Welcome to YouTube Millionaires, where we profile channels that have recently crossed the one million subscriber mark. There are channels crossing this threshold every week, and each has a story to tell about YouTube success. Read previous installments of YouTube Millionaires here.
Highlights from top soccer matches (or football matches, as our friends from across the pond say) can be hard to find on YouTube, but for many fans, the only necessary recap comes from 442oons. Dean Stobbart‘s animation channel, partnered with Whistle Sports, provides a nonstop stream of parodies and satirical music videos from the soccer world. Whether Arsenal is blowing another big game or Cristiano Ronaldo is once again showing off his figure, Stobbart will be there with a jokey cartoon at the ready. Here are his answers to our questions about his channel.
Tubefilter: How does it feel to have one million subscribers? What do you have to say to your fans?
Dean Stobbart: It’s still hard to process on a numbers level! Although I’ve worked (and still work) my backside off to make the videos, the fact that over one million people have subscribed to my channel is bonkers. Working hard is never a guarantee that people will like the videos, come back for more, and subscribe, so I’m still so grateful that my subscribers have stuck around. Without them this wouldn’t be my full-time job!
TF: Your channel has grown tremendously in just three-and-a-half years. Why do you think your videos have been so popular?
DS: I think the humour is the main thing — it’s very light-hearted and pokes fun at the ridiculous world of football in an affectionate way. The parody songs are very popular with my followers and definitely my most viewed videos on the whole. A big factor has been the turnaround time. Creating a cartoon overnight based on the previous day’s action helps the videos to be incredibly relevant and more successful as a result.
TF: Considering that animation is known for being time-consuming, how do you manage to put out so much content?
DS: Late nights. Early mornings. No breaks. That helps! I’ve got a similar work ethic to N’golo Kante. Sadly mine requires much more sitting down and far less exercise, but never mind. Thanks to the growth of my channel, I have two animators now which is a huge help and they do they donkey work of animation so I can spend more time scripting, editing and adding the final 2% to their animations.
TF: How do you manage to stay completely up-to-date on football news and results as you create your videos?
DS: I’ve always followed footy closely as I love the game, so it’s just keeping up with what I already used to do. My phone is constantly buzzing, the TV is usually on and showing football, and I’m usually listening to football podcasts. The 442oons fans are great too as they’ll often give me heads-up on breaking stories and the main talking points in a match.
TF: When you’re preparing to add a new player to your animations, how do you decide which of their characteristics to highlight?
DS: I just look at their face or picture them from all the games I’ve watched and think what stands out. Prominent features always help and some of the crazy haircuts instantly make a player more recognizable in a caricature, although keeping up with [Paul] Pogba’s hair is a full-time job in itself.
TF: Have you heard from any of the players you have impersonated? If so, how did they respond?
DS: Thomas Muller is probably the biggest player who has responded to a video. When I created a cartoon called Bayern Mambo No 5 when Bayern beat Arsenal 5-1 (the first time!) he said he can sing far better than my impersonation of him. I challenged him to a cartoon vs human sing-off but sadly, he must have been too scared!
TF: Which character of yours would you say is the hardest to animate and perform?
DS: There are lots of voices that are hard to do, especially as I add more characters. How many Spanish style accents can one person do?!
I typically find the players from London hardest as that’s not my best accent. [John] Terry and [Frank] Lampard are tough – although my Harry Redknapp isn’t too shoddy.
TF: Any plans to do animations for other sports, or are you strictly a football guy?
DS: My love of football far outweighs the other sports, although I follow them loosely. And as football is such a huge sport compared to most others, I’ll stick with that for now.
I’m hoping to start a second channel but with a focus on the equally ridiculous world of celebrities and that surreal culture.
TF: What’s next for your channel? Any fun plans?
DS: Two million subscribers! Mainly I’m trying to keep the match videos going in the usual madcap 442oons style, and until the games are played, I rarely have any plans for what the video will be. The celebrity angle is one that excites me although I don’t want to get too distracted.