The YouTube Shorts Superstars Driving Massive Views

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Carla Marshall
April 8, 2022
YouTube Shorts Superstars

Did you know that YouTube Shorts have generated over 5 Trillion views to date? 

So who are the creators making waves with their Shorts content, and what are they doing that’s driving massive views and engagements? We look at six YouTubers who have taken the Shorts feature and run with it.

MrBeast: 1.4 Billion Shorts Views and Counting!

It would be unfair to say MrBeast blew up on YouTube because of his Shorts content. However, he has enthusiastically embraced the feature and built yet another hugely successful channel on the platform dedicated to content less than 60 seconds.

As a very early adopter, MrBeast set up his Shorts channel as soon as the news of the short-form feature dropped. 

As of April 2022, his main YouTube channel has 92.3 million subscribers and 15.2 billion views. It is the 15th most-subscribed channel on YouTube, so anything MrBeast would do with Shorts was guaranteed to be a winner. 

And so far, that’s proven to be true. His most-watched Short to date, “I Am The World’s Greatest Samurai,” has 205M views, but all but one of his uploads to his Shorts channel have generated more than 1M+ views.

He has over 163 million combined subscribers across his 6 YouTube channels, which is impressive enough, but his Shorts channel has picked up 300K subscribers and 55.9M views in the last 90 days alone.

He is as committed to creating content for it as the rest of his YouTube properties. So what can other creators learn from a MrBeast masterclass on Shorts strategy?:

  • While other creators mix Shorts with other longer-form content, he created a separate YouTube channel from the get-go. This undoubtedly allows him the freedom to experiment with the content, drill down, and act on every available metric regarding Shorts performance he can access. 
  • He’s been active on the platform since he was 13 years old and has admitted he’s spent a great deal of time testing the algorithm to see what type of content returned the best views and engagement. He has a clean slate to measure success for seconds-long uploads with a separate channel.
  • As one of the most-viewed creators on YouTube, he doesn’t have to rely on SEO to push him in front of new audiences, but he still took the time to optimize his Shorts channel and content. For instance, he has a dedicated channel trailer and consistent branding. He’s even created the odd custom thumbnail.
  • He hasn’t strayed too far from his winning combination of entertainment, stunts, challenges, and giveaways.
  • He’s monetizing his Shorts content – giving him an extra lucrative revenue stream from YouTube.

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Nas Daily: One Minute Stories From Around the World

Next, let’s take a look at a creator who incorporates Shorts as part of his weekly upload strategy.  

Nuseir Yassin, the creator behind the wildly successful ‘Nas Daily’ brand, has built a career on telling a story in a minute – so we’ll follow his lead and do the same as we tell his tale.

Tired of his job and enough savings behind him to travel the world, Nuseir began uploading a 1-minute video to Facebook every day. The goal was a video a day for 1000 days as he documented his travels and the fascinating people he met along the way.

While he still posts content to Facebook for his 20M followers, his view count on YouTube rose from 211M in July 2021 to 3.2B in April 2022. His most popular Shorts video to date is ‘World’s Tallest Man #12’ with 59M views.

Our takeaway is to find inspiration in a long-term project that will keep you energized and your audience wanting more.

Dan Rhodes: Making Magic with YouTube Shorts

Now let’s turn the spotlight on a young creator who has turned his boyhood obsession into a lucrative online career. 

Dan Rhodes was just seven years old when he started practicing magic, and he quickly picked up enough skill to begin appearing on talent shows in the UK and the US. 

Dan started a TikTok account to showcase his magic tricks and quickly grew a following of 10M and 152M likes on the platform. He joined YouTube at roughly the same time, but his publishing schedule wasn’t particularly consistent. However, he was perfectly positioned to take advantage of the Shorts feature when it was launched.

In April 2021, the magician started to post Shorts content to his then 18K subscribers and witnessed phenomenal growth over the next few months. Using his natural talent as an entertainer and leveraging his substantial TikTok following, in April ‘21 alone, he generated 1.75M subscribers, with another 1.6M signing up in May. As of April 2022, he has built his subscriber base to an astonishing 10.9M. 

His most viewed upload, the 37 second long ‘INSANE strawberry trick!’ has attracted a staggering 329M views and 9.7M engagements. 

As a young boy who spent “hours and hours and hours” watching magic on YouTube to teach himself the same tricks, Dan has now come full circle and is now sharing his passion and expertise with millions of others.

Don’t be afraid to leverage the audience you have on other platforms to build a community on YouTube. And yes, you can build massive online success off the back of a simple hobby.

Now onto a smaller channel, but one that’s still driving very decent views via Shorts for its creator. Devin J Stone is a serious practicing attorney but has attracted just over 2.2M subscribers to his channel with a mix of reaction videos, celebrity legal drama, and his take on the law issues in the U.S.

Devin has chosen to incorporate Shorts into his main channel, and the videos are proving to be a success, with many pulling in the big numbers his longer-form content also gets.

His most watched Short is ‘Dua Lipa Sued for Posting Photo of Herself,’ which currently has 7.5M views and is the 2nd most-watched video on his channel.

Our takeaway is that you can definitely mix in Shorts with your longer-form content to give viewers a taste of both. If you’re still playing around with the format, know that YouTube counts views for Shorts just like regular videos and contributes to a channel’s total view count. So there isn’t anything to lose by trying out this exciting feature.

AustinSprinz: Entertaining on YouTube One Short at a Time

With just over 3M subscribers, Austin Sprinz is one of the rising stars of YouTube, and he’s doing it with Shorts. Already a master of short-form content with a TikTok following of 17M, Sprinz began uploading Shorts to his YouTube channel in February 2021 and went viral on only the 4th Short he posted, about a Valentine’s Day gift for his girlfriend.

But it was his follow-up Short, ‘SMOKEBOMB valentines day DIY HACK!’, about the failure of his gift, that broke Sprinz on YouTube, becoming the most viewed on his channel with an incredible 431M views to date.

Since February 2021, Sprinz has uploaded more than 1,591 videos to YouTube, and over 184 of them have generated over 5 million views each. 

Sprinz is a huge advocate of Shorts and sees the feature as:

“Another amazing opportunity to diversify and introduce a new audience to my content. I feel like it’s easier to connect with an audience on YouTube also, with all the options they have in place, like Stories, Community posts, and so on. I believe that posting four to eight videos a day consistently had a big impact on my channel.”

The takeaway from Austin’s success with Shorts is that he saw the feature’s potential and wasn’t afraid to explore another platform with content that had already proven to work for him on TikTok.

LankyBox: 10 Billion Views with Shorts

For the week beginning 5th April 2022, LankyBox was the 4th most viewed U.S-based channel on YouTube with 254M views. That’s an amazing achievement given the competition for views, engagements, and subscribers on the platform.

Their most viewed Short to date is a 47-second prank about coffee, which has attracted a staggering 173M views.  

Since June 2021, LankyBox has published 1,169 Shorts videos on YouTube. With their mix of animations, skits, pranks, series like ‘Movies with Zero Budget‘ and gaming videos, they may appear to have a scattergun approach to content. But it’s paying off. 

180 of their 1,169 published Shorts have garnered over 20 million views each. The channel is also monetizing its Shorts content and generating income from revenue streams like selling merch and scoring brand deals. We can assume that the creators behind the channel won’t be going back to their 9-5 jobs anytime soon. 

Takeaway: With such a wide range of content ideas to choose from, the channel is publishing around 8 videos a day, 3 to 4 of which are Shorts. You don’t need to be quite as prolific, but settling into a realistic upload schedule will help your community know when new videos have been published.

6 Extra Takeaways for Successful Shorts Content

We’ve brought you a selection of the channels knocking it out of the park when it comes to winning with Shorts content. Each of the creators has a slightly different strategy, but it’s clear that there’s an appetite from viewers for Shorts, and these channels have recognized how to make the feature work. If you’re creating, or want to create Shorts, here are some other takeaways you can benefit from:

#1 If your short-form content is working on other platforms, it could also work for you on YouTube. Start testing now.

#2 But, if you want to take advantage of the 100M YouTube Shorts fund for creators and become eligible for a bonus payment, your content HAS to be original. While it makes sense to repurpose some of your video clips as part of an audience development strategy, YouTube doesn’t want to see any videos that are re-uploaded that it can identify as first posted on other platforms. With up to $10,000 a month available to individual channels that meet the criteria, this is your chance to see what you can do creatively and exclusively on YouTube. 

#3 There isn’t a right or a wrong way to make a success of Shorts (or YouTube itself, for that matter). The usual rules apply: it depends on your niche, passion, the content you want to make, and the audience you want to appeal to.

#4 Of all the YouTube creators we featured, only Nas Daily, Dan Rhodes, and Austin Sprinz regularly use the Community Tab to connect with their audience. Now that YouTube has lowered the access to the Tab from creators with 1,000+ subscribers to channels with only 500+ make it part of your publishing checklist to reach out to your community on YouTube to encourage more engagement.

#5 When it comes to YouTube, take inspiration from your favorite Shorts creators but don’t be discouraged because you aren’t pulling in the big numbers straight away. All successful channels started with zero subscribers, even PewDiePie and MrBeast, so focus on competing against yourself. Try to improve and build on your filming, editing, and optimizing skills with each Short and check your analytics to see how that’s working for you.

#6 YouTube Shorts are still relatively new, so you still have the opportunity to carve out your niche with the feature.

If you want to know more about the best strategies and tips for YouTube or Shorts, please follow the blog or subscribe to the TubeBuddy YouTube channel.

Carla Marshall Author

Carla Marshall

Carla Marshall is the Content Marketing Manager at TubeBuddy. She has 10+ years of experience in video marketing, social media management, content marketing, DRM, & SEO

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