Welcome to YouTube Millionaires, where we profile channels that have recently crossed the one million subscriber mark. There are channels crossing this threshold every week, and each has a story to tell about YouTube success. Read previous installments of YouTube Millionaires here.
Anyone who spent even a small amount of time on Vine, Twitter’s now-shuttered (though it looks to rise again) microblogging site — or has watched one of the millions of Vine compilations uploaded to YouTube — likely knows David Lopez’s face. In Vine’s heyday, he was one of its most popular creators, making hundreds of clever six-second-long videos that garnered him millions of followers. But when Twitter abruptly shut Vine down in January 2017, Lopez had to find a new place to create.
He chose YouTube. And now the work he’s put into starting over and finding a new audience on an entirely different platform has paid off: he’s officially a YouTube Millionaire.
Lopez’s channel nets between six and 12 million views per month, with viewers flocking to videos featuring Juan, the beloved character who starred in many of his Vines, as well as YouTube-exclusive content, like his most recent video, Hispanic Mom Halloween, which has gotten more than 50,000 views since it was uploaded yesterday.
To celebrate this milestone, Lopez, who is represented by Collab, sat down with Tubefilter to talk about what it was like to transition from Vine to YouTube, how he staves off burnout, and where he’s going from here.
Tubefilter: You of course became a millionaire on Vine long before becoming a YouTube Millionaire. How does it feel to hit one million subscribers on a new platform? What do you have to say to your fans?
David Lopez: It feels much better on YouTube than Vine. Vine happened so fast I wasn’t able to really grasp it, and next thing you know I was at three, four, five million followers. On YouTube, I really had to work at it for over three years before I reached a million. It hasn’t been easy, but I am happy because of all the hard work I put in. I appreciate my fans so much. For them to support me is incredible.
TF: What made you decide to move to YouTube and keep creating videos after Vine’s shutdown? What made you choose YouTube over other platforms?
DL: I love to create. I found a passion in creating content, and I couldn’t just give up. YouTube gave me the opportunity to continue creating — both long and short content.
TF: You mentioned putting a lot of work into YouTube versus your Vine adventures. Can you talk about some of that work? Do you have a crew to help you out?
DL: My video creation process for YouTube seems to be pretty extensive. It normally starts with scriptwriting, then a quick meeting with my crew to go over props/costumes/shot locations/times/actors/etc. Once that is all sorted out, we shoot, and then it takes a few days to edit it the way I imagined it.
I have a team of about four people, so without them, I would be a complete mess. I have a full-time filmer and editor that I’ve been working with for almost three years, and we have built a good chemistry — that helps a lot. If you watch my videos, you can see I don’t just throw stuff together very often, and you’ll see details down to the walls sometimes.
TF: What do you think makes your voice stand out despite all the noise on YouTube?
DL: I don’t know if I stand out, but I like to believe I’m different. I don’t just go with the flow when it comes to creating content, I do what I believe is creative. I could get caught in the box of following what everyone else does to be successful, but I push myself to be unique and create things no one else has.
TF: What got you interested in filming videos in the first place, both for Vine and for YouTube? Do you have a background in film at all?
DL: It was just for fun, and it’s still fun for me. I had absolutely no background in filming at all, just a crazy imagination that needed to be released, and I found an outlet in videos. I mean, if you watch my first few Vines, you would know I was not experienced at all, but I worked at it!
TF: How has the adjustment from Vine to YouTube been? Is it frustrating to have to rebuild your platform and re-gather your audience? Would you move on to another shortform video platform if one popped up, or would you stick with YouTube? Or create on both?
DL: The adjustment went well! I was longing to create more than just six-second videos, so YouTube gave me the opportunity to do that and more.
I would create on both, to be honest! I just love creating.
TF: How is your approach to creating content different for YouTube compared to Vine? Do you feel like you’re creating a longer version of your Vine content, or is your process totally different?
DL: Originally, with YouTube, I felt like I was just creating a bunch of Vines in one video. As I progressed, I started to understand how to create a story with a plot. I learned there is so much more than just telling a joke. It’s everything leading up to the joke and really telling a story that draws the audience in.
TF: What’s your favorite part of creating on YouTube?
DL: The ability to create different styles of content. To be able to create short or longform. It’s great.
TF: What’s your production schedule like? Do you have a set schedule to put out a new video at a certain time each week, or do you put them out as you finish them?
DL: I’m always creating. I definitely try to film twice a week or more. I haven’t stopped since Vine and I will continue to push myself. I have a pipeline of videos and a posting schedule, so I never miss a week to post.
TF: Did you see a stronger audience response once you’d established a schedule?
DL: I definitely noticed people respond better to a schedule. They seem to be ready to watch the day you have it scheduled and are more likely to see it, if they know what day you will be releasing it.
TF: Do you consider content creation on YouTube your full-time job?
DL: Yes, I considered it my full-time job! It’s what I do! I create content for brands as well, and that’s fun! I’ve been working with brands since Vine, and I definitely enjoy it as I try to make the best digital commercials possible. I’ve with with many brands, like Jack in the Box, Bank of America, T-Mobile, to name a few! I think I established my name through Vine and continued it on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.
TF: Have you ever experienced burnout, either on Vine or on YouTube? How do you combat it?
DL: Yes, absolutely. I combat it with coffee, coffee, and some coconut milk…in my coffee. There are definitely rough times mentally in this industry. I have to try and come up with a new and funny concepts all the time, so it starts to drain you. I have found a balance where I will completely shut down my mind for a couple days and try not to even think about ideas. It seems to be working!
TF: What’s next for your channel? Any fun plans?
DL: I have a few things coming up! I will always push myself to create new and exciting content. One thing I am excited about is Building Our Dream House with my wife. We have a whole series we’ve been filming from start to finish! It’s funny and real. So that should be really fun to watch!
You can add yourself to the ranks of Lopez’s more-than-a-million YouTube subscribers at his channel YouTube.com/DavidLopez.