MrBeast dethrones T-Series as most popular YouTube channel

MrBeast in the video for his real-life Squid Games (YouTube/MrBeast)
MrBeast in the video for his real-life Squid Games (YouTube/MrBeast)

American Youtuber MrBeast has overtaken an Indian YouTube channel with more than a quarter of a billion subscribers to become the platform’s most popular channel.

MrBeast, whose real name is James Donaldson, first gained popularity in 2017 after posting a video showing him counting to 100,000 over 40 hours.

The video received tens of millions of views, and while the follow-up video – which showed him counting from 100,000 to 200,000 over 55 hours – only gained a relatively modest amount of views, his channel has gone on to gain more than 269 million subscribers.

T-Series, which hosts Indian music videos and movie trailers, overtook PewDiePie in 2019 to become the world’s most popular channel on YouTube, ending a six year reign for the Swedish YouTube star.

The dominance of T-Series had been controversial among some people within the YouTube community, who claimed that it represented a shift away from independent creators to corporate brands.

In a post to X on Sunday, MrBeast wrote: “After six years we have finally avenged Pewdiepie.”

Since losing interest in filming himself count, MrBeast has gained a reputation for big-budget competitions, including a live-streamed ‘rock, paper, scissors’ event in 2020 that had a $250,000 prize.

More recent videos include a 100-person competition that challenged the contestants – who ranged in age from one to 100 – to stay in a glass cube for as long as possible. After spending eight days in a cube, the 40-year-old winner went home with $500,000.

His most popular video is currently a “real-life Squid Game”, based on the popular Netflix series, which saw contestants compete in a series of games like musical chairs for prize money.

MrBeast’s net worth was estimated to be around $500 million (£392) in 2022, according to Forbes.

Earlier this year, the 26-year-old YouTuber reportedly signed a TV deal worth $100 million with Amazon.