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This YouTuber has 50 million subscribers, and that’s not good news

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For the end of the year 2020, MrBeast, YouTuber with 50 million subscribers, has put online a video that is symptomatic of the evils of our society. This video was truly disgusting to me because, in addition to being useless, it promotes the values that destroy our living together. And yet it has already garnered 30 million views.


MrBeast offers us the distressing spectacle of our addictions and the values that motivate us.



Who is MrBeast?

First of all, a little reminder for those who don’t know who MrBeats is.

Jimmy Donaldson of his real name is a YouTuber star in the United States whose first video went viral and would make even the most hardcore “performance art” fans jealous. In this video, which has accumulated more than 20 million views, MrBeast is filming himself as he counts up to 20,000,000 views in the … 100000. It’s fascinating and lasts 24 hours.

Mr Beats compte jusqu'à 100000

Since then, as this portrait published by Bloomberg reminds us, each of his videos has exceeded 20 million views and 34 million hours of viewing have been spent each month on his YouTube channel. You are not mistaken. Every month, 34 million hours are spent watching his videos. That’s 50 whole human lives a month watching his videos. That is huge.

We also learn that the average cost of making his videos is $300,000 and that he employs 50 people for production and logistics.

All these impressive figures would make you dream if the videos themselves were up to the task. But the least we can say is that the message they convey is catastrophic.


The average cost of making his YouTube videos is $300,000, and MrBeats employs 50 people for production and logistics.



Why MrBeast videos are decadent and unbearable

I have to admit that I didn’t know MrBeats before I read the Bloomberg article. His success is unbelievable, and I am delighted for him. But it comes at a price: the degradation of those who watch his videos.

If his first video could still make people smile (nearly 120k comments and 1m of “blue thumbs” anyway), what about the following ones? Here are a few titles chosen at random:

  • I Put 1,000,000 Christmas Lights On A House (World Record)
  • I Opened A Restaurant That Pays You To Eat At It
  • I Gave People $1,000,000 But ONLY 1 Minute To Spend It!
  • Steal This $100,000 Diamond, You Keep It
  • Press This Button To Win $100,000!
  • I Survived 24 Hours Straight In Ice
  • I Uber’d People And Let Them Keep The Car
  • I Filled My Brother’s House With Slime & Bought Him A New One
  • I Gave My 40,000,000th Subscriber 40 Cars
  • Get This Random Person 1,000,000 Subscribers

Lots of numbers, lots of zeros, and one thing in common: the promotion of gain, materialistic values, and competition. His Christmas video (“I put 1,000,000 Christmas lights on a house”) in particular is a masterpiece of its kind.


In 15 minutes, a day, you can learn a foreign language. And in 15 minutes spent on YouTube?


MrBeast and his million Christmas lights

As you can see, MrBeast likes to go over the top. In this sense, he has well understood the human nature that the dose of dopamine will only come with ever more insane objectives to reach. This race to excess is made by playing on the lowest instincts of the human being. His Christmas video gives us a luminous demonstration of this.

For the latter, MrBeast announces having bought 3 houses and 1.7 million Christmas lights. He then set up 3 teams of 2 people each. The aim of the game is simple. The team that best decorates its house will be able to keep it. The youngest participant is 18 years old.

Extrait de la vidéo mise enligne par MrBeast sur YouTube pour Noël 2020

The countless Christmas lights are collected between the houses. Each team has a set amount of time to decorate “their” home, which results in a few fights on the heap of garlands. Life is a struggle, even when making “his” house more beautiful than his neighbours.

Extrait de la vidéo mise enligne par MrBeast sur YouTube pour Noël 2020

The results are up to the challenge. The lighting in each home must consume the equivalent of the daily output of a nuclear power plant. At a time of global warming, you will appreciate the message conveyed.

Extrait de la vidéo mise enligne par MrBeast sur YouTube pour Noël 2020

In this energy orgy, don’t forget to remember to subscribe (see above, top right corner). A team has therefore decided to make its decoration on the theme … videos of MrBeast. Despite this fairy tale, I tell you right away, (Spoil!), they won’t win.

Extrait de la vidéo mise enligne par MrBeast sur YouTube pour Noël 2020

Finally comes the moment that everyone has been waiting for: the verdict. The jury members are not just anyone, since they are two Youtubers with millions of subscribers. If you don’t recognise them, they are the 2 boys on the picture’s right: MatPat (13,6m subscribers, an expert in video games), Quackity (3,7m subscribers, an expert in Minecraft). There is also a girl (Damaris) a “random subscriber” and of course MrBeast himself (on the left of the picture).

