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THE TREND OF YOUTUBERS IN INDONESIA: THE GROWTH, THE VIRAL

CASES AND THE MOTIVATION OF YOUTUBERS


By M. E. Zuwanda
A Magister Student of State University of Jakarta
in English Language Education Department
A. Introduction
Background of Project
Not until two decade ago, television still remained to be one of the most important
media tools to get any information and entertainment. But nowadays, it had taken place
since internet connection existed in Indonesia. This situation made lot of people start to
use internet untuk watch streaming videos through YouTube channels.
The growth of youtube users developed rapidly. By more one billion users per a
month around the world, the existence of YouTube became popular in Indonesia.
YouTube is one of online platform which is the most popular right now. Its popularity
would keep on increasing with the number of its users in Indonesia. According to Statita
Research Institution, the number of YouTube users would reach 1,8 billion people in
2021. This showed that people got interested in using YouTube as media to get
information and entertainment.
Not only its user, but also increasing the number of the YouTube content creators
or YouTubers became a trend in Indonesia society. Being YouTuber is a phenomenon
which is taking place in Indonesia. From kids up to adult people started to create their
YouTube contents. The contents also varied ranging from news, entertainment, culinary,
beauty, education, etc. But, not only its existence of YouTubers which keeps on
increasing, but there are also some cases of YouTubers which became viral and
controversial in society.
Many YouTubers in Indonesia became viral and controversial because of some
cases. Not rarely they created contents which were unique, dangerous, ignorant or even
tended to porn activities. So that such contents caused pros and cons in public. Even some
of them were reported to the police. Therefore, this project would analyze the trend of
YouTubers in Indonesia which would be reviewed from its growth, its cases, and the
motivation of being YouTubers.

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Topic of Project
Based on the background described above, the topic of this project was “The trend
of Youtubers in Indonesia: The growth, the viral cases and the motivation of youtubers.”
Problem Identification
From the background of project above, the problem which would be discussed in
this project was the growth, the viral cases and the motivation of youtubers in Indonesia.
Focus Questions
Regarding to the problem which would be discussed, there were two focus
questions in this project. Those were:
1. To what extent, the growth of youtubers in Indonesia?
2. What are the viral cases of youtubers in Indonesia?
3. Why do people want to be youtubers?
Justification
There were four elements that had been conducted in designing this project as
justification. They are the purpose of the project, the research design of this project, the
data and data source, and method including data collection and analysis.
Purposes of Project
The aims of conducting this project are to describe to what extent the growth of
youtuber in Indonesia, what the viral cases of youtuber in Indoneisa and why people want
to be youtuber. In order to give an overview to readers against youtuber phenomenon
appeared in society life in Indonesia.
B. Literature Review
Youtubers
Youtubers are a huge phenomenon online. The definition of youtubers, if it was
referred to Oxford Dictionary, it means a person who upload, produces, or appears in
videos on the video-sharing website YouTube. Based on Cambridge Dictionary, it is a
person who often the website YouTube, especially someone who makes and appears in
videos on the website.
While according to Burgess and Green (2009a, p.96) the name Youtubers refers
to video bloggers (vlogger) who regularly post videos on their personal YouTube
channels. It was the same thing what Wikipedia described about the definition of
YouTubers. It, also known as a Youtube personality, Youtube celebrity, or Youtube

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content creator, is a type of internet celebrity and videographer who has gained popularity
from their videos on the video-sharing website Youtube.
The history of existing YouTubers began when Jawed Karim and friends
successfully activated the internet domain named ‘www.youtube.com’ in 2005. At that
time, Jawed Karim uploaded in the first time his video titled ‘Me at the Zoo’ in YouTube.
Day by day, YouTube grew rapidly. According to The New York Times, most YouTube
videos up until 2006 were focused on different forms of talent, citing back-flip stunts, lip-
syncing, etc. Then, by 2015, there were more than 17,000 YouTube channels with more
than 100,000 subscribers, and nearly 1,500 with more than a million. These numbers had
grown to 115,000 and 11,000 YouTube channels as of 2019 respectively. So, the
existence of YouTubers became more popular in the world’s society.
The Trend of Youtubers in Indonesia
Lately, being YouTubers in Indonesia has been being popular in society. Many
young generations of Indonesia interested to be a YouTuber. In the fact, this was a new
phenomenon where anyone can be celebrity easily and can be known by lot of people by
only creating a YouTube content. The trend of YouTubers also increased in amount. This
happened in paralell with the growth of YouTube users in Indonesia. Based on the data
from Statista Research Institution, it predicted that the number of YouTube users and
YouTube content creators will reach 1,8 billion people by 2021. This confirmed that the
trend of YouTubers in Indonesia is still going on.
There are some indicators which influence the increasing of the trend of
YouTubers in Indonesia based on the Kantar TNS research. Those indicators were:
1. The popularity of YouTube platform in society
Nowadays, the existance of YouTube began to replace the role of Television in
Indonesia. In general, Indonesia’s YouTube users argued that YouTube enable
them to search interesting content with various topics. This had triggered the
YouTube content creators to boost actively in creating the interesting content. So,
everybody wants to create their content.
2. YouTube had been being popular in Indonesia’s rural society.
It was not only urban society who use YouTube, but also rural society. The people
who lived in the rural region of Indonesia had started to access YouTube platform.

