#16: How MKBHD Attracted 6.5 Million Subscribers with 3 Simple Video Types

In this episode, we break down how MKBHD (AKA Marques Brownlee) went from an unknown creator to the dominant YouTube tech review channel with 6.5 million subscribers by sticking to 3 simple video types over a stretch of 1,000 videos.

Quick Stats

  • Subscribers: 6.65M
  • Views: 992M
  • Videos Published: 1.04K

The MKBHD Origin Story

  • He didn’t start out with flashy tech
  • You can go all the way back and see his 13 year old golf swing analysis video
  • Then a review of his family’s remote control to the computer
  • Then some lackluster tutorials for camstudio and the built-in windows calculator app
  • It wasn’t until about 380 videos into the channel that the video content and style even becomes vaguely recognizable as the tech-review heavy titan it would one day become. The video after he unboxes his first DSLR camera.

Most Popular Videos

  • Generally Smartphone reviews.
  • 76 of his top 100 videos are about smartphones
  • 12 out of his top 20 all-time most popular videos are iPhone reviews.

1) OnePlus 6 Review

2) Apple iPhone X Unboxing

3) iPhone 7 Unboxing

Top Playlist Categories by Popularity

  • Reviews: 135 Videos
  • Top 5’s: 59 Videos
  • First Impressions: 54
  • Videos Explained!: 49 Videos
  • Ask MKBHD: 31 Videos
  • Dope Tech: 18 Videos

Angles He Takes

  • Unboxing = novelty
  • Shocking explainer = Teach me something
  • Review = Interpretation of research + taste + personality
  • Interview = exclusive access

The Gear

  • RED Weapon Monstro ($54,500)
  • Canon EOS C200 ($8,399)
  • Sony a7R III ($2,998)
  • About 10 assorted lenses, few wide angle, macro, sony, canon cine lenses ($19,933 total)
  • Shotgun microphone: Sennheiser MKH416-P48U3 Super-Cardioid Shotgun Tube Condenser Microphone + Sanken lav ($1,350)
  • Field mixer ($3,328)
  • Slider & Tripods ($3,577)

Total Gear Cost: ~$94,000

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