You will note the irony. These 4 YouTube products will therefore decide the outcome of a “contest” posted itself on YouTube.  I’ll save you a few minutes of useless viewing by revealing the names of the winners … it’s the 2 kids in the picture. The one on the right is 18 years old.

Extrait de la vidéo mise enligne par MrBeast sur YouTube pour Noël 2020

MrBeast also has an eye for the losers, offering them a beautiful sports car worth $30,000. Despite Mr Beast’s efforts, the losers can’t hide their disappointment.  At least when someone won a car in the Price is Right 10 years ago, he was happy. But in 2021 young people have become very ungrateful.


Conclusion

Where am I going with all this? MrBeast offers us the distressing spectacle of our addictions and the values that motivate us.

Addiction first of all to the biggest, strongest, most expensive, most beautiful and so on. Today it takes a ton of superlatives to get “views” and “likes”. Without this debauchery, it is impossible to capture the Internet user’s attention who, like the heroin addict, needs an ever-increasing dose of emotion on YouTube.

Values. You have to do better than your neighbour, spend more, get bigger or taller than others. The spirit of competition has replaced the spirit of collaboration. Individualism has replaced the gregarious instinct of the first settlers. The Other exists to be surpassed, to be beaten. He is now only a point of comparison.

Doing something sensational and exaggerated is the only reason for MrBeast and other YouTubers in the “entertainment” business to exist. On the one hand, they exploit the flaws of human beings and their thirst for dopamine. On the other hand, they also influence the YouTube algorithm‘s deficiencies, which is calibrated to maximise the hours spent on the platform and the addictive content.

This is a great way to start 2021.

 

 

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Author: Pierre-Nicolas Schwab

Pierre-Nicolas est Docteur en Marketing et dirige l'agence d'études de marché IntoTheMinds. Ses domaines de prédilection sont le BigData l'e-commerce, le commerce de proximité, l'HoReCa et la logistique. Il est également chercheur en marketing à l'Université Libre de Bruxelles et sert de coach et formateur à plusieurs organisations et institutions publiques. Il peut être contacté par email, Linkedin ou par téléphone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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11 Comments

  1. why are you hating on him? he’s doing a good thing and helping others as well

  2. Look- clearly you don’t know anything. MrBeast has donated MILLIONS of dollars to people in need (not just to his friends) He has also donated millions of meals to food banks and a whole heck of a lot of things to homeless shelters. And just because they were disappointed when they didn’t win a house and lost the competition DOES NOT make them ungrateful- if you lost a challenge that tens of millions of people were going to watch, i can guarantee you’d be disappointed to, because anyone would be. So stop hating on a good man who does so much for society, and maybe start doing something useful and impactful with your life.

  3. I mean not everything you said here is wrong. But there are many things i dissagree in.
    Yes he wasted alot of energy during the christmas video and yes he spends unreasonably big amounts of money for and during his videos. But when i comes to entertainment there often must be a winner in the diffrent competitions an so on. So the fact that his videos are all about who made the biggest or did something the best is nescessary for the eintertainments sake.
    I feel that you are exaggerating and dont see the positives in what hes doing.

  4. Dear Feliks,

    thank you for your comment.

    You got exactly my point. I disagree with the exaggerated entertainment perspective of his videos and what they reveal about us.

    I admire his entrepreneurial drive and his ability to generate views, but I disagree with the method. I find it worrying that thousands of hours of peoples’ lives are spent watching such content. I can’t oppose people like it ; but I worry about where our society is heading towards.

  5. I’m well aware that MrBeast has donated a lot of money. He actually publicizes it a lot and most of his videos are based on his giving away money, cars, …
    I’m not criticizing this. I quite admire that he managed to build a 50-people business and attracts millions of views.

    What I’m criticizing is the method. We, Humans, have flaws which already get exploited a lot (think about notifications and algorithms that draw you towards social media). What MrBeast does is leveraging these flaws to let us stick to his content.

    I think (and I understand you don’t share my viewpoint) that we have more important things to do than to squander our time watching low-value content. One thing that I always ask myself when I stopped watching YouTube is : “What new stuff did I learn”. If I can’t answer the question, it means the content is worthless.

    Happy to debate with you on this.

