Youtubers life omg

Jimmy Donaldson, aka MrBeast, was the top creator on YouTube this year. Now he wants to sell you hamburgers.

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In the fall of 2016, Jimmy Donaldson dropped out of college lớn try to solve one of the biggest mysteries in media: How exactly does a đoạn phim go viral on YouTube? Donaldson, then 18, had been posting lớn the site since he was 12 without amassing much of an audience. But he was convinced he was cthua trận lớn unlocking the secrets of YouTube’s algorithm, the black box of rules và processes that determines what videos get recommended khổng lồ viewers.

In the months that followed, Donaldson và a handful of his friends tried to craông chồng the code. They conducted daily phone calls to analyze what videos went viral. They gave one another YouTube-related homework assignments, and they pestered successful channels for data about their most successful posts. “I woke up, I studied YouTube, I studied videos, I studied filmmaking, I went to lớn bed & that was my life,” Donaldson recalled during a recent interview.


Then, one day, he was struông xã with an idea for a video clip that he was sure would work. It was as simple as counting. Donaldson sat down in a chair và, for the the next 40-plus hours, murmured one number after the next, starting from zero and continuing all the way khổng lồ 100,000. At the kết thúc of the exhausting stunt, he looked deliriously at the camera. “What am I doing with my life?” he said. 


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It was an oddly mesmerizing performance, the kind of thing every kid in elementary school thinks about but never tries. The resulting video — entitled “I COUNTED TO 100000!” — was a viral smash. Since its debut on Jan. 8, 2017, it has earned over 21 million views.

The video helped give rise to one of the unlikeliest success stories on YouTube. Over the past four years, Donaldson‘s channel, MrBeast, has amassed more than 48 million subscribers. In the last 28 days, people have spent more than 34 million hours watching his videos. On Dec. 12, MrBeast was named Creator of the Year at the Streamy Awards, YouTube’s equivalent of the Oscars.


The consistent success of MrBeast’s videos has gotten the attention of the YouTube establishment. Last year, every Clip he posted eclipsed đôi mươi million views. Such consistency is unparalleled, even among muốn YouTube’s biggest stars. “He lives on a different planet than the rest of the YouTube world,” said Casey Neistat, a filmmaker turned YouTuber.

Donaldson, now 22, has a baby face & a patchy goatee. He speaks with an aw-shucks modesty & doesn’t vì chưng many interviews. But the restraint quickly fades away when he starts talking about YouTube. “Once you know how khổng lồ make a video go viral, it’s just about how khổng lồ get as many out as possible,” he said. “You can practically make unlimited money.”

“The videos take months of prep. A lot of them take four khổng lồ five days of relentless filming. There’s a reason other people don’t vì chưng what I vày.”

Unlike many first-wave YouTube stars, who were actors, screenwriters, models and singers hoping someday lớn break inkhổng lồ traditional industries, Donaldson has only ever aspired to YouTube stardom. He wakes up every day thinking about the perfect videos, with an exactitude that borders on monomania.


At age 12, he created his first two YouTube channels. In one, he filmed himself playing the Clip game Call of Duty. In the other, he played Minecraft. He named both channels using a riff on Beast, his Xbox playing handle. Over time, he grew increasingly curious about the site’s economics. At one point, he filmed a series of videos estimating the earnings of top creators, starting with PewDiePie, the long-reigning king of YouTube.

Donaldson’s first kiểm tra from YouTube arrived when MrBeast crossed 10,000 subscribers. It wasn’t a windfall. For the first few years, he filmed every đoạn phim on his phone. He lacked a microphone & his máy tính crashed frequently. 

After high school, Donaldson went to college briefly at the request of his mom, who’d raised hlặng & his siblings on her own. But he soon dropped out without telling her and turned lớn his preferred pastime: making YouTube videos. “I didn’t have much money, so I wanted to lớn vì chưng something big,” he said.

The success of the counting đoạn phim taught him an important lesson. While many of his friends were interested in getting the most views with the least effort, he wanted to convey to the audience how hard he was working. His stunts grew more extravagant. He watched a fellow YouTuber’s rap đoạn phim on loop for 10 hours. He spent 24 hours in a prison, then an insane asylum, then a deserted isl&.

The views on his videos, which are YouTube’s primary currency, started khổng lồ snowball. In his first six years on the site, he had generated just 6 million views. But at the age of 18, with his full attention on YouTube, he earned 122 million annual views. At 19, he attracted more than 460 million. He now generates 4 billion views a year. “The beauty of YouTube is double the effort isn’t double the views, it’s lượt thích 10x,” he said. “The first million subscribers you get will take years, but the second will come in a few months.”