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The number of them increased year over year. So, this situation triggered people
who lived in rural regions to create their content.
3. There were rewards and benefits gained.
YouTube itself provided some awards which could be gained for every
YouTubers who successfully fulfill some criterias. There were Gold Play Button
Award, Diamond Play Button Award, etc. These rewards and benefits made
people enthusiastly want to be YouTubers.
C. Methodology
Research Design
This project was a library research. In which the method of this project used
descriptive qualitative in order to answer each focus questions. Library research is a form
of structured inquiry with specific tools, rules, and techniques (George, 2008:1).
Moreover, George (2008:6) defines the characteristic of library research that involves
identifying and locating sources that provide factual information or personal/expert
opinion on a research question.
Data and Data Sources
To answer the focus questions, data and data source of this project were gainned
from secondary sources. Secondary sources such as online newspapers and articles
discussed about youtuber trend in Indonesia were as data and data sources which would
be analysis using descriptive qualitative method.
Data Collecting Procedures
In data collecting procedures, this project referred to George’s theory. There were
six to eight processes proposed by George (2018, 128:129). Those processes were:
1. Read background information on your research question in one or more
specialized encyclopedias.
2. Begin to compile several lists (in your research log) and continue this practice
throughout the library research process.
3. Search your own library’s online catalog for books you already know about and
ones that result from keyword and assigned-subject searches.
4. Begin systematic browsing of your library’s shelves, looking on the shelves for
all the call numbers you have established in step 3.

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5. Search relevant indexes and databases to identify specific articles on your topic in
both scholarly and popular publications, including newspapers.
6. Skim everything you locate to determine which sources may be the most useful
and to get leads to additional specific sources.
7. Return to your library’s online catalog to find call numbers for the additional
books you have identified and to determine if your library subscribes to the
periodicals or newspapers for which you now have article references. Track these
sources down.
8. Repeat steps 3 through 7 as necessary until you have found the variety of sources
you imagined when you were brainstorming, conferring at least once with your
instructor during the process.
Data Analysis Procedures
The next steps after collecting data was analyzing the data. The data analysis
secondary was used to answer the focus questions in this project since the data were
collected from secondary sources. Secondary data analysis allows the researcher to
analyze the original dataset to answer a different question (Johnston, 2014:622). Stewart
& Kamins (1993) defines the following evaluative steps that should be followed in order
to determine the appropriate match of a dataset to a research investigation and ensure
congruency, quality of the primary study and the resulting dataset: (a) what was the
purpose of this study; (b) who was responsible for collecting the information; (c) what
information was actually collected; (d) when was the information collected; (e) how was
the information obtained; and (f) how consistent is the information obtained from one
source with information available from other sources.
D. Discussion
In discussion section, the focus questions of this project would be discussed. There
were three focus questions, in which the focus questions were: (1) To what extent, the
growth of youtubers in Indonesia?; (2) What are the viral cases of youtubers in Indonesia?
(3) Why do people want to be youtubers?.
The growth of YouTubers in Indonesia
Based on data gained, the growth of YouTubers in Indonesia developed rapidly.
The amount of YouTube channels which were in Gold Play Button Level or channels

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which had 1,000,000 subscribers increased to 200 channels in 2019. This number jumped
fivefold compared to last year it only reached 38 YouTube channels.
While the amount of YouTube channels which had 100,000 subscribers or Silver
Play Button Level increased threefold in 2019 with 2,500 YouTube channels. Then, there
were 2 YouTube channels which successfully had 10 million subscribers or Diamond
Play Button Level in 2019. This was the first record in Indonesia and Southeast Asia.
Table of the amount of YouTube Channels in Indonesia
Level 2018 2019
Silver Play Button ± 800 YouTube Channels 2,500 YouTube Channels
Gold Play Button 38 YouTube Channels 200 YouTube Channels
Diamond Play Button - 2 YouTube Channels

