How Marques Brownlee Stumbled Into Building A Platform Of 16 Million Subscribers After One YouTube Review

From there, the rest is what one would call his story.

Brownlee realized he could provide value to his audience early on that later provided something to him in return — a career.

While he did go to college at the Stevens Institute of Technology, graduating in 2015, Brownlee decided to stick with his passion.

“I was a student through most of the early years of making videos,” Brownlee told AfroTech. “I was in high school, and then I went through all four years of my undergrad degree in college, majoring in business. Then, as I graduated, I knew it would be my job. So, that’s what I jumped into.”

“When I stopped going to school, I poured all that time into making videos, and that became my job,” he added.

And it paid off. Today, as of this writing, his “weird hobby” has amassed him: 

16.8 million subscribers on YouTube

4.1 million followers on Instagram 

1.7 million followers on TikTok 

6 million followers on Twitter

He has also gained accolades, like making the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2021, interviewed notable names like the late Kobe Bryant, and snagged various brand deals with big-name companies in the tech industry.

“It’s hard to remember exactly what the first brand deal was but it was probably around 2012,” Brownlee said when asked about his first deal.  “It was literally just a few hundred bucks to go hang out and take pictures of puppies with a smartphone.”

He continued: “Now we do much more elaborate integrations and fun stuff. It’s actually gotten to the point now where we’re more interested in doing deeper collaborations like making products. And that’s actually a completely new level for us of actually being able to influence the world.”

While his most lucrative brand deal is unclear, based on the previously mentioned, one could guess it’s a far cry from his humble beginnings as a creator.

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