Now you’re the king, MrBeast.Image: Jeff Kravitz / Vincent Sandoval / Kotaku (Getty Images)
Well, folks, the seemingly impossible has been done. After a little more than a decade of content creation, Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg is no longer the most-subscribed YouTuber on Google’s video-sharing platform. That title belongs to Jimmy “MrBeast” Donaldson, who passed PewDiePie by a few thousand more subscribers. Cue the confetti and fireworks, or whatever you use to celebrate.
PewDiePie started his channel in April 2010, uploading Let’s Play videos on action and horror games like Frictional Games’ Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us. He quickly rose to prominence off the back of his content, becoming the most-subscribed individual YouTuber on the platform in August 2013. The Verge dubbed PewDiePie the King of YouTube in 2014 and since then, he’s gone on to amass some 111 million subscribers while expanding his uploads to include commentary and vlogs alongside his Let’s Plays. Though that’s an impressive number to achieve for any one person, MrBeast swiftly sped past PewDiePie’s subscriber count on November 14.
As spotted by the esports and influencer site Dexerto, MrBeast now also has 111 million subscribers. But as you can see in the video above, MrBeast managed to eclipse PewDiePie’s incredible number by just a few thousand more, topping out at roughly 111,847,586 subscribers versus PewDiePie’s approximately 111,846,073.
MrBeast dethroning the OG King of YouTube makes sense when you think about his content in relation to PewDiePie’s. PewDiePie has been a rather controversial figure in the past—like that one time back in January 2017 when he asked some performers to display a banner allegedly calling for “death to all Jews”. He also used to joke about rape and has been caught regularly using racist language against Black folks in his videos, though he has since apologized for this egregious behavior.
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MrBeast, on the other hand, is a family-friendly creator. Having started his channel in February 2012, MrBeast used to upload videos around Treyarch’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and Mojang Studios’ Minecraft before transitioning to what he’s now known for: giving away money and prizes through expensive competitions and stunts. He’s also been on a philanthropic kick since October 2019, raising funds for the Arbor Day Foundation to plant over 20 million trees in national parks across the US.
Hell, even PewDiePie knew his days as the King of YouTube were numbered. In a YouTube Short from this past August, after MrBeast reached 100 million subscribers, PewDiePie said MrBeast “definitely will” pass him and he “definitely deserves it” because PewDiePie had retired from YouTube, though he hasn’t stopped uploading.
Kotaku has reached out to MrBeast and PewDiePie for comment.
Of course, there’s a big caveat here. While MrBeast may be the most-subscribed YouTuber, he actually only has the most numbers as an individual creator. There’s an Indian record label and film production company called T-Series that has 229 million subscribers on YouTube, though there’s a full team of employees behind that channel. So in the face of that, MrBeast’s feat is truly remarkable. All hail the new king, I guess.