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.
For the majority of the creators we profile here in Millionaires and in our other column, Creators Going Pro, YouTube is a full-time job. Between filming, editing, making thumbnails, and drafting ideas for new videos, creators have plates that aren’t so much full as completely overflowing.
YouTube is a full-time job for Madden enthusiast Matt Meagher, too. But unlike many of our other featurees, he’s balancing full-time content creation with a full-time college courseload. He’s in the final year of his bachelor’s degree in marketing–and when he graduates this spring, he intends to head right into master’s classes.
Meagher is old hat at straddling school and gaming. As a high schooler, he–along with many of his classmates–became obsessed with Madden Mobile, an on-the-go smartphone version of long-running video game franchise Madden NFL. Meagher, a lifelong sports enthusiast, had an immediate knack for the game. While his classmates’ attention waned and shifted to new pursuits, Meagher became even more enthusiastic about Madden. In 2015, he took that passion to YouTube, where he set up his channel, MMG, amid the platform’s sizeable and equally passionate community.
For the past five years, he’s produced a mix of Madden gameplay, IRL sports videos, and vlog content. Up till last summer, he was netting between five and 10 million views per month, and he’d steadily grown his audience by creating video series like Wheel of MUT!. In the series, he starts a fresh game of the latest Madden game with a truly dismal team, then spins a wheel twice each day to see how he can add to (and hopefully improve) said team throughout the fictional season.
Wheel of MUT! was always a big view-grabber for Meagher’s channel, but when he launched the newest iteration last year, chronicling his (mis)adventures in Madden 20, it was a game-changer. His monthly view count shot from 6 million in July to 12 million, to 20 million, then 25 million. Now, 53 episodes later, he’s netting nearly 30 million views each month, and has 1.46 million subscribers.
The growth hasn’t changed Meagher’s plans. He’ll continue to shoot for touchdowns in both college and content creation–leaving the future wide open for any (field) goal he chooses to pursue.
Check out our chat with him below.
Tubefilter: How does it feel to hit one million subscribers? What do you have to say to your fans?
Matt Meagher: Most surreal feeling in the world! To all o fly subscribers, I hope you know how much I love and appreciate y’all for allowing me this opportunity at such a unique life. If you EVER see me out in public, please say hello! I owe this all to you guys.
Tubefilter: Tell us a little about you! Where are you from? What did you do in ye olde days before YouTube?
MMG: I’m Matt Meagher, grew up in a small town in Michigan called DeWitt. I have always loved sports, and played basketball, football, and ran track through high school. During my senior year in high school, I started my channel with a love for entertaining people, and it has allowed me to fund my academic pursuits at Michigan State University. I am currently a senior, and I am beyond sad to be leaving, but excited to devote more energy to YouTube and my relationships.
Tubefilter: How did you fall in love with gaming? What draws you specifically to sports games?
MMG: I fell in love with gaming as a sophomore in high school. At the time, Madden Mobile, a phone version of the popular Madden NFL franchise, came out. This game was THE thing of the time. Every single kid in school had the game, and we would all patiently wait for lunchtime so we could play each other head to head. None of my friends ever wanted to get matched up against me, though, because my team was admittedly way too good. Specific to sports, though, it has just always been my life. Go to class, go to practice, relax at home, then repeat.
Tubefilter: When you launched your channel, did you go in with a plan for your content? Have you tweaked your content strategy in the years since?
MMG: I never had a plan, but I am sure many creators could say the same. My only goal is to entertain, and that content strategy always needs to be tweaked. Inside jokes, editing styles…all of that gets boring after a while. It is a constant battle to stay entertaining, and I am up for the challenge!
Tubefilter: How do you make your videos stand out amid all the gaming and sports-related noise on YouTube?
MMG: I love to be real, and I think that stands out. I censor virtually nothing, which has certainly gotten me demonetized over the years, but I don’t mind that at all. I love to incorporate my family, my friends, my real life, everything that makes me a person into my content. I am terrified of the idea that my content could be considered monotonous to someone out there, and it pushes me to go the extra mile.
Tubefilter: Is YouTube a full-time job for you? What else do you get up to in the average day?
MMG: YouTube is absolutely a full-time job, but I am blessed with an excellent supporting cast. My editors, managers at Long Haul Management, and family are always there to have my back when things get hectic. I would be NOWHERE without them. Currently, though, being a senior at Michigan State University consumes a huge chunk of my time, but I graduate this spring. I am also a proud puppy dad to my new Samoyed puppy named Appa (he is adorable) and the president of MSU’s Psi Upsilon fraternity.
Tubefilter: What’s your production process like? How long does the average video take you to make, from conception to posting?
MMG: I love to start every video with an absolutely off-the-wall intro. As I’m in the gaming world, it becomes WAY too easy to start every single video off with “Hey guys, today we are going to do.” You see it everywhere, and it was something I did in the past as well. However, I got a bit sick of seeing it, so I decided one day to switch up, and it has been an excellent success. I will grab my camera and film anyone who is with me, make jokes, go wild, do whatever to have a little spontaneous intro. Then I will move into the gameplay content portion, with my Elate recording, all the lighting equipment set up, and try my hardest to maintain high energy throughout. When the video is complete (after roughly an hour), I will compress the files to manageable size, upload them all to Dropbox in case I will be delegating that work to one of my awesome editors, and begin on the thumbnail.
If I make a video start to finish, the time required is around four to five hours. If I outsource the content, it takes me about two hours. The time saved with my editors makes my life possible, and I will never be grateful enough for that.
Tubefilter: What’s your favorite part of making content on YouTube?
MMG: The subscribers are hands down the best part. The amount of people I get to meet in public who are so excited to see my face is probably one of the best feelings a person can experience. It is incredibly fulfilling to know that you made someone’s life better, if only for a few minutes.
Tubefilter: How have you been growing your audience? Have you launched any initiatives outside your videos, like merch?
MMG: I did recently release merch, and it was a huge success! Tooting my own horn, yes, but this is probably my most proud accomplishment thus far. On my channel, prohibiting the use of “vaping” became a huge meme. Me and my mom made a video where we caught my brother with a Juul, and my mom famously came up with the quote “Don’t Juul, not cuul.” Albeit clearly satire, the message itself was funny–but also truthful. Juuls are horrible for you! We kept this joke running on the channel, and we created the “Don’t Juul, not cuul” merch shortly after. It is a huge favorite of my classmates in college, too, because I always get comments when I wear it to class. Whether people like the quote out of irony or seriousness alike, it was undoubtedly a thrilling experience to release the merch. Remember y’all: Don’t Juul, it’s not cuul.
Tubefilter: What’s next for you and your channel?
MMG: Next step is graduation, and after that is my master’s degree. For the channel, I just want to continue to expand into my real-life content. I plan to move to a warmer state, which will certainly make outdoors and sports content much easier. It is a bit tough to play football in the 10-degree Michigan weather!
You can add yourself to the ranks of Meagher’s more-than-a-million YouTube subscribers at his channel YouTube.com/MMG.