Joe Penna, aka MysteryGuitarMan, 24, has the 11th-most-subscribed channel on YouTube, but he's noticed a shift in the audience tuning in for his weekly short films since he started making them in 2006. A resident of Los Angeles and native of Sao Paulo, Mr. Penna now estimates that 30% of his audience is in Brazil, up from about 5% to 10% when he started.
"Lately it's accelerated, especially when I started putting closed captions in Portuguese on my videos," said Mr. Penna, who derives half of his income from being a YouTube partner and taking a cut of advertising on his videos. He says the other half comes from product placements, and he's done several for Brazilian brands like the soda Guarana. In a 2010 video with 3.3 million views, he created a song inspired by a World Cup chant by tapping cans of Guarana together.