The voice, the easy going pace, great production values, and the thoughtful, in-depth, reflective commentary of Jim Zim’s videos have contributed to Jim becoming one of the top cruise video channels on YouTube. His channel has over 205,000 subscribers, is comprised of almost 375 videos, and has garnered 200 million views including one—the Green Thunder waterslide onboard the Carnival Spirit—with nearly 100 million views....
....Besides that voice, Jim Zim’s background—the journalism education and experience in radio
announcing—along with his hobbies of photography, videography, computers, video editing, and
electronics serve him well in his YouTube career. I can imagine the hardware—audio/visual,
photography, computers and more Jim must have at his house. He brings much of it on cruises
with him—several cameras, including his primary shooter, a Canon EOS 80D Digital SLR, wide
angle lens, and tripod among them. If you are ever on a cruise with Jim Zim, just look for the
guy who carries around a giant professional-quality broadcast microphone so he can do voice-
overs on his YouTube videos.
....in 2012 things change dramatically when Jim uploaded a video about the first of its kind vertical-drop waterslide to be installed on a cruise ship. It was the Green Thunder waterslide, then the steepest and fastest waterslide at sea, with a 100 feet drop, through a trap door and entirely vertical for the first third of the way propelling thrill seekers at speeds of 20 feet per second. In 2012, Jim and Kellyn boarded Carnival Spirit for the fourth time in the past three years but this time it was like an entirely new ship as it had just undergone a multi million-dollar refurbishment, or dry dock in cruise parlance, and the Green Thunder was the featured upgrade. Jim posted the video to YouTube much in the way he had posted his other cruise videos: he thought it was interesting. He had no illusions about the video becoming a hit on YouTube. In fact, he never even checked his YouTube channel metrics after posting his previous cruise videos, and it was months after uploading the slightly over one-minute long Green Thunder video before Jim visited his channel. To Jim’s astonishment he discovered that his video on the Carnival Spirit had two million views! Jim was shocked! Of course there was that feeling of pride that comes with something you did being acknowledged and validated by others. But the popularity of the video spurred another thought in Jim. Being only vaguely aware of YouTube monetization—whereby video creators meeting certain benchmarks can earn money as a result of advertisements accompanying their videos—Jim conferred with his son who concurred regarding the monetization potential, and Jim researched the process. Fairly soon Jim’s Carnival Spirit Green Thunder video was generating advertising revenue for YouTube which they shared with Jim. Now the pride that came with discovering that he had a viral video had risen to yet another level as Jim Zim was now an official YouTube Partner. The promise of a new income source lay ahead, although Jim lamented the fact that he had not become a YouTube Partner prior to the Green Thunder video accumulating two million views. Jim was worried he was “too late to the party.” Most of the people who wanted to see the video had probably already done so, and it would quickly cool off and stop getting views on YouTube. That worry turned out to be unfounded. The Green Thunder video is approaching 100 million views on YouTube!
Read the complete chapter “Jim Zim” in The Joy of Cruising. Available in March; order soon!