Next Gen 2015: YouTube's Top 30 Influencers

9:00 AM 11/4/2015

by Natalie Jarvey

Subscriber count means little for these online stars, who were chosen by marketing powerhouse Ogilvy & Mather based on their reach, fan engagement and growth rate across social media.

Courtesy of Markiplier; Getty Images

Step off a New York subway or drive a Los Angeles Freeway and it's hard to miss billboards promoting YouTube's biggest stars by the size of their fan bases. But how much value do beauty guru Michelle Phan's 8 million subscribers really have?

Marketing giant Ogilvy & Mather believes that subscriber numbers mean a lot less than a creator's ability to build a community. So Ogilvy has put together a list of the 30 online stars with the most-engaged fans as part of a larger paper in partnership with mobile community platform Victorious on the new social contract. "There's a bias of looking at the world through the lens of TV," says Rob Davis, executive director of content and video marketing at Ogilvy. "The value of TV is the value of the eyeballs that are tuned in at any given moment, but I think it has taken a while for marketers to understand that the value of online communities has another layer to it."

Ogilvy weighed an online star's reach, engagement and growth rate across YouTube, Vine and social media to determine the top three creators across 10 categories (listed alphabetically below). Says Davis, "We found that some of the people with massive audiences weren't growing a community."

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  • Adriene Mishler

    Category: Health & Fitness

    Michael Stewart/WireImage

    This yogi and host of YouTube channel Yoga With Adriene has 948,000 subscribers but is quickly growing. Her videos currently average 4 million monthly views and have a total of 50 million views. Meanwhile, Mishler has thousands of followers across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. 

  • Alisha Marie

    Category: Cooking & DIY

    JB Lacroix/WireImage

    This Southern California native has amassed more than 113 million views over the last four years with a host of DIY projects, fashion videos and beauty vlogs. Her fast-growing channel is boosted by her fans, who call themselves Macbabies and follow her across YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. And although her channel is smaller than many in the cooking and DIY category, strong fan engagement shows that her community is loyal to the content she is producing. 

  • Andrew Schrock

    Category: Sports

    Courtesy of AndrewSchrock/YouTube.com

    Schrock has been posting skate videos and pranks since 2008, but his audience has remained relatively small at a current 687,000. Even so, skateboarding fans are loyal and have driven his view count to 160 million.

  • AsapSCIENCE

    Category: Education

    Marta Iwanek/Toronto Star via Getty Images

    Colorful drawings and peppy narration make science fun and interesting on Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown's YouTube channel. So fun that the channel has amassed 4.4 million subscribers in three years. Earlier this year, they rode the wave of the blue-and-black dress phenomenon to 20 million views on a video that explained the phenomenon of the optical illusion with science. A book released in March answers some of the world's weirdest questions. 

  • Blogilates

    Category: Health & Fitness

    Mike Windle/Getty Images for Dick Clark Productions

    Cassey Ho has been posting Blogilates videos on YouTube for six years, but more than 50 percent of her subscribers have signed up within the last year and a half. The pilates instructor, who created the POP Pilates workouts, has released her own fitness DVDs and sells a line of activewear geared toward her 2.6 million subscribers. Her fitness routine was even made the official pilates class of 24 Hour Fitness. 

  • Boyce Avenue

    Category: Music

    Mark Sullivan/Getty Images for Nickelodeon Australia

    Boyce Avenue has been able to stay independent in recent years thanks to YouTube, where the band has racked up 7.6 million subscribers and 2.2 billion views of their covers and original songs. Their online fame led to a 2014 EP titled No Limits and an 11-stop international tour next year.

  • Brodie Smith

    Category: Sports

    Courtesy of Subject

    Trick-shot performer Smith had his first viral video in 2011 and today his most popular video, titled "Greatest Game of HORSE Ever," has been viewed more than 25 million times. Smith's 1.2 million subscribers are passionate about his videos thanks in part to his competition in the American Ultimate Disc League. 

  • Cameron Dallas

    Category: Personality

    Daniel Zuchnik/FilmMagic

    In the matter of two years, 21-year-old Dallas has become one of the most popular Viners, with over 2 billion loops and 8.7 million followers. His audience extends to other platforms including Twitter, where he has 5.6 million followers. He's parlaying that fan base into an acting career, starring in AwesomenessTV's Expelled, which debuted at No. 1 on iTunes, and coming-of-age film The Outfield

  • Crash Course

    Category: Education

    Film Magic

    Started by YouTube veterans John Green and Hank Green, this liberal-arts-focused education channel drew 4.3 million views for a video about the agricultural revolution posted three years ago. But their fans extend far beyond this one YouTube channel: They helped John Green's novel The Fault in Our Stars become a runaway best-seller and turned the annual summer VidCon conference, which the Green brothers founded, into a 20,000-person event. 

