The first video was uploaded to YouTube on April 23, 2005, and the company was acquired by Google in October 2006 and since then it has been a rollercoaster ride both for the company as well as the content creators on the platform.
YouTube not only brought a community feel to the video streaming experience online but also gave a boost to scores of independent content creators after the platform was monetised.
Currently, YouTube has north of a billion users who watch over a billion hours of video content every day — generating billions of views. In this article, we list out the most subscribed YouTube channels at the time of writing.
We haven’t added YouTube’s channels such as ‘YouTube Music’, ‘YouTube Gaming’, ‘YouTube Movies’ and ‘YouTube Sports’ in the rankings. All of these four channels by YouTube ranked in the top 10 with YouTube Music on the first spot, ahead of T-Series and PewDiePie, with 105,867,304 subscribers.
Note: All the data including subscribers, total views, number of uploads and the most popular video is accurate at the time of writing. You can expect variations in these numbers later.
Joined YouTube: March 13, 2006 | Subscribers: 104,018,147 | Total Views: 68,663,785,850
The India-based T-Series channel is the most subscribed channel on YouTube with the maximum number of total views. T-Series is arguably the largest music and movie label in India. T-Series has a total of 13,306 uploads on YouTube and the most popular video ‘Lahore by Guru Randhawa’ has over 715 million hits.
Joined YouTube: April 29, 2010 | Subscribers: 97,062,867 | Total Views: 21,265,314,110
PewDiePie is a Sweden-based content creator who started his YouTube journey with videos about games such as Minecraft, Call of Duty, Amnesia and more. PewDiePie’s channel currently has 3,818 uploads and his most popular video ‘A Funny Montage’ has over 86 million hits.
3) 5-Minute Crafts
Joined YouTube: November 15, 2016 | Subscribers:57,763,181 | Total Views: 13,428,711,367
5-minute crafts is a US-based YouTube channel that uploads DIY projects, which can be done quickly without effort and with as little raw material as possible. The quick tutorials are a joy to watch and most of their videos are indeed awesome — though in the recent times they’ve experimented with long videos too. Click here to view their shorter videos.
5-Minute Crafts has uploaded a total of 3,033 videos and the most popular video ’42 holy grail hacks that will save you a fortune’ has over 265 million hits.
4) Cocomelon – Nursery Rhymes
Joined YouTube: September 1, 2006 | Subscribers: 52,325,163 | Total Views: 26,542,208,929
Formerly known as ABCkidTV, US-based Cocomelon uploads videos with the soul aim “to make learning a fun and enjoyable experience for kids”. Their videos feature 3D animations and educational lyrics coupled with good music. Cocomelon – Nursery Rhymes has over 426 uploads and the most popular video ‘Bath Song’ has over 1.5 billion hits.
5) SET India
Joined YouTube: September 20, 2006 | Subscribers: 50,766,884 | Total Views: 32,413,421,556
Sony Entertainment Television (SET) India is an India-based Hindi entertainment YouTube channel that shares videos in different genres including thriller, drama, comedy, game shows and much more. The channel has over 30,457 uploads and the most popular video ‘Crime Patrol Dial 100 Episode 25’ has over 92 million hits.
6) Canal KondZilla
Joined YouTube: March 21, 2012 | Subscribers: 50,263,819 | Total Views: 24,276,346,920
Canal KondZilla is a Brazil-based channel that produces and shares music videos by various Latin American artists. The channel has over 1,021 uploads and the most popular video ‘MC Fioti – Bum Bum Tam Tam’ has over 1.2 billion hits.
7) Justin Bieber
Joined YouTube: January 15, 2007 | Subscribers: 45,649,484 | Total Views: 19,238,844,702
As the name suggests, this channel belongs to the pop star Justin Bieber and shares all of his songs, including acoustic versions and few his oldest homemade videos from 2007 where he covered songs of other then-famous artists. The channel has over 254 uploads and the most popular video ‘Justin Bieber – Sorry’ has over 3.1 billion hits.
Joined YouTube: May 10, 2007 | Subscribers: 45,475,846 | Total Views: 31,702,610,364
Another name in the list that doesn’t need any introduction. World Wrestling Entertainment’s (WWE) channel shares short clips from their matches, promos for the upcoming ones and list videos as well. The channel has over 40,995 uploads and the most popular video ‘John Cena and Brock Lesnar get into a brawl … ‘ has over 117 million hits.
9) Dude Perfect
Joined YouTube: March 16, 2009 | Subscribers: 43,265,114 | Total Views: 7,740,472,291
Dude Perfect is a must-follow channel on YouTube for anyone who loves trick shots infused by a little bit of comedy by the five guys and a panda from USA. The channel has over 203 uploads and the most popular video ‘Ping Pong Trick Shots 3’ has over 199 million hits.
Joined YouTube: October 13, 2014 | Subscribers: 40,683,803 | Total Views: 11,586,714,582
Badabun is a Mexico-based YouTube channel that produces comedy and drama videos. The channel has over 4039 uploads and the most popular video ‘Exponiendo Infieles Ep. 48’ has over 54 million hits.
Also read: What it takes to be a YouTuber in 2019
11) Ed Sheeran
Joined YouTube: August 8, 2006 | Subscribers: 40,229,923 | Total Views: 16,621,204,962
Another renowned music artist in this list, Ed Sheeran uploads his music, behind the scenes videos as well as a few vlogs. The channel has over 123 uploads and the most popular video ‘Shape of You’ has over 4.1 billion hits.
Joined YouTube: September 8, 2011 | Subscribers: 39,420,612 | Total Views: 3,878,961,495
HolaSoyGerman is a Chile-based YouTube channel that shares various funny videos regarding various different topics. The channel has over 137 uploads and the most popular video ‘Los Hermanos’ has over 107 million hits.
13) Zee Music Company
Joined YouTube: March 12, 2014 | Subscribers: 39,923,904 | Total Views: 16,627,208,365
Zee Music Company is an India-based channel that produces hindi movies and television content across varying genres. The channel has over 4144 uploads and the most popular video ‘Mile Ho Tum – Reprise version ‘ has over 728 million hits.
Joined YouTube: February 8, 2007 | Subscribers: 38,167,890 | Total Views: 13,834,501,466
The YouTube channel by Marshall Bruce Mather III aka the rap god Eminem, one of the best selling artist of the 21st century, shares his music videos as well as other content he produces. The channel has over 202 uploads and the most popular video ‘Love the Way You Lie ft. Rihanna ‘ has over 1.7 billion hits.
15) Ariana Grande
Joined YouTube: Jan 21, 2007 | Subscribers: 36,495,625 | Total Views: 12,608,325,322
The fifth entry from the music industry, Ariana Grande’s YouTube channel uploads her music videos, including homemade ones from 2007. The channel has over 235 uploads and the most popular video ‘Ariana Grande – thank u, next’ has over 134 million hits.
Joined YouTube: Apr 6, 2015 | Subscribers: 36,439,337 | Total Views: 5,792,772,230
The anonymous music producer has stepped up the charts in the past few years with catchy remixes and his debut album ‘Joytime’, which reached the Top 5 on Billboard’s Top Dance/Electronic albums. The channel has over 289 uploads and the most popular video ‘Alone’ has over 1.2 billion hits.
Joined YouTube: January 21, 2013 | Subscribers: 35,967,823 | Total Views: 2,898,998,951
Whinderssonnunes is a vlogger who also makes parody videos. The channel has over 363 uploads and the most popular video ‘QUAL É A SENHA DO WIFI – Paródia Adele – Hello’ has over 70 million hits.
Joined YouTube: May 18, 2013 | Subscribers: 35,466,340 | Total Views: 9,103,380,128
Chile-based JuegaGerman is another vlogger who streams the games he plays and makes funny videos too. The channel has over 1595 uploads and the most popular video ‘El Rap De German’ has over 33 million hits.
Joined YouTube: Dec 19, 2011 | Subscribers: 35,179,005 | Total Views: 7,514,668,637
ElrubiusOMG is a vlogger who usually streams the games he plays including Skyrim, GTA and also vlogs about his life. The channel has over 801 uploads and the most popular video ‘Minecraft – “Minero” ft. StarkinDJ’ has over 54 million hits.
20) Katy Perry
Joined YouTube: June 1, 2008 | Subscribers:34,247,618 | Total Views: 17,698,130,535
YouTube isn’t done with music artists just yet as Katy Perry also makes it to the top 25. in addition to the music videos, Katy Perry’s channel also has a lot of behind the scenes or making of videos as well as live streams and interviews. The channel has over 221 uploads and the most popular video ‘Roar’ has over 2.8 billion hits.
21) Taylor Swift
Joined YouTube: Sep 20, 2006 | Subscribers: 34,750,098 | Total Views: 16,710,482,718
The last music artist in the list is a 10-time Grammy winner, Taylor Swift. Her YouTube channel shares music videos, behind the scenes, tour teasers and her vlogs from 2008. The channel has over 243 uploads and the most popular video ‘Shake It Off’ has over 2.7 billion hits.
Joined YouTube: September 25, 2009 | Subscribers: 33,550,863 | Total Views: 18,626,382,431
Another channel of the same person in this list, Justin Bieber VEVO uploads the music star’s official music videos, live performances and interviews. The channel has over 122 uploads and the most popular video ‘Justin Bieber – Sorry’ has over 3.1 billion hits.
Started in 2009, Vevo is a joint venture between the following record companies: Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and EMI. In August 2016, Warner Music Group also licensed videos of its artists onto Vevo.
Joined YouTube: May 1, 2011 | Subscribers: 33,257,046 | Total Views: 6,960,152,581
Similar to elrubiusOMG and JuegaGerman, the El Salvador-based Fernanfloo is a vlogger who streams the game he plays, which include GTA, Call of Duty, God of War, Mortal Kombat and more. The channel has over 537 uploads and the most popular video ‘El Rap De Fernanfloo’ has over 120 million hits.
24) Felipe Neto
Joined YouTube: May 15, 2006 | Subscribers: 33,225,271 | Total Views: 6,640,926,119
Felipe Neto mostly shares reaction videos and a few related to his life, memes, parodies and more. The channel has over 1722 uploads and the most popular video ‘Rebulico – Parodia Despacito’ has over 51 million hits.
Joined YouTube: November 20, 2006 | Subscribers: 33,135,516 | Total Views:15,610,827,380
The Ellen Show is a global phenomenon with the spirited talk show host and comic, Ellen DeGeneres. On YouTube, the channel shares clips from her talk show which features famous personalities not limited to Hollywood. The channel has over 10,209 uploads and the most popular video ‘Nicki Minaj sings Super Bass with Sophia Grace’ has over 135 million hits.
Also read: What is the Download Limit on YouTube?
Featured image by Sara Kurfess | The list was last updated on June 4, 2019
Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations.
You can contact him here: [email protected]