Final Assignment- Jenna Marbles and YouTube

YouTube and the Rise of Jenna Marbles

In 2005, three young men launched what is now one of the most popular video sharing sites to date, with more than 1.3 Billion users. How did the idea of YouTube come to be? In 2004, Jawed Karim, Steve Chen, and Chad Hurley all worked at PayPal and realized that there was no place where people could easily watch and share videos. Karim, one of the creators, was the first person to ever upload a video to the site, which officially launched in early 2005. Google later acquired the company for 1.65 Billion dollars and HD videos hit the site in 2008[1].

As YouTube continued to gain popularity, videos were getting more and more views. Korean Pop Star, Psy, was the first to have a video to obtain more than one billion views[2]. As of 2017, YouTube broadened their horizons and began offering YouTube TV for its users if they choose to utilize that feature[3]. In 2015, YouTube surpassed Bing, Yahoo, and other popular search engines to become the second largest search engine available[4]. Now, after fifteen years, YouTube is bringing in approximately 1.8 billion users each month[5]

In addition to having a platform in which people can share videos and create channels on, YouTube also has its own series of awards given to people based on the number of subscribers that their channel has received. These awards range from 100,000 to 10,000,000 followers[6]. Despite all of this growth and improvement, YouTube still manages to have an abundance of people becoming famous through the creation of their YouTube channels. One of these vloggers, Jenna Marbles, has managed to stay relevant even as these changes take place.

In 2010, Jenna Mourey made her debut on YouTube with her video ‘How to Trick People into Thinking You’re Good Looking” under the name Jenna Marbles which received over five million views in just one week. In nearly a decade, Jenna Marbles has become a common name in the world of YouTube with nearly nineteen million subscribers[7]. As her popularity increased, Mourey was able to begin making a profit off of her videos. Because of the career she began on YouTube, Mourey’s net worth is approximated at five million dollars as of 2019[8].

At the beginning of Mourey’s YouTube career, she was working several jobs to make ends meet, one of which was with Barstool Sports. This was one of the ways in which she gained a fan base, especially amongst the male demographic[9]. At the time in which Maguire wrote her article, Jenna Marbles was the fourth most subscribed to vlogger on YouTube. While this in and of itself is impressive, she was the only female amongst the list of top bloggers with the next female ranked as the twentieth most subscribed to vlogger. Having her experience with Barstool Sports was helpful, but ultimately it was her acting as her own critic and challenging social norms for ‘hotness’ that made her so appealing to viewers[10]. Her consistent posting has also helped her to reach and maintain her audience. Since the beginning of her YouTube career, she has posted a video every Wednesday about whatever topic she feels excited about. These can range from doing her boyfriend’s makeup drunk, to buying her dogs everything they touch in a pet store[11].

While her net worth is an impressive number, she does not tend to accept offers from those looking to sponsor her. Her reasoning behind declining sponsorships is that she aims to stay as trustworthy as possible for her fans and does not want to feel as though she is taking another person’s money. Despite this, she does of course still benefit from YouTube but through their partner program. Through this program content creators, like Mourey, are able to receive money from the ads that play before their videos[12]. Since she’s been such a consistent presence on YouTube for almost a decade, she has proven herself to be incredibly successful both monetarily and when it comes to name recognition.

While Jenna Marbles might be the YouTube star that viewers flock to, her dogs are a close second when it comes to the draw of her channel. Because of their appeal and how much viewers love them, she has created her own brand of dog toys called Kermie Worm and Mr. Marbles, named after her dogs. These toys can be purchased on sites like Walmart, Amazon and Overstock.com. Not only has her net worth grown tremendously as a result of being a popular YouTube vlogger, she has become a business owner, has helped to produce films, and has a podcast with her long-time partner who regularly appears in her vlogs[13]. Together, she and her partner Julien have a podcast that streams on YouTube, Spotify, Soundcloud and several other platforms. Together they also have a fairly vibrant Twitch streaming channel[14]. All of this success is a direct result of her time on YouTube and has been made possible from that fan base.

Overall, both YouTube and Jenna Marbles have exceeded the public’s expectations in their relevancy and how many people continue checking into their platforms. By being a candid personality, and knowing how to appeal to her audience, Jenna Mourey’s online presence as Jenna Marbles has proven to be contagious for her many, devoted fans. While YouTube has grown to be a place that so many people can create and enjoy content on, it’s been amazing to see all of the things Mourey has been able to achieve after getting her start on this cutting edge, video sharing platform. Stay tuned to see what other milestones Mourey achieves as she continues her internet career!


[1] Ace X., “The History of Youtube”,Engaget, 11/10/16, Accessed April 16, 2019, https://www.engadget.com/2016/11/10/the-history-of-youtube/

[2] Matt Burns, “Gangnam Style Hits 1 Billion YouTuve Views, The World Does Not End”, TechCruch, 2013, Accessed April 17, 2019,  https://techcrunch.com/2012/12/21/i-still-dont-know-what-he-is-saying/

[3]Rick Marshall & Kris Wouk, “What is YouTube TV? Here’s Everything you should know about the TV service”, 4/10/2019, Accessed April 18, 2019,  https://www.digitaltrends.com/home-theater/what-is-youtube-tv/

[4] Liberty Tsighis, “#TWT5 YouTube Now Second Largest Search Engine”,3/18/15, Accessed April 18, 2019, https://libertyinteractivemarketing.com/twt5-digital-marketing-stats-takeaways-youtube-landing-page-navigation-more/

[5]Ben Gillbert, “YouTube now has over 1.8 billion users every month, within spitting distance of Facebook’s 2 billion”, Business Insider,  5/4/18, Accessed April 17, 2019,  https://www.businessinsider.com/youtube-user-statistics-2018-5

[6] YouTube Help, “Creator Awards”, Accessed April 17, 2019,  https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/7682560

[7] John Lynch, “The 11 most popular YouTube stars in the US – who have snagged millions of fans and millions of dollars”, Business Insider, 2/8/18, Accessed April 16, 2019,  https://www.businessinsider.com/most-popular-youtube-stars-in-america-usa-list-2018-2

[8] Wealthy Gorilla Staff, “Jenna Marbles Net Worth”, Accessed April 16, 2019, https://wealthygorilla.com/jenna-marbles-net-worth/

[9] Emma Maguire,“Self-Branding, Hotness, and Girlhood in the Video Blogs of Jenna Marbles.”  Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly 38(1): 72-86. Doi: 10.1353/bio.2015.0006.

[10] Emma Maguire, “Self-Branding, Hotness, and Girlhood in the Video Blogs of Jenna Marbles.” 72-86.

[11] Jenna Marbles,“@JennaMarbles”, Facebook, Accessed April 18, 2019,  https://www.facebook.com/jennamarbles/

[12] Molly Mulshine, “Why one of YouTube’s biggest stars refuses to cash in on sponsored videos”, Business Insider, 8/13/15, Accessed April 17, 2019,   https://www.businessinsider.com/jenna-marbles-explains-her-youtube-business-model-2015-8

[13] Wealthy Gorilla Staff, “Jenna Marbles Net Worth”, https://wealthygorilla.com/jenna-marbles-net-worth/

[14] Jenna Mourey & Julien Solomita, “Jenna and Julien”, Accessed April 18, 2019, https://jennajulien.com/

1 thought on “Final Assignment- Jenna Marbles and YouTube

  1. I am somewhat familiar with Jenna Marbles’ content and have always been surprised that she has not allowed her channel to become completely overtaken by sponsored video content and product placement given her popularity, as many other YouTubers like her have done.

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