Like any proud parent, creative content creator Faizul Raja Shahriman has always enjoyed recording clips of his children reciting poetry, asking riddles and cracking jokes, all in their Negeri Sembilan dialect. He would then upload these clips on video-sharing platform YouTube, just for fun.
But what started out as a casual opportunity to share his children’s antics soon turned into an unexpected source of income for the family.
The videos received enthusiastic support online and Raja Muhammad Mikael, six, and Raja Farhana, eight, quickly became regulars.
The account, “Kumika Kufaizul”, currently has 46,300 followers and 3.77 million views.
“You could say that the family’s income depends entirely on YouTube and social media earnings,” Faizul, 42, told MalaysiaNow.
“I often tell my children that the money comes from what they do.”
Earnings are generated based on the number of subscribers, uploaded content views and ad views.
Examples of successful kid YouTubers include seven-year-old Like Nastya, who according to YouTuber income statistics last year is able to earn RM31.4 million a month.
Nastya, whose birth name is Anastasia Radzinskaya, is currently one of the highest earning child YouTubers with 68.7 million subscribers with 51 million views.
Hilwa Abdullah, a senior lecturer at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s faculty of social sciences and humanities, said children are able to become successful YouTubers thanks to the response they receive.
“There’s nothing wrong with being a YouTuber as it requires skill to attract an audience,” Hilwa, a psychologist, told MalaysiaNow.
“But every move has its pros and cons.”
He said parents have an important role to play in guiding their children, especially when they are still young.
A career in YouTube builds confidence in children, he added, but their progress must be monitored by their parents.
He also cautioned that education should remain a priority as popularity does not last forever.
Faizul agrees. He always makes sure that his children do not miss out on their lessons.
“Education is important and I take it seriously,” he said. “Although they are YouTubers, I teach them to spend time on activities like reading, drawing and playing.”
He also supervises the amount of time his children spend with gadgets to make sure that they spend time outdoors.
“Video games are not allowed. My children and I spend time together, telling each other stories, because communication is important between parents and children.”
He also ensures that each video uploaded to YouTube conveys a positive message to viewers on the importance of family ties.
His goal is to make sure that each recording has its own meaning and will set a good example to the audience.
“I will prepare suitable content that has an element of education because the children are still young,” he added.
“I want to convey a positive message to the public and this helps me to improve myself as well.”