Many students work at grocery stores or in the back of an office sorting files, but junior Bobby Andris earns money doing what he loves: using and reviewing tech products.
Since March 2009, Bobby has been reviewing tech products on YouTube on a weekly basis. Each of his reviews has 400 to 1,000- plus views from an audience of young adults ages 13-17 and adults ages 40-55. His favorite MacBook review reached over 60 thousand views.
Since his freshman year, when he was inspired by other reviewers, Bobby has reviewed products and applications from Apple, Sony, HP, Hitachi, Mackeeper and other major companies under the username bobby93macboy.
“I started learning about different people and subscribing to them to see what they were all about,” Bobby said. “Once I felt confident and knew more than a lot of [other reviewers], I decided to start my own channel.”
Bobby’s tech interest is rooted far back in his family, as his grandfather has always been interested in Apple products and his grandmother even worked for the company. He got his first iPod and Macbook in sixth grade and took a computer class at Egan Junior High; his love for technology “sort of took off from there.”
“I like talking about technology, and it’s really my main interest,” Bobby said. “I know that’s what I want [to pursue] for my career.”
After Bobby created his own channel, he started off by reaching out to smaller companies and asking to review their products. However, because he did not have many subscribers or video views, he was placed at a disadvantage as companies look for people with a large viewing audience to advertise their products.
“Generally, at first, I got a really low amount of views and it was really hard to get subscribers. [The amount of views you get] depends on how trendy the topic is,” Bobby said. “My goal was to have over 1,000 subscribers and to be a YouTube partner.”
Technically, a “YouTube partner” works for YouTube and is paid to post videos regularly. YouTube has to consider a reviewer’s videos “to be of professional enough quality and have consistent views” for them to be accepted as a partner.
“At first I got a video removed because I showed people how to download Photoshop for free,” Bobby said. “I was really concerned I wasn’t going to become a partner because I got a video deleted.”
Still, Bobby was determined to make his dream come true. It was difficult for him to get accepted—he got denied three times in the process and had to wait two months each time before he could apply to be a partner again.
“Eventually, they let me be a partner, and it’s really taken off,” Bobby said.
Since he became a partner this past June, Bobby is being paid $200 every month for his tech reviews. He reached 2,000 subscribers by late August and hopes to be subsidized more.
Companies send Bobby free tech products to review.
“All the iPhone cases I have, I haven’t paid for a single one, and I get all these expensive headphones for free,” Bobby said.
Reviewing tech products started out as a hobby for Bobby, but has become a responsibility.
“I could be paying for a decent amount of my college [tuition] just from YouTube money,” Bobby said. “It’s like a job for me now.”