YouTube Creator Ethan Schulteis Joins the Student Community at the University of WisconsinBy David Thompson, UniversityHerald Reporter
It is not uncommon for talented creators or businessmen to never receive any formal education, or at best never completing a higher education degree. In our time of digitalization, even more emerging opportunities allow individual creators to carve their economic niche without university diplomas to play a role of "ultimate threshold" between classes. However, a good education doesn't have to be a daunting necessity: it is always a noble challenge for self-development and social involvement.
An example can be found in a 21-yeal old Wisconsin native and Slinger High School graduate named Ethan Schulteis, who is creating on YouTube behind the scenic alias "The Amagi." His channel is recognized for anime-themed videos and has gained popularity on the platform, rising close to 1.9 million subscribers and 500 million views in the past two years. Despite this fair online success, Ethan has decided to embrace on new journey in life and balance his YouTube career with education at the University of Wisconsin, majoring in Communication Arts.
Ethan Schulteis was born on August 25, 2002, and from a young age showed keen interest in various hobbies, including sports, boy scouts, and musical theater. His involvement in content-making began with a simple passion for filming and making others laugh. Watching the iconic animation series "Avatar: The Last Airbender" ignited Ethan's ambition to become a cartoon showrunner. Although his initial attempts to pitch a show concept to Nickelodeon at age 12 were not successful, Ethan redirected his efforts towards an animation class, eventually producing and creating the first episode of his original animated series titled "The Amagi." Although this initiative also yielded no recognition, it gave a name to Ethan's future brand and led him to explore YouTube as a creativity platform.
Ethan experimented with various video formats, from Top 10 lists to news and interviews. The journey to recognition was steady, with his channel hitting a milestone of 10,000 subscribers when Ethan was still a student. However, balancing YouTube with full-time high school responsibilities led to a brief hiatus for the channel. His passion reignited in 2019, when "Avatar: The Last Airbender" resurfaced on Netflix. Ethan seized this opportunity to delve into the Avatar universe in his videos, which ultimately led his channel to a broad success. His video "The History of Lavabending" posted on May 28, 2019, went viral, attracting over 1 million views. This success encouraged him to produce over 150 videos on various Avatar themes, propelling his subscriber count past 100,000 on June 28, 2020.
The progression from a hobby to a professional endeavor came quickly. Ethan expanded his team by hiring individuals for voice-over and editing roles. He also collaborated with thematic wikis, deepening his engagement with the anime community. By the end of 2020, as the interest in Avatar theme began to decline, Ethan diversified his content to include other popular franchise, with Naruto being one of them. As a result, his video "The Life of Kurama" demonstrated a successful transition, peaking at #22 on YouTube's trending page and accumulating over 10 million views, which significantly increased his subscriber base.
The business aspect of his channel became more pronounced with the restructuring of his content creation team, incorporating former staff from Frederator Media. This move elevated the quality of his content, helping his channel reach 1 million subscribers in August 2021. The summer of 2021 brought another unexpected opportunity when Ethan discovered an Indian creator re-uploading his videos with Hindi voice-over. Instead of pursuing a takedown, Ethan acquired the channel, rebranded it as "The Amagi Hindi," thus expanding his global audience reach. The quality of his work caught the attention of Frederator Media, leading to collaborative projects and a further expansion of Ethan's production.
Today, Ethan Schulteis runs Amagi Publishing, a company producing over 100 videos a week for a cumulative audience of 6 million subscribers. As he transitions into university life, finding balance between academic and digital producing responsibilities presents a new challenge and a promising learning experience. As a student at the University of Wisconsin, Ethan is expected to continue his digital evolution while exploring new horizons in the academic field. This dual journey exemplifies the possibilities YouTube offers for young creators, and the different pathways it can open, enriching their professional and personal lives.