Growing to a 52 creators, BreadTube has seen rapid growth in audience and collective financial funding – though most of the patrons – and funding – went to just 5 creative teams.
BreadTube By The Numbers, Viewers By The Score
About 75% of BreadTube creators are based in the United States, with 13 of our tracked 52 creators hailing from outside the land of red, white, and blue. You can view our spreadsheet with our detailed spreadsheet with calculations here.
We expect these numbers to shake up in the next five years; a number of small and mid-tier 'tubers have already come and went since BreadTube began its explosive rise in 2017.
YouTube's adpocalypse in 2015 nearly destroyed the nascent creator-verse, leaving only a small handful of creators to grind out videos and essays. These creators were overwhelmingly white, US-based, and incredibly depressed. Thankfully, as more people use Patreon, it is becoming increasingly viable for creators to move to other platforms or at least not be as dependent on the algorithm. Already, many creators are posting to multiple video sites and decentralized platforms.
We'd also like to note that this data only counts Patreon donations. While some BreadTubers also have secondary sources of online income (Twitch subscriptions, merchandise) these secondary sources are completely inscrutable and would not alter the data much if taken into account.
Who Is BreadTube?
In a previous article, we dove into defining BreadTube – who is a part of it, what it is, and what it's all about.
BreadTube can refer to the audience and the creators who the audience follows; BreadTube's patron count this year weighs in at 62,000 patrons donating to 52 different creators. Our definition excludes 'the dirtbag left', who seem to have little overlap with BreadTube other than a shared enemy (the far-right).
BreadTubers advocate for social justice and economic justice and stand united against bigotry of all types. While BreadTubers often disagree on the exact specifics of economic justice and their ideal economic systems of governance, they are agreed on the injustices capitalism has promulgated.
Read more in our previous article:
How Much Bread Did BreadTube Break, Since BreadTube Does Break Bread?
With 52 creators, 62K patrons, BreadTube managed to provide a living wage for just 12 - and an additional 5 BreadTubers are able to make a survival wage from their efforts.
BreadTube brought in an estimated $166,000 of take-home monthly donations at end of fiscal year 2019, the majority of it going to the Fabulous Five. (A more conservative estimate puts this figure at $148,000, using lower D-Factors.)
The fastest-growing BreadTube channel by patron count is Philosophy Tube, which features British thespian Oliver Thorne, flexing an astonishing 42.4% year-over year growth since February 2019. He went from survival wage to a living wage, representing one of BreadTube's great success stories of the year.
BreadTube's top 25 includes just three creators of color (For Harriet, Kat Blaque, Angie Speaks), an improvement from 2018's report, in which only one was in the top 25. An initiative – ColorTube – to form a parallel community centered on BIPOC voices is launching this year.
It's a healthy sign to see that the Fabulous Five account for only half of patrons; however, the Fabulous Five account for an estimated 66.4% of all monthly donations. This might sound like a lot, but of these, ContraPoints and PhilosophyTube employ multