PewDiePie no longer ‘king of YouTube’, step forward Daniel Middleton

31 Aug 2015

Daniel Middleton (left) speaking at last year's Web Summit in Dublin. Image via Web Summit/Flickr

The undeclared and certainly not self-proclaimed ‘king of YouTube’ Felix ‘PewDiePie’ Kjellberg has finally been overtaken as the most watched channel on YouTube, with TheDiamondMinecraft’s Daniel Middleton now taking the top spot.

When citing the economic and commercial power that now exists on YouTube as a format, PewDiePie is often cited as the example to follow, given that he remains the person with the most subscribers — currently totalling nearly 39m.

However, new statistics on who has generated the most views on the platform show that Middleton’s Minecraft series is now the most-watched, with more than 400m views on his channel alone.

Meanwhile, five places down, PewDiePie saw a rare 12pc reduction in view numbers achieving a ‘paltry’ 373m views in July.

The figures, collated by OpenSlate, show the continued power and growth of YouTube content, with TheDiamondMinecraft beating the digital wing of the wrestling company WW, WWEFanNation (399m), and the UK nursery rhyme animation company littlebabybum (391m).

Some family competition

Both Kjellberg and Middleton are unlikely to be in competition with one another, however, given that both of them are signed up to the larger Maker Studios network.

Founded in 2009, the company, which promotes and develops YouTube content, didn’t last long as an independent entity as, in 2014, it agreed to accept a bid of US$500m from The Walt Disney Company to buy out the studio.

Aside from the two previously mentioned, Maker Studios also has 11 other channels in its roster included in the top 100 on YouTube.

An honourable mention goes to Ireland’s current most successful YouTube personality jacksepticeye who has risen from 22th in the world in view numbers to 12th, racking up just over 0.25bn views in July.

Here is Middleton in action on his TheDiamondMinecraft channel.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic