The 22-year-old who makes a living from Vines

Ben Phillips

Twelve months ago, Ben Phillips was working in his mum's shoe shop in Bridgend, south Wales.

Today, aged 22, he's a Vine star, making thousands of pounds from his clips, and travelling around the world.

It started when he began recording Vines with his then girlfriend and her three-year-old son. Since then he's gained over a million followers.

"It's completely changed my life," Ben tells Newsbeat.

UPDATE: Ben Phillips has since had his Vines deleted by "jealous hackers". Click here for more.

"I remember hitting 10,000 [followers] and thinking that was amazing.

"From there I went on a journey and started getting 100,000, and it was then I was thinking we must be doing something good in people's lives everyday to make them want to watch us."

The 22-year-old says: "It started with American followers who loved our content. Most people start in the UK and go over to the USA but we did it the other way around."

Making money

Ben Phillips

Firms and marketing companies now pay Ben to feature their products in his six second clips, but denies they're adverts.

Ben says: "I never get asked to put the price in of the product. I just get asked if I can have a bit of fun with their product.

"I don't contact them, they contact me."

Ford were the first company to pay Ben to feature a product. He got paid £12,000 for that Vine, the equivalent of £2,000 a second.

He says he doesn't like talking too much about money, but admits he has since been paid more than that for one of his clips.

"I didn't make a penny out of anything until I hit one million followers.

"Petrol, food and life isn't free so we have to incorporate some adverts but we make [those Vines] as much fun as possible. The the last thing I want to be doing is pumping sales down everyone's throats."

With the money he's made from Vine videos, Ben has been able to travel around Europe, staying in hotels - a luxury, he says.

"The bigger you get and the more followers you have, the bigger the payments."

"They're friends not followers"

Ben Phillips has more than 1 million followers on Vine

Ben laughs off being described as a "Vine star" and insists people subscribing to his videos aren't fans or followers. They're friends.

He says: "It was never my intention [to be paid] for making Vines for other people.

"Someone sent me a message saying one of their loved ones was dying and they were all round their bed watching the Vines.

"I've made something huge on a phone screen. I'm inside everyone's pockets. Does it get any better than that?"

The Peter Andre model

Ben has his friends and family helping pitch ideas for vines

Ben has a team of friends and family around him pitching ideas. He says this is "the Peter Andre model" - employing his family to be part of his entourage.

"My cousin Jordan and my mate Elliot help me out a lot. They believed in the whole concept of Ben Phillips UK.

"It's taken us on an adventure. A lot of people my age have to take out loans to go travelling and we have companies paying for us to do that. We're very fortunate."

The Vines take planning and aren't spontaneous. Ben says: "There's a team of us trying to make things happen 24/7.

"Sometimes we come down to one out of ten Vines that works in the whole day. We sit around and the idea would come to us."

When Newsbeat spoke to Ben he had just returned from a lunch-time meeting with his team which had produced around five different ideas.

"Once we have the idea, we'll go back to the car and fool proof it. We'll practice the camera angle. I don't need a selfie stick because I'm 6 foot 4 and my arms are long enough.

"We find sitting in our house [the ideas] don't come. We have to be walking around the streets or shops for it to work."

What's next for Ben? He doesn't know, but he says: "I just want to generate smiles all over the world."

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