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.
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In the vast crowded wilds of the internet, creators who have built an audience can (understandably!) be nervous about moving away from the kind of content that drew in those viewers. But over the past year, 2HYPE member Jiedel has proven that not only can he switch content niches and retain his viewership–he can switch and grow it.
The 25-year-old, Los Angeles-based YouTuber has been making videos since 2014. He–along with his brother Jesser and the rest of sports/gaming collective 2HYPE–got his start as a video game-focused creator whose uploads revolved around gameplay in titles like NBA 2K and Madden. That niche made up the bulk of his channel until 2019, when he got into sneaker customization. And then, in 2020, he shifted again.
Over the past year, Jiedel zeroed in on a combo of culinary and challenge content. He’s tested popular TikTok recipes, tried the best pizza L.A. has to offer, held 2HYPE trivia parties, taken Gordon Ramsay‘s masterclass, bounced his way through a trampoline basketball tournament, and much, much more. He uploads at least once a week, swapping from topic to topic with each video posted.
This subject-switching is exactly the kind of thing creators can be leery of–but for Jiedel, mixing it up has paid off, pushing his channel up past one million subscribers.
Check out our chat with him below.
Jiedel: With the pandemic keeping us all inside for over a calendar year, not a ton has changed for me personally. But on the channel side of things, I’ve definitely focused more on food, cooking, and self-improvement videos through my masterclass series.
Jiedel: It is a very cool feeling and I’d like to thank everybody who helped me hit that goal. Having said that, it’s just a number, and I feel like I’m the same guy I was at 900k, 800k, etcetera.
Jiedel: Before YouTube, I was a journalism student at Rutgers University. I was an intern for the NFL the summer before graduation working on their YouTube channels, so becoming a full-time YouTuber was what I was preparing for, in a sense.
Jiedel: When I first started with YouTube, I was doing NBA 2K MyTEAM videos, I took inspiration from my brother Jesser and KSI with their respective series. Even though the videos were love commentaries, I always liked the narrative arcs that would form across episodes.
I knew I wanted to do gaming videos (at first), but didn’t always know what to do. I loved doing rebuilds on Madden and NBA 2K, but didn’t know people were going to be interested in watching that until years into doing YT. I also want to give a shout-out to Jon Graham, who used to go by Digitalph33r, for being a gigantic inspiration for me wanting to make YouTube videos. His Halo videos are what ultimately made me fall in love with the platform.
I’d also note that I change my zone every single year, I’ve never consistently done the same thing. In 2017 it was NBA 2K MyTEAM, 2019 NBA rebuilds, 2020 sneaker customizing, 2021 cooking and assorted challenges.
Jiedel: YouTube has been my full-time job since February 2017. We film for 2HYPE on average once a week, and for my personal channel on average two to three times a week. I also film for 100 Thieves from time to time.
I film a lot, but I would say when I was on the come-up and I was younger, I certainly did more–in the sense that I now have a great team to help me film and edit that I didn’t have before. I’ve also gotten older during my five or so years doing this, so other life responsibilities can eat into my time.
Jiedel: Spending time with my brother and the other guys in 2HYPE. I’d say the guys are all my best friends and a lot of the content creators I know are some of the nicest and most genuine people I’ve ever met.
Jiedel: Kris, Jesse, and I launched TruCreator, a company making sports-like cards of content creators. People have really liked the two products we’ve put out so far, and we have even bigger things on the horizon for that.
In regards to other platforms, I’m happy existing as a YouTuber, and if the other things come, they come.
Jiedel: I’m not sure what I’m filming tomorrow, let alone 2022 and beyond, so we’ll see.
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