Look no further than 8-year-old Ryan ToysReview for proof that youngster YouTubers can drum up mind-blowing viewership (25 billion lifetime views) and burgeoning business empires.
But a two-year-old named Roman Belville is experiencing virality at such a young age that he makes Ryan look veritably ancient. Roman has only appeared in two cooking videos to date: a cake-baking tutorial (see below) posted on Aug. 22 that has accumulated 270,000 views, and a pizza-making follow-up on Sept. 19 that counts 165,000 views. In recent weeks, the Indiana boy has garnered the attention of both local and national media, with the Today show proclaiming him “headed for super stardom.”
Though Roman can be inexact in his measurements, likes to snack on ingredients, and is occasionally a little hard to understand, he is aided in the venture by his mother, Ayla, who actually operated a fledgling YouTube channel prior to the debut of the Roman’s Cooking Corner series. The stay-at-home mom launched her channel, Ayla Jalyn, roughly a year ago — though subscribership has climbed rapidly since the the launch of the cooking series — from 1,400 subscribers on Sept. 1 to roughly 37,000 today.
“I’m biased, but I think he’s the cutest kid in the world,” Ayla told Today of Roman’s runaway success. “I let him do what he wants to do, whether it’s licking the batter or dumping the whole bottle of sprinkles on.”
She also made an update video acknowledging Roman’s role in her subscriber surge, and describing the viral video as an unplanned activity between mother and son that she just happened to catch on film. New episodes of Roman’s Cooking Corner will roll out on a monthly basis, she said, so as not to put too much pressure on Roman and to keep him excited about filming. The next episode is slated to be Halloween-themed, according to Today, with Roman decked out in full costume.