Marques Brownlee Has 8M+ YouTube Subscribers. Now He’s Talking Podcast

Avatar
Written by Dana Sanchez
Marques Brownlee
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR LG MOBILE – Marques Brownlee of the popular YouTube channel, MKBHD, discovers the new LG V20 at Pier 27 on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016, in San Francisco, California. (Don Feria/AP Images for LG Mobile)

Marques Brownlee has accumulated more than 8 million subscribers to his YouTube channel MKBHD by reviewing electronics, driving electric cars and interviewing people including Kobe Bryant and Bill Gates — and doing it better than just about anyone else.

“There’s arguably no one better on the internet when it comes to explaining new technologies to the average consumer,” Business Insider reported in 2014 when Brownlee was just 20. Former Google VP Vic Gundotra described Brownlee as “the best technology reviewer on the planet right now.”

Now Brownlee is thinking about starting a podcast “pretty soon”. He wants to talk to other creators about how they use their space, Brownlee said during a Y-Combinator podcast interview.


Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 48: Diishan Imira
Part 2: Jamarlin continues his interview with Diishan Imira, founder of hair-care platform Mayvenn. They discuss how Diishan was mentored to think like a boss and “ask for the check,” and how much it meant to him to have investor Richelieu Dennis in his cap table. They also discuss New York progressives bangin’ back against Amazon and the growing negative sentiment against big tech.

We’ve transcribed parts of the interview for you here:

Marques Brownlee: I want to talk to other creators. That’s not something that’s readily available. I think when you get to a certain place in this creative world there’s no longer an article where you can go read to find out how to do something. Like when you’re starting YouTube you can figure out what’s the best DSLR (camera) for a 1000 bucks and then buy it and find a lens that works and start from there. But what I’m trying to figure out is how do I best start a new series given the current uploads and the way things are moving — all these nuanced questions that don’t necessarily have answers but that other creative people think about too.

Y-Combinator: Do you have any tips on how to engage/work with influencers when you are a very early stage startup with little or no money?

Marques Brownlee: It’s got to be a win-win for everyone involved. Even if you’re not a startup, even if you’re a company that’s not into influencer marketing yet, the whole idea of creators working with companies is (that) they need the financial support but also they want to be able to make something that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to make. So whether they are given access to something or they are given a behind-the-scenes look at something — you don’t have to always pay them a lot. If you get something that suddenly their audience is really into, that’s a win too. That’s a win for the audience, that’s a win for the creator because they got something better that their audience now gets to see and that’s a win for the company involved. It’s a win for the company involved because now your stuff is in front of a new audience. So even if you don’t have the financial means to just dive right into paying for ads, you can always offer something that can make a video better.

I also noticed that not a lot of research is done. They just have this list of tech channels and they just blanket everyone the same email. If you really want to work with a certain creator for a certain reason, make that clear. You’ve watched their videos and you’ve noticed a theme. You think there’s some potential for building on something there that’s worth expanding upon.

Y-Combinator: Does fear of losing relevance motivate you to try new things in videos and podcasting, or are you sticking with what’s working?

Marques Brownlee: I am definitely trying to diversify the breadth of coverage. I don’t think that’s out of fear of forgetting what’s popular. I think it’s just because I’m interested in other things, so there’s other ways to talk about them. There’s reviews and smartphone stuff but there’s also car videos now which is the Auto Focus Series. There’s also production. I’m into production naturally because that’s what I’m doing all the time so I’m doing this Spaces Series where I’m talking to other creators and how they use their space.

Y-Combinator: Are you going to innovate in your podcasts in any way?

Marques Brownlee: I feel like video as a medium is my favorite by far. I don’t think about new mediums as much as I think of new ways to do a video — new topics, new formats within video — podcasting being an auxiliary way to also talk. I’m still trying to figure out the whole video thing generally and that might be a battle I never win. I feel like that’s going to be taking up most of my time doing different types of videos.