The Shatyards will be leaving the outlet that made them famous.
One of the most popular vloggers on YouTube, the family announced in the early morning hours on Thursday that they would be giving up daily vlogging and planning to take their channel off of YouTube for at least a year.
The family — led by father Shay Carl and mother Colette — announced in a new video that they were leaving after close to a decade on YouTube. They planned to follow through with five months of daily vlogging and then shut down the entire channel for a year to take a step away from the spotlight.
Shay Carl did not say when — or if — the family would return.
“I want to make it a personal goal to not post anything to YouTube for a year,” Shay Carl said. “I want to kind of internalize and re-calibrate and just process this crazy journey that all of this YouTube adventure has been for us.”
Shay Carl added that he wanted to give his kids a chance to live a normal life as well.
“I love my kids, but they see me at my best when the camera is on,” he said.
The announcement that the Shaytards would be leaving YouTube was met with a mixture of sadness and nostalgia from fans. Many left heartfelt messages, some saying that they had been watching for years and seen the family’s children born and growing up.
“Ive been watching since Colette was preggo with Brock,” one person wrote. “It will be sad to see you go, but I totally get it! You guys need a break. People think vlogging is easy but it isnt so I am glad you guys are taking a break or maybe even leaving it for good. You guys deserve family time WITHOUT a camera.”
The rise of the Shaytards mirrors the rise of YouTube itself as a major player in the entertainment industry. The family’s page, called “The Shaytards,” has close to 4.8 million subscribers and more than 2 billion views in total.
They first gained viral fame when Shay Carl donned his wife’s unitard and danced around their apartment living room back in 2007. The video was a hit, and Shay Carl realized he may have stumbled on a big opportunity
“So when we started YouTube and we got this small audience and all of a sudden our first Google AdSense check was for $300. I was like, ‘That’s groceries. That’s a big thing of groceries,'” Shay told ABC News last year. “I was like, ‘If I can make $300, what if I can make $1,000?’ That would pay our house payment, a lot of groceries.”
The family’s channel started to grow in subscribers as YouTube itself became more mainstream, and soon Shay Carl started to work with a small group of other YouTubers to create an online media company called Maker Studios.
The multichannel network — which Business Insider described as a “hybrid of a production studio, ad network, and talent management company” — has a number of big-name YouTube acts including digital media pioneer PewDiePie. In 2014, Disney purchased the company for $500 million.
The Shaytards’ decision to leave YouTube isn’t that big a surprise for fans who have been following the family closely. Shay Carl has said often that he would not hesitate stepping away from the spotlight if that was the best decision for his family, and viewers have often seen him weighing what parts of their lives to keep private and what to share with their millions of viewers.
In his 2015 interview with ABC News, Shay Carl said being on camera had become second nature for his kids.
“I don’t want to feel like I forced them into this stardom, and they’re like, ‘Wait a minute, dad,'” Shay said. “But hey, if your dad is a farmer, you have to get up at 6 a.m. and milk the cows. If you’re my kid, you have to be cute on camera.”
Fans who are sad to see the Shaytards leaving YouTube could have a chance to get at least a little bit more. In a video posted on Thursday morning, Shay Carl hinted that there could be a surprise video or two posted, including around Christmas time.
[Featured Image by Shaytards channel/YouTube]