YouTuber MrBeast has skyrocketed in popularity over the past 12 months, now gaining over one million subscribers a month, but he came from humble beginnings, as he revealed in an interview with fellow YouTuber Casey Neistat.
Known for a variety of videos, many of which go insanely viral, MrBeast, real name Jimmy Donaldson, now has over 16 million YouTube subscribers, an increase of 14 million since January 2018.
His success is certainly an anomaly, as not many YouTubers boast such a rapid rise in popularity in such a short period of time, especially with the, let's say, unique style of content he provides.
Some of his most popular videos include "Spending 24 hours straight underwater" and "I spent 24 hours straight in an insane asylum", or even "saying PewDiePie 100,000 times.
Perhaps the content he is best known for, however, is donating large sums of money to Twitch streamers and recording both his and their reactions - but how has he managed to afford such lavish philanthropy?
“I used to make a dollar a day, so I didn’t even have a microphone,” Donaldson explains, “My mindset was just ‘reinvest everything I make - every time I got a paycheck, that was the month’s budget.”
Timestamp at 4:40 for mobile viewers.
“So I saved up a dollar a day to buy a microphone, when I made a few thousand, I just spent a few thousand, when I made ten thousand, I just spent ten thousand. As I made more videos, I was like ‘I want to spend it on videos somehow.”
Of course, the millions of dollars which he has handed out - to streamers, homeless people, waiters and Uber drivers to name but a few - is not all out of his pocket.
Rather, he has used brand deals and sponsored videos to support these efforts, who in turn receive exposure through the millions of views each upload generates.
MrBeast also explained why he thinks those videos do so well, stating: “There’s a big misconception that controversy and negativity is the only way to get clicks, because that’s how it is in the media, for the most part, they don’t want good stories, they just want bad things.
“But I think on YouTube, it’s different, and people just haven’t realized it: positivity is just as clickbait as negativity.”
His latest video, ‘Donating $100,000 to streamers with 0 viewers’ is already well on its way to 10 million views after only three days, so the tried and tested formula is certainly still holding strong.
It looks as though his philanthropic efforts have extended beyond the reach of YouTube, as former Call of Duty pro and 100 Thieves CEO Matthew 'Nadeshot' Haag has also taken to donating large sums to his followers. His latest campaign saw him give out almost $150,000 in a new partnership with Cash App.
With so many personalities frequently utilizing their status to give back to their communities, there's no telling who will be the next one to take part in the trend.