Increasing the number of YouTubers in 2019 was caused by lot of rural people
who had already been able to access YouTube platform in Indonesia. Improving the
infrastructure of internet supplay which gave networking connection with high quality
and the price of internet data which had already been relatively cheap became the factors
which influenced the growth of YouTube content creator over this country.
Now, the growth of YouTubers had spread over the country. In every island in
Indonesia it had had local YouTuber. There were Bayu Skak from Malang, Devina from
Medan, Epen Cupen from Papua and so on. This situation made appear lot of contents
which used local languages. This was being unique to get people interest to watch. The
trend of being YouTubers in Indonesia predicted would keep on increasing until 2021.
https://www.goodnewsfromindonesia.id/2017/11/16/era-perubahan-dunia-siaran-jumlah-
youtuber-indonesia-meningkat-pesat

http://jateng.tribunnews.com/2019/05/02/jumlah-akun-youtube-indonesia-yang-capai-1-juta-
subscriber-jumlahnya-naik-5-kali-lipat

https://tekno.kompas.com/read/2019/04/30/17290027/kanal-youtube-indonesia-dengan-1-
juta-subscriber-naik-5-kali-lipat

https://www.trentech.id/fakta-perkembangan-youtube-di-indonesia/
https://m.detik.com/inet/cyberlife/d-3722551/google-youtuber-indonesia-dari-daerah-
mulai-bergairah?_ga=2.191497130.104922186.1560000839-894346178.1559611178

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The viral cases of YouTubers in Indonesia
Based on the date gained, there were some viral cases of YouTubers in Indonesia
which became controversial in society with number of subscribers more than 10,000
people. Here were the lists:
1. Kimi Hime
Kimi Hime was a YouTuber known by her gaming videos. She became viral and
controversial caused by uploading her video titled ‘clickbait’ and thumbnail videos which
contained vulgar contents considered inappropriate by many people. Kimmi Hime who
had uploaded a lot her videos with gaming content was considered by many people that
she had influenced something bad to children who watched her gaming videos. From the
videos uploaded by her, she tended to appear her sensitive body by wearing sleeveless
dress. Lately, she just uploaded a pornographic content. It was the tutorial of wearing
boobholder. She got many criticism from people and she was also threatened to be
reported to Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI).
2. Awkarin
Karin Novilda or known as Awkarin was a YouTuber who had many viral and
controversial cases in Indonesia. A YouTuber who was considered that she often wore
mini dress in her uploaded video contents. The most viral video was single ‘Badass’
videoclip in which she wore mini dress which appeared her sensitive body part. Not only
that, she also ever endorsed a product to raise breasts and to tighten vagina illegally.
Unfortunately, she had so many subscribers in her channels.
3. Kemal Palevi
Kemal Palevi was a YouTuber and also a stand-up comedian. He often uploaded
his funny videos in his YouTube channel. Last year, he created a prank video which
finallu became viral and controversial in public. In his video titled ‘Part 6 – Nanya Ukuran
BH’, Kemal asked some women about their size of boobholder in a mall. One of the
women was a 14 year-aged girl. In the video, he admitted as a student studying medical
science who was conducting research about human anatomy. Finally, this content got
many negative comments and the people considered that it was not educating.
4. Reza Oktovian
Reza Oktavian was a YouTuber who often discussed about gaming in his videos.
He started to be YouTuber since 2012. Now he has 1.3 million subscribers. Reza also

