Over the weekend, SMOSH became the #1 subscribed YouTube channel, and as of this writing has 6,823,489 subscribers to Ray William Johnson’s 6,810,751. SMOSH has built a big channel over years of YouTube presence, which is not the kind of story we hear that much in this day and age of FreddieW, Epic Meal Time, and even SMOSH’s own spinoff channel SMOSH Games, all of which have toppled each other in recent years to become the “fastest to a million,” taking them a year or less. Let’s take a look at SMOSH and its long road to #1.
The SMOSH Path to #1
Way back in 2006, SMOSH, created by Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox, started their brand of comedy videos. Mostly, it was a bunch of lip synching and horsing around, which is kind of what we knew YouTube for back in the day. Here’s their first video, playing around with the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers:
They scored a huge hit doing this with Mortal Kombat, a video that has amassed 23 million views:
The top video from SMOSH over the years is this entry from 2008, entitled “Beef ‘n Go.” It has over 96 million views:
Just a little over a year ago, SMOSH came out with this video that leverages The Legend of Zelda in a rap song. It typifies the kind of video that goes ultra-mega-huge in this day and age:
You know, SMOSH’s rise to the top actually is pretty amazing, when you consider that they made this video in August of 2009 thanking their subscribers for allowing them to hit a million. That means in three years, SMOSH has amassed nearly 6 million more subscribers:
So SMOSH started out small, doing goofy stuff and continuing to do goofy stuff but with better production values. They hit a happy zone for the average YouTube audience, and they’ve created several channels to branch out and build even more of an audience. Overall, they have over 10 million subscribers for all of their channels combined.
By creating content people love, they have been able to leverage their audience to create a successful network, and their brand now is the top channel on YouTube. Pretty amazing stuff.