Over time, he deduced more of YouTube’s mysteries. Make a clip too long, no one watches or wants lớn watch another.  Make one too short, people won’t linger. Use a bad thumbnail photo lớn or title và no one will cliông xã. Donaldson typically makes videos that are between 10 minutes and 20 minutes long. He picks a concept that is easy lớn communicate in the title — “I Adopted EVERY Dog in a Dog Shelter” — và then uses the first 30 seconds to establish the stakes.

His videos often blover three popular YouTube genres. There’s the outrageous challenge, such as staying inside a blochồng of ice for a day or being the last one khổng lồ leave sầu a vat of ramen noodles. There’s the celebrity guest appearance: Donaldson often works with other marquee YouTubers, including his favorite, the scientist Mark Rober. And there’s the reaction video — MrBeast has a posse of blundering childhood friends who participate in his stunts and generally play the role of hype men.

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Donaldson denies having a true formula. The majority of his views don’t come from new clips, but from people who stumble on older footage that the site’s algorithm has recommended. His real secret, he said, traces bachồng to the video clip of hyên ổn counting to 100,000. Viewers are attracted to lớn displays of sheer willpower.


Donaldson now generates tens of millions of dollars in advertising sales from his social truyền thông media feeds, which include his main channel, a gaming channel & pages on other social truyền thông media sites. He invests almost every dollar baông xã inkhổng lồ his business. In recent years, his average cost of making a single đoạn phim has climbed khổng lồ $300,000 from $10,000. “Money is a vehicle lớn do bigger videos & make better content,” he said.

To date, his priciest Clip cost $1.2 million. In it, he promised to lớn give $1 million to the contestant who could keep his hvà on a stack of cash for the longest period of time. In the end, he felt bad for the three people who didn’t get the $1 million, so he gave them some money too.

These days, many of his stunts have a philanthropic angle. He has given away money lớn homeless people, lớn his subscribers, lớn users of the popular video clip site Twitch, và khổng lồ people he met on the street.


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He also likes khổng lồ spover money on ambitious logistical feats. At one point, he wanted to lớn gift an entire islvà khổng lồ the winner of a series of challenges. So his team went out, bought an isl& & refurbished it. Initially, there was no s&, so his employees imported 5,000 pounds of it and created a beach. They also paid someone khổng lồ build a pier. “Most YouTubers who make a couple gr& buy a Lamborghini,” said Reed Duchscher, his manager.

Donaldson employs about 50 people, most of whom specialize in logistics and production. “The videos take months of prep,” Donaldson said. “A lot of them take four to five sầu days of relentless filming. There’s a reason other people don’t vì what I bởi vì.” One of his dream videos — staging a basketball game in the stratosphere — has so far eluded hyên.  


MrBeast has inspired plenty of imitations & helped give rise lớn a new, popular aesthetic, which one YouTuber dubbed “junklord.” Along the way, Donaldson has aligned himself with a prominent generation of young YouTube dudes who love sophomoric comedy, video games and escalating dares.

In 2019, he staged a series of stunts to lớn help PewDiePie maintain his crown as the YouTube channel with the most subscribers. PewDiePie had created an online chiến dịch to lớn compete with T-Series, an Indian truyền thông media channel phối to dethrone him. Donaldson rigged office fax lines, purchased billboard advertisements and even went lớn the Super Bowl lớn tư vấn PewDiePie. The tagline “Subscribe 2 PewDiePie” was later used by the perpetrator of a mass shooting in New Zealvà, one of several problematic associations in PewDiePie’s recent history.

But Donaldson remains a loyal tín đồ. “He’s just really authentic, and it doesn’t seem lượt thích it’s ever gone khổng lồ his head,” Donaldson said of the elder YouTuber.

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Duchscher, who has also worked with the YouTube standout Dude Perfect, is pushing Donaldson to lớn invest his money in areas beyond YouTube, preparing for a life after streaming. On Dec. 19, Donaldson announced a new venture called “Beast Burger.” He is partnering with more than 300 restaurants and kitchens across the country that will make burgers based on his instructions — a mã sản phẩm known as ghost kitchens.

Over the weekkết thúc, the MrBeast Burger phầm mềm soared in popularity. As of the morning of Dec. 21, it was the second most popular free tiện ích in the entire iOS store. Donaldson và Duchscher plan lớn double their footprint by the end of next year. Customers can order on delivery apps lượt thích Postmates or Grubhub. 

A MrBeast consumer line is in the works, and Donaldson, an avid gamer, has also talked about wanting to own an esports team. In just seven months, his side channel devoted lớn gaming has racked up more than 11 million subscribers.

Yet, try as he might, he can’t shake his primary obsession. “I can’t envision a world where I’m not making YouTube videos,” he said. “In a perfect world, I live sầu & breathe this, working 12- lớn 15-hour days until I die.”