MKBHD: No. 5 in #Famechangers Digital Star Ranking

MKBHD Famechangers Ranking
Cody Tarr

Variety ranked the top 12 stars in the digital world as part of its #Famechangers issue. For more of the rankings, click here.

The Internet is awash in news and opinions about the latest developments in personal technology. But Marques Brownlee, a YouTube solo act, has stood apart from the crowd.

The New Jersey native, who started his “MKBHD” channel as a hobby, draws a more loyal following than many professional tech reviewers, thanks to an appealing personal style, adept command of the subject matter and an eagerness to reach out to viewers. “My main goal with every project is to make a video that I’d want to watch,” says Brownlee, 21. “And there are plenty of people who want to see the same thing!”

Brownlee’s videos are conversational, as if he’s explaining to his best friend what’s interesting — or lame — about the newest Apple, Samsung or Android device. MKBHD caters to two separate audiences: serious super-nerds, who were the first users to religiously follow his channel; as well as ordinary consumers who go to YouTube and search for product reviews before making a purchase.

Brownlee began posting videos on YouTube in early 2009 from his parents’ house in the New York suburb of Maplewood, N.J. “I can’t remember precisely what piqued my interest (in personal technology), but the experience of purchasing my first laptop was a pretty big reason why I decided to start making videos,” he recalls.

After one of his first videos got more views in one night than the few hundred subscribers on the channel, Brownlee says he realized he had a potential career ahead of him: “That showed me that there would always be an audience for quality tech videos.”

Today, Brownlee has more than 2.5 million subscribers to his YouTube channel, and has produced more than 750 videos. He’s affiliated with Vox Media’s the Verge website, and plans to collaborate more closely with the company in the future.

For the past six years, he’s maintained MKBHD as he attended school. After graduating from Stevens Institute of Technology in May with a bachelor’s degree in business and technology, he has made the channel his full-time occupation (when he’s not playing professional Ultimate Frisbee, that is).

But Brownlee still hasn’t gone Hollywood. For now, he doesn’t have an agent. “The closest thing I have to a manager is my parents,” he says, “for all their words of wisdom and business experience.”

MKBHD By The Numbers

(Click here for large preview.)


*Data provided by Tubular Labs

Top videos:

Most watched
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5R0_FJ4r73s
Total views: 8.6 million

Most commented
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8syPkiANwYk
Total comments: 245k

Most recent
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orPHNS-0CZI
Total views: 629k

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 7

Leave a Reply

7 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. He is cool. But making the channel his full time occupation?

  2. Kevin James says:

    Meh. This kid is so overrated right now. He used to be good back in the days, but now he’s all about making money and less about tech.

  3. Variety — So you have his “social media reach” listed as 3.4 million with Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram combined… yet totally ignore the 3.7 million followers on Google+??? Which is more than those 4 combined. That number should be read 7.1 million. And yes, people still use Google+

  4. Barb G says:

    I used to like all his videos but, recently I found better reviews on other websites or you tube reviewers without any conflict of interest

  5. Traci M says:

    LOVE MKBHD. I bought my last phone based on his recommendation.

More Digital News from Variety

Loading