DanTDM: How a YouTube sensation made £12m just by playing Minecraft

Meet the richest YouTuber of the year, DanTDM

Dan Middleton has made millions from videos (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Monday, December 18, 2017

You might think uploading YouTube videos about gaming couldn't possibly be a career - but the meteoric success of DanTDM proves otherwise.

YouTuber Dan Middleton, better known as DanTDM, has been named as the richest YouTuber of the year by respected business title Forbes. His channel has got 16 million subscribers and he's received more than 10 billion views on his videos.

This year he managed to make a huge £12.3 million, despite not even making the top 10 in the list last year.

But just how did Middleton go from studying and working in Tesco to becoming an internet sensation?

Well, it's simple: he started playing Minecraft on Xbox when his brother introduced it to him and later played it on PC as he enjoyed it so much.

Five years ago the 26-year-old started his YouTube channel as a hobby during his final year at Nottingham University whilst also working at a supermarket.

The videos he created were simply of himself playing both Pokemon and Minecraft and were watched mainly by children under the age of 10. However he gradually moved from doing Pokemon videos to making more Minecraft videos as he said you could be more "creative" with the latter game.

He left Tesco when he could support himself on the income from being a YouTuber and in 2013 he married a woman named Jemma, who also reportedly enjoys playing Minecraft, so it seems they are a good match.

Sprinked in amongst the Minecraft tutorials and masterclasses are plenty of clips about Middleton himself. One of his most popular uploads is actually a video of himself eating jelly beans with strange flavours that his mother-in-law gave him.

It's clear that children enjoy his videos as he won a Kids' Choice Award in both 2015 and 2016, but these are not the only awards he has received.

In 2016 the first ever Bonca Awards were held in recognition of online content creators, and Middleton backed the Gamer of the Year award. However you measure his success - whether it be by clicks, or revenue - the award seems well-deserved.

Aside from awards, Middleton gained a mention in the Guinness World Records 2017 Gamer’s Edition as he racked up the "most views for a dedicated Minecraft video channel." He described the award as "mind-blowing."

The steady stream of success and recognition has been laced with controversy, however. In January Midleton posted a video where he used a blowtorch to set fire to a children's toy. Although he did warn those watching not to try the stunt at home, it angered the London Fire Brigade which called it “irresponsible and thoughtless” and cemanded Middleton remove the video.

Despite that setback, Middleton's fame continues to rise. He's even embarked on a world tour, which saw him playing games with his friends in front of four sold-out crowds at the Sydney Opera House, and released a graphic novel entitled Trayaurus and the Enchanted Crystal, which perhaps unsurprisingly is based on his YouTube videos about Minecraft adventures.

With commercial skills that seemingly match his gaming ones, Middleton's profile is set to continue expanding. Perhaps one day we'll be talking about him as the first YouTube billionaire.