Statista’s ranking of the most subscribed YouTube channels in the current year provides valuable information on what is successful on the platform.
The dominance of channels like T-Series with 237 million subscribers and MrBeast with 136 million demonstrates the power of certain niches and monetization styles when optimized effectively for YouTube.
Their large fan base determines users’ expectations of the creators and influences the revenue potential of YouTube channels.
Analyzing the strategies of these top channels provides valuable lessons for creators to build their own engaged community on the world’s largest video platform.
These lessons can help smaller creators replicate aspects of the success that has given the big guns on the platform the most subscribers.
Overview of Statista’s February 2023 Report
Statista’s latest report analyzes the most subscribed YouTube channels. Metrics are based on subscriber numbers as of February 2023.
To access the full report, click here.
Cocomelon – Nursery Rhymes placed third with 155 million subscribers.
The report’s methodology examined official YouTube channel subscriber counts using YouTube’s backend platform.
The scope of the report focused exclusively on measuring the actual subscriber numbers of the top channels, without considering multi-channel networks or network subscribers.
Key findings show that Indian music and children’s entertainment channels dominate the top spots.
For instance, T-Series, SET India, Like Nastya, and Kids Diana Show – all catering to Indian or young audiences – are among the top 10 most subscribed.
While gaming and movie channels still rank highly, traditional YouTube stars like PewDiePie have fallen out of the top 3.
Compared to previous years’ reports, there is an increasing prevalence of non-English channels among the most subscribed.
As mentioned above, Indian music and children’s channels, in particular, have seen massive subscriber growth in recent years, reflecting broader YouTube trends.
Examination of specific examples of channels highlighted in the report
- T-Series is currently the most subscribed YouTube channel with over 237 million subscribers
- The channel primarily features Indian music and movie content
- T-Series has capitalized on the large Indian population and growing internet penetration in the country to amass a massive subscriber base
- MrBeast is the second most subscribed individual creator on YouTube with over 136 million subscribers
- He is known for his high-budget, elaborate YouTube stunts, and challenges
- MrBeast has built a loyal fan base through his creative, entertaining, and philanthropic videos
- He has been named the highest-earning YouTuber in 2021, earning an estimated $54 million
- Ryan’s World, run by Ryan Kaji, is a kid-friendly channel featuring toy reviews and family-friendly entertainment
- Ryan started his channel at age 3 by simply reviewing and unboxing toys
- The channel now has over 31 million subscribers, making Ryan one of the highest-earning YouTubers among kids his age
- Some of the most subscribed YouTube channels have capitalized on large target audiences like Indians and kids
- Creating highly entertaining, innovative, and philanthropic content can help build loyal fan bases and high viewer engagement
- YouTube’s revenue-sharing model and the ability to monetize a large subscriber base have helped create a thriving “creator economy,” with some YouTubers earning millions of dollars annually
Analysis of the strategies employed by these channels to gain subscribers and generate income
Creating Content for Underserved Niches
The most subscribed YouTube channels identify gaps in existing content on the platform and fill those gaps with their own content.
T-Series provides Indian music and Bollywood content for India’s underserved population.
By targeting hungry audiences for more of that specific type of content, T-Series was able to amass a massive subscriber base.
Building Loyal Fans Through Consistency
Channels maintain a consistent upload schedule of multiple new videos per week.
This keeps their content fresh and top of mind for subscribers.
It also helps YouTube recommend its videos to new viewers, allowing them to build loyal fan bases over time.
Channels like MrBeast and Ryan’s World exemplify this strategy.
Monetizing Through Multiple Streams
In addition to YouTube’s revenue share, the top channels partner with brands for sponsorships, run advertisements, and sell merchandise.
Their large subscriber bases allow them to command higher advertisement rates and sell more merchandise, maximizing the money they make from each subscriber.
Check out our in-depth analysis on, “How Much Do Influencers Make In 2023?‘ which highlights the latest trends and tactics affecting influencer income.
Reinvesting Profits Into Bigger Videos
The wealth generated by these YouTube stars is reinvested into producing higher quality, more ambitious content.
Improved production values help attract even more subscribers, fueling a virtuous cycle of growth and demonstrating the potential of the “creator economy.”
Creating Engaging Content in Niches
All the channels understand the interests of their target audiences and create content that deeply resonates.
MrBeast produces over-the-top challenges and stunts that highly engage his core demographic of younger viewers.
Ryan produces kid-friendly and educational toy review content that parents approve of.
Optimizing for the Algorithm
These channels optimize key aspects of their videos like titles, descriptions, tags, and thumbnail images to increase the likelihood that YouTube will recommend their videos.
They carefully study what performs well to continuously improve their optimization strategies.
Leveraging Super Fans
The top-rated channels in the Statista report rely on their most engaged subscribers to spread the word and promote their content through their own social networks.
These “super fans” help drive organic growth through word-of-mouth recommendations.
Using Current Trends
They incorporate popular hashtags, memes, and topics into their videos to capitalize on trends and reach a broader audience.
This helps them stay relevant and appeal to new potential subscribers.
The channels constantly test out new types of content, formats, and production styles.
This experimentation helps them identify what resonates most with viewers and stay fresh, reducing the risk of becoming stale over time.
Consistent Community Building Efforts
The channels constantly interact with subscribers through comments, social media, and live streams.
This ongoing engagement builds a personal connection that cultivates loyalty among fans.
The most subscribed YouTube channels demonstrate several pathways to success on the platform: targeting niche audiences, producing high-quality and consistent content, optimizing for the algorithm, monetizing through multiple revenue streams, and constantly experimenting.
While the scale achieved by these top channels remains unmatched for most creators, their strategies provide valuable lessons that indies can apply at a smaller level.
However, the dominance of a select few juggernaut channels also makes it challenging for smaller creators to get discovered.
As YouTube looks to foster a healthier creator economy, it must promote discoverability and rewards for a wider variety of channels.
The future lies in balancing the opportunities presented by YouTube’s size whilst cultivating a long tail of niche content that truly leverages the platform’s full potential.
For other reports and analyses to gain insights on how to achieve success as an influencer check our resources here.