Why MrBeast is a Genius
and what can athletes learn from him
Today we’re exploring how a massive digital content creator ranks next to some of the biggest athletes in the world — and what are some of the things they could learn from him.
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Why MrBeast is a Genius
Horizm’s latest Digital Value report ranked the most popular athletes next to the biggest influencers to compare the value generated by their digital audiences and content.
The report found that Cristiano Ronaldo led the ranking of total value created at around €85 million, but YouTube sensation Jimmy Donaldson — also known as MrBeast — came in second at about €49 million.
The wildest part of the ranking is that Ronaldo’s audience size is more than seven times greater than MrBeast’s.
Overall, MrBeast crushes all athletes in value generated per fan at €0.46 — more than twice the second place, Conor McGregor, at €0.18.
MrBeast generates the most value per fan due to his efficient monetization strategies — a product of the engagement and performance of his content.
Behind The Creative Genius
In two highly recommended podcast episodes, Joe Rogan and Lex Fridman decoded some of MrBeast’s genius with great questions.
In case you don’t have 5 hours to listen to the full interviews, here are some nuggets of wisdom you can use to learn from him:
Quality > quantity
Jimmy talks a lot about the value of reinvesting all the money he earns into his content, stating his goal is always to make the best video possible.
He explains that in today’s overwhelming world of social media, the algorithm shows the quality content first.
“It’s much easier to get 5,000,000 views on 1 video than to get 100,000 views on 50 videos”
He is always thinking about improving the quality of his productions — once he made enough, he bought better microphones, computers, and cameras and hired people who knew how to make videos viral — emphasizing how quality wins over the long run.
Obsess over minimal details
MrBeast literally spent thousands of hours studying YouTube’s algorithm to figure out how to go viral.
He obsessed over everything that might appear minimal such as pacing, colors, brightness, frames, takes, safety, and even thumbnails.
Jimmy employs six people who design dozens of thumbnails BEFORE the videos are even recorded.
Expand the pie
Jimmy talks about the value of tapping more audiences (e.g., those who speak a different language) by simply translating the same content and having it narrated by a popular personality from a specific region.
For example, they hired a wildly popular voice in Japan that is the voice of a trendy local anime cartoon — increasing the engagement that a subtlety like that can have to expand the pie.
Work with hard workers who are coachable
MrBeast explains that when you do something highly specific, it’s very hard to find someone who knows the key to going viral — “it’s easier to find those who share your vision.”
The solution that has worked for MrBeast is to hire talent with the skills and general knowledge but who also carry a ‘beginner’s mind’ and are willing to unlearn what they know from traditional media and try different things out.
At 24, Jimmy Donaldson has built a massive following and is among the highest-earning YouTubers today, but his popularity and revenues are not by chance — the strategies and tactics he uses are products of thousands of iterations of making videos for over 13 years.
Up-and-coming athletes and those with already established audiences can learn from MrBeast’s playbook to grow the value they can create through new media and digital content.
(For deeper dives into MrBeast’s strategies, check out this piece by Alexandre Dewez and this article by Henrik Karlsson)
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