The X team is super excited this week, because MrBeast (aka Jimmy Donaldson), the most popular YouTuber of all time, has uploaded one of his videos directly to X, as a means to test X’s monetization capacity, according to Donaldson’s post.
$1 Car vs $100,000,000 Car!!!
I’m curious how much ad revenue a video on X would make so I’m reuploading this to test it. Will share ad rev next week ❤️ pic.twitter.com/amSSmddFht
— MrBeast (@MrBeast) January 15, 2024
This comes after a recent interaction with X owner Elon Musk, in which Donaldson explained to Musk that there’s little point in him uploading content directly to X, because he can’t make as much money from his videos on X as he can on YouTube.
My videos cost millions to make and even if they got a billion views on X it wouldn’t fund a fraction of it :/
I’m down though to test stuff once monetization is really cranking!
— MrBeast (@MrBeast) December 30, 2023
Musk and Donaldson have also interacted at various points in the past, with Musk looking to lure Donaldson to help boost X’s new video push. But in pure revenue terms, Donaldson’s correct, there’s no way that X will be able to match the money that he makes on YouTube.
For context, MrBeast reportedly generates between $2 million and $4 million per video he uploads, and he posts around once per week. X has paid out around $30 million, in total, to all creators over the past six months.
Yet, even so, it seems that Musk has convinced MrBeast to give his new creator revenue share program a shot, which X has shouted across every channel that it can, as an endorsement of its new “video first platform” strategy.
Which, it’s not really.
Donaldson originally uploaded this same clip to YouTube back in September, where it’s thus far received over 211 million views. So it’s not an X exclusive, it’s a test, as Donaldson says, to see if he can extend his monetization potential by re-uploading old clips to X as well.
But for X, there’s a lot riding on this being a successful experiment.
Musk has repeatedly noted that he wants X to compete with YouTube, on all fronts, even stating that he thinks X is close to exceeding YouTube on some elements already. Which, to be clear, it definitely is not, but still, Musk’s eternal optimism is what drives his success, and the fact that Donaldson has even uploaded a clip directly to the app can be seen as a win in many respects.
But it’ll be interesting to see how Donaldson’s fans react to his tacit support of Musk’s X project, and how the broader MrBeast community sees this new, potential partnership.
It’d be interesting to know how Tyson feels about contributing to Musk’s X project.
For Donaldson, however, it’s all about business, and given the stakes for X, you can bet that Elon and Co. will promote the video in every way that they possibly can, in the hopes of maximizing its revenue potential, and convincing Donaldson, and other creators watching on, of the viability of the platform in this respect.
But it seems like a stretch, at this stage, to tout this as a coup for the app, though maybe, as another stepping stone, this will see X’s video strategy take off.
X also recently announced the signing of several big-name TV stars to exclusive content deals, which will see them air new programming direct in the app.
X’s aim, apparently, is to build its own video entertainment network to rival traditional TV.
Which, as I’ve reported, Twitter, and pretty much every other social app, has tried, repeatedly, in the past, with limited success. But maybe, amid the shift towards social apps as central entertainment platforms, as opposed to supplementary engagement surfaces, now is the time to make a bigger push, with a view to maximizing engagement in the app.
And maybe, Donaldson and his MrBeast crew will play a part.
It’ll be interesting to see the results of this experiment, at the least.