YouTube Millionaires: For Brandon Baum, YouTube Shorts Is “The Key To Success”

By 05/13/2021
YouTube Millionaires: For Brandon Baum, YouTube Shorts Is “The Key To Success”

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 creator has a story to tell about YouTube success. Read previous installments here.

This week’s installment of YouTube Millionaires is brought to you by Bright – a learning platform focused on real conversations that level up your life. 


When Brandon Baum heard YouTube planned to launch its own shortform video platform, his first thought was, Of course. To him, it’d always made sense that YouTube would eventually challenge the likes of TikTok and Snapchat.

His second thought was, I have to get in on this.

And he did. As soon as YouTube Shorts launched wide to users in November 2020, Baum began uploading videos. The vast majority of his clips are less than 20 seconds long, but they’re laden with eye-catching special effects.

Baum sharpened his VFX skills working as a producer and director for other YouTubers. When coronavirus lockdowns hit early last year and prevented him from meeting up with, well, anyone, he decided it was the chance to kick off his own YouTube channel with a project: every day of lockdown, he would create and post one full, finished video.

The daily uploads (which were also short and VFX-focused) netted him mild returns–a couple thousand subscribers and a couple hundred thousand views.

Then Shorts launched, and everything changed. In two weeks, Baum’s channel went from 2,300 subscribers and around 227,000 views total to 148,000 subscribers and more than 65 million views. His content hadn’t fared the best on YouTube main, but on Shorts, its engagement skyrocketed. His top video (embedded above) has 60 million views to date, and dozens of other clips have garnered tens of millions of views.

Now, Baum has more than one million subscribers, and his own channel is officially his full-time job (alongside his continuing work in video production). Looking to the future, he’s considering returning to YouTube main with some long-form content…but the traffic from YouTube Shorts, he says, will always be what opened the door to his career.

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?

Brandon Baum: I am constantly in awe of the magnitude my channel has grown in the timeframe it has. I create content because I love it, and I love expressing my creativity in video format. The fact that there are a million people who have taken the time to press and subscribe to my channel is honestly mindblowing, and I am incredibly grateful to every person.

Tubefilter: Tell us a little about you! Where are you from? What did you do in ye olde days before YouTube?

BB: Since the age of 12 I have been a content creator. The only difference is, I didn’t know it back then! My older brother owned a flip cam that was just collecting dust in his room. One day I picked it up, started filming videos, and never stopped.

Tubefilter: When and why did you start a YouTube channel? Did you go into it knowing what content niche you wanted to focus on, or did you discover your zone along the way?

BB: I am extremely lucky that I get to work with my best friends, Woody and Kleiny, creating content together. When the initial lockdown hit, we couldn’t meet up to create videos together. I decided to take that opportunity to start messing around and creating content on my own page. On day one of lockdown, I said to myself that I would upload a brand-new, original video every single day until lockdown was over. I didn’t miss a single day and created over 100 pieces of content in that time.

I didn’t start creating VFX content because it was a niche; I started creating that style of content as I have a passion for giving people that escapism from reality and creating content that leaves people guessing how it was made.

Tubefilter: A lot of your recent content is posted to YouTube Shorts. Has Shorts been a significant part of the growth of your channel? What advantages does Shorts have over making longer-form videos?

BB: Shorts has been the key to my YouTube success. I heard about Shorts within its first month of conception, and knowing the volume of users on YouTube, didn’t let myself miss even a single upload day.

Tubefilter: When did YouTube Shorts hit your radar? When did you realize it could be a viable content avenue? Do you have any thoughts about Shorts versus TikTok or other platforms?

BB: Shorts was always a transition that made sense in my head for YouTube. It was never an “if,” and always a “when.” I made sure I was on top of every article waiting for the news to be released, and the day it was, my #shorts journey began!

Tubefilter: Is YouTube your full-time job? How often do you film? What does the average day look like for you?

BBI am incredibly lucky that I get to work with my mentors, Woody and Kleiny. For the past four years, I have been their producer/director, constantly absorbing and intaking their genius and creativity. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them, and am grateful to have been a part of their journey and rise. I still work closely with them, learning and evolving as a creator, and am incredibly grateful for all the support they have given me getting my brand off the ground.

Tubefilter: Do you have any strategies for growing your audience? Have you noticed any particular kind of content getting more traction than others? Do you adjust what you film depending on how your viewers react?

BB: I love looking at videos from an analytical point of view. It has been a part of the creative process when brainstorming concepts, which is strange, as it doesn’t feel like creativity and analytics should match well together. I’ve been a big fan on “doubling down” on what I see working–for example, if I create a video that garners viral success, my initial thought is, How can I recreate something similar? This format has led me to some of my biggest viral videos.

Tubefilter: How do you make your videos stand out amidst all the noise on YouTube?

BB: My goal with creating content is to create videos I want to watch. I try and work out what would hook, fascinate, or inspire me to watch, and model my content around that.

Tubefilter: What’s your favorite part of making content on YouTube?

BB: My favourite part about the content creation journey is the production of each video. Being able to surround myself with fellow creatives, all locking off, trying to produce one single piece of content to its very best potential, is inspiring to be a part of. I am very lucky for the people I have around me and all the value and support they bring to the creative process. Creating the content I do is a massive collaboration with some of the most creative people I know, and I am incredibly grateful that they are a part of my team.

Tubefilter: Have you expanded your content and personal brand off YouTube at all? Launched any merch, a related business, a presence on another social platform…? Do you want to?

BB: Currently, I have 2 million followers on TikTok and over a quarter of a million on Instagram, and am continually trying to grow and expand my brand. I love that what I do reaches so many people, and I don’t have any plans to slow down anytime soon!

Tubefilter: What’s next for you and your channel? Any plans looking to the future?

BB: This year, I want to start leaning into the long-form content world. Creating Shorts has taught me so much, and has been an incredible opportunity for me as a creator. Alongside creating these Shorts, I want to begin the venture of showing my audience more of me and my world. Longform content is the perfect medium for this, and I am super excited for everyone to see what I have been working on.


This week’s installment of YouTube Millionaires is brought to you by Bright – a learning platform focused on real conversations that level up your life. 

On Bright, participants receive unprecedented access to learn from their favorite creators, icons and experts within an intimate, live video chat setting. More than 1500 talent are on the waitlist to lead Bright Sessions for audiences looking to improve their lives. Fans come face-to-face with their favorite talent, ask questions and are able to make requests from the VIP area while joining talent on the Bright Stage for direct exchanges and personal learning among other Bright interactive features. 

For more info and to experience conversations that level up your life, head over to Brightlive.com.