Mr. Donaldson declined to be interviewed. An agent for him refused to deal with his working conditions at his companies but said of videos with offensive content: “When Jimmy was a teenager and first started, he was carelessly used, many times, a gay profanity speaker. Jimmy knew there was no excuse to excuse homosexuality. “The agent added that Mr. Donaldson” has grown up and grown up someone who doesn’t say so. “
Many young creators have said they want to imitate Donaldson’s business.
Josh Richards, 19, a TikTok creator in Los Angeles with almost 25 million followers, said: “I think Mr. Beast inspires all Gen Z. “He’s giving a lot of kids a new way to go, teaching these kids how to be entrepreneurs, not just to get more views or become famous. . “
A perfect spread recipe
Like many members of Generation Z, Mr. Donaldson, who grew up in Greenville, NC, founded the YouTube channel in middle school, in 2012.
To crack YouTube’s proposed algorithm, he initially worked on different genres of video creation. He has posted videos of himself playing games like Call of Duty, commenting on the TV series on YouTube, uploading funny composite videos, and spontaneously reacting to videos on the internet.
Then, in 2018, he mastered the format that made him a star: charity stunt. Mr. Donaldson filmed himself giving away thousands of dollars in cash to random people, including his Uber drivers or people who went through homelessness, documenting their shock and joy in the process. . The initial money comes mostly from sponsored brands.
It turns out to be a perfect contagious formula that blends money, a larger-than-life character and healthy responses. Millions of people have started watching his YouTube videos. Mr. Donaldson quickly changed his name to “YouTube’s greatest philanthropist”.
The combination is also lucrative. Even though Mr. Donaldson gave away growing sums – from $ 100,000 to $ 1 million – he still made it all and more with ads that run along videos. He also sells items like socks ($ 18), water bottles ($ 27) and t-shirts ($ 28).