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American YouTuber (born 1998)
For other uses, see Mr Beast (disambiguation)

MrBeast

Donaldson in 2021
Personal information
Born Jimmy Donaldson
(1998-05-07) May 7, 1998 (age 24)

Kansas, US
Origin Greenville, North Carolina, US
Occupation
  • YouTuber
  • businessman
  • philanthropist
YouTube information
Channels
  • MrBeast
  • Beast Philanthropy
Years active 2011–present
Genre
  • Comedy
  • entertainment
  • vlogs
  • gaming
  • reaction
Subscribers
  • 113 million (main channel)
  • 190 million (combined)
Total views
  • 187 billion (main channel)
  • 29 billion (combined)
Associated acts
  • PewDiePie
  • Marques Brownlee
  • Mark Rober
  • Dream
Creator Awards
100,000 subscribers 2016
1,000,000 subscribers 2017
10,000,000 subscribers 2018
50,000,000 subscribers 2021
100,000,000 subscribers 2022

Last updated: November 21, 2022

Jimmy Donaldson (born May 7, 1998), better known as MrBeast, is an American YouTube personality, credited with pioneering a genre of YouTube videos that centers on expensive stunts His main channel, “MrBeast”, is the fourth-most-subscribed on the platform, and the highest by any individual

Donaldson began posting videos to YouTube in early 2012 at the age of 13, under the handle “MrBeast6000”; his early content ranged from Let’s Plays to “videos estimating the wealth of other YouTubers” He went viral in 2017 after his “counting to 100,000” video earned tens of thousands of views in just a few days, and he has become increasingly popular ever since, with most of his videos gaining tens of millions of views Over time, his style of content diversified to include challenge and donation videos that reward thousands of dollars, videos with arduous tasks or survival challenges, and original vlogs Once his channel took off, Donaldson hired several of his childhood friends to help him run the growing brand As of 2022, the MrBeast team is made up of 30 people, including Donaldson himself

Donaldson’s main YouTube channel, which reached 113 million subscribers on November 21, 2022, is called “MrBeast” He also runs several other YouTube channels, including Beast Reacts, MrBeast Gaming, MrBeast 2 (formerly MrBeast Shorts), and a philanthropy channel, Beast Philanthropy He used to run MrBeast 3 (formerly MrBeast 2), which is now inactive He was also one of the 10 highest-paid YouTubers of 2020 Donaldson is also the founder of MrBeast Burger and Feastables, and a co-creator of Team Trees, a fundraiser for the Arbor Day Foundation that has raised over $23 million, and Team Seas, a fundraiser for Ocean Conservancy and The Ocean Cleanup that has raised over $30 million Jimmy won Creator of the Year award twice at The Streamy Awards in 2020 and 2021; He also won “Favorite Male Social Star” award at 2020 Kids’ Choice Awards

Early life and family

Donaldson was born on May 7, 1998, in the state of Kansas He was mainly raised alongside his older brother Charles “CJ” Donaldson in Greenville, North Carolina In 2016, Donaldson graduated from Greenville Christian Academy, a private secondary school in the area He briefly attended East Carolina University before dropping out Donaldson’s brother is also a YouTuber, who goes by CjTheseDays, and has more than 429 million subscribers as of November 2022

YouTube career

Early viral attempts (2012–2017)

Chris Tyson, prominent in many MrBeast videos

Donaldson uploaded his first YouTube video in February 2012, at the age of 13, under the handle “MrBeast6000”; his early content ranged from Let’s Plays (mainly focused on Minecraft and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2), videos estimating the wealth of other YouTubers, videos that offered tips to upcoming YouTube creators, and commentary on YouTube drama Donaldson appeared only infrequently in these videos In July 2013, the subscriber count of his channel, then named “That-dude”, was around 240

In 2015 and 2016, Donaldson began to gain popularity with his “worst intros” series poking fun at YouTube video introductions By mid-2016, Donaldson had around 30,000 subscribers In fall 2016, Donaldson dropped out of East Carolina University to pursue a full-time career as a YouTuber His mother did not approve of this, and made him move out of the family home

As his channel grew, Donaldson hired four childhood friends – Chris Tyson, Chandler Hallow, Garrett Ronalds, and Jake Franklin – to contribute to his channel They then contacted numerous YouTubers in order to obtain statistics of their successful videos and predicting the platform’s recommendation system Franklin left the crew in 2020; afterwards, Karl Jacobs, previously a cameraman, was promoted to take his place

Rise to fame (2017–2020)

Donaldson at Los Angeles in March 2019, hosting and producing a $200,000 battle royale competition for his YouTube channel

In January 2017, Donaldson published an almost day-long video of himself counting to 100,000 The stunt took him 40 hours, with some parts sped up to “keep it under 24 hours” Donaldson also gained popularity during this period with stunts, such as attempting to break glass using a hundred megaphones, watching paint dry for an hour, attempting to stay underwater for 24 hours (which ended up failing due to health issues), and an unsuccessful attempt to spin a fidget spinner for a day By 2018, Donaldson had given out $1 million through his outlandish stunts, which earned him the title of “YouTube’s biggest philanthropist”

During the PewDiePie vs T-Series rivalry in 2018, a competition to become the most-subscribed channel on YouTube, Donaldson bought billboards and numerous television and radio advertisements to help PewDiePie gain more subscribers than T-Series During Super Bowl LIII, he bought multiple seats for himself and his team, whose shirts spelled out “Sub 2 PewDiePie”

In March 2019, Donaldson organized and filmed a real-life battle royale competition in Los Angeles with a prize of $200,000 (two games were played, making game earnings of $100,000 for each game) in collaboration with Apex Legends The event and prize pool was sponsored by Apex Legends publisher Electronic Arts

Donaldson was accused of using counterfeit money in his video titled “I Opened A FREE BANK”, published on November 23, 2019 He later explained that he used fake money to avoid participant safety concerns and that participants received real checks after the shoot

In April 2020, Donaldson created a rock, paper, scissors competition stream that featured 32 influencers and a grand prize of $250,000, which at the time became YouTube’s most-watched live Original event with 662,000 concurrent viewers The event was ultimately won by Nadeshot In October 2020, Donaldson hosted another influencer tournament featuring 24 competitors with a grand prize of $300,000 The tournament was ultimately won by the D’Amelio family, which caused controversy due to claims that they cheated

Profitability (2021–present)

Donaldson at the 2022 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards

On January 1, 2021, Donaldson released the video “Youtube Rewind 2020, Thank God It’s Over” In Donaldson’s video, he explains that he had always believed that YouTubers “should get more say in Rewind,” and with this in mind, he decided to call “hundreds of YouTubers” At the end of the video, Donaldson gives a shoutout to PewDiePie, citing him and his 2018 Rewind as the inspiration for Donaldson’s Rewind

A month later, Donaldson signed a Facebook and Snapchat content distribution deal with Jellysmack

In November 2021, Donaldson uploaded a recreation of the survival drama streaming television series Squid Game in real life, in which 456 people competed for a $456,000 cash prize, without the violence in the show The video has more than 297 million views as of November 1, 2022, making it Donaldson’s most-viewed YouTube video and also making it one of the most-watched YouTube videos of 2021 A review of the video in Vice stated that it “badly misunderstood the anti-capitalist message of Squid Game

In December 2021, Donaldson created a third influencer tournament featuring 15 competitors with a grand prize of $1,000,000

In January 2022, Forbes ranked MrBeast as YouTube’s highest-earning creator, earning an estimated $54 million in 2021 Forbes also stated that his income in 2021 would have placed him 40th in the 2020 Forbes Celebrity 100, earning as much money as Vin Diesel and Lewis Hamilton did in 2020

On July 28, 2022, Donaldson surpassed 100 million subscribers on his main channel, making him the fifth channel and the second individual YouTuber to achieve the milestone On 17 November 2022, Donaldson achieved the Guinness World Record of “Most Subscribers for an Individual Male on Youtube” with his MrBeast channel at 112,193,139 subscribers

Business model

— Jimmy Donaldson on his YouTube videos

Donaldson’s videos are known to have elements in order to go “viral” By doing so, he gains advertising sales of “tens of millions of dollars”, as social media’s recommendation systems show his videos to more people Therefore, according to The Detroit News, his videos have elements of internet challenges, guest appearances and reaction videos – three popular video genres online On YouTube, his videos make use of catchy clickbait titles such as “I Adopted EVERY Dog in a Dog Shelter”, explain the challenges in under half a minute, and keep their length between ten and twenty minutes

According to Donaldson, large monetary prizes are also an important factor in viewer engagement Therefore, his videos often involve him donating large amounts of money to individuals, with many of these videos being sponsored by various companies through large-scale brand deals that appear as ads within his videos He also sometimes hosts competitions in video games, such as Minecraft, for large prizes, including donating a house in one of his gaming videos MrBeast has been credited with launching a new style of high-cost stunt videos on YouTube, where creators pull off elaborate challenges and large-scale sponsored giveaways Donaldson claimed in January 2021 that he runs his main channel at a loss

Psychologist Tim Kasser analyzed that a MrBeast video promoting a product would be about half as expensive as running a television ad, with higher engagement and reception

Other ventures

Finger on the App

In June 2020, Donaldson, in collaboration with Brooklyn-based art collective MSCHF, released a one-time multiplayer mobile game titled “Finger on the App” In the game, players touch their phone screen and the last person to remove their finger from the screen wins $25,000 In the end, four people ended up winning $20,000 each after keeping their finger on the app for over 70 hours The game was reportedly so successful that a sequel titled “Finger on the App 2” was planned to originally launch in December 2020 However, the game was postponed to February and then further delayed to March 2021 due to a flood of downloads, causing the game to crash and requiring the game’s developers to upgrade their servers This time, the game featured a grand prize of $100,000 The winner kept their finger on the phone screen for around 51 hours; the second-place finisher also received a prize of $20,000

MrBeast Burger

Main article: MrBeast Burger

Will Hyde, a producer for the MrBeast channel, announced in a November 2020 article with The Wake Weekly that Donaldson would launch a virtual restaurant called MrBeast Burger in December 2020 Hyde said his team worked with Virtual Dining Concepts during the development of the restaurant concept He said that MrBeast Burger will sell franchise rights to serve the burgers to restaurants across the US and customers will be able to order the burgers via online delivery services

Feastables

Feastables logo

In January 2022, Donaldson announced the creation of a new food company called Feastables, which launched with its own brand of chocolate bars called “MrBeast Bars” At launch they offered 3 flavors of bars, original, almond and quinoa crunch The launch corresponded with a sweepstakes with over $1 million in prizes, including 10 grand prize winners who would receive a chance to compete for a chocolate factory in a future video The video was released in June 2022, which featured Gordon Ramsay as a cake judge and a $500,000 cash prize On February 2, 2022, Feastables announced partnerships with Turtle Beach Corporation and Roccat to provide prizes for the sweepstakes

Investments and partnerships

Donaldson is an investor in the tech startup Backbone, which produces the Backbone One, a controller that makes smartphones appear more similar to Nintendo Switch controllers, and the Backbone app, a content creation and social tools app for its users

In March 2021, Donaldson partnered with Creative Juice financial network to introduce Juice Funds, a $2 million investment fund for content creators

In April 2021, Donaldson became a long-term investor and partner of financial technology company Current The same month, Donaldson received backlash after fans lost large amounts of money in a cryptocurrency scheme that Donaldson had invested in and promoted

Philanthropy

Team Trees

Team Trees

Main article: Team Trees

On October 25, 2019, Donaldson and former NASA engineer and YouTuber Mark Rober organized a collaborative fundraising challenge event on YouTube called #TeamTrees The goal of this project was to raise $20 million for the Arbor Day Foundation by January 1, 2020, and plant trees “no later than December 2022” Every donation goes to the Arbor Day Foundation, which pledges to plant one tree for every dollar donated Notable YouTubers such as Rhett & Link, Marshmello, iJustine, Marques Brownlee, The Slow Mo Guys, Ninja, Simone Giertz, Jacksepticeye, and Smarter Every Day brought attention to this idea Trees began to be planted in October 2019 in national parks of the United States On December 19 of that year, the $20,000,000 goal was surpassed, So far Team Trees has planted 9 million trees across the globe and are expected to finish in 2022 The project has also received large donations from corporate executives Jack Dorsey, Susan Wojcicki, Elon Musk, and Tobias Lütke Companies such as Discovery, Verizon and Plants vs Zombies have also contributed

