Videos featuring hydraulic presses crushing vehicles or industrial sanders grinding household things into dust are circulating on YouTube and Facebook under titles such as “What Happens When Shredder Faces The Strongest And Everything Else” and “Top 1000 Best Shredding Moments | Satisfying ASMR Compilation.”
These incredibly successful clips, which gather millions of viewers over tens of thousands of channels, are making some content creators wealthy as they destroy everything from watermelons and children’s toys to PS5 consoles and a $200,000 sports car.
At the time of publication, Lauri Vuohensilta managed the popular Hydraulic Press Channel, which had 3.79 million subscribers. His seven-year-old channel shows clips of Vuohensilta using his family’s industrial press to demonstrate what happens to sponges, rubber band balls, crayons, and even a real human tooth when they are subjected to the machine’s tonnes of pressure.
A reader’s remark on his channel stated, “It’s surprising how long tyres keep air pressure after being smashed and bent.”
Someone another wrote, “Something about casual destruction and the embrace of entropy is so… seductive.” I enjoy it when a hydraulic push causes a lock to squish, haha.
Vuohensilta told The Wall Street Journal that he earned $650,000 last year from ad revenue on his films, which can generate anything from 50,000 to 26 million views — for example, a video in which he showed his ability to fold a sheet of paper more than seven times using a press.
Insider did not receive an instant response to its request for comment from Vuohensilta.
Jimmy Donaldson, also known as Mr. Beast on YouTube, earned $54 million in 2021, more than any YouTuber in history. Though his channel is not devoted to destroying stuff like Vuohensilta’s, Donaldson recently posted a video of a cherry-red Lamborghini being crushed by a multicoloured hydraulic press, which received 107 million views.
It is unknown how much he gained from the film, although Donaldson has stated in the past that he spends $8 million each month making and advertising his lavish videos and enterprises.
Representatives for Donaldson and Google, YouTube’s parent firm, did not respond to Insider’s request for comment immediately.
Destruction of artefacts for YouTube popularity is not a novel phenomena. The “Will It Blend?” infomercial for BlendTec blenders premiered less than two years after the birth of the video hosting platform and instantly established the genre by putting its title to the test.
More than 16 years ago, BlendTec CEO Tom Dickson became known for his eagerness to blend everything. The films, which demonstrated the blender’s strength, ranged from combining half-cooked chicken with a can of Coca-Cola to smashing a brand-new iPhone X, which at the time cost approximately $1,000.
According to a calculation by Creators Handbook, the average ad revenue per million views for creators who are paid to destroy stuff on their channels is around $2,750. In instances where channels like Vuohensilta and Donaldson receive more over 25 million views, a single video’s revenue might exceed $65,000. Estimating that there are approximately 100 channels publishing five videos each month that receive 10 million views each, these channels may earn approximately $165,000,000 per year, not including those that go particularly viral.
While the designers earn hundreds of thousands of dollars by trashing commonplace objects for entertainment purposes, some are criticised for being wasteful or materialistic.
Carla Abdalla, who teaches at Brazil’s Armando Alvares Penteado Foundation and researches consumer behaviour, told Wired: “When I ask internet influencers what their expertise is, the answer is usually always ‘lifestyle.'” “When I inquire about their lifestyle, they mention the consumption of expensive clothes, gourmet restaurants, high-tech gadgets, international travel, etc. Their skill is the end product.”
Despite the widespread notion that the videos are unnecessary or overbearing, many viewers cannot seem to tear their eyes away.
“There is a part of the human brain that exclaims, “Oh my God, there are so many of these!” So much of this item exists. I have to see that!'” In a 2019 video, YouTuber Anthony Padilla criticised so-called “junklords” who create videos with excessively large numbers of stuff to attract clicks.
“It’s fascinating to observe someone wasting a lot of money doing something silly with a lot of things.”