These 10 YouTube Stars Broke Out In April

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

These 10 YouTube Stars Broke Out In April
Provided by Ajib

When Jamel Ajib was 13, he got hooked on YouTube videos of people backflipping on trampolines. The clips inspired the Clovis, Calif., native to try the tricks himself—and even though it took a while to land his first flip, he’s stuck with the hobby over the last five years.

Now 18, Ajib is the one performing flips, pranks and other stunts on YouTube, racking up more than 826,000 subscribers on the most popular of his multiple channels. And according to new data from Santa Monica-based Famous Birthdays, Ajib—who also goes by Juju—saw his popularity surge during the month of April.


“It's just nice to have this cool opportunity,” Ajib told dot.LA of his career in the creator economy. “Definitely super thankful for that.”

Famous Birthdays, which launched a decade ago as a sort of Wikipedia-for-internet personalities, ranks online influencers based on activity on its platform, which it says is visited by tens of millions of users monthly. Using that data, Famous Birthdays identified Ajib as one of 10 YouTube stars who jumped highest in its rankings last month; his ranking rose from no. 7,726 on April 1 to no. 2,467 as of May 6.

The rankings—largely driven by search queries on Famous Birthdays’ website—are an indicator of fan engagement and a real-time measure of popularity and culture, Famous Birthday founder Evan Britton previously told dot.LA. The company sells its data insights to social media platforms, talent agencies and brands looking for clues about influencers on the rise.

Ajib started making videos in 2018 on a backyard trampoline with his little brother, Nidal. The videos have since grown into more elaborate productions, with Ajib taking his flip “challenges” to eye-grabbing locations like massive trampolines and indoor sky-diving machines. He edits clips and writes scripts himself—often plotting to have his 11-year-brother beat him in a challenge to keep audiences guessing.

“We can get a lot of retention in the audience because it's really cool when me and my little brother challenge each other,” Ajib said. “If I won everything, it's not cool. No one is going to like it. No one is going to watch…But when they see a little kid [win] they’re like: ‘Oh, shoot. This is crazy.’”

When asked why interest in his videos is on the rise, Ajib guessed it might be because he records his flip clips in public locations. He said many kids recognize him at trampoline parks and ask for photos, with word of mouth spreading and others looking him up online.

Ajib, who just moved to the Dallas area, is now making flip videos full time and generating revenue from YouTube ads. But like other creators, he’s exploring new ways to make money. He recently bought property in Texas and wants to build a gym where people can do their own flips and work out. Eventually, he’d like to sell merchandise, too.

Here are 10 YouTube stars that had breakout months in April, according to Famous Birthdays (list sorted by highest jump in ranking):

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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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LA Tech ‘Moves’: HyperDraft Taps LegalZoom Exec

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

LA Tech ‘Moves’: HyperDraft Taps LegalZoom Exec
Photo by James Opas | Modified by Joshua Letona

“Moves,” our roundup of job changes in L.A. tech, is presented by Interchange.LA, dot.LA's recruiting and career platform connecting Southern California's most exciting companies with top tech talent. Create a free Interchange.LA profile here—and if you're looking for ways to supercharge your recruiting efforts, find out more about Interchange.LA's white-glove recruiting service by emailing Sharmineh O’Farrill Lewis (sharmineh@dot.la). Please send job changes and personnel moves to moves@dot.la.

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