YouTube is the uncontested leader of online streaming with countless videos on the most diverse topics. With millions of subscribers and billions of views, a few YouTube stars have come to dominate the platform thanks to their originality, humor, celebrity or even their usefulness in daily life.
Whether you’re interested in learning more about the success of YouTubers to become one yourself, to conquer the market with your service or product, or just to spend a little time watching some cool videos, the following channels and their hosts will have something for you.
Trends for success on YouTube
The following channels and their hosts have gained recognition not only through the quality of their contents, but also because these contents satisfy the appetite of the viewers, and more generally the interests for entertainment of the general public, and especially of YouTube’s younger demographics.
To name a few trends, this Top 20 YouTube channels shows how music stars can successfully expand their popularity through the video platform, and music networks use the platform as a canal to broadcast their contents. It also highlights the weight of fun and games, to the point where some unknown people have become internet celebrities almost exclusively through YouTube.
Besides the international English-speaking audience, this Top 20 also shows the importance of the Indian, Spanish-speaking and Brazilian demographics on the platform. As the internet and YouTube reach a digitally mature market, India, Brazil and the Spanish-speaking world weigh in with their large populations.
This demographic success is also a reminder that China still bans the platform in its domestic market, and that the Chinese language is still under-represented on YouTube.
Top YouTube channels by number of subscribers
Sitting at the top of the platform, these successful YouTubers, media networks and celebrities demonstrate the interest of YouTube viewers by the numbers. They are ranked according to the total number of subscribers to the channel, that is to say people who have willingly hit the button “subscribe” to stay in touch with a particular channel on the platform.
Without further ado, here is the list of the Top 20 YouTube channels as of 20 March 2019, together with some information on the channels, including its category, language, numbers of subscribers and number of total views.
20. Taylor Swift
The American singer-songwriter Taylor Alison Swift is one of the world’s leading contemporary recording artists. She has become famous with narrative songs about her personal life which brought her wide media coverage, popular success and multiple music awards.
Taylor Swift channel – Primary language: English – Category: Music
Subscribers: 32.5 Million – Views: 16.7 Billion – Ranking by views: #20
19. Katy Perry
Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson, better known as Katy Perry, is an American singer and songwriter. Starting at an early age in gospel music, Katy Perry rose to fame in the late 2008 with a pop rock album, before venturing into disco, pop and dance. She has also received multiple awards along the way.
Katy Perry channel – Primary language: English – Category: Music
Subscribers: 32.6 Million – Views: 17.5 Billion – Ranking by views: #17
18. Zee Music Company
Zee Music Company is a leading Indian music company. It produces and aggregates an extensive library of Hindi television content, representing an important share of Bollywood music. With rights to more than 3,800 movies, the Zee Library houses the world’s largest Hindi film library.
Zee Music Company channel – Primary language: Hindi – Category: Music
Subscribers: 33.1 Million – Views: 15.5 Billion – Ranking by views: #23
Germán Alejandro Garmendia Aranis, is a Chliean YouTuber, comedian, writer and music producer, primarily known for his YouTube channels HolaSoyGerman., and JuegaGerman. With JuegaGerman, he publishes funny videos, comments on internet and youtube trending topics, and gaming videos.
JuegaGerman channel – Primary language: Spanish – Category: Games
Subscribers: 33.9 Million – Views: 8.9 Billion – Ranking by views: N/A
16. Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande-Butera is an American singer, songwriter and actress. After starting her career in a Broadway musical, she played in two successful television series in the early 2010’s. Ariana Grande also launched her music career with a first album in 2013, venturing into electronic, pop and dance music in her subsequent albums and earning various awards along the way.
Ariana Grande channel – Primary language: English – Category: Music
Subscribers: 34 Million – Views: 12.2 Billion – Ranking by views: N/A
Rubén Doblas Gundersen is a Spanish-Norwegian YouTuber, better known by his pseudonym El Rubius or elrubiusOMG. El Rubius primarily focuses on gameplays, but he also posts vlogs, challenges, answers fan questions, as well as sketch comedies and various others videos.
elrubiusOMG channel – Primary language: Spanish – Category: Comedy
Subscribers: 34.1 Million – Views: 7.4 Billion – Ranking by views: N/A
Whindersson Nunes Batista is a Brazilian comedian, singer, and YouTuber posting comedy videos since 2013. Now hosting the second most-subscribed YouTube channel in Brazil and Portuguese language, Whinderson publishes diverse content including parodies, vlogs, songwriting and movie reviews. Besides, he is also involved in acting for movies and stand-up comedy.
whinderssonnunes channel – Primary language: Portuguese – Category: Comedy
Subscribers: 35.1 Million – Views: 2.8 Billion – Ranking by views: N/A
Marshall Bruce Mathers III, better known as Eminem, is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer and executive, film producer, and actor. Now considered as one of the greatest and most influential artists of all time in hip hop, Eminem rose to fame in the late 1990’s together with his alter-ego “Slim Shady”. Since then he has produced multiple albums, engaged with other artists to produce successful collaborations and played in several movies.
EminemMusic channel – Primary language: English – Category: Music
Subscribers: 36.6 Million – Views: 13.8 Billion – Ranking by views: #36
Badabun is a popular Spanish language YouTube channel posting diverse contents notably including the series “Exponiendo Infieles” (Spanish for “Exposing Infidels”) where the host Lizbeth Rodríguez interviews couples on their faithfulness. The channel is run from Mexico by the Badabun Network, a group of Spanish-speaking YouTubers and social media influencers.
Badabun channel – Primary language: Spanish – Category: Entertainment
Subscribers: 37+ Million – Views: 10.8 Billion – Ranking by views: N/A
11. Ed Sheeran
Edward Christopher Sheeran is an English singer, songwriter, guitarist, record producer, and actor. Having started his career in 2004, Ed Sheeran rose to fame from the early 2010’s, before received international acclaim later on and winning multiple awards. He has also appeared in television series and movies.
Ed Sheeran channel – Primary language: English – Category: Music
Subscribers: 37.7 Million – Views: 16.4 Billion – Ranking by views: #21
The most popular YouTube channel of Germán Alejandro Garmendia Aranis, who also publishes videos for the JuegaGerman channel, HolaSoyGerman. is the channel where he posts sketch comedies, setting himself in parody roles of diverse characters and funny situations.
HolaSoyGerman. channel – Primary language: Spanish – Category: Entertainment
Subscribers: 38.5 Million – Views: 3.8 Billion – Ranking by views: N/A
9. Dude Perfect
Dude Perfect is a YouTube channel of an American sports entertainment group consisting of twins Coby and Cory Cotton, Garrett Hilbert, Cody Jones, and Tyler Toney. Their Most popular video:s feature various trick shots and stunts or sports contests with other teams in a fun and cheerful ambiance.
Dude Perfect channel – Primary language: English – Category: Sports
Subscribers: 40.1 Million – Views: 7.5 Billion – Ranking by views: N/A
8. Cocomelon – Nursery Rhymes
Cocomelon – Nursery Rhymes is a channel focusing on education for the children demographic. It publishes series of 3D animation, educational lyrics, and music to entertain kids while they learn language, numbers, colors and diverse vocabulary in a cheerful and safe environment.
Cocomelon channel – Primary language: English – Category: Education
Subscribers: 40.5 Million – Views: 22.9 Billion – Ranking by views: #8
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., more commonly known as WWE, is an American media and entertainment company primarily known for professional wrestling. WWE is the largest wrestling promotion in the world, holding over 500 events a year, and reaching about 150 million viewers in 130 countries. The YouTube channels primarily features WWE’s events most popular moments.