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became a controversial YouTuber in Indonesia because he often used language
inappropriately in his channel. This thing became worse because most of his viewers were
kids who liked playing games. This situation made many people give sharp criticism to
him and they also made a petition titled ‘use your language better’.
5. Younglex
Another viral and controversial case was Younglex’s case. It was similar to Reza
Oktavian. Younglex also often used bad language and even tended to abuse in his channel.
Not only that, he also often created works with words which contained satires to others.
6. Ria Ricis
It was similar to others. Ricis had negetive comments she got by uploading a video
in her YouTube channel. Ricis was known as YouTuber who liked squishy. Several
videos that she uploaded contained contents about the way to play squishy. In video titled
‘BUANG SQUISHY KE CLOSET??? – squishy dares’, she really practiced it to closet.
Finally, this video got so many sharp criticism from people. Because the people
considered that the action of throwing the squishy to the closet was not educating to the
children at all.
7. Glenn Julifer
Glenn got negative responds from people after uploading a video titled
‘Membongkar TRIK SULAP ke-2 Demian Aditya di America’s Got Talent’. People who
watched his video felt that he had already lied them by video he uploaded. This became
viral because they thought that Glenn only wanted to get many viewers by title of video
which was not suitable to the content.
8. Saaih Halilintar
The last YouTuber who would be discussed was Saaih Halilintar. Saaih became
viral and controversial because he had uploaded a video about himself. In the video, he
was doing something which was not educating at all for the viewers. He tore up a folding
money with number 100k. Instantly, he got so many negative comments in his video.
Table of the YouTubers who were being controversial and viral in society
No YouTubers Subscribers
1 Kimi Hime 2,058,527
2 Awkarin 470,000
3 Kemal Palevi 746,084

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4 Reza Oktovian ± 2,000,000
5 Younglex ± 748,000
6 Ria Ricis 14, 809,807
7 Glenn Julifer 2,207,173
8 Saaih Halilintar 6,201,197

https://www.boombastis.com/youtuber-kontroversi-banyak-fans/150595

https://www.tokopedia.com/blog/youtuber-indonesia-kontroversial/

https://style.tribunnews.com/amp/2018/04/05/5-youtuber-ini-panen-hujatan-akibat-video-
kontroversial-dari-buang-squishy-hingga-sobek-uang?page=2

https://hai.grid.id/amp/071604120/nggak-cuma-kimi-hime-ini-4-youtuber-cewek-indonesia-
yang-dianggap-kontroversial

https://jalantikus.com/news/25750/kontroversi-youtuber-paling-heboh

http://sumsel.tribunnews.com/2019/01/14/youtuber-dan-gamers-seksi-kimi-hime-dipetisi-
netizen-tuntut-hapus-konten-negatif-di-youtube

https://kumparan.com/@millennial/5-kisah-kontroversial-awkarin-1539422815411703444

https://m.detik.com/news/berita/d-4157413/kasus-awkarin-bpom-dan-polisi-diminta-patroli-
siber-selebgram
The motivation of being YouTubers
Based on some data gained, there were various motivations why people want to
be YouTubers. The following were the motivations gained.
1. Acquire the popularity
Many people especially the youths really wanted to be YouTubers because they
wanted to acquire the popularity. YouTube platform which enabled people to watch video
contents offered the YouTube content creators to be known by many people over the
country even in the world. In this thing, we can be proved by seeing the activities of
Indonesian YouTubers who successfully got the attention of viewers with the total of
subscriber more than 11,000,000. This showed that being a YouTuber was one of the
ways to be celebrity or to acquire the popularity.
2. Express the creativities
Another motivation was being YouTuber could easily express the creativities that
people owned. If the people had a passion in music, they could make music channel and

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made contents in which they were expressing the music. People who had high creativity
passion in their life would be motivated to be YouTubers.
3. Earn extra income
The next reason why people really wanted to be YouTubers was it could earn extra
income. And this income was relatively much. This was because YouTube used Adsenses
as a media to earn money for the videos which had been watched by many viewers. This
extra income became the first motivation of people who really wanted to be a YouTuber.
4. Share knowledge
For people who liked to share their knowledge or experiences, being YouTubers
was a job very exciting. They could make contents in their YouTube channels by sharing
knowledge or experiences to the viewers. By making video contents about tutorials of
cooking craps for instance, or wearing hijab, and also operating a machine could inspire
people to be YouTuber in order to share their knowledge.
5. Promote business/product
The business/product owners which wanted to advertise their business could use
YouTube platform as an advertising media. This way was quite effective and relative
cheap to do rather than using other medias such as television, newspaper or magazine.
This such thing which the YouTubers often did. They endorsed any products in their video
contents.
6. Get inspired from successful YouTubers
Lot of people especially young generation wanted to be YouTubers because they
got inspired from YouTubers who had succeeded and earned much money. The following
was a list of YouTubers with their fantastic income.
Table of YouTubers with fantastic income
No YouTubers Income/month Subscribers
1 Atta Halilintar Rp. 633 millions up to 16,616,667
Rp. 10.1 Billion
2 Raffi Ahmad & Nagita Rp. 439 million up to Rp. 8,441,585
Slavina 7 Billion
3 Ria Ricis Rp. 363 Million up to 14, 809,807
Rp. 5.8 Billion

