The growth of Minecraft over the past few years has been nothing short of phenomenal, and much of that success is owed to the creators that have brought the game back into the public eye. Folk like the Hermitcraft crew, Technoblade, Mr Beast, and even pewdiepie have all played a part in the revival of the blocky classic. But if it’s YouTube and Minecraft we’re discussing, one name stands out, and that name is Dream.
At the time of writing, the moniker Dream is almost all we have on the Floridian that has taken YouTube by storm. Thanks to his friends, we know his first name is Clay, but the combined efforts of millions of fans have turned up little else about the person behind the iconic avatar. What anyone who knows Dream does know though, is that his fame comes in no small part from Manhunt, a series largely of his own creation that has made millionaires of his friends and garnered hundreds of millions of views.
So let’s look at the numbers behind the series, and try to put them in some kind of context to get an idea of how Dream has gone from a small YouTuber to one of the stars of the internet. Then we can compare him to other YouTube stars, and see how his success with Manhunt stacks up against the biggest names on the platform.
Dream’s YouTube stats are crazy
Despite having started his channel in 2014, the first video on Dream’s channel is a cursed Minecraft offering, published July 2019. Over the course of the two years since that was made, his channel has managed to attract nearly 2.5B views and counting.
That has so far left him with 28.9m subscribers, which is somewhat surprising given he is well known for his call to action at the start of each video. It’s hard to get an idea of what this means in isolation though, so let’s see how it compares to other creators at the top of the YouTube food chain.
Mr Beast, one of the biggest names on the platform, has an incredible 15B views on his channel, and is nearing the 100M sub mark (at 91M currently), but has been uploading videos five times as long as Dream, his first one dating a decade ago to February 2012. Adjusting for period and trend, Dream’s numbers get him ahead of Mr Beat’s pace in terms of subs, but slightly behind in terms of views per year. If Dream keeps that same pace, he’d have 12.5B views and 140M subs by his tenth year.
Compared to the most subbed-to single channel — pewdiepie’s — it initially doesn’t look great. Pewdiepie has already passed 100M subs and 28B views in his time on YouTube. However, pewdiepie’s stats come from over 4,400 videos to this point, compared to Dream’s 109 on his first channel. That averages to 22M views per video for Dream and “only” 6.3M views per video for pewdiepie.
How big is Dream’s Manhunt series?
If we limit ourselves to just Manhunt videos — by which we mean a video where Dream and at least one of the “Dream Team” of GeorgeNotFound, Sapnap, BabBoyHalo, AntFrost and Awesamdude features — the numbers get even crazier, with 981M views on the series at the time of writing. The lowest number of views for a Manhunt video is 14M (for the first ever video) and the highest is his Grand Finale vs. three hunters at 109M views. By comparison, pewdiepie’s highest rated gameplay video is the first episode of his Minecraft playthrough, which sits at 51M views, although that pales in comparison with the Swede’s most popular video of any type, the 330M behemoth that is ‘Bitch Lasagna’.
The total view count just for the series is comfortably over 1B at this point, and the strength of the brand is clear by the fact that multiple Manhunts have outperformed “celeb” versions, like the video featuring Mr Beast himself, which has 39M views. He even had a Manhunt with the creator of Minecraft himself, Notch, but subsequently made that private after public criticism from those who deem Notch’s politics offensive.
The genre and popularity is such that even derivative videos such as the animation ‘Minecraft Manhunt in a nutshell’ have gained millions of views, with the aforementioned cartoon getting 46m views. It’s in no way an exaggeration to say the series is a phenomenon, and has created stars, not just in Dream, but George, Sapnap and more.
How much money did Dream make from Manhunt?
We spoke to an expert off the record, and asked what Dream could hope to have earned off his 2.5B views over the last couple of years. A conservative estimate, prior to sponsorship and based on average payouts, puts his income from just his YouTube channel at $25M, but our expert agreed it could easily be double that or more with special deals and sponsorships taken into account.
Dream’s Twitch channel is more dormant, with just shy of 12K subs on that platform, but his stats there show the dedication of his fan base too, with an average viewer count of 66K people when he does go live. Add to that the success of the Dream SMP, which has helped launch the careers of TommyInnit and others, and it’s clear that YouTube is far from the only string to Dream’s bow.
With the Manhunt series “over” and nothing more than a live action version planned for when Dream’s friend George is finally able to travel to America, it seems like Manhunt fans may have a minute to wait before they get another installment in the series, but that’s understandable. The past two years have seen Dream go from nobody to star of the biggest website in the English speaking world, and that’s the sort of thing that might make you want a holiday.