YouTuber Spotlight: Marques Brownlee (MKBHD)

published on 12 April 2024

Marques Brownlee, known as MKBHD, is a leading tech YouTuber with over 15 million subscribers. Starting from his college dorm in 2009, he has grown into a tech guru, offering insights into gadgets, interviews with tech leaders, and tech reviews with a mix of fun and informative content. Here's a quick look at what makes MKBHD's channel a must-watch for tech enthusiasts:

  • Consistent Content: Regular uploads over 13 years have built a loyal audience.
  • High-Quality Production: Focuses on detailed, well-crafted videos rather than quantity.
  • Tech Expertise: In-depth reviews and technical insight into the latest gadgets.
  • Personal Engagement: Direct interaction with viewers, building a strong community.
  • Diversification: Expanding beyond YouTube with podcasts, secondary channels, and mainstream media appearances.
  • Independence: Maintains creative control, aligning content with personal values and integrity.

MKBHD's journey from a hobbyist to a full-time YouTuber illustrates the power of passion, consistency, and quality in content creation. His story is a blueprint for aspiring creators aiming to make their mark in the digital world.

Joining YouTube and First Uploads

MKBHD started his YouTube channel back in 2009 when he was still in high school in New Jersey. He began by sharing videos where he talked about and showed off tech gadgets, all while being really engaging in front of the camera. Even though he didn't have a lot of fancy equipment, MKBHD's videos were well made and full of useful information.

He quickly got a small group of loyal viewers. He kept making videos regularly, creating a unique style of honest and straightforward tech talk.

Viral Video Successes

In 2013, MKBHD made a video where he tested how easily the LG G Flex smartphone's screen could get scratched. He actually scratched the screen on purpose. This video got a lot of people talking and brought him into the spotlight.

He also made waves with videos where he dropped a smartphone from a drone and bent the Samsung Galaxy Fold. These bold experiments, mixed with his calm and clear explanations, became a big part of what MKBHD is known for.

By trying new things and always coming up with fresh video ideas, MKBHD managed to grow his YouTube channel to millions of followers. But even with all this success, he stayed true to his goal of making reliable, high-quality tech videos.

The Art of Tech Reviewing

On-Camera Charisma

MKBHD makes tech topics fun and easy to understand. He talks like he's chatting with a friend, using everyday words to explain complicated tech stuff. His natural excitement and the way he uses his hands and facial expressions show how much he loves tech. This makes viewers feel like they're learning from a buddy who knows a lot about gadgets.

Production Value

MKBHD also puts a lot of effort into making his videos look great. He uses clear editing, good sound, and nice lighting to make everything look professional. His videos include close-up shots of gadgets and clips of them being used, all filmed beautifully. The mix of different camera views and smooth video editing, along with some music in the background, keeps the videos interesting from start to finish.

Technical Insight

At heart, MKBHD really loves tech. His videos are not just fun to watch; they give you a deep look into the tech he's talking about. He puts gadgets side by side, talking about what's good and what's not, based on his tests. He looks at things like screen quality, camera quality, and battery life to help viewers understand what makes a good buy. When he talks about what he likes or doesn't like about a gadget, he explains why, using facts. This means viewers get useful information, not just opinions.

Behind the Scenes

Marques Brownlee, also known as MKBHD, has a big studio in New Jersey where he makes his YouTube videos. He and his team work hard to put out more than 100 videos every year.

The Studio

In his large studio, there are different areas set up for filming. One area looks like a living room for opening up and talking about tech products. There's also a spot set up like a news desk for talking about the latest in technology.

He's got a special room for recording his podcast, Waveform, and places for the team to edit videos and store all the video files.

The Team

MKBHD has a bunch of people helping him out:

  • Producers who think up and plan out videos
  • Camera folks who use really good cameras to film
  • Sound experts to make sure everything sounds nice
  • Editors who put all the video clips together
  • Designers who set up the filming areas
  • People who design the clothes he sells

He also hires extra help for things like animation and music.

The Production Process

Making over 100 videos a year means everyone has to do a lot:

  • Brainstorming - MKBHD and his producers meet every week to come up with new video ideas.

  • Pre-Production - Before filming something like a phone review, they get the phone early and plan out what they're going to show and talk about in the video.

  • Filming - MKBHD films a lot of his talking parts in one go. For a short video, he might record for up to 2 hours.

  • Post-Production - This is where they make the video look good, adding in extra footage, fixing colors, and making sure it all flows well. This can take several days for just one video.

