YouTube genius and 21st-century philanthropist Jimmy Donaldson, better known as MrBeast, has surpassed Felix Kjellberg, better known as Pewdiepie, as the most-subscribed YouTube creator ever.
According to Dexerto, Donaldson sailed past Kjellberg’s 111,846,079 subscribers just after 4 p.m. EST on Nov. 14. Swedish creator PewDiePie became the most-subscribed YouTuber in August 2013 with his gaming reaction videos.
In 2019, he was the first person to attract 100 million subscribers.
But the philanthropy of MrBeast gained him his 112 millionth subscriber this month. Although YouTube does not show the exact numbers, that pushed him above PewDiePie’s 111 million.
Despite a history of public admonishments from both YouTube and the media over the use of racist language and antisemitic jokes, PewDiePie was also the most subscribed channel on YouTube until 2018, when Bollywood production behemoth T-Series surpassed him.
Donaldson and Kjellberg have been contemporaries and friends for several years. In 2018, Donaldson poured thousands of dollars into a marketing blitz in support of the “subscribe to Pewdiepie” campaign, a highly publicized run off between Kjellberg and T-Series for the title of top-subscribed channel on YouTube.
In recent years, Donaldson’s MrBeast channel has seen explosive growth, thanks to his obsessive optimization of YouTube’s algorithm, philanthropic approach to viral content, and gamified video concepts, claims Mashable.
British YouTuber Steven Bridges, whose videos have millions of views on the platform, told the BBC MrBeast has “mastered the skill” of making compelling content. “There’s probably no other YouTuber in the world who understands it as well as MrBeast,” he said.
“Making an entertaining video is one thing, but ensuring that every single second of a video keeps the viewer hooked is very difficult to pull off, and MrBeast’s retention – the percent of the video the average viewer watches – and view counts speak for themselves.