Most Popular YouTube Stars: Rankings, Stats and Trends

My last post about TheStation made me revisit the most-subscribed YouTube “stars” and channels to see what’s changed.

Who are the most-viewed, most-subscribed and most popular people on YouTube? Here are some trends, stats and sources for additional information.

First some trends:

  • We’re still seeing YouTube’s “most subscribed” list (more important than “most viewed” because it eliminates one-hit wonders) largely dominated not by professionals but individuals. In the top ten list are only 3 “professional” channels (machinima, Jonas Brothers and Universal). The rest are people like Fred, Nigahiga, ShaneDawsonTV, KevJumba, WhatTheBuckShow and VenetianPrincess. These are amateurs with recurring audiences, but only some have agents.
  • The packaged content (CollegeHumor) is not as popular as individual creators because people continue to become active on YouTube from a social context… picking their favorites as “virtual friends” as opposed to gravitating to the best content (TheOnion). I did not think this would continue to be the case in 2009, as online-video viewing moves mainstream.
  • The channels that move rapidly up this “most subscribed” list are typically spawned from already-popular channels. TheStation almost immediately reached the top 20 because the collective “web stars” promoted it. Likewise, when a popular YouTuber like ShaneDawson creates a second account (ShaneDawsonTV2) it rises quickly up the ranks. The easiest way to get noticed on YouTube quickly is by appearing in a popular creator’s video, as the top creators rarely voluntarily “shout out” (advertise) someone else’s channel.
  • As a result of the above trend, some widely known creators like Chocolate Rain singer TayZonday are falling off the top 100 list even as his views and subscribers continues to grow. Others slip because they lose touch with their fan base, or create videos less frequently. As an example, I’m happy to get about 250,000 views per day (as Nalts)… but not happy I’m always teetering at the bottom of the top 100 list.
  • The mix of most-popular is primarily “vloggers” (individuals talking to the camera), followed by musicians and comedians. Broadly speaking, your chances are higher of being a most-subscribed YouTuber if you’re Asian, sexy, funny, or gay. Toss in a few curse words and some raucous content and you’re golden.

Some resources for tracking trends and stats:

Anyone have any other sites I should add? Frankly I’m surprised there aren’t easier-to-find websites that collect and share data (WillofDC uses a website to report winners and losers, but I don’t know what it is.

13 Replies to “Most Popular YouTube Stars: Rankings, Stats and Trends”

  1. Poor Nalts doesn’t have the gay or Asian thing going for him and his language is mostly clean. I guess he’ll have to rely on being funny and sexy (and exploiting his cute little props). 😉

  2. Nalts was fishing for reactions to TheStation before deciding to be a part of it? Or maybe he’s already decided to do it, and was just screwing with everyone with the whole jealous act. Either one sounds so Nalts.

  3. Seems to me like this is an issue of demographics. I don’t get my daughter’s idea of timely, entertaining, important stuff, and she doesn’t get mine.

    If I had to pander to the LisaNova generation, I’d shoot myself.

    Um – that’s not a suggestion, Nalts.

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