WWE channel – Primary language: English – Category: Sports
Subscribers: 40.8 Million – Views: 30.7 Billion – Ranking by views: #2
6. Justin Bieber
Originally remarked for his covering songs published on YouTube, Canadian singer-songwriter Justin Bieber released his first album in 2009. This album reached historic success in the United States, launching a career that would only strengthen with time and the release of numerous new albums and international hit songs, winning him multiple awards and making him one of the most famous person around the world.
Justin Bieber channel – Primary language: English – Category: Music
Subscribers: 43.9 Million – Views: 19.2 Billion – Ranking by views: #14
5. SET India
Sony Entertainment Television, also known as SET, is an Indian Hindi-language general entertainment television channel. It broadcasts an array of shows from thrillers to dramas, events to comedies, game shows to dance shows and much more, with the best moments and even complete episodes of series also posted on YouTube.
SET India channel – Primary language: Hindi – Category: Entertainment
Subscribers: 43.9 Million – Views: 30.6 Billion – Ranking by views: #3
4. Canal KondZilla
Konrad Cunha Dantas, better known as Kondzilla, is a Brazilian music video producer and director. Originally a student of cinematography, post-production and photography, Kondzilla primarily publishes music videos from Brazilian artists on his YouTube channel, making Canal KondZilla become the most-subscribed Brazilian channel.
Canal KondZilla channel – Primary language: Portuguese – Category: Music
Subscribers: 47.8 Million – Views: 23.7 Billion – Ranking by views: #6
3. 5-Minute Crafts
5-Minute Crafts is a YouTube channel publishing compilations of do-it-yourself projects, life hacks and crafts. Published by TheSoul Publishing together with other popular YouTube channels and media, including Bright Side, the channel publishes shareable positive contents that aim at engaging, inspiring, entertaining and enlightening people.
5-Minute Crafts channel – Primary language: English – Category: How-to
Subscribers: 52 Million – Views: 12.8 Billion – Ranking by views: #39
Super Cassettes Industries Private Limited, operating as T-Series, is the largest Indian record label, producing Bollywood music soundtracks and Indi-pop music, and a film production company. The company hosts 29 channels on YouTube in various Indian languages for music and Bollywood movies, with the main T-Series channel primarily showing music videos and film trailers.
T-Series channel – Primary language: Hindi – Category: Music
Subscribers: 90.1 Million – Views: 65 Billion – Ranking by views: #1
Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, better known online as PewDiePie, is a Swedish YouTuber, comedian and video game player/commentator. The most-subscribed user on YouTube since 2013, PewDiePie is especially famous for his video game videos, vlogs, and comedic formatted shows. Even though some controversial jokes have caused media backlash and breakups with certain partners, PewDiePie remains at the head of a particularly engaged audience, notably through videos staging his interactivity with his fans.
PewDiePie channel – Primary language: English – Category: Comedy
Subscribers: 90.1 Million – Views: 20.8 Billion – Ranking by views: #10
Other popular YouTube channels
The previous Top 20 YouTube channels shows that even though the number of subscribers to a channel is high, it is not exactly correlated with the total number of views of its videos. Some other channels with fewer subscribers can also reach large amounts of views, especially when they produce videos that are often watched multiple times or contents that cannot be subscribed to by younger viewers who are not eligible to create a YouTube account.
To name a few, here are the other channels above 20 Billion views, which all are in the 10 most-viewed channels.
Channel – Category: Entertainment – Country: USA
Views: 27 Billion – Ranking by views: #4 – Subscribers: 18.7 millions
Channel – Category: Music – Country: Turkey
Views: 27 Billion – Ranking by views: #5 – Subscribers: 13.3 millions
Channel – Category: Entertainment – Country: Philippines
Views: 21 Billion – Ranking by views: #7 – Subscribers: 16.7 millions
Channel – Category: Film – Country: USA
Views: 20 Billion – Ranking by views: #9 – Subscribers: 23.9 millions
The complete top 50 rankings of YouTube channels by total number of views can be found on Wikipedia.
Do you spend a lot of time on YouTube? What do you think of these channels? How do you see them and the platform evolving in the future? Let us know in the comments below!