 10M subscribers on YouTube so naturally she’s going to do what all teenagers do when they hit that mark. She’s gonna make a cup of her own coffee, talk about her audience and make a summer lookbook.
You can join the fandom over at Emma’s channel below:
To see an even bigger deep dive on Emma and why she’s being lauded as the next Casey Neistat, check out Colin & Samir’s deep dive episode on Emma here.
If you want these articles straight to your inbox every Sunday (as well as a midweek roundup of Creator News on Wednesdays), subscribe below:
Thank you so much and see you on Wednesday with the latest Creator News!