Running a studio like this takes a lot of work and planning. But it's how MKBHD and his team keep making videos that so many people like to watch. The behind-the-scenes work is a big reason why MKBHD has become such a well-known name in tech on YouTube.

Influence Beyond YouTube

Mainstream Appearances

MKBHD, also known as Marques Brownlee, isn't just famous on YouTube. He's also made his mark outside of his videos. He's been on TV and talked with big names.

In 2015, he had a chat with Kobe Bryant, the basketball star. They talked about Bryant's dedication to being the best. This showed that MKBHD can hang out with famous people not just from tech but also from sports.

In 2016, during a big political debate, MKBHD asked a question about internet rules, showing he cares about big issues that affect us all.

The biggest moment for him was in 2018 when he won the YouTube Creator of the Decade award. It was a big deal because it showed how much he's done to talk about tech on YouTube for over 10 years.

Industry Recognition

People who make tech stuff have also noticed MKBHD.

In 2018, he got a special award from the Consumer Technology Association. They said he was really good at reviewing gadgets and helping people understand tech.

He's also been invited to talk at big tech events. For example, at Qualcomm's event, he talked about the future of 5G, the next big thing in internet speed. He even shared the stage with big company bosses like Microsoft's Satya Nadella, showing he's a go-to guy for tech info.

Over the years, MKBHD has become a big voice in talking about gadgets and new tech. He's known for being honest and clear, making him a trusted person for tech advice.

Diversification and Growth

MKBHD has grown his brand by doing a lot more than just his main YouTube channel. Here's how:

Secondary YouTube Channels

Besides his main channel, MKBHD has started:

  • MKBHD Shorts - This channel focuses on quick, 60-second videos about tech reviews and opening up new gadgets. It's really taken off and now has over 850K followers.

  • Tech IRL - This is more of a casual, vlog-style channel where you can see what goes on behind the scenes. It includes clips of reviewing gadgets, business meetings, and tech events. It's a peek into the daily life of a big tech YouTuber.


In 2021, MKBHD kicked off Waveform: The MKBHD Podcast. He and tech creator iJustine host it together every week. They chat with big names in tech and social media, like the bosses of Intel, Niantic, and Patreon.

Mainstream Media

MKBHD has also popped up on TV shows and documentaries, reaching even more people.

  • He had a small part on the TV show Silicon Valley in 2018.

  • He was in a CNBC documentary in 2020 that looked at how smartphones have changed.

  • He appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in 2021.

By moving into different areas of digital media, MKBHD has really grown his audience and established himself as a top expert in tech. This move to do more than just YouTube has been key in making him a well-known figure in the tech world.


Waveform Podcast

MKBHD and tech YouTuber iJustine started the Waveform podcast in 2021. It's a weekly show where they talk with big names in tech about what's new and important.

Origins and Concept

MKBHD has been sharing tech videos for years and wanted to try something new. With a podcast, he could talk more about tech topics that need more time to cover. iJustine, who also started on YouTube talking about tech, joined him. They both liked the idea of a podcast to share more about the tech world.

They wanted to talk to the people who make big tech decisions, like company founders and CEOs. This way, they could give listeners a closer look at the tech industry.

Notable Guests and Discussions

Waveform has had some famous guests, including:

  • Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google - They talked about how Google handles tough issues like fake news.
  • Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta - The conversation was about Meta's big plans for virtual reality.
  • Lisa Jackson, VP at Apple - They discussed how Apple is working on being more environmentally friendly.
  • John Hanke, CEO of Niantic - They talked about Pokémon GO and the future of games that use real-world locations.

The podcast lets MKBHD and iJustine dive deep into topics with their guests, asking them to share their thoughts and stories.

Growth and Evolution

The podcast has become popular, with millions of people listening every month. MKBHD keeps bringing on interesting guests like tech CEOs and even famous athletes who love tech.

The podcast has helped MKBHD share more about tech with a lot of people, just like his YouTube channel does. It's another way he helps make tech easy to understand for everyone.

MKBHD and Being His Own Boss

MKBHD, also known as Marques Brownlee, is all about doing things his own way. He's the boss of his YouTube channel and everything on it. This is a lot like what TapeReal wants to do: give creators more power to make their own choices.

Doing It Solo

From the start, MKBHD decided to work alone, not joining any networks or brands. He makes all his videos by himself, owns everything he creates, and decides what he wants to do next. This freedom has helped him a lot.

