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With billions of hours of video streaming online, it's hard enough to get discovered, let alone break out. But the 15 digital stars on THR's new Disrupters list all have managed to catch Hollywood's eye. Take Lilly Singh, one of YouTube's biggest comedic draws, with 12 million followers, who'll soon be stretching for a dramatic role in HBO's adaptation of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. Or Adam Conover, who parlayed his snarky CollegeHumor series, Adam Ruins Everything, into a show for truTV. Or Liza Koshy, who after only two years of posting YouTube videos has a gig hosting the reboot of Total Request Live.
For Hollywood, this digital-first talent just might be the answer to the next-generation audience that is more likely to "Netflix and chill" than tune in for primetime or race to a theater — one reason summer box-office revenue is down more than 12 percent from last year. It's why CNN paid $25 million for vlogger Casey Neistat's video app, Beme. And why Food Network courted drunk cooking queen Hannah Hart for a new travel show.
Altogether, the stars on this list — 10 of whom gathered for an L.A. photo shoot in early August — easily have racked up more than 1 billion views, 100 million followers and thousands of web videos. All those zeros are hard to ignore. You may not know all their names just yet — or even any of them — but there's a good chance you're looking at Hollywood's future.
Profiles written by Mia Galuppo, Natalie Jarvey, Brian Porreca and Bryn Elise Sandberg.
A version of this story first appeared in the Aug. 23 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
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