From a kid that pisses in buckets to the king of Youtube himself PewDiePie, join us as we take a look at the top 10 most subscribed Youtube Channels of 2016.
(NOTE: Due to the rapid, ever changing nature of subscriber counts, we’ve rounded down to the nearest whole number and added the > symbol to give an approximate value of each channel’s subscriber count)
10 – TaylorSwiftVEVO
No real surprises here considering the sheer volume of media attention Taylor Swift gets. With an estimated net worth of US$250 million, 10 Grammy Awards and a string of hugely popular albums, it’s little wonder her Youtube channel is in the top 10.
The channel is claimed by VEVO, which is the biggest Youtube network in the world. Now, if you don’t know what Youtube networks are, they’re basically like glorified talent managers that represent channels.
Each month Taylor Swift’s Youtube channel gets approximately 168,000,000 views and earns around US$500,000.
Subscriber count: >20,475,000
9 – OneDirectionVEVO
Another VEVO claimed channel here with One Direction.
With five hit albums under their belts, these pouty-lipped, lover boys have sent young girls and boys into a frenzy across the world. Deviously formulated by Simon Cowell in the seventh season of British X-Factor, this money making, musical juggernaut knows only one direction – that’s straight to the bank.
Their Youtube channel alone makes around US$200,000 per month, wracking up 85,000,000 views every 30 days.
Subscriber count: >21,138,000
8 – ElrubiusOMG
Spanish born Rubén Doblas Gundersen, better known as El Rubius posts a range of video content from gaming and vlogs to comedy skits. He started uploading to Youtube in 2006. The channel didn’t gain traction till around 2012 when his Chat Roulette series, videos of him trolling video chat users, brought in millions of subscribers, making him the second most subscribed to Spanish channel on Youtube.
Subscriber count: >21,734,000
7 – Smosh
Smosh are a sketch comedy duo that began uploading videos to Youtube way back in 2005. Best known for their video game inspired skits and songs, their first viral hit came when they lip-synced the Pokemon theme, wracking up millions of hits.
Since Youtube went live, Smosh have held the most subscribed to crown on three separate occasions, from May to June 2006, then from April 2007 to September 2008 and finally their last reign at the top lasted from January to August 2013.
Subsriber count: >22,469,000
6 – RihannaVEVO
Yet another VEVO channel here, this time it’s Rihanna.
Being one of the best-selling singer song writers of all time, it’s only natural that she’d have one of the highest ranking Youtube channels to date. Boasting over 200 million record sales worldwide, Rihanna has won eight Grammy Awards and has been consistently played on the radio for over ten years.
Her Youtube channel gets around 160,000,000 views per month, wracking up over 200,000 subscribers every 30 days.
Subscriber count: >23,508,000
5 – Youtube Spotlight
This is Youtube’s own official channel. They use it to highlight trends across Youtube as well as host special events like Youtube Comedy Week. Their most popular videos are the ‘Youtube Rewind’ specials that come out at the end of each year. They encapsulate the trends, pop culture and viral videos that have graced Youtube in the 12 months prior. The videos are set to a mashup of the year’s most popular music helping to celebrating content creators and their achievements to date.
This channel gets around 8 million views per month. Interestingly, at the time of writing this, the channel had lost just shy of 3000 subscribers in the past month. Which suggests to me, even though Youtube can algorithmically suggest it’s own channel to haul in millions of subscribers, perhaps it’s content doesn’t have the staying power of an individual content creator.
Subscriber count: >24,125,000
4 – JustinBieberVEVO
Canadian born, singer song writer, something something, three Grammy nominations, something something, Forbes voted one of the most influential celebrities three years in a row, something. Did you know this guy pissed into a bucket in a restaurant? He’s been charged with vandalism in Brazil. Arrested numerous times for reckless behaviour, including driving under the influence of drugs. He’s been filmed being flagrantly racist, been ordered to take several anger management courses and failed to show in an Argentinian court after being summoned on account of assault charges.
That’s it. I hereby renounce my official number one ‘Belieber’ status. How could you do this to us, Justin?
Subscriber count: >25,600,000
3 – HolaSoyGerman
This Chilean born, comedian, musician and writer is absolutely killing it on Youtube right now. Best known for his rapidly edited vlog style videos that tackle everyday issues, Hola Soy German saw a quick rise to fame in 2013. During that time he was hauling in more than a million subscribers a month! He also has a second channel, that primarily focuses on gaming, that has over 15 million subscribers. He was the first Youtuber to own two channels with over 10 million subscribers, earning him two separate diamond play buttons.
There is some controversy surrounding HolaSoyGerman’s Youtube empire. Many in the Spanish Youtube community believe that German has used bots to alter his statistics. One Youtuber by the name of LordDestructor noticed in an early video by German that at one point you could see a link in his favourites to a notorious bot site. At that time HolaSoyGerman rose to one million subscribers in his first six months of doing Youtube. LordDestructor made a lengthy video exposing HolaSoyGerman. The video that contained the evidence was quickly taken down and for some time all of HolaSoyGerman’s videos had their stats and comments disabled. Since then HolaSoyGerman has made a statement saying that he had visited a bot site but was just curious to see whether it would work.
Make of this controversy what you will. It is suspicious but you can’t deny that the guy’s talented and has wracked up millions of adoring fans. Either way, this channel continues to grow at a steady pace, making it the third most subscribed to channel on Youtube.
Subscriber count: >30,161,000
2 – Movies
This is another Youtube owned official channel. It’s an on demand movie channel hosting the latest movie releases to rent or buy. It’s hard to report on this channel’s statistics because it’s an on demand transaction based channel unlike most channels on Youtube. That means, there’s little to no public information available to comment on.
Basically all you need to know is that it’s kind of Youtube’s version of Netflix and it has a butt ton of subscribers.
Subscriber count: >44,683,000
1 – PewDiePie
Swedish born Felix Kjellberg, better known as his alias PewDiePie has held reign as the most subscribed to Youtube channel since 2013. Best known for his erratic gaming videos, his early rise to fame was particularly attributed to ‘let’s plays’ of horror games such as Amnesia that would illicit hilarious reactions. Over the years his style has shifted considerably. Now his content revolves around edgy vlog and skit style videos, mainly concerning internet culture and gaming.
Felix Kjellberg originally had a channel called PewDie but after forgetting the password he was forced to start again. So on April 29, 2010 he registered his account PewDiePie. At the time he had been accepted into prestigious Chalmers University of Technology studying a degree in industrial economics and technology management. The following year, Felix dropped out of his course to pursue his Youtube career. After his parents refused to support him and his decision, he was forced to sell hot dogs to support his fledgling dream of online content creation.
In 2012 his channel began experiencing rapid growth, garnering millions of subscribers. Then on December 22nd, 2013 he snatched the title as the most subscribed to Youtube channel and has remained that way ever since.
Now he’s a multi-millionaire, has created two top selling videos games, written a book and featured on numerous TV shows such as Conan, South Park and The Late Show with Steven Colbert.
Whether you’re a fan or not there’s no denying that Felix knows what he’s doing. Armed with an intimate knowledge of internet culture he knows exactly what his audience wants and has continued to see tremendous channel growth.
So the question is, will we see the king of Youtube topple from his throne any time soon? Only time will tell.
Subscriber count: >49,267,000