  • Dude Perfect

    Category: Sports

    Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images For Nickelodeon

    This five-person group has leveraged their penchant for elaborate trick shots on YouTube into a series for CMT that will premiere in 2016. Their videos have over 1 billion views, with the majority of videos reaching over 1 million views, since they began posting to YouTube in 2009. 

  • Eva Gutowski

    Category: Style & Fashion

    Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

    Known by the YouTube channel MyLifeAsEva, Gutowski has amassed 4.5 million subscribers in just two years for her beauty and fashion tutorials. Many of them have followed her to Instagram, where she has 2.3 million followers. That audience helped her land a deal to become the new face of WallFlower Jeans.

  • Fitness Blender

    Category: Health & Fitness

    Courtesy of fitnessblender.com

    Married couple Kelli and Daniel Segars have posted more than 450 workout videos since 2010, along the way accumulating 335 million views. Their videos have skyrocketed in popularity recently, more than doubling their subscriber count to 2.5 million since the beginning of the year. They've created a multiplatform community with a website that sells more intensive workout plans. 

  • FouseyTube

    Category: Personality

    Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Stream Con

    Yousef Erakat, who goes by the YouTube name FouseyTUBE, grew from 2.8 million subscribers in summer 2014 to a current fan base of 7.4 million due to his vlogs, sketches and pranks. A branded video for Quest Nutrition in which he pied other YouTube stars has been viewed more than 2.1 million times. 

  • Good Mythical Morning

    Category: Comedy

    Jesse Grant/Getty Images for VH1 Press

    This YouTube weekday talk show, hosted by comedy duo Rhett James McLaughlin and Charles "Link" Neal, has amassed nearly 1.7 billion views since it premiered in 2012. Rhett & Link have been uploading videos to YouTube since 2006, but with GMM they have tapped into a fast-growing community of fans that have helped their videos shoot up in popularity. GMM episodes regularly earn more than 750,000 views on the first day that they are posted, with the most-popular, "The Most Amazing Optical Illusions on the Internet," amassing 19.7 million views in two years.

  • Just Kidding News

    Category: News

    Courtesy of Just Kidding News/ YouTube

    In three years, Just Kidding News has accumulated 1.4 million subscribers and 635 million views on YouTube, but the channel has also utilized other platforms to grow their audience. The Just Kidding News Instagram account, for example, has 95,000 followers. There's even a Just Kidding News podcast with more than 230 episodes available to download for free. 

  • King Bach

    Category: Comedy

    Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic

    Andrew Bachelor's 14.2 million followers truly make him the king of Vine, but it's the 5.2 billion loops on his 603 6-second videos that earn him a place on Ogilvy's list. The actor and comedian has parlayed his online fame into recurring roles on House of Lies and The Mindy Project and, more recently, a role in New Line horror comedy The Babysitter and an undercover cop comedy for Fox with executive producers Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele. Bachelor also operates a handful of small YouTube channels. 

  • Laura Vitale

    Category: Cooking & DIY

    David Livingston/Getty Images

    The host of Laura in the Kitchen has been teaching viewers about authentic Italian cuisine since 2010. Her 2 million subscribers have helped her cultivate a multiplatform audience with Cooking Channel's Simply Laura and appearances on shows including Today. Vitale — who grew up in Italy before moving to the United States — has also release a cookbook, but she continues to post new dishes on her YouTube channel multiple times a week, earning her more than 266 million views. 

  • Lilly Singh

    Category: Personality

    Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

    Vlogger Singh had 2 million subscribers in early 2014, but in a meteoric rise jumped to more than 7 million over the next 22 months. The 27-year-old Canadian, who goes by the name Superwoman, is also a motivational speaker and stand-up comedian. Up next: starring in a documentary about her recent world tour. 

  • Markiplier

    Category: Gaming

    Courtesy of Subject

    Markiplier, the YouTube name of video gamer Mark Edward Fischbach, has accumulated more than 10 million subscribers and 3.4 billion views on his channel where he plays games, posts original comedy sketches and other clips. But the Oahu-based Fischbach proves the power of his community through his charity work. Through regular campaigns, he has raised more than $200,000 for charity since he rose to fame.  

