Written by Shelley Walsh –
MrBeast has just overtaken PewDiePie as the most-subscribed YouTube individual.
This is the first time in 10 years there’s been a change at the top of the most-subscribed YouTuber leaderboard.
It’s been a long way to individuals reaching 100 million subscribers.
On YouTube, way back in 2006, Judson Laipply was the first recorded individual to have the most subscribers, with mere thousands.
In the same year, Brookers was the first channel and individual to reach 10,000 subscribers – and that was a big deal.
Currently, the most-subscribed channel on YouTube is T-Series, an Indian record label and film studio.
T-Series was the first channel to reach 100 million subscribers in 2019 and the first to 200 million in 2021.
T-Series currently holds twice as many subscribers as the top individual YouTuber.
Being an influencer is big business.
This list has been compiled to provide a reference point of data and we report impartially on anyone included in the top 50 YouTube individuals list.
At Search Engine Journal, we are aware that some of the individuals included have a history of being divisive. We would like to make it clear that in no way do we support or endorse their behavior or beliefs.
Who Is The #1 Most Subscribed YouTuber?
As of December 2022, MrBeast is the most-subscribed YouTuber, with 116 million subscribers. PewDiePie is the second most popular with 111 million subscribers.
To celebrate reaching 100 million subscribers, MrBeast gave away a private island – which is probably a part of the reason he took the top position from PewDiePie.
The Top 50 Most-Subscribed YouTubers, December 2022
Data source, December 2022.
Who Are The Top 12 Most-Subscribed YouTubers
The top 30 most-subscribed individuals features many successful music artists, but has a majority of native YouTube influencers.
With the channel becoming an integral part of marketing and distribution for music artists, it’s no surprise that top artists feature highly.
Justin Bieber (the top individual artist) leveraged YouTube from an early age to gain mainstream attention on his terms.
MrBeast has 40 million more subscribers than Bieber, which highlights just how much attention the channel can achieve – and that, today, being a YouTube influencer is being a celebrity.
To get a better understanding of who all the influencers are, we’ve included a summary of the top 12 most-subscribed YouTuber influencers below.
US-based Jimmy Donaldson started MrBeast as MrBeast6000 in 2012, when he was only 13.
He also holds 5 other channels, including Beast Reacts, MrBeast 2, Beast Philanthropy, and MrBeast 3 (inactive). MrBeast Gaming also sits in the top 30, with just under 30 million subscribers.
MrBeast early videos include counting to 10,000 non-stop (a 44-hour stunt) which quickly went viral, but is now best known for videos that involve elaborate stunts, charity donations, or cash giveaways. In one video he gave away $1 million.
Jimmy Donaldson’s net worth is estimated by Forbes to be around $500 million.
PewDiePie, otherwise known as Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, held the most-subscribed position on YouTube for nearly 10 years, until recently.
Swedish Kjellberg registered PewDiePie in 2010, and started out with play-by-plays of video games – a genre known as “Let’s Play.” It only took three years for him to be the most-subscribed channel on YouTube.
PewDiePie has also experimented with comedy, commentary, music, and shows. He is known for his signature “bro fist bump” at the end of videos.
He was also named the highest-earning YouTuber in 2016.
Kjellberg has released his own game and published a book.
3. Like Nastya
Anastasia Sergeyevna Radzinskaya is one of only a few child YouTubers on the list. Born in January 2014, she is the youngest influencer with the most followers.
Although Radzinskaya was born in Russia, she has since moved to the US and her videos are produced in English. The channel is for children and covers educational entertainment and vlogging.
Some of her success is down to the channel being dubbed in several languages enabling her to reach a wide audience.
Radzinskaya’s parents help her to manage the Like Nastya channel but she is the face and star of the show.
4. Justin Bieber
Canadian Justin Bieber is the musical artist with the most followers on YouTube. He joined YouTube in 2007 and after coming second in a local singing competition began posting himself performing song covers.
After his channel started to grow he got the attention of his now manager and his record label. In 2008, he signed a recording contract.
Bieber continued to focus on his YouTube channel and growing his followers – known as ‘Beliebers’. This most likely contributed to his early and continued success. He continues to post videos on YouTube alongside his music videos and promotional content.
American music artist and DJ Christopher Comstock also known as Marshmello joined YouTube in 2015.
For several years he kept his identity hidden under a marshmallow-type helmet. In 2017 when his identity was revealed, he said on Twitter: “I don’t take my helmet off because I don’t want or need fame. I’m genuinely trying to create something positive for people to connect with”.