  6. Why r u complaining? Mrbeast gave more then 1 million dollars away, and how would u know the the electricity is not from natural sources. It is awesome news Mrbeast hit 50 mil. U r so ungrateful for how Mrbeast has helped others because you are jealous of him. In the video, Chris is obviously not happy, he lost a house(though still got a car, but houses are more expensive than a car)! Like you wrote in the reply you wrote to somebody else, WHAT IS THE POINT OF HIS VIDEOS, then i ask you, what is the point of the article? To criticise?

    This does not make sense and are trying to make MrBeast lose subscribers because you do not like some of his methods and are just jealous.

    THIS DOES NOT MAKE SENSE, AND I AM HAPPY TO ARGUE FOR MRBEAST!!!

    -Dw, Mrbeast’s most loyal fan

  7. Yes, his content is worthless, but I came to his channel to watch something FUN, not educational, the same reason I watch movies and read fantasy books. Yes, it is a bit addicting, and it converges on people’s flaws, but when you go to high school and college and see the depravity and sickness there, Mr. beasts videos seem cuddly in comparison. While it is a detriment, playing video games and making profit off of it is much worse, in many people’s opinions than giving away money, since it encourages playing games.

  8. The fact that people still don’t see anything he does as questionable is a fact that we are indeed screwed. MrBeast “donates” a lot of stuff to people he knows, it is always a friend of a friend, or someone my dad knows, or someone that guy knows that I know, my subscribers etc. When he dumps $300k in someone’s lap we have no idea if any of his videos are fake, if they are not he throws money at a lot of people that don’t deserve it, young people that are already thinking they are entitled to everything without any work. When he sold that house for $1 to the gangster looking guy in a nice car… I mean… sure, why not?

    If his videos were fake, I don’t think he is breaking any rules, he is doing it to feed the viewers. I love it when viewers abroad keep thinking that one day he might come to their poor country and donate money:)) MtBeast doesn’t go anywhere to donate money that isn’t close to where he knows people. I think that his videos are scripted. I actually saw a guy in one of his videos than then became a target of his random “donation” in another video. That person was supposed to be a complete random person. Coincidence?

    Why have we not seen him do any “charitable” stuff in the middle of a big city. NYC, Chicago, whatever place that may need some help. Why not travel to a foreign country and help there? Easier to just buy a private island and go there… Why not get involved with a hospital, fire fighters, first line responders, volunteers, schools etc. There are places out there that with $10k would be complete game changers.

    I have not seen a SINGLE video where he did that. Do actual charity.

    Pardon me, but isn’t charity supposed to be done without expecting anything in return? When you boast and get millions of revenue from it, how is that charity? I doubt the volunteers in conflict zones or regions ravaged by natural disasters get this many views and lavished income.

    I watched some of his videos and I could see patterns, I kept watching so I could try to understand why he is so popular and failed to understand it. For me, once you watched a few videos, you pretty much watched all of them.

    I think MrBeast is the Bitcoin of YouTube, if you actually get what my point, then you know exactly what I meant. Both artificially inflated, useless products:))

    He is surely feeding something to everyone… and people are eager to swallow it all.

  9. Before I get crucified:)) I did see a few videos where he genuinely seemed to have done charity work, but far and few between, also very short and not much backstory or mention of the work he has done. Maybe he wants “that” work kept anonymous? Could be that his sponsors dictate how he throws the money away… or not actually throw it away.

    Remember those Amazon reviews on shitty items just because the seller has provided them with a Amazon gift card, or some other free stuff? Essentially buying the reviews so they sell more stuff? Seems kinda what he does.

    The other flag in my book is the lack of any information on the people he has helped.
    An obvious thing would be, why not give a random guy a Lambo that won’t be able to afford the service, insurance, fuel, general upkeep etc?

  10. Mr Beast’s videos are useless and he has way too much money. Basically nearly all the people he donated to are just actors, it’s actually been proven. He should go off the internet as he is brainwashing young children alike.

  11. He’s right, Mr.Beast kind of sucks… Not to mention, he technically buys his audience with the whole money gift thing… But then , if you remove the money from Mr.Beast’s videos, then they turn into normal videos, which have nothing special. In other words, it’s just the money that made him special, Anything else is just bullsheet and bought friends & celebrities. He’s the lamest excuse of a youtuber I’ve ever seen, and the worst part is that he’s actually popular! Like- What? Change, people. Change.

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