Since the creation of YouTube in 2005, the online video sharing platform has grown immensely over the past 15 years, from its humble beginnings featuring amateur videos such as “Me at the zoo” and “tow chinese boys: i want it that way” to the epic battle for the most-subscribed title between PewDiePie and T-Series.
The platform has really evolved over the years, with newbie content creators rising to international stardom and YouTube veterans growing their personal channels into video production companies. Let’s look back on some of the most successful YouTubers of the past decade.
Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, more commonly known as PewDiePie, is without a doubt the most famous YouTuber in the world. His channel has had the most subscribers for more than five years in a row (2013 to 2019), and the figure is currently at a whopping 102 million. The Swede produces Let’s Play videos, vlogs, comedy shorts, and formatted shows, among many other things. If you ask us, he’s hands down the King of YouTube.
Jenna Nicole Mourey, who goes by the pseudonym Jenna Marbles, is arguably the most recognisable female YouTuber of the last decade. The American vlogger/comedian currently has 20.1 million subscribers, with 14 years of YouTube experience under her belt. Marbles was one of the first female YouTubers to make it big, paving the way for other female YouTubers like Lilly Singh aka IISuperwomanII, who now has her own televised talk show.
Smosh is a sketch-comedy YouTube channel created by Americans Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox. Two of the first ever YouTubers, they began their channel in 2005. You might recognise them from their famous Pokémon lip sync video. Their channel currently has 25 million subscribers and has certainly stood the test of time.
The man behind HolaSoyGerman, or ‘Hi, I’m German’, is none other than Chilean YouTuber German Alejandro Garmendia Aranis. He started with his Let’s Play channel JuegaGerman in 2011, and gradually expanded it to create HolaSoyGerman, which has 40.2 million subscribers. Right now, it is the second most popular Spanish language channel, but if you measure his success over the past decade, German is still the biggest Spanish-speaking YouTube personality in the world.
Ryan Higa, also known as nigahiga, who’s best known for his pun-tastic spoof videos, started YouTube in 2006. Not only is he a YouTube pioneer, he’s also dominated the most subscribed channel spot for 677 consecutive days (2009 to 2011), a record surpassed only by PewDiePie. He now has 21.3 million subscribers and still signs off every video with his iconic “TEEHEE”.