Who Are the World's Biggest YouTubers, the Huge Celebrities You've Likely Never Heard Of?

Who Are the World's Biggest YouTubers, the Huge Celebrities You've Likely Never Heard Of? Newsweek

Viewing habits are rapidly changing. Rather than gathering around the TV as a family, teens and young adults are now twice as likely to be found watching internet video, according to a survey from digital media firm Defy Media.

With 13-to-24-year-olds watching 12.1 hours of video per week on YouTube and social media, young people have fostered a brand of celebrity that has blossomed unbeknown to their clueless parents—the YouTuber.

Generally young, perky, and hungry for hits, the average YouTuber tends to create content that is both relatable and extreme—sometimes with disastrous consequences.

They're all chasing one thing—big advertising bucks. The top one percent of creators attract up to 42.1 million views per month in 2016, research shows, allowing popular uploaders to monetize their videos.

This has bred a small pool of millionaires in their twenties—or even younger. A six-year-old named Ryan made $11 million in 2017 reviewing toys on his channel Ryan ToysReview.

These YouTubers rarely cross over into the wider realm of celebrity, unless they overstep the mark from attention-grabbing into truly scandalous. Recent examples include racist remarks and filming corpses from YouTubers PewDiePie and Logan Paul, respectively.

Yet even if the over-25s don't know who they are, they're instantly recognizable to the internet-savvy Gen Z, who grew up with the platform as a primary source of entertainment.

Considering that YouTubers upload 400 hours of video every minute, competition is fierce. A 2016 study found that the top 3 percent of channels got 90 percent of the viewership, but even being in that top three percent doesn't guarantee an income equivalent to minimum wage.

Using data from SocialBlade, we've listed the YouTube personalities who have managed to claw their way to the top of the video hosting platform's slippery pole, amassing the most subscribers on the way.

We've focussed on YouTube personalities alone, discounting groups of people, and accounts for people who are famous for non-YouTube related reasons, such as Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran. These are the biggest YouTube celebrities you might never have known existed.

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1. PewDiePie Subscribers: 64,822,659. Total views: 18,474,979,479. Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg is a 28-year-old Swedish YouTuber known for his video game commentary and comedy vlogs. Although his use of racist language has caused some commercial partners to sever contracts, according to Forbes, his 2017 income was $12 million. John Lamparski/Getty Images
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2. HolaSoyGerman Subscribers: 34,248,520. Total views: 3,577,289,820. Chilean YouTuber Germán Garmendia not only has two successful channels, but also has a popular band and has released a book entitled #ChupaElPerro. He is the most-subscribed Spanish-language YouTuber. Mike Windle/Getty Images for dick clark productions
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3. Whinderssonnunes Subscribers: 30,718,082. Total views: 2,514,634,290. Whindersson Nunes Batista, 23, is the most popular Brazilian YouTube personality. His videos range from parodies to movie reviews and chats about his daily life. Mauricio Santana/Getty Images
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4. ElrubiusOMG Subscribers: 30,405,922. Total views: 6,787,879,553. The 28-year-old Spaniard Rubén Doblas Gundersen shot to viral fame by producing a mix of gaming videos and vlogs. He promotes a healthy lifestyle, refusing to smoke or drink in his vlogs and has worked with Pepsi and McDonald’s. He recently announced he would take a break to work on his mental health. Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
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5. Fernanfloo Subscribers: 28,864,537. Total views: 6,835,123,642. Salvadorian gamer Luis Flores is the most popular YouTuber from El Salvador, a country far smaller than his subscriber count. In April, he switched platforms from YouTube to the gaming site Twitch. Fernanfloo
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6. JuegaGerman Subscribers: 28,023,191. Total views: 7,597,235,384. It’s Germán Garmendia again! His second-most popular channel is focussed on video games.Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for dick clark productions
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7. Felipe Neto Subscribers: 23,696,333. Total views: 4,059,426,596. This Brazilian 30-year-old found fame with videos discussing movies, celebrities and his daily life. Mauricio Santana/Getty Images
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8. VanossGaming Subscribers: 23,359,761. Total views: 9,689,811,595. Evan Fong, the Canadian behind VanossGaming, is a video game commentator, often featuring his friends in his videos. He made $15.5m in 2017. Rachel Murray/Getty Images for The Thirst Project