YouTube is the world’s largest video-sharing website. At its latest earnings call, parent company Alphabet revealed that the platform now boasts almost 2 billion monthly logged-in users. With such impressive viewership, it’s not surprising that YouTube has become a launchpad for influencers — the new-generation of celebrities and marketers’ preferred choice of promoters.
Ranging from gamers to make-up artists and vloggers of all type, YouTubers have harnessed the streaming video website to build solid followings, popularize their own brands, or successfully advertise various products. Forbes estimates that the world’s highest-earning YouTube influencers collectively made $180.5 million in 2018.
Let’s look at the top 10 YouTube stars, as ranked by statistics website SocialBlade according to the number of their subscribers. We focus on independent influencers, disregarding mainstream celebrities, music labels, and channels.
Subscribers: 98.9 million
Video viewers: 22.7 billion
Content-Type: Gaming, Entertainment, and Comedy
PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, was born in Sweden in 1989. He launched his YouTube channel in 2010, uploading clips of himself playing horror-themed video games and recording his reactions, which included comments and jokes. Let’s Plays propelled PewDiePie to global fame, and he later expanded his content into internet memes and viral videos commentary.
PewDiePie reigned on YouTube for six years, with subscribers growing at a fast pace. However, following a battle that began in October 2018, the gamer has recently lost his leading position to Indian media company T-Series.
Creating the “Subscribe to PewDiePie” campaign, devoted supporters took action to ensure Felix’s top spot on the chart. Some fans bought billboard space to further popularize the channel, while others even extended beyond legal grounds, creating malware and hacking websites, social media accounts, and personal devices. Despite these efforts, T-Series surpassed PewDiePie, reaching the 100-million subscriber mark at the end of May this year.
#2. Dude Perfect
Subscribers — 44.5 million
Video viewers — 8.5 billion
Content-Type — Sports and Entertainment
Dude Perfect is an American sports entertainment group from Texas. It consists of Garrett Hilbert, Cody Jones, Tyler Toney, and twins Coby and Cory Cotton, all of them former high-school basketball players and college roommates.
Their Dude Perfect YouTube channel features trick shot and stunt compilations, as well as multisport battles between the group members. Dude Perfect also has a series of short comedy videos called “Stereotypes,” and since 2018, the crew has had its own parody talk show called “Overtime.”
The Dude Perfect members hold 11 Guinness World Records, including for the most basketball free throws in one minute by a pair, farthest basketball shot made with the head, and longest basketball shot blindfolded, all recorded and shared with the channel subscribers.
Subscribers — 41.6 million
Video viewers — 13.6 billion
Content-Type — Entertainment
Badabun is a YouTube channel hosted by Mexican influencers Carolina Diaz, Alex Flores, KimShantal, and Lizbeth Rodriguez. It started publishing in 2014, kicking off with a video titled “10 cualidades que todo hombre desea en una mujer,” which translates as “10 qualities that every man desires in a woman.” The list-formatted content attracted a large number of views and subscribers, but Badabun is best-known for its “Exponiendo Infieles,” or “Exposing Cheaters” series, in which a host interviews couples to check their faithfulness. The team is also noted for its comedic street interviews and a Big Brother-type reality series documenting influencers living in a mansion together.
Subscribers — 36.5 million
Video viewers — 3 billion
Content-Type — Comedy, Songs and Movie Reviews
Whindersson Nunes Batista, aka Whinderssonnunes, is a Brazilian YouTuber born in 1995. He is famous for his comedic content, which includes parodies, vlogs, song and movie reviews, as well as videos about his daily life.
Whindersson’s YouTube channel was launched in 2013 and reached its popularity peak in 2016, when Batista counted the second-largest number of subscribers, just behind PewDiePie. Since then, however, Whinderssonnunes has been surpassed by other YouTubers.
Subscribers — 36 million
Video viewers — 9.6 billion
Content-Type — Comedy, Gaming and Entertainment
Born in Chile in 1990, German Garmendia is the YouTuber behind the JuegaGerman and HolaSoyGerman channels. The latter is focused on comedic and parody videos and has a bigger fan base of 39.4 million subscribers, but it hasn’t been active since 2017.
In the past two years, German has been creating mainly game-themed content and uploading it on his JuegaGerman channel. Recently, he has started producing more comedic videos.
Subscribers: 35.5 million
Video viewers: 7.8 billion
Content-Type: Gaming and Vlogs
Rubén Doblas Gundersen, or ElRubiusOMG, is a Spanish-Norwegian YouTuber whose channel focuses on video game play-throughs and reviews. He also does sketch comedies, vlogs, and challenges.
Rubén started his first channel, elrubius, in 2006, but copyright claims forced him to stop using it, and he created ElRubiusOMG in 2011.
Subscribers: 33.5 million
Video viewers: 7.2 billion
Content-Type: Gaming, Skits, Vlogs and Animations
Fernanfloo, whose real name is Luis Fernando Flores Alvarado, was born in 1993 in El Salvador, where he is now the country’s most popular YouTuber. Launched in 2011, his channel offers gaming videos, vlogs, comedic sketches, and animations.
In April 2018, Luis began to make gameplays on Twitch, posting less on YouTube. However, Fernanfloo remains one of the top gaming channels on the platform.
Luis has managed to use his fame for a couple of successful ventures, including the release of his own comic book, as well as an App Store and Google Play Fernanfloo game app.
#8. Felipe Neto
Subscribers: 33 million
Video viewers: 7.7 billion
Content-Type: Vlogs, comedy
Felipe Neto, whose full name is Felipe Neto Rodrigues Vieira, is a Brazilian online celebrity. He started his YouTube career in 2006 with celebrity-focused critical and comic commentaries. His channel now also includes vlogs about his daily life.
Felipe is the founder of Paramaker — a YouTube business network dedicated to professionalizing Brazil’s online video market. The company currently manages over 5,000 channels, including Parafernalha and IGN Brasil Network.
Subscribers: 27.2 million
Video viewers: 10.8 billion
Samuel de Luque is the man behind the Vegetta777 channel. The Spanish YouTuber is known for his gameplay videos for Minecraft, GTA V, Rainbow six, Roblox, Hello Neighbor, and others.
What makes Vegetta777 quite distinctive is Samuel’s style of narrative. He creates elaborate histories for the video game characters, which makes his videos “muy peliculero,” or movie-like.
Subscribers: 22.3 million
Video viewers: 1.9 billion
Ninja Tyler Blevins rose to prominence with his Fortnite streaming, due to which he managed to amass a massive following on Twitch as well as YouTube. Today Ninja has become an entrepreneur and has reportedly earned over $10 million last year from his Twitch and YouTube views.
This concludes our list of the Top 10 YouTube influencers in the gaming and entertainment space. We will continue to update this list, meanwhile, if you have any suggestions, please feel free to comment below and let us know.