Over the weekend, massive YouTube celebrities KSI and Logan Paul fought a rematch to last year’s boxing match over their beef on the platform. While on the surface this fight was about YouTube ‘drama’ or YouTube ‘beef’, when you dive into it this fight was pure business.
To really find where this fight started you have to understand Youtube “drama”. YouTube “drama” has been for a long time, one of the best ways to draw viewers and subscribers. Over the years channels such as KeemStar (5.44 Million Subs), Scarce (2.79 Million Subs) and many more have surfaced focusing entirely on others YouTue drama. From these channels to Youtube rap diss tracks, starting drama with another channel is a good way to draw in views from both or all the channels involved in the drama. Once the views start pouring in from these sources, YouTube tends to favour this kind of content in its mysterious algorithm, garnering the channels involved in the drama even more success. For this reason, artificial drama pops up all over the platform, much like the WWE.
Unlike the WWE, however, content creators have started taking these ‘beefs’ to the next level, actually fighting in real boxing matches. The largest fight by far previously was the first time KSI and Logan Paul faught, in 2018. Being watched by 2.25 million viewers live, plus many pre-fight videos and many sponsorships for the event, it was extremely profitable for the two, so it’s unsuprising that they fought again last weekend.
This time the two stepped up their game. They got their pro boxing license, meaning they could take off the headgear and fight with smaller gloves this time. The two fought for five rounds, culminating in a split decision win in favour of KSI. Despite the outcome of the fight, both KSI and Logan Paul brought home $900,000 from the fight, but this barely scratches the surface of the real profit they made.
The real money for the two comes from outside of the initial payout. The rights to the streaming of the fight were bought by DAZN. KSI and Logan Paul both received a portion of ticket sales and of subscriptions to DAZN. While the full amount they made from this is unknown, the massive presence of the event on all social media, leads analysts to believe the payday would have been massive. The event also brought in mainstream celebrities and viewers alike. Justin Bieber, Wiz Khalifa, Rick Ross, Lil Baby, and more were all in attendance at the fight.
Ed Sheeren however, was not. This leads to another way Logan Paul and KSI were able to profit from the event. A YouTuber by the name of Josh Pieters uploaded a video where they hired an actor to pretend to be Ed Sheeran to get ringside seats at the event. Josh Pieters was able to profit off this event, as not only his viewers watched the video but Logan Paul’s and KSI’s audiences watched video to soak up as much of the event as they could. Josh Pieters was not the only YouTuber to make a video at or about the match. Nick Ominala, Caspar Leem Jake Paul, and Buzzfeed all made videos around the event. This drives more views both to the content creators and to the event.
While this fight and the beef between the two YouTubers was it really just a charade to get more views, it was a fun event for fans of KSI and fans of Logan Paul to watch, with some subpar boxing coming along with it. Seeing the enormous success of this event for the second time, it would not come as a surprise at all to see more YouTubers in the ring or even larger, more mainstream bigger celebrities.