On the video platform YouTube, a subscriber to a channel is a user who, by selecting that channel’s subscribe button, has chosen to receive content released by the channel. Each user’s subscription feed consists of videos recently published by channels to which the account is subscribed. The ability to subscribe to users was introduced in October 2005, and the website began publishing a list of its “most subscribed Members” in April 2006. An early archive of the list dates to May 2006, at which time Smosh, with fewer than three thousand subscribers, occupied the number one position. Since then, at least ten other YouTube channels have possessed the platform’s largest subscriber count; these include Judson Laipply, Brookers, geriatric1927, lonelygirl15, nigahiga, Fred, Ray (formerly RayWilliamJohnson), PewDiePie, and YouTube (formerly YouTube Spotlight). The most-subscribed channel as of May 2020 is T-Series, an Indian music video publisher operated by the entertainment company of the same name. With a subscriber count of 139 million, the channel has held this distinction since April 2019.
- 1 Most-subscribed channels
- 2 Historical progression of most-subscribed channels
- 3 Milestones and reactions
- 4 See also
- 5 Notes
- 6 References
The following table lists the 51 most-subscribed channels on YouTube, with each total rounded down to the nearest million subscribers, as well as the network, primary language, and content category of each channel. The channels are ordered by number of subscribers; those whose displayed subscriber counts are identical are listed alphabetically.
Note: excluded are automatically-generated channels that lack their own videos (for example topic channels like Music and News) as well as channels that have transferred content (such as JustinBieberVEVO and RihannaVEVO)[note 1].
“N/A” signifies that the channel is self-owned and unaffiliated with any multi-channel network.
Historical progression of most-subscribed channels
The following table lists the nineteen distinct runs as the most-subscribed YouTube channel recorded since May 2006. Only runs lasting at least 24 hours are included.
Timeline of the most-subscribed YouTube channels (May 2006 – present)
Milestones and reactions
Following the third time that Smosh became the most-subscribed YouTube channel, Ray William Johnson collaborated with the duo. A flurry of top YouTubers including Ryan Higa, Shane Dawson, Felix Kjellberg, Michael Buckley, Kassem Gharaibeh, the Fine Brothers, and Johnson himself, congratulated the duo shortly after they surpassed Johnson as the most-subscribed channel.
PewDiePie vs T-Series
Main article: PewDiePie vs T-Series
In mid-2018, the subscriber count of the Indian music video channel T-Series rapidly approached that of Swedish web comedian and Let’s Player PewDiePie, who at the time was the most-subscribed user on YouTube. As a result, fans of PewDiePie and T-Series, other YouTubers and celebrities showed their support for both channels. During the competition, both channels gained a large amount of subscribers at a rapid rate. The two channels surpassed each other in subscriber count on a number of occasions in February, March, and April 2019.