Top 10 Most Popular YouTube Channels by Subscribers

As a social media marketer, I’m regularly called on to explore what brands are doing on YouTube, and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to spending a great deal of personal time on there as well. I’ve quickly learned that despite all of the effort brands put into creating viral ads like the Old Spice Guy, the videos that get the most exposure are ones created by individuals. I took a look at the Top 10 YouTube channels by subscribers and provided a few thoughts on why I think they’re so appealing:

10 – FPS Russia (FPSRussia)

Style: Guns & Ammo

Member Since: April 19, 2010

Subscribers: 2,645,576

Channel Views: 42.5 Million

Video Views: 466.6 Million

What’s the appeal? The accent is fake but the guns are real. If you like to see objects get shot, burned or blown up by exotic weaponry, then this is the YouTube channel for you.

9 – Epic Meal Time (epicmealtime)

Style: Comedy/Foodie

Member Since: September 2010

Subscribers: 2,739,143

Channel Views: 60.5 Million

Video Views: 452.7 Million

What’s the appeal? Three words sum up Epic Meal Time: BACON, ALCOHOL and HUMOR. Their motto is “Making dreams come true and then eating them.” It’s a great mixture of humor and all of the foods you’d ever want to eat, but wouldn’t dare (not on a regular basis anyway). They’re a little vulgar, a little immature and very entertaining.

8 – Shane Dawson TV (shanedawsontv)

Style: Sketch Comedy

Member Since: March 10, 2008

Subscribers: 2,882,028

Channel Views: 137.5 Million

Video Views: 744.5 Million

What’s the appeal? Shane Dawson shines light on a lot of truths through sketch comedy, cross-dressing and quirky characters. His fast-paced editing style and great delivery make for extremely funny videos.

7 – College Humor (collegehumor)

Style: Sketch Comedy

Member Since: March 2008

Subscribers: 2,908,717

Channel Views: 71.8 Million

Video Views: 1.44 Billion

What’s the appeal? You may have already noticed a theme in this list….comedy. It continues with the #7 most subscribed to YouTube channel: College Humor. It’s full of great sketch comedy and appears to be the hub for celebrities looking to poke fun at themselves.

6 – Freddie Wong (freddiew)

Style: Video Production

Member Since: February 22, 2006

Subscribers: 3,585,486

Channel Views: 72.4 Million

Video Views: 710.8 Million

What’s the appeal? Take a moment to think back to when you were seven years old, and you spent your days playing with friends. Do you remember some of the stuff you imagined? Now think about what it would be like to still have that type of imagination as an adult, coupled with some mad video editing skills. That’s freddiew.

5 – Jenna Marbles (jennamarbles)

Style: YouTube Personality

Member Since: February 16, 2010

Subscribers: 4,161,755

Channel Views: 75.6 Million

Video Views: 750.1 Million

What’s the appeal? It’s honest and hilarious, some may even say “honestly hilarious” (see what I did there?). Made famous by her “How to Trick People Into Thinking  You’re Attractive” video, Jenna has become one of YouTube’s favorite sweethearts.

4 – Machinima (machinima)

Style: Gaming

Member Since: September 2007

Subscribers: 4,833,900

Channel Views: 161.2 Million

Video Views: 3.67 Billion

What’s the appeal? This site is dedicated to the world of gaming, featuring gameplay videos, trailers and even a few spoofs that have all gaming fanatics giggling. It’s a great one-stop shop for any gamer.

3 – Smosh (smosh)

Style: Sketch Comedy

Member Since: November 19, 2005

Subscribers: 5,406,164

Channel Views: 212.8 Million

Video Views: 1.73 Billion

What’s the appeal? Smosh is the comedic duo of Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla. Their videos give you the feeling that you’re watching your high school class clowns in action, whenever you want.

2 – Ryan Higa (nigahiga)

Style: Comedy

Member Since: Jul 20, 2006

Subscribers: 5,682,159

Channel Views: 201.4 Million

Video Views: 1.31 Billion

What’s the appeal? Like most of our top-ranked YouTube channels, who doesn’t love a good laugh? And in this situation, it’s a good laugh, plus a little eye candy (for those of us that care). Ryan Higa seems to have what most YouTube viewers seek, a great sense of humor caught on camera.

1 – Ray William Johnson (raywilliamjohnson)

Style: Comedy

Member Since: May 5, 2008

Subscribers: 5,853,794

Channel Views: 398.8 Million

Video Views: 1.99 Billion

What’s the appeal? Following the formula of clip shows such as The Soup and Tosh.0, Ray William Johnson has used the combination of popular Internet clips and humorous comments to propel himself to YouTube’s most subscribed to channel of all time.

Well, there you have it. The 10 YouTube channels with the most subscribers. Which ones do you like that aren’t on the list?

All data is sourced from VidStatsX and accurate as of Wednesday, September 19, 2012.

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