With the rumor of Phil DeFranco’s exodus from YouTube swirling in the ethers (after he declared via Twitter that 2014 would likely be his last year on YouTube), the community has been left a little shocked and saddened. Phil, an institution on the vlog site, starting with his Sxephil channel and expanding outward from there, the space seems unimaginable without the producer/host’s visible imprint in the form of his wry commentary videos, regularly uploaded to his channel.
But after he forecast the death of YouTube and mentioned pulling his content from the site, it seemed almost an inevitability. While it doesn’t mean he’ll be gone — on the contrary, I bet he will be more prominent than ever (particularly in developing exciting new programming), it’s clutch that we pay tribute to Phil’s legacy with five of his most important videos.
5. Big Boobs & You
This was sort of Phil’s coming out video because it really helped solidify the format of his future shows. Twisting away from news to more gossip and entertainment-centric pieces, this video with its brief thumbnail of a bodacious pair of ta-tas used to lure in the unsuspecting was the catalyst. When Phil posted this video, his views skyrocketed and it was then that he apparently realized the power of “sex sells” and an empire was formed.
4. Engagement Video
It seems only natural that Phil, who shares so much of his life with his fans, would share his surprise engagement to his now fiance, Lindsay Jordan Doty, with his fans as well. Back on August 16, 2013, Phil proposed to the clearly surprised Lindsay during a show taping that included her parents. Not only was it a huge moment for Phil, it was also a huge moment for YouTube, as the eligible bachelor dropped off the market for good.
3. Shark Week
I don’t think I’ve ever been so envious of a YouTuber as when I found out Phil got to coordinate with the Discovery Channel and create a bunch of killer (yes, yes, pun intended) footage for Shark Week — arguably the greatest television week of the year. Not only did this expand Phil’s reach in the mainstream, but it was an early girder in the bridge between YouTube and television. Such a pairing almost seems quaint now, but at the time, this was revolutionary. In another few years, this cross-promotional maneuver will be fully appreciated for its importance. Also pretty impressive was his Google+ Hangout with Vice President Joe Biden and entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki.
2. Sourcefed Gets A Million Subscribers
Yes, Phil is expecting a baby in April, but one of his original YouTube babies has totally come into its own in the past year-and-a-half. Starting Sourcefed off the YouTube Original Channel Initiative, Phil is now the most successful creator from that original initiative — Sourcefed reached the rarified space of one million subscribers over five months ago and the show continues to trend upwards. So while anticipating his forthcoming child, Phil in the meantime has plenty to celebrate as his portfolio of online successes swell.
1. The Death of YouTube
Seeming to herald Phil’s decision to back away from YouTube, this video of him passionately decrying the tactics used in the whole gamer debacle is a ticking clock for the entire industry. Phil, who knows the space better than most, doesn’t mince words as he declares he’s been pulling content out of the YouTube arena and onto websites like Sourcefed.com. Apparently Phil intends to live up to his declarations. The only thing left is to watch his prophecies come to fruition.
Here’s more from the world of DeFranco: