Austin McBroom’s world is overflowing – with fame, fortune and lately a few hundred gallons of water.
The latter came courtesy of McBroom himself, as the former Eastern Washington basketball star and current YouTube sensation took millions of viewers on a virtual tour of his new home in SoCal.
It’s 13,000 square feet, which depending on your point of view is either wretched excess or the rewards of hard work and creativity by McBroom and his longtime fiancée and former fitness model Catherine Paiz.
Along with their two young daughters, they are the ACE Family, and they’re living ridiculously large thanks to their cute video blogs that have drawn almost 3 billion views since 2016.
Millions of their fans tuned in on Sept. 2 as the couple revealed their new digs – two mansions combined into one and sitting on a hilltop in Woodland Hills.
The ACE Family / YouTube
It cost $10 million, but the ACEs can afford it. The folks who calculate YouTube viewership estimate that the ACE Family has earned anywhere from $15 to 20 million.
That’s also enough to buy a few Jet Skis, but McBroom needed only one to make a bad impression on his new neighbors. Near the end of the video, he drove the machine around the infinity pool and made a few waves.
As hundreds of gallons of water poured downhill, Catherine yelled, “Stop!”
The same words, in a less-friendly tone, echoed from the hillside below: “Stop now!” It was their neighbor, whose vineyard was being drowned in chlorinated water.
McBroom wondered what the fuss was about. He stood up in the Jet Ski and looked at the video camera and said, “You only live once, so why not live it up?”
The neighbors threatened to sue, so Catherine took back the Jet Ski, and the 27-year-old McBroom had to settle for cutting cookies on the street in his orange Lamborghini.
And life – and controversy – went on for SoCal’s most wickedly successful young YouTube sensation. The ACE Family spends most of its time uploading videos of family life, pranks and challenges.
They’re cute, mostly wholesome and a big hit with young women, teens and adolescent girls. Last week, they giggled through a video of the ACE Family playing hide and seek.
“I can’t believe I spent 40 minutes watching this, but I love the ACE Family,” one viewer commented.
That video pulled in 7 million viewers and about $20,000 for the ACE Family, which has been doing this since the summer of 2016.
As of July, the ACE family had 17 million subscribers, which ranks them 148th among all YouTube channels. If that doesn’t sound like much, it adds up to a hilltop mansion – and then some.
YouTube advertisers pay producers like the ACE Family an average of $3 per 1,000 views. With 3.1 billion views since the channel was founded in 2016, that amounts to about $9.3 million – not including the revenue from about 20 million Instagram followers.
They’ve also raked in money from merchandise sales. Earlier this year, they signed a contract with Spanish-language network Univision – though McBroom doesn’t speak the language.
It’s unclear where the inspiration came – McBroom didn’t respond to interview requests – but it was born in Cheney in the winter of 2015-16.
McBroom, a SoCal native, was playing basketball at Eastern Washington. He had been dating Paiz since the previous summer before coming to Cheney, where he majored in communications.
A graduate transfer from Saint Louis and Central Michigan, he led the Big Sky Conference in scoring with a 21.5 average. He dreamed of going pro, but at 5-foot-10, that was problematic.
On Jan. 9, 2016, in Cheney, McBroom scored 25 points to lead EWU to a win over Idaho. The next morning, intrigued by the potential of social media, he set up the ACE Family account on YouTube.
Two months after the season ended, Catherine gave birth to Elizabeth – the “E” in “ACE.”
The YouTube business started in 2017. The early ones were as wholesome as it gets, and often starred 1-year-old Elizabeth: “Baby’s First Plane Ride, Baby Stuck in Ball Pit” and “Baby’s First Birthday Party Special.”
Sometimes, cuteness gave way to almost risqué, including titles like “A Day Without Our Baby” and “The Lick My Body Challenge.”
The ACE Family / YouTube
As it turned out, the videos were just a tease – much like the on-screen relationship between McBroom and Paiz.
Many videos have been devoted to dates and romance and the on-your-knees marriage proposal, but the couple is still engaged even as Catherine gave birth last October to their second daughter, Alaia.
The ACE Family / YouTube
The ACEs also have created some controversy. Last year, followers discovered old Tweets from McBroom – since deleted – that were offensive to blacks, even though McBroom has an African American mother.
McBroom defended himself after the controversy broke out, enlisting his mother’s help in a YouTube video.
“They said that your son is racist towards black people,” McBroom said in the video. His mom responded, “OK, that would affect me too, right? I am black.”
The biggest controversy came earlier this year, when McBroom posted an Instagram of himself and an unrelated young girl and buying her a penis-shaped lollipop.
“Guys, I’m in so much trouble,” Austin McBroom said in the video. “But she said she was gonna steal it if I didn’t buy it, so …”
McBroom deleted his account, then restored the account with the image removed.
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