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4 Baim Wong & Paula Rp. 240 Million up to 5,825,053
Verhoeven Rp. 3.8 Billion
5 Raditya Dika Rp. 137 Million up to 6,918,853
Rp. 2.2 Billion

From the fantastic income that the YouTubers earned, certainly many people
really wanted to YouTubers with the bombastic income.
https://dosenit.com/tekno/youtube/alasan-orang-menjadi-youtuber

https://www.kompasiana.com/dedydahlan/58a5228cf37e6159380f9807/kenapa-anda-harus-
menjadi-youtuber?page=2

https://m.wartaekonomi.co.id/berita218338/rilis-ini-dia-deretan-nama-youtuber-indonesia-
paling-kaya-di-2019.html
E. Conclusion
Based on the result which had been discussed in discussion section, it could be
concluded that the growth of YouTubers in Indonesia kept on increasing day to day. Even
it could be predicted would reach the climax in 2021.
Regarding to the viral cases of YouTubers, so far there were 8 YouTubers with
subscribers more than 10,000 that made controversy in society. The cases were
considered by many people not educating and even tended to the pornographic acts. This
was not good and appropriate to our young generation. Because it could indirectly
negatively affect the phsycology and character of generation of this nation. Here was our
problems which must find the solution.
Related to the motivations of being YouTubers, it found that there were some
factors why people really wanted to YouTube content creators. Those were:
1. Acquire the popularity
2. Express the creativities
3. Earn extra income
4. Share knowledge
5. Promote business
6. Get inspired from the successful YouTubers

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F. Implication
This project could give a new overview to the readers related to the trend of
YouTubers in Indonesia. So that the phenomenon of the existence of YouTubers in
society could be responded well and properly.
Moreover, the trend of being YouTubers became so popular in our generation.
This was hoped could help and give appropriate understanding about how to be a
YouTuber in Indonesia. So, the YouTubers could be a good role model for their viewers
and they enable to inspired many people in a more positive way.
G. References
Cambridge Dictionary book
Oxford Dictionary book
Goerge, Mary W. (2008). The Elements of Library Research. New Jersey: Princeton
University Press.
Johnston, Melissa (2014). Secondary Data Analysis: A Method of Which the Time has
Come. Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Libraries 3(3): 619-626.
Stewart, D. W., & Kamins, M. A. (1993). Secondary Research Information Sources and
Methods. Newbury Park, CA Sage.
https://www.goodnewsfromindonesia.id/2017/11/16/era-perubahan-dunia-siaran-
jumlah-youtuber-indonesia-meningkat-pesat

http://jateng.tribunnews.com/2019/05/02/jumlah-akun-youtube-indonesia-yang-capai-1-
juta-subscriber-jumlahnya-naik-5-kali-lipat

https://tekno.kompas.com/read/2019/04/30/17290027/kanal-youtube-indonesia-dengan-
1-juta-subscriber-naik-5-kali-lipat

https://www.trentech.id/fakta-perkembangan-youtube-di-indonesia/

https://www.boombastis.com/youtuber-kontroversi-banyak-fans/150595

https://www.tokopedia.com/blog/youtuber-indonesia-kontroversial/

https://style.tribunnews.com/amp/2018/04/05/5-youtuber-ini-panen-hujatan-akibat-
video-kontroversial-dari-buang-squishy-hingga-sobek-uang?page=2

https://hai.grid.id/amp/071604120/nggak-cuma-kimi-hime-ini-4-youtuber-cewek-
indonesia-yang-dianggap-kontroversial

https://jalantikus.com/news/25750/kontroversi-youtuber-paling-heboh

12
http://sumsel.tribunnews.com/2019/01/14/youtuber-dan-gamers-seksi-kimi-hime-
dipetisi-netizen-tuntut-hapus-konten-negatif-di-youtube

https://kumparan.com/@millennial/5-kisah-kontroversial-awkarin-
1539422815411703444

https://m.detik.com/news/berita/d-4157413/kasus-awkarin-bpom-dan-polisi-diminta-
patroli-siber-selebgram

https://dosenit.com/tekno/youtube/alasan-orang-menjadi-youtuber

https://www.kompasiana.com/dedydahlan/58a5228cf37e6159380f9807/kenapa-anda-
harus-menjadi-youtuber?page=2

https://m.wartaekonomi.co.id/berita218338/rilis-ini-dia-deretan-nama-youtuber-
indonesia-paling-kaya-di-2019.html

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