Spend more than a few minutes on video-sharing site Youtube and it’ll be hard to miss the money-fuelled antics of Youtuber MrBeast. Well known for throwing around grotesque amounts of cash on ventures equal parts frivolous and charitable, how and where did he get the money to fund his shenanigans?
MrBeast got rich by creating viral videos, allowing him to generate revenue through ads and brand deals. Even before giving away huge sums of money, he was already focused on making viral content. It’s estimated that his net worth is around $8 million.
He didn’t just make his money overnight, MrBeast has been attempting to perfect his formula for highly viewed videos since as early as 2012.
Eventually, he turned towards producing viral videos in an assembly line process, as he began turning over more and more money in the effort to produce some of the most-watched content on Youtube.
Experimentation and Perfection
Jimmy Donaldson, first going by the moniker MrBeast6000 a few years prior to shaving the number off the end, got his start on Youtube by experimenting with uploading content aimed at going viral and gaining subscribers.
Anyone who has attempted to harness control of the Youtube algorithm themselves will know all too well the difficulty in managing to perfect the winning formula.
Multiple factors, ranging from video runtime to the thumbnail, to a catchy title, to the type of content, will all be factored into the final equation.
It’s a skill that’s simultaneously an art and a science, one that can’t be taught or learned, but must be practiced.
In the beginnings of his Youtube career, that’s exactly what Donaldson poured himself and his efforts into.
His earliest attempts at exploiting the algorithm for attempted virality was met with limited success.
Much of his earliest uploads were gaming related, a variety show of highlights and compilations for the trending and popular video games at the time.
Although they weren’t netting him the kind of viewership numbers that he desired, they were at least slowly building a base of fans that were enjoying his work, even when he began to shift content style.
Although he had successfully gained a fair chunk of subscribers and had multiple video series which sported healthy viewing figures, Donaldson still had yet to master crafting truly viral videos.
At least until his attempt to count to 100,000.
Donaldson embarked on the seemingly impossibly monotonous task of counting all the way to 100,000.
A feat of endurance and triumph over the mind-numbing boredom that he must have had to battle against, Donaldson had managed to put out a 5-million-view video, with those views coming in just a few days.
For anyone thinking that video was too long, the views were almost certainly deserved for the suffering that it must have taken to produce. It was a 24-hour long video.
Donaldson performed a few similarly outlandish tasks, coming upon a prototype for virality in his videos. The process was still in its rudimentary form, however, and Donaldson would truly nail down the formula when he began releasing videos of himself giving away exorbitant amounts of money.
Brand Deals and Ad Money
Getting so many eyes on your videos brings some perks beyond just the ad revenue that you receive.
If your content is brand-friendly and inoffensive, you can expect to have brands queuing up at your door for the opportunity to be featured in your video.
Now that he was on a viral spree with his videos, these were exactly the kind of deals that Donaldson was attracting.
He rolled the money into one fund along with his ad revenue and added it to the snowball of momentum that he had already started rolling.
Since then, MrBeast has been marching forward, an unstoppable views machine garnering ever more subscribers and engaging in an escalating series of wealth distribution.
Some of it is philanthropy, some of it is just plain old fashioned fun, but the kind of spectacle it creates is exactly what earns Donaldson his money.
There is no set math to determine how much each individual Youtuber makes on the platform, and there’s a fair bit of speculation about MrBeast’s actual net worth.
He’s perfected his style of video, made a future for himself, his friends, and his family.
All that, and he’s even managed to share some of the wealth along the way.