Jun 3, 2024 - Business

MrBeast officially takes YouTube crown

The red bar chart displays the top YouTube creator channels by subscriber count as of June 3, 2024, with MrBeast leading at 270 million, closely followed by T-Series at 266 million, and Cocomelon Nursery Rhymes at 176 million.
Data: Social Blade; Axios research; Chart: Axios Visuals

MrBeast became the most-subscribed creator account on YouTube over the weekend, taking the title from T-Series, a Bollywood music label.

Why it matters: With more than 270 million followers as of Monday morning, MrBeast — born Jimmy Donaldson — has laid down a blueprint for internet video success, and just maybe for building a sprawling lifestyle brand portfolio.

Zoom out: Donaldson now runs multiple businesses outside of his YouTube channel, which is estimated to command a few million dollars per video between ads and brand deals.

  • There's a merch store, ShopMrBeast, filled mostly with apparel.
  • He has a chocolate brand, Feastables, which I've tried and is pretty good.
  • And there's MrBeast Burger, a delivery-first restaurant brand with one physical location in New Jersey.

What they're saying: "In the history of commerce, the way commerce is created is as follows," Harley Finkelstein, president of Shopify, which powers MrBeast's merch page, told Axios earlier this year on the sidelines of the NRF conference in New York:

  • "First, you build the product, and then you built an audience. And now for the first time ever, first you build an audience then you build a product."

Yes, but: Finkelstein cautioned that not every creator can or should pivot to extending their brand, especially into areas they know nothing about.

What we're watching: Some creators are learning hard lessons about what it takes to run a physical goods business.

  • YouTuber Emma Chamberlain has an eponymous venture-backed coffee brand, which she says she's at one point regretted starting.
  • Prime, the two-year-old energy drink brand from Logan Paul, has recently come under scrutiny for its alleged use of excessive caffeine and "forever chemicals."
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