MKBHD: No. 5 in #Famechangers Digital Star Ranking

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
Total views: 8.6 million

Most commented
Total comments: 245k

Most recent
Total views: 629k

More Digital

  • Vobile - ZEFR acquisition - Yangbin

    Zefr Sells Its Copyright-Flagging and YouTube Channel-Management Businesses to Vobile for $90 Million

    Vobile Group, a video protection and measurement company, announced a deal to acquire Zefr’s RightsID copyright-management and ChannelID YouTube channel-management businesses for about $90 million. According to the companies, Zefr’s RightsID and ChannelID together generated over $40 million in revenue in 2018 and were profitable. The deal stands to more than triple the revenue for [...]

  • Justin Connolly

    Disney Merges All Media Sales and TV Channel Distribution Under Justin Connolly

    Disney promoted Justin Connolly to the new role of president, media distribution, overseeing a single organization that combines all of the company’s media sales and TV channel distribution operations. Connolly previously served as EVP, affiliate sales and marketing, Disney and ESPN Media Networks. Based in New York, he will report to Kevin Mayer, chairman of [...]

  • NASA - International Space Station

    Hulu Is Getting NASA TV in Time for the Moon Landing Anniversary

    Hulu’s live TV service is getting NASA TV just in time for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. In addition to a live feed, which is available only to subscribers of Hulu’s live TV tier, Hulu is also gaining access to select NASA TV series on demand. The live TV deal was announced [...]

  • iheartmedia logo

    iHeartMedia Stock Drops in NASDAQ Debut

    Shares of iHeartMedia, the U.S.’s biggest radio network, fell as much as 7% after they commenced trading Thursday on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, and ended the day down around 3%. Last month, after exiting a year-long bankruptcy reorg, iHeartMedia announced it was approved for listing on NASDAQ, instead of pursuing an IPO. The company’s [...]

  • iHeartMedia-Pride-Media-TheOutcast-Logo

    iHeartMedia, Pride Media to Co-Produce Slate of LGBTQ+ Podcasts

    iHeartMedia is teaming with Pride Media, the media company whose brands include Out, The Advocate and Pride, to co-produce a slate of LGBTQ+ podcasts in 2019-20. The partnership will kick off with “The Outcast,” an iHeartRadio original podcast co-produced with Out Magazine. Hosted by Out Magazine deputy editor Fran Tirado, the weekly podcast will explore [...]

  • Netflix Reed Hastings

    Netflix Shares Dive After Q2 Stumble: Just a Hiccup or Sign of Bigger Trouble?

    Netflix badly undershot its subscriber forecasts for the second quarter of 2019 — posting its first net U.S. customer decline since 2011 while growth slowed considerably overseas. The company added 2.7 million subs worldwide, almost half as many as the 5 million it had projected. With the big miss, Netflix shares took a predictable hit, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content