YouTuber MrBeast signs mammoth deal with Amazon Prime

Headshot of Wenlei Ma
Wenlei Ma
The Nightly
2 Min Read
Mr Beast is YouTube's most popular creators. His video regular attracts hundreds of millions of views.
Mr Beast is YouTube's most popular creators. His video regular attracts hundreds of millions of views. Credit: YouTube

YouTube star MrBeast has signed a monster deal with Amazon, reportedly worth $US100 million.

MrBeast, real name Jimmy Donaldson, will create a reality competition show based on his Beast Games series. It will put 1000 contenders up against each other for a cash prize of $US5 million, the largest in TV history and $US440,000 more than Netflix’s reality TV version of Squid Game, which gave away $US4.56 million.

Ironically, Donaldson kicked off Beast Games off the back of Netflix’s Korean drama.

Sign up to The Nightly's newsletters.

Get the first look at the digital newspaper, curated daily stories and breaking headlines delivered to your inbox.

Email Us
By continuing you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.

In a statement, Donaldson said, “My goal is to make the greatest show possible and prove YouTubers and creators can succeed on other platforms. Amazon gave me the creative control I needed to try and make it happen.

“I hope to make the YouTube community proud.”

Donaldson has the most popular content creator channel on YouTube. He has 245 million followers.

While it may seem Donaldson’s expansion onto Amazon’s streaming platform is a step up, the 25-year-old may have more subscribers than Amazon has to its shopping and media Prime membership. The last time Amazon disclosed numbers in 2022, Prime had 200 million members.

MrBeast at the Nickelodeon awards. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Nickelodeon)
MrBeast at the Nickelodeon awards. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Nickelodeon) Credit: Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Nickelodeon

And while the $US100 million price tag may seem steep, it’s nowhere near as much money as what Donaldson claims to make from his MrBeast videos.

Donaldson previously told Time magazine that his channel already generates up to $US700 million a year in revenue. He revealed each video will clock up “a couple million” in ad revenue and the same in brand deals.

However, a Forbes report put his annual gross earnings at $US82 million, which was more than double his nearest rival.

According to Vox, MrBeast employs 500 staffers, including 300 in video production with the rest in his food manufacturing business, a brand extension of the YouTube channel.

Donaldson’s videos are professionally made productions that can cost millions to make and have featured elaborate concepts such as spending days on a raft adrift on the water. MrBeast also famously gives away money in big stunts.

While he is the most popular content creator in the world, the videos have attracted criticism for their apparent lack of depth or thematic coherence.

Vox wrote in an explainer piece, “Since starting his YouTube channel in 2012 at age 13, Donaldson has been a devoted student of virality, shirking basically everything else in his life in service to the YouTube algorithm.

“[His] approach to video production is far less interested in what is on screen than in what will make the numbers in the bottom left corner go up. What matters is more views, longer watch times and more subscribers, and nothing in a Mr Beast video is not in service of this goal.”

Latest Edition

The front page of The Nightly for 17-05-2024

Latest Edition

Edition Edition 17 May 202417 May 2024

Shadowy South American crime figure at centre of alleged gambling scandal that’s rocked Aussie sport.