Youtube is an online social media and video sharing platform founded in 2005. Per-minute over 500 hours of content is uploaded and over a billion hours of content is watched daily. Since its creation, Youtube has accumulated over 2.3 billion users worldwide and has become so popular that it’s now considered more of a search engine than a social media platform due to its variety in content and long-term recognition.
With the rise of social media on a whole and the introduction of influencers in the past decade, for some Youtube is more than just a hobby and has developed into a full-time job. With never-ending sponsorships, brand posts and advertisements Youtubers are some of the biggest social media stars in the world and have managed to make their way into mainstream celebrity status.
Felix and his wife Mariza via Instagram.
Swedish-born YouTuber Felix Arvid, more commonly known as Pewdipie, ranks at our top spot with 110 million subscribers and counting. Pewdiepie created his account in April 2010 and by 2012 had already surpassed 1 million subscribers by July 2012. His content began primarily with gaming videos and over the years has grown to reaction videos whilst still incorporating his gaming roots. His content is still viewed worldwide and Felix has amassed an average of 4.5 million video views daily accumulating over 27 billion views since 2010.
Pewdiepie was the most subscribed Youtuber between the years of 2013 to 2019 but was eventually overtaken by T-Series who have claimed the number 1 spot since. He still however reigns as being the most subscribed individual creator online. In 2019 he wed long-term girlfriend and fellow Youtuber Marzia Kjellberg formerly Bisogin.
Mr Beast via Instagram.
Coming in at second is popular American Youtuber Mr Beast, also known as Jimmy Donaldson. With 64.4 million subscribers he’s grown a reputation for the craziest video ideas, breaking world records and giving away millions to his subscribers. Mr Beast has grown 11.3 billion total video views since his channel was launched in February 2012 and reportedly brings home $32 million a year solely off ads.
Even though he's one of Youtube’s highest-earning content creators, Donaldson is known for giving back to not just his subscribers but the community too and earned himself the title “Youtuber’s biggest philanthropist”. In 2019 after hitting 20 million subscribers, he pledged to plant 20 million trees by 2020 and as of now, over 23 million trees have been planted. In addition, Mr Beast recently became an entrepreneur after launching his virtual restaurant chain selling MrBeast burgers. The burgers are available in 600 locations in the US and recently branched out to Shoreditch, London.
Dude perfect via Instagram.
Dude Perfect is an American sports and comedy group well known for their crazy stunts and various trick-shots. They are Youtube's most subscribed to sports channels currently and have a whopping 56.4 million subscribers, beating the NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL combined. The group is made up of 5 boys from Texas, twins Coby and Cory Cotton, and their friends Tyler Toney, Garret Hilbert, and Cody Jones. On April 9th, 2009, Dude Perfect posted their first trick shot video that amassed over 200,000 views within a week, shortly after a second video was posted that received over 18 million views.
The group has also broken a minimum of 8 world records since 2010 and the most recent being in 2020. Although they have been criticised for the legitimacy of their trick shot content, Dude Perfect remain adamant all content is genuine and some shots require multiple takes before getting the perfect shot. Experts have also confirmed they find no evidence of the tricks being fake.
David Dobrik via Instagram
David Dobrik is considered one of youtube's most popular creators in both the social media and the mainstream world. With over 18 million subscribers he is well known for his short vlogs that showcase his crazy life and dynamic friend group, popular videos include marrying his best friend's mother and endless pranks. Dobrik began his career on the popular social media app Vine and like many other viners, moved to youtube in 2014 when the app was shut down. Since then he has appeared in a range of talk shows and movies and has guest-starred a range of celebrities in his vlogs from Kylie Jenner to Jennifer Lopez.
All of David’s videos have surpassed 10 million views each and he has gained over 6 billion video views since his channel began in 2014. Due to his ongoing success, Dobrik is also known for his generosity, with popular videos being him gifting all of his friends a brand new car and paying off multiple student debts for not just friends but subscribers too. Amidst the pandemic, Dobrik stopped filming as many of his videos rely on the content from his friend group. He has since returned from his year-long break and still gained an average of 4.8 million video views daily despite not posting.
Sidemen via Instagram.
The Sidemen are the only British Youtubers on our list today. Made up of 7 of the UK’s biggest gamers, the Sidemen have paved the way for British Youtubers with over 12 million subscribers on the Sidemen channel alone. The group consists of Olajide Olatunji (also known as JJ or KSI), Harry Lewis (WS2), Ethan Payne (Behzinga), Simon Minter (Miniminter), Joshua Bradley (Zerkaa), Tobi Brown (TBJZL), and Vikram Singh Barn (Vikkstar123). The boys created their individual channels between 2013-2014 and in 2015 the Sidemen channel was born.
They are best known for their high-quality production videos, most notably the Sidemen Tinder series, which has curated over 150 million views. Their videos are also considerably longer than most with some ranging over an hour long but still pull in approximately 10 million views minimum per video. The boys have gone on to have an immense amount of success both together and individually. KSI has recently made a name for himself in the music industry with 8 of his singles charting in the top ten and features on songs alongside singing sensations Craig David and Anne Marie.
Logan and Jake Paul
Jake and Logan Paul via Instagram.
Just like David Dobrik, internet sensation the Paul brothers rose to social media fame from Vine, Jake was the first to transition to youtube in 2014 followed by Logan in 2015. The brothers have their own individual channel, Logan with 32.2 million subscribers and Jake running slightly behind with 20.5 million but they are most known for their controversies and longstanding feud with one another. In 2017 Logan hit news outlets after posting a video depicting a recently deceased corpse of a man found in the notorious “suicide forest”.
After facing huge public backlash Logan took a break from youtube returning in 2018. The boys have also created a reputation of fighting with one another through the years, 2017 saw the rise of “diss tracks' ' where Youtubers would publicly release songs about one another. Logan released his first track ‘The Fall of Jake Paul’ that has gained over 273 million views worldwide, Jake retaliated a few days later with ‘Logang Sucks’ that only accumulated 26 million views.
In addition to feuding with one another, the Paul’s are known for their long-standing dispute with popular British Youtuber KSI. Logan took the ring first in 2018 when he drew with the rapper turned boxer that resulted in a majority draw, in 2019 they fought a second time which saw KSI win one and for all. Little brother Jake also followed in Logan's footsteps boxing KSI’s brother Deji in 2018 and won by knockout. Jake has since continued his boxing career most recently with Ben Askren which saw Paul win in the first round.
Shane Dawson via Instagram.
Shane Yaw, known online as Shane Dawson, began his Youtube career in 2008 and is known as one of Youtuber’s first stars. By 2010 he gained half a billion video views and currently sits at 20.3 million subscribers on his main channel Shane. Across all three channels, he has gained 4.5 billion views although he only remained active on one up until recently. Dawson began his content with comedy sketches featuring a range of characters created by himself.
In recent years Dawson has turned to documentary-style videos featuring other popular creators such as friend and business partner Jefree Star. However, in 2020 Shane was the main subject of a huge internet scandal that saw many popular Youtubers facing backlash for previous controversial comments. His last video posted in June 2020 titled ‘taking accountability’ detailed how Dawson would be taking time off to deal with the scandal and learn from his past mistakes. Though his return to his main channel is yet to be anticipated, Shane was recently spotted in fiances and fellow Youtuber Ryland Adam’s latest video. The comments were mainly positive with loyal fans awaiting Shane’s return to Youtube.