Because he's independent, he can:

  • Make videos that truly reflect what he believes
  • Try new things without asking anyone else
  • Connect with his fans in a real way
  • Jump into different projects whenever he wants
  • Keep full control over his brand and what he makes

MKBHD shows how much you can do when you're in charge of your work, just like TapeReal hopes to help other creators do.

Making Money His Way

Being on his own, MKBHD also gets to decide how he makes money. With millions of fans, he probably makes a good amount from YouTube ads, deals with brands, and links where he gets a cut of sales.

But he's also smart about making money in other ways, like:

  • Selling his own merchandise
  • Putting his name on products
  • Starting a podcast where people pay to listen to special guests
  • Maybe even offering special content for a price on places like TapeReal

Spreading out how he earns money and talking directly to his fans has helped him keep growing.

TapeReal also wants to help creators find different ways to make money and keep more of it. MKBHD's way of doing things is a good example for this.

Keeping Creative Control

With his independence, MKBHD can also control everything about his videos. He's involved in:

  • Coming up with ideas and writing them down
  • Leading the filming and editing process
  • Running his own company and managing his team

He works with others but always has the final say. This lets him make content that fits his style and what he stands for.

TapeReal believes in giving creators the power to make their content just how they imagine it. MKBHD is a great example of what's possible when you have that kind of control.

Earning Trust and Respect

In the end, being his own boss has made MKBHD very trusted and respected by his fans. They know he's in charge of what he says. There's no outside influence.

This trust is a big reason why so many people like him. They see him as a honest source of tech info. TapeReal wants every creator to have the chance to build this kind of trust and respect.

All in all, MKBHD's career shows what TapeReal aims for: giving creators the freedom and control to succeed. He's a shining example of how far you can go when you're in charge of your own work. TapeReal hopes to help more creators reach these heights.

Key Takeaways for Creators

MKBHD's journey from a college student making videos in his dorm to a globally recognized tech expert and CEO of his own media company offers valuable lessons for small creators looking to build their influence. Here are some of the main things to learn from his success story:

Consistency is key

  • MKBHD has uploaded videos consistently, usually multiple times per week, for over 13 years straight. This regular output helped him build a loyal audience.
  • Even if you're just starting out, set a content schedule and stick to it as much as possible to condition viewers to expect videos from you on certain days.

Quality over quantity

  • MKBHD doesn't just pump out as many videos as possible - he focuses on high production quality for each one.
  • Carefully plan out videos, use good equipment if possible, and take time to edit properly instead of rushing. Quality will set you apart.

Find your niche

  • Focusing specifically on tech allowed MKBHD to become known as an expert in gadgets and news.
  • Choose a specific niche you're passionate about instead of covering random topics. Becoming known for one thing can help build your authority.

Interact with your audience

  • MKBHD makes sure to engage with commenters and listeners, making them feel heard.
  • Building relationships with fans helps strengthen loyalty to you as a creator.

Diversify along the way

  • As he grew his main YouTube channel, MKBHD added other projects like a podcast, secondary channels, merch, and brand deals.
  • Have a plan to expand into new but related areas in order to grow. Don't just stick to one platform or revenue stream.

Stay true to your values

  • As an independent creator, MKBHD maintained control over his content and messaging. He didn't let sponsors dictate what he produced.
  • Sticking to what you believe in will help you earn people's trust and respect as an authority.

The openness and control that TapeReal offers can help small creators implement lessons like these to find their niche, diversify their offerings, and most importantly - be authentic. MKBHD's blueprint for success can inspire anyone looking to turn their passion into their career.


Marques Brownlee, also known as MKBHD, shows us that if you really love what you do, keep at it regularly, and focus on making your work great, you can get noticed all over the world. Here's what we can learn from him:

  • Keep putting out videos regularly to get a group of viewers who come back for more.
  • Make sure each video is well done instead of just making a lot of them.
  • Stick to topics you care about a lot.
  • Talk to your viewers like they're friends.
  • Try new things but always be yourself.
  • Keep control over what you make and say in your videos.

Platforms like TapeReal help creators by letting them do their own thing and find ways to make some money. Following MKBHD's way of focusing on what you're good at while trying out new things can help creators keep going for a long time.

Looking ahead, people who make their own content have a lot of chances to do well if they use their talents to make stuff that others enjoy. MKBHD has shown that it's possible to turn what you love doing into your job. His story encourages others to start working towards making their hobbies their work.

Related posts

Read more