It was late June, the dog days of summer, when fast-talking Ray William Johnson leaped over Ryan Higa to claim the top most subscribed spot on YouTube with his primary channel, raywilliamjohnson. At that point he was at just over 3.9 million. Today, and some 1.1 million additional subscribers later, he’s reached another milestone by being the first channel to hit 5 million subscribers. Oh, and a not-too-shabby 1.4 billion total views.
These days none of the top creators on YouTube are sole-channel warriors anymore—many have two or three secondary channels some of which are themselves in the Top 100 list. Johnson’s animated music video channel yourfavoritemartian is a Top 20 powerhouse of its own with 1.6 million subscribers on 260 million total views.
“When they told me I’d reached 5 million, I just couldn’t believe it because I honestly feel like I know every single person,” said Johnson on the milestone. “Obviously, I can’t individually know 5 million people, but I appreciate each and every one of them and I think if I’m lucky enough to hit 10 million—I’ll have to plan better and do something special. Like give that person a free turkey.”
Ryan Higa is still nipping at Johnson’s heels however, keep track in a solid #2 position at 4.7 million subscribers and just over 1 billion total views for his nigahiga channel.