The rise of DanTDM, from introverted teen to YouTube phenomenon

YouTube personalities have quickly risen to become a major cultural force. DanTDM, one of the UK’s most popular and prosperous YouTubers, is reportedly worth more than many professional players.

The 31-year-old has made a name for himself as a cultural icon thanks to his devotion to video games and, more specifically, to the practice of destroying Minecraft bricks online.

Known by his true name, Daniel Middleton, the internet celebrity has amassed more than 27.7 million subscribers to his most popular channel on YouTube.

After spending his childhood making “silly adverts or clay animations” with a camera, he started his internet career while working in a supermarket by creating a channel for a trading card game.

But he didn’t stay there long because he realized that his commentaries on Minecraft were his real path to success.

Since its inception in 2012, DanTDM’s channel has garnered an average of 300–400 million views each month.

His videos of himself playing Minecraft and making up storylines in the game while doing voiceovers for the characters have made him a YouTube sensation.

He was caught off guard by his early success.

I would estimate that I had a million readers. DanTDM explains to the BBC that he was adding “10-20,000 subs” (subscribers) per day during that time.

And the scenery was really ridiculous. At one point, we became the site’s most popular channel.

How did a young man from Aldershot, England, ascend to the ranks of the most popular YouTubers in the world?

“I was a very reserved student. In class presentations, I was never the kind to volunteer to speak in front of the class.

“Many popular YouTubers are shy by nature yet have a wealth of ideas. YouTube encouraged me to be less reserved.

DanTDM began his commentary at a time when YouTube was just starting to gain popularity, and he has now become his own production studio, devoting countless hours to his online reputation.

I was fortunate enough to get the ball rolling at just the perfect time. I, too, was able to find my place very quickly. And then YouTube’s popularity exploded throughout that time period. Therefore, a site with so many users is bound to generate revenue.

He said that adding subscribers was “a little bit addictive” when he was explaining how his channel grew.

The upside of YouTube is that if a strategy doesn’t pan out, you can just abandon it the following day. There is currently no planned release date. Simply switching up your routine on a regular basis will accomplish the trick. So, it was exciting to experiment with something new every day. What a joy it is to do!

How did he feel when he realized he could make a living off of his writing?

“I wasn’t really using it [the money] because I was making videos, so I didn’t have time!” he exclaims in jest.

It hasn’t been completely smooth sailing, though.

After becoming a father, he became profoundly depressed during the isolation of the pandemic, as he disclosed in one of his videos.

It was crucial that he be honest with his followers about his mental health struggles.

“Telling them how I felt and why I hadn’t been uploading as many videos helped.”

The stress of constantly having to think of something new, as well as the danger of burnout, are also factors he considers: “You need to have that brain space.”

The internet celebrity continues by claiming that he himself has found solace in YouTube and video games during times of depression because of the messages he receives from viewers thanking him for helping them.

“No cussing”
He has a keen sense of his obligation to his supporters. DanTDM has always been mindful of making his videos appropriate for children and other young viewers.

Nothing violent, and no cussing, please. My constant fear was, “What if my grandma saw these videos?” Would they be pleased if my parents saw this?

I used to be quite cautious, but now that I’m older… I’m much more at ease in front of the more sophisticated audience that I’ve attracted. to be less… pristine, I think.

They’ve been married for ten years to Jemma, their high school sweetheart, and now they have two young children.

DanTDM’s core audience has matured, thus he’s cutting back on new videos for the time being. He has already dabbled in graphic books, live events, and merchandising, and now he wants to branch out into new forms of artistic expression.

He feels “very fortunate” and “barely spends any time” in his workplace these days.

So that I may be there for my family. To this day, I can still produce videos daily. But what good is it if you can’t watch your children develop?

Does he agree that there has to be as much oversight for the internet as there is for television?

It’s challenging for me since I believe everyone should have the freedom to create any stuff they like. But in my opinion, parental supervision when children are using YouTube is essential.

The Online Safety Bill is currently making its way through the final phases of the legislative process and is expected to be signed into law very soon.

It aspires to make social media corporations more accountable for their users’ security and to remove illegal content from their sites.

YouTube’s Alison Lomax, MD for the UK and Ireland, says she’s fine with the additional monitoring.

The Cyber Security Act has our enthusiastic support. We were concerned about user security online long before any laws were passed.

Lomax, the mother of two teenagers, acknowledges that it is her duty to monitor what her kids are exposed to and notes that YouTube Kids is intended for children under the age of 13.

According to data compiled by Enders Analysis, YouTube is now the most popular website in the United Kingdom among users aged 18–34, and is second only to Facebook among users aged 35–54.

According to YouTube’s most recent annual impact report, the platform’s creator economy boosted the UK economy by over £2 billion in 2022 and spawned over 45,000 new full-time jobs.

Ms. Lomax is “incredibly proud” of the fact that more than 65,000 creators and partners in the United Kingdom made money off of their YouTube channels.

However, earlier this year, YouTube came under fire for not removing footage from controversial influencer Andrew Tate.

In response to Meta’s decision to block Tate across Facebook and Instagram, the Google-owned social network has taken action.

I have full faith in our current set of policies. Any content that is identified is also reviewed by humans,” Lomax says.

Following Russell Brand’s alleged “violation” of the tech giant’s “creator responsibility policy” earlier this week, all advertising revenue for all of Brand’s channels was immediately suspended.

Brand has been accused of multiple rapes and sexual assaults between 2006 and 2013, prompting this action. He believes his relationships were “always consensual,” hence these allegations are false.

Ultimately, “we want to make the internet a very safe place,” Ms. Lomax says. and we’ve been exerting great effort in that direction.

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