In response to a shattering tsunami and the infamous Janet Jackson wardrobe episode at the Super Bowl, an idea was hatched at a San Francisco dinner party in 2004 that would truly take the world by storm. YouTube was created by former PayPal employees Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim. What started with an initial video of Karim visiting elephants at the zoo has turned into a website that brings in over 30 million visitors and 5 billion videos watched each day. While this site was created as a sharing mechanism, enabling everyone to post videos, an unforeseen response was born- the revered YouTuber.
Youtubers have become more popular than celebrities among teenagers in the United States. Defy Media conducted an eye-opening study, with respondents between the ages of 13 and 24. Of those surveyed, 48% would try a brand or product that a celebrity endorsed, whereas a whopping 63% would try it if a YouTube star recommended it. Survey after survey of teens across the globe have shown that teenagers name YouTubers as their favorite celebrities. With such a large influence over the youth of our generation, this group of digital content stars has amassed a following that could not have been foreseen. Teens and young adults feel closer to YouTube stars, as they can interact more easily with them and feel they know them on a more personal level.
Here are 10 of the most popular YouTube stars!
10.) Logan Paul
Subscribers: 9.8 million
Logan Paul is a social media phenomenon. Starting out on YouTube with little success, he eventually began creating videos on an app called Vine, and is now known for his incredibly popular Vine account with more than 8 million followers. Paul brings a large amount of energy and high production value to each of his 6-second videos on Vine and is now one of the most popular YouTubers as well.
9.) Lilly Singh
Subscribers: 12 Million
Lilly Singh is a YouTuber famously known as IISuperwomanII. Today, her channel has over 600 million views and over five million subscribers. She vlogs and makes comedy sketch videos about various topics, from shopping at the mall to superstitions to being single. Her work is influenced by her Indian heritage, which she takes great pride in.
Subscribers 15.9 Million
Fine Brothers Entertainment is run by the Fine Brothers, Benny and Rafi. They are online producers, writers, and directors, who are best known for their React video series, their several timed-spoiler series, narrative web series, as well as creating a “transmedia” sitcom on YouTube, MyMusic. They have been creating online content since 2004.
Subscribers: 16.4 Million
Olajide William “JJ” Olatunji is better known as KSI. He is an English YouTube personality, rapper, comedian, and actor. After establishing himself on his YouTube channel, which, as of July 2017, reached over a billion video views and 16 million subscribers, he has also become well known for his music. KSI released his debut EP Keep Up in 2016, which reached an impressive number one on the UK R&B Albums chart.
6.) Jenna Marbles
Subscribers: 17.5 Million
Jenna Marbles initially started her blogging career with Barstool Sports in Boston, where she wrote for their female counterpart StoolLaLa. Jenna was born Jenna Mourey but later took her dog Marbles’ name as her pseudonym, Jenna Marbles. Jenna’s video “How To Trick People Into Thinking You’re Good Looking” had over 5.3 million views in its first week.
Subscribers: 18.1 million
Using his online pseudonym, ‘Markiplier‘ quickly became known for his quirky, commentary-laden playthroughs, mostly of survival horror and indie games. A self-described introvert, the 27-year-old is currently on a multi-city tour, putting on a show with a handful of fellow YouTubers and offline buddies alike that is less about gaming and more a showcase for his latest love, comedy and improv.
Subscribers: 19.9 Million
With nothing else to do after a night of bowling or movies, Ryan Higa gathered his school friends to make videos with a digital camera and tripod. In 2006, he discovered Youtube. They initially created lip synching videos, then rants, as well as skits with a plot. He started posting videos on YouTube because it was an easier way to share them with his friends….not knowing they would become so popular.
Subscribers: 22. 7 Million
Smosh is a web-based comedy duo consisting of Ian Andrew Hecox and Anthony Padilla (although Anthony is now leaving after 11 years). Formed in 2003, comedy duo Smosh used YouTube as their delivery vehicle to astounding effect, with the pair having the most subscribed-to channel on the site on three separate occasions. They first made a name for themselves with a series of videos of them lip-syncing various theme songs, with their famous “Pokémon Theme Music Video” eventually gaining over 27 million views. Along with their video work, the pair also released yearly albums that collect the songs from their channel.
2.) Hola Soy German
Subscribers: 32 Million
Germán Alejandro Garmendia Aranis, known by his YouTube channels HolaSoyGerman and JuegaGerman, is a Chilean YouTuber, comedian, and musician. He has produced songs with his band Ancud, available on YouTube and Spotify. His channels are currently the 2nd and 17th most subscribed on YouTube, having a combined total of over 50 million subscribers. As well as being the 2nd most subscribed Youtube Channel, his main channel “HolaSoyGerman”, is also currently the most subscribed Spanish-speaking Youtube channel.
Subscribers: 56.1 Million
Pewdiepie, otherwise known as Felix Kjellberg, is the most popular and controversial YouTube star to date. Since August 15th, 2013, PewDiePie has been the most subscribed user on YouTube, being surpassed for a mere 46 days in late 2013 by the YouTube Spotlight channel. From December 29th, 2014 to February 14th, 2017, PewDiePie’s channel held the distinction of being the most viewed of all time, and as of June 2017, the channel has received over 15 billion video views. He is known for his Let’s Play commentaries and vlogs on YouTube.