The most popular videos on Comstock’s channel are music and lyric videos, he also posts cooking videos, how-tos, vlogs and films.
Marshall Bruce Mathers III, known as Eminem, is an American rapper who first gained success in 1996. He is one of the most successful music artists of all time.
Mathers joined YouTube in 2007 to leverage the platform and mostly posts music and promotional content.
7. Ed Sheeran
Edward Christopher Sheeran MBE is a music artist from the UK. He first joined YouTube in 2006.
Sheeran began singing aged four and playing the guitar at 11, and in 2004, he independently recorded and released his music. In 2008 when he moved to London he would busk on the streets. In 2011, he began to gain traction until he became the successful and widely-known artist he is today.
On YouTube, his channel started to take off in 2017 when he reached 10 million subscribers. Since then his channel has escalated in popularity.
Sheeran’s channel is mostly music.
8. Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande-Butera is an American music artist and actress and began her dream of a music career aged eight.
Grande joined YouTube in 2007 and uploaded her first YouTube video, ‘Ain’t No Other Man’.
In 2008, Grande began performing professionally aged 15 in a Broadway musical and her fame grew as a TV actress.
In 2011, her cover songs on YouTube gained the attention of her record label and resulted in her being signed as a music artist.
Grande has gone on to be a highly-successful music artist and mostly posts music on YouTube.
9. Taylor Swift
Taylor Alison Swift is an American music artist. She pursued musical training from an early age, including acting and vocal training. She learned to play the guitar aged 12.
After moving to Nashville aged 14, Swift signed a recording contract aged 15 and quickly went on to achieve international fame.
Swift uses her YouTube channel for music, but has also posted a series of videos showing her personal life backstage.
Chilean Germán Alejandro Garmendia Aranis, also known as JuegaGerman, produces comedy videos about everyday life and Let’s Play videos in Spanish.
Garmendia peaked in 2015-2017 when he had the second most-subscribed channel behind PewDiePie.
Garmendia has three channels on YouTube:
- HolaSoyGerman, which he started first in 2011 and focused on comedy videos about everyday life.
- JuegaGerman, which he started in 2013 as a Let’s Play video gaming channel.
Luis Fernando Flores Alvarado is a YouTuber from El Salvador under the channel name Fernafloo – a combination of Fernando and Flores.
Fernafloo is one of the most-subscribed Spanish-speaking channels, and the most subscribed in El Salvador.
Fernafloo was registered in 2011 when Alvarado was 18. He started out experimenting with tutorials and special effects videos before finding his niche with Let’s Play gaming-style videos.
Alvarado has appeared in a film, published a book, and was cast as a zombie in a video game.
Felipe Neto Rodrigues Vieira joined YouTube in 2006 as FelipeNeto, but didn’t post his first video until 2010. His content is focused on general entertainment.
Vieira is from Rio Janeiro in Brazil and became the first Brazilian to reach one million subscribers.
His Brother Luccas is also a YouTuber (ranked at 22).
TIME included Vieira in their 100 most influential people in the world list in 2020.
Following the success of his YouTube channel, Vieira has appeared in TV shows and been in advertising campaigns for big brands. He has also won numerous awards, including the “Favorite Male YouTuber” at the Brazilian Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards.
Why YouTubers Are Significantly Influential For Online Marketers
Achieving a most-subscribed status on YouTube cements you as an influencer and enables you to make serious income.
Not only can YouTubers earn from ads on the videos, but they are also in demand as brand ambassadors for product placements, product reviews, and product collaborations.
Mere mentions of products and brands by an influencer can drive traffic and sales for brands. As seen by the impact of Ryan Kaji and his family, it can also influence an entire industry.
Smart influencers use the exposure to diversify into many mainstream areas of collaboration and business to supplement their income and ensure longevity.
Much like top-level sports stars have always been in demand as brand ambassadors, influencers can be used for brand alignment.
Influencer marketing is useful for online marketers to spread a message and reach a target audience. Influencers can be leveraged as part of specific campaigns, or to create hype around a product or brand.
Influencer marketing doesn’t have to be just for the big brands; influencers with only a few thousand engaged followers can help spread messages. And for smaller brands, elevated exposure on social media can be a major benefit.
Featured Image:Arsenii Palivoda/Shutterstock
Historic YouTube subscribers data source (not including the current ranking table).