As of July 19, 2022, they have received over $2389 million in donations which equates to 2389 million trees planted As of July 19, 2022, they need to plant 4 million more trees to achieve this number

Beast Philanthropy

On September 17, 2020, the YouTube channel Beast Philanthropy was created On the channel’s first video, Donaldson announced the charity and food bank and named Darren, who had appeared in previous videos, as executive director According to the channel description, 100% of its advertising revenue, brand deals, and merchandise sales are donated to charity

Team Seas

Main article: Team Seas

Team Seas

On October 29, 2021, Donaldson and Rober organized another collaborative challenge event on YouTube titled #TeamSeas The goal of this project was to raise $30 million for the Ocean Conservancy and The Ocean Cleanup by January 1, 2022 The $30 million goal would fund the removal of 30 million pounds of plastic and other waste from oceans, rivers, and beaches Donaldson and Rober enlisted thousands of content creators, including AzzyLand, DanTDM, TommyInnit, LinusTechTips, TierZoo, LEMMiNO, The Infographics Show, Hannah Stocking, Dhar Mann and Marques Brownlee, and partnered with BEN and TubeBuddy’s initiative of 8 million global creators, to promote the fundraiser

Public image

This section may lend undue weight to certain ideas, incidents, or controversies Please help improve it by rewriting it in a balanced fashion that contextualizes different points of view (June 2022) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Opinion polls have shown that Donaldson is one of the most well-liked YouTubers on the platform A 2021 SurveyMonkey poll showed that 70% of respondents have a favorable view of him, compared to 12% who had an unfavorable view

During a Clubhouse room in February 2021, Donaldson booted entrepreneur Farokh Sarmad after he said he could not pronounce his name, a move that Sarmad later said was racist Sarmad’s claims were questioned and denied by other Clubhouse users who were present at the call who argued against Sarmad’s claims, claiming that MrBeast removed him along with others to make room for women on the stage to be more inclusive

In October 2018, Taylor Lorenz in an article in The Atlantic reported on Donaldson’s history of using homophobic slurs Lorenz noted that Donaldson, when still a teenager, on Twitter had a habit of referring to people as “fags” and regularly treated being homosexual as a punchline in jokes and “gay” as an insult In an interview about the controversy he reportedly said, “I’m not offensive toward anyone” In 2021, a spokesperson for Donaldson stated in reference to the slurs that he had grown “up and matured into someone that doesn’t speak like that”

In a May 2021 New York Times article, Matt Turner, an editor for Donaldson from February 2018 to September 2019, claimed that Donaldson berated him almost daily, including calling him a retard Turner also reported that he was regularly not credited for his work Reporting by Insider showed that Turner previously posted a video in 2018 explaining his allegations, and in October 2019 released a deleted Twitter thread which stated that he was “yelled at, bullied, called mentally retarded and replaceable by MrBeast every single day”

Nate Anderson quit after working for Donaldson for a week in 2018 over what he said were unreasonable demands and called Donaldson a perfectionist After releasing a video describing his experience, Anderson reportedly received death threats from MrBeast’s fans Nine other employees who worked for Donaldson also stated that while Donaldson was sometimes generous, his demeanour would change when cameras were off They described a difficult work environment while working under him

Awards and nominations

Year Ceremony Category Result Ref
2019 9th Streamy Awards Breakout Creator Won
Ensemble Cast Nominated
Creator of the Year Nominated
2020 12th Annual Shorty Awards YouTuber of the Year Won
10th Streamy Awards Creator of the Year Won
Live Special Won
Social Good: Creator Won
Social Good: Nonprofit or NGO Won
2021 2021 Kids’ Choice Awards Favorite Male Social Star Nominated
11th Streamy Awards Creator of the Year Won
2022 2022 Kids’ Choice Awards Favorite Male Creator Won

Notes

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