  • Michelle Phan

    Category: Style & Fashion

    Mark Sagliocco/FilmMagic

    Phan rules beauty with 8 million subscribers, but her reach extends far beyond YouTube. Ipsy, the e-commerce company she co-founded, has 1.5 million monthly subscribers and recently raised $100 million at a $500 million valuation. In April, she launched a network of up-and-coming lifestyle creators with Endemol Beyond called the ICON Network. 

     

  • Pentatonix

    Category: Music

    Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

    A cappella group Pentatonix won NBC's The Sing Off in 2011 but later turned to YouTube after label Sony dropped them them. Now, their audience on the online platform has grown to 9.2 million subscribers and their recent album hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200. They also had a cameo in Pitch Perfect 2

  • Rachel Levin

    Category: Style & Fashion

    Courtesy of Rachel Levin/Instagram

    Levin's beauty and DIY videos, posted under the RCLBeauty101 channel, have earned 516 million views since 2010, helping to earn her a 2015 Teen Choice Award nomination. A contest she ran earlier this year, which gave the winner a chance to collaborate in an upcoming video, boosted up-and-coming creator Kaelyn Pannier's channel to 127,000 subscribers. 

  • Rosanna Pansino

    Category: Cooking & DIY

    Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

    Pansino began posting to YouTube four years ago, but it took her several videos before she settled into the theme that would shoot her to stardom: baking. Her Nerdy Nummies concoctions — early delicacies include a Minecraft cake and Gears of War cupcakes — have propelled her channel to 4.9 million subscribers and over 1 billion views. Fans have also supported the Seattle-native's original song, "Perfect Together," with 8.8 million views since February. Now, Pansino is busy promoting her first cookbook, which launched Nov. 3. 

  • Ryan Higa

    Category: Comedy

    Courtesy of Ryan Higa

    One of YouTube's more established stars, Higa has cultivated a devoted audience that is incredibly engaged. With 15.5 million subscribers, Higa's reach is large, but he also has accumulated more than 2.4 billion views in his eight years on the video streaming site. Higa is now testing whether that audience will follow him to new platforms including his very own app. TeeHee, which launched in April with a signature game, live shows and other excusive footage, debuted at No. 14 in the Apple app store list of top entertainment apps.

  • SamGladiator

    Category: Gaming

    Courtesy of samgladiatorbot/Instagram

    He's no PewDiePie (the most popular YouTuber, with 40 million subscribers) but SamGladiator's fan base is quickly growing. This up-and-comer is becoming known for his Minecraft role-play videos, vlogs and other YouTube gameplay. Those videos have earned him more than 789,000 subscribers and 196 million views over the last two years. 

  • SciShow

    Category: Education

    Courtesy of SciShow/ YouTube

    Another of Hank Green's channels, this one discusses science news and concepts that range from explaining red hair to the truth about bananas. The channel has 2.8 million subscribers and 342 million views thanks to Green's devoted community of fans who first came to know him through his VlogBrothers channel with John Green and now follow him from project to project. 

  • Shawn Mendes

    Category: Music

    David Becker/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

    Mendes' fans took him from Vine to the Billboard Hot 100 in a year. His single "Stitches" charted at No. 4 on the list and was nominated for a Teen Choice Award. But as recently as 2013 Mendes was covering songs on Vine, racking up 4.4 million followers and 442 million loops. Up next: Touring as a part of iHeartRadio's Jingle Ball. 

  • Sourcefed

    Category: News

    Kevin Winter/Getty Images

    The power of the Sourcefed brand is so strong that a number of the channel's hosts have become stars in their own right, including creator Philip DeFranco, Steve Zaragoza and Elliott Morgan. The channel today has 1.6 million subscribers and 785 million views.  

  • The Young Turks

    Category: News

    Brian Ach/Getty Images for Webby Awards

    Political news network The Young Turks has grown from YouTube to channels on Hulu and Roku and their own app, which debuted as the No. 28 news app in Apple's App Store. The YouTube channel, co-created by Cenk Uygur, today has 2.3 million subscribers and 2.2 billion views, showing the engagement of its audience. 

  • VanossGaming

    Category: Gaming

    Getty Images

    Evan Fong's YouTube videos as VanossGaming have amassed more than 3.2 billion views since 2011, regularly earning him a spot among the 100 most viewed YouTube channels. Fong's growth has been especially rapid over the last three years. The Canadian star, who posts montages of funny moments within his gameplay, jumped from 1 million subscribers in 2013 to over 14 million. 

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