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Leo Wattenberg

YouTube statistics: The big picture

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There are a lot of channels on YouTube. How many? Well, all YouTube says is that there are 1.5 billion + users on the site, but not how many of them actually are running a channel. Luckily for us,  Socialblade tracks quite a lot of channels with more than 5 subscribers, which is roughly 21.2 million channels. In other words: Only 1.4% of users are creators

 Reddit user DetectiveMcGregor scraped the data together and made this chart out of it:


What is immediately noticeable is that the vast majority of channels don't clear the monetization guidelines. What also is clear: Being at the very top of YouTube actually isn't that far away, with only 24400 subscribers, you already are in the top 1%.

But now, let's take a look at the top 1% and see how they're divided:


Even in the top 1%, the vast majority of channels does not have a play button yet. And only 3% of the top 1% have a gold play button

So let's look yet another level deeper. The top 1% of the top 1%, channels with >2M subscribers:


Only 7% of the 1% of the 1% have a diamond play button. 

At this point, hopping into the top 1% anymore doesn't really make sense as it'll just be a big face saying pewdiepie or something. Or rather, there's so few of them, you can just look them up on Wikipedia. Instead, I present to you: A log chart.


And finally, a table:

Percentage Subscriber threshold Number of channels
all users n/a 1.5 billion
Top 100% 5 21.2 million
Top 50% 67 10.6 million
Top 10% 1215 2.1 million
Top 1% 24400 212 thousand
Top 0.01% 1 million 2230
Top 0.0001% 24.6 million 22





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Thanks for sharing this -- I had seen the graphs, but I don't think they had the explanation attached on reddit (or maybe I was just skimming too much).

It's kinda sobering to think that 24.5k subscribers gets you to the top 1% -- not even enough to get a silver play button.

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Great information, didn't realize there were so many creators not eligible for monetization. 89% of all creators under 1k subscribers, amazing!

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