Since it was first founded in 2005, YouTube has become one of the largest sites on the web and THE way to share video content with a mass audience. With so much content and so many different people uploading music and videos – among other things – it has never been easier to share such media on a global scale.
Those who’ve been able to capitalize on this have become pseudo-celebrities of sorts. With all the waves of content out there, there are some on YouTube who’ve been able to gain a following of their own and really stick out from other “YouTubers” with their channels. Although there are a ton of people doing much of the same thing, the ones who succeed online are the ones that can entertain us with what’s familiar while bringing on their own twist.
This list focuses solely on these “YouTubers”. That means no celebrity VEVOs, or multi-channel networks like Machinima. This list focuses on the individuals who’ve separated themselves from the pack and left their own mark on the YouTube community.
Theses are the top 10 most subscribed YouTubers online.
10. Porta dos Fundos – 8,571,991 Subscribers
Porta dos Fundos started in August of 2012 as a partnership between YouTube channel Kibe Loco and producer Fondo Movies. The Brazilian based sketch-comedy channel focuses on the humour to be found in everyday frustrations, and became the fastest Brazilian YouTube channel to reach the 1 million subscriber milestone in less than a year of existence. The channel puts up a variety of videos apart from their usual sketch-comedy routines. Fundos da Porta: a behind the scenes look at the making of some of their videos, Portaria; where the cast of Porta dos Fundos reads reviews and recap the news of the week, and Viral a four-part original series. The group won the PAAC award which has been recognizing the most exemplary Brazilians in the field of art since 1956.
9. TheFineBros – 9,000,857 Subscribers
TheFineBros, a.k.a. Benny and Rafi Fine are the minds behind the popular React videos on YouTube. The popularity of the award-winning Kids React series lead to the creation of several other React video series; Teens React, Elders React and YouTubers React. Spoilers – another popular series which is exactly what it sounds like – spoils any significant plot detail from books to movies to video games. The brothers are the creators of the YouTube sitcom MyMusic which was funded by the YouTube $100 million original channel initiative, the series revolves around the MyMusic Company led by a stereotypical hipster as its CEO. The success of their initial channel spawned the creation of a second channel TheFineBros2 in May of 2009.
8. SkyDoesMinecraft – 10,067,572 Subscribers
Over the last few years Minecraft has become one of the biggest and most popular sandbox games on the market. YouTuber Adam Dahlberg took advantage of its increasing popularity with his channel SkyDoesMinecraft, a series of videos focusing solely on the popular sandbox game. The channel is one of the fastest growing on YouTube and its growing popularity led to the creation of two other channels SkyVSGaming and the newly launched SkyDoesThings. His videos are mainly Let’s Plays of Minecraft custom maps that feature a number of his friends and fellow YouTubers.
7. Epic Rap Battles of History – 10,267,353 Subscribers
The collaboration between YouTubers NicePeter and EpicLLOYD, ERB first started off on NicePeter’s channel before the series got its own YouTube channel after the conclusion of its first season. The series pits famous pop culture figures – both real and fictional – against each other in a rap battle. “Darth Vader VS Hitler”, “Albert Einstein VS Stephen Hawking” and “Barrack Obama VS Mitt Romney” all got certified gold as singles in the United States. Although earlier episodes of ERB only featured NicePeter and EpicLLOYD the series went on to regularly feature celebrity guests ranging from other popular YouTube stars such as Ray William Johnson and PewDiePie, to real life celebrities such as Snoop Dogg and Weird Al Yankovic.
6. RayWilliamJohnson – 10,624,968 Subscribers
Ray William Johnson is best known as the host of Equals Three, a popular show on YouTube that reviews and criticizes viral videos on the web. The episodes became so popular that Johnson was able to obtain celebrity guest stars such as Robin Williams, Sarah Silverman and the RZA on the show. A part from Equals Three Johnson also hosts a program called the Runaway Thoughts Podcast twice a week with co-hosts Anna Akana and Derek Shelby. Johnson launched a collaborative YouTube channel called “YourFavouriteMartian” in 2011. The channel features a virtual band comprised of four fictional characters that perform their own original content as well as covers and remixes. Apart from his YouTube career Johnson is set to star in the upcoming film Who’s Driving Doug?, is releasing his own graphic novel Robot Clown Mob, shopping his original web series Riley Rewind to television and is working on a new series for FX.
5. Nigahiga – 12,484,756 Subscribers
Ryan Higa, better known by his online alias Nigahiga created his YouTube channel along with Sean Fujiyoshi, Tim Enos and Tarynn Nago in 2006. Mainly comedic content, the Nigahiga channel is home to a variety of different video series. Movies in Minutes; a parady series of popular Hollywood films, Off the Pill; where Higa rants without having taken his ADHD pills, Dear Ryan: where Higa replies to fans’ questions and How to Be: where Higa comedically informs the audience on how to be someone or how to do something, as well as other series. Higa also uploads music content to his channel and in 2008 starred in the film Ryan and Sean’s Not So Excellent Adventure.
4. JennaMarbles – 13,440,159 Subscribers
Jenna Mourey’s YouTube persona JennaMarbles has become one of the most recognizable on YouTube as well as the most subscribed female-run channel on the site. In the four years since joining the site JennaMarbles quickly shot up as one of its most popular stars. Her videos are known for their raunchy humour and she first found success with her video “How to trick people into thinking you’re good looking”. Her second YouTube channel JennaMarblesVlog is infrequently updated and like many other secondary channels on YouTube is not as successful as the primary channel.
3. Smosh – 18,131,434 Subscribers
The duo of Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox first gained recognition on YouTube by lip-synching the Pokémon anime, and Mortal Kombat theme songs. Over time they started to diversify and eventually began writing skits. Their annual series “Food Battle” is one of their most popular series, gaining the channel a lot of traffic in its early years. Smosh’s skits focus on over-the-top scenarios and intentional overacting that’s become their trademark since joining YouTube. The two have also put out a number of music videos, and have released four albums under the Smosh moniker. The popularity of the channel led to the creation of seven other channels including Smosh 2nd Channel; mainly consisting of vlogs, Shut Up! Cartoons; consisting of a number of ten episode animated series made by different animators and Smosh Games; a channel dedicated completely to the gaming world.
2. HolaSoyGerman – 18,289,447 Subscribers
German Garmendia joined the YouTube community as HolaSoyGerman back in 2011 and since then has not only become the most subscribed Spanish-speaking channel on YouTube, but one of the site’s most successful vloggers as well. His videos focus on humorous ways to approach everyday issues which helped attract a large amount of Spanish viewers and steadily increased his popularity with viewers. Apart from his main channel Garmendia started two other channels in January of 2014, HolaSoyGerman2 and JuegaGerman, the former being vlogs and blooper videos while the latter is a gaming channel.
1. PewDiePie – 28,349,380 Subscribers
At the heart of the Let’s Play craze on YouTube right now is the Swedish gamer they call PewDiePie. In 2013 the rising star’s channel went from 3.5 million subscribers to 19 million. His popularity lies in his ability to connect and entertain viewers while providing humorous commentary when playing games. He refers to his audience as the “Bro Army” and ends every video with a “Brofist” – basically a fist bump – and encourages his viewers to do the same. PewDiePie is known for enjoying the horror genre, and some of his most popular Let’s Plays – such as Amnesia – are part of this genre of video games. He’s also teamed up with a number of other popular Let’s Players such as ChaoticMonki and CinnamonToastKen.