YouTuber, writer, and businessman Doug Demuro may only be 32 years old, but he’s already sitting on the kind of fortune most us couldn’t dream of making in an entire lifetime. According to wealthygenius.com, the Denver born entrepreneur is currently worth the hefty sum of $3 million – proof positive that YouTube, a love of cars, and a degree in economics are a recipe for success. With his brand new website Cars & Bids (a kind of boutique online car auction house) already replicating the success of his earlier efforts, his fame and fortune seem in no danger of going anywhere soon. Stay tuned to find out more about the man of many ‘quirks and features’ as we break down exactly how Doug Demuro achieved his giant net worth.
The Early Days
After leaving Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, with a bachelor’s degree in economics (not to mention the number of the girl he’d later go on to marry), Demuro landed a job as a vehicle allocation manager at Porsche’s North American headquarters in Atlanta. At around the same time, he also found himself a writing gig on Autotrader.com. The latter proved more fulfilling than the former (although at that point, possibly less lucrative); determined to see how far his talent with a pen would take him, Demuro quit his job at Porshe and re-launched himself as a full-time writer and reviewer. To say the decision paid off would be an understatement.
By 2013, Demuro was writing for three different car blogs (The Truth About Cars, Jalopnik, and his own very succesful blog, Plays with Cars), had won a publishing deal, and released two books, including the hugely popular e-book, From My Perspective. At around the same time, he began getting interested in YouTube. After he created his own channel, interest in his blogs increased exponentially – the more videos he uploaded, the more readers he got.
Rule Number One: Ignore Advise
When Demuro started writing and uploading videos to YouTube, it’s fair to say the paychecks weren’t quite as big as they are now. Sometimes, they didn’t come at all… but neither were they meant to. According to an interview Demuro gave with his old alma mater, Emory University, it was by taking pay cuts and offering up his videos and reviews for free that got him where he is today. Asked to describe the worst advise he’s ever received, Demuro answered “Don’t work for free.” “Most people should not do most work for free, but there are exceptions—and those exceptions are the only reason I had any success,” he elaborated. “By doing the right free work for the right employers on the side of regular paid work, I was able to build a following and move them over to platforms where I wasn’t doing free work.
The Charm Offensive
Fanatics can be engaging, but they can also be boring. Not so Demuro. His enthusiasm for cars might not be shared with everyone, but even people who’d be hard pushed to tell a BMW from a Ford couldn’t help but be engaged by his videos. Described by Emory Wire as ‘accessible, compelling, and packed with wit, intelligence, and fun’, they proved a welcome antidote to the tedious, run-of-the-mill car shows we were used to seeing back in 2013. Demuro’s child -like enthusiasm and encyclopedic knowledge of automobiles, meanwhile, proved a stark contrast to the strutting, macho, slightly boorish car presenters of the day. In the years since, he’s not slacked off on the charm offensive – as his 4 million YouTube subscribers would happily attest.
The Unlikely Influencer
If you’d asked a classroom of kids in the 1980s what they wanted to be when they grew up, most of them would have answered with something along the lines of fireman, doctor, lawyer, or nurse. Ask the same question today, and you’ll probably hear the word ‘influencer’ a lot more times than you’d have anticipated. But kids are savvy. Some might just want the celebrity that goes with the title. But a surprising number are probably already acutely aware that if they want to retire with millions in the bank by the time they’re forty, being an influencer is one of the surest fire ways of doing it.
Demuro might not look like your typical influencer, but make no mistake. He IS one, and he’s got the fortune to prove it. According to naibuzz.com, Demuro’s YouTube earning potential is astronomical. After the site takes its cut, individual YouTubers are left with around $2 – $7 per 1000 monetized views, depending on things like the location of the viewer, ad inventory, number of ads per video, number of people who skip the ads, type of advertisement, type of content, etc. So far, Demuro’s channel has over 4 million subscribers (with a rate of growth of around 2,000 new subscribers per day) and has managed to gather over 1.2 billion views since it launched. It doesn’t take an economics graduate to work out that those kinds of figures translate to a seriously big payday.
He may already have made a fortune, but with an ever-growing collection of around 21 cars to maintain, Demuro’s in no danger of retiring to the golf course anytime soon. Earlier this year, he launched a new website, Cars & Bids, that could soon be adding an extra zero or two to that $3 million dollar net worth. Conceived as a direct competitor to the wildly popular “Bring a Trailer”, Cars & Bids is geared, at least according to Demuro’s launch video, towards cars from the 1980s and newer, for no better reason than the fact those are the cars he “likes the most”. If Cars & Bids ends up being even half as successful as Bring a Trailer, the earning power for Demuro is mind-blowing. According to a recent article by the New York Times, Bring a Trailer has 100,000 registered bidders, two million monthly visitors, and has listed 11,000 cars since its launch, wiping the floor with the slow trade being seen at traditional auction houses at the moment. If Demuro’s new website can replicate (or even just come close) to the kind of success that Bring a Trailer has enjoyed, it won’t be long before he’s adding a few more classic cars to his collection. Although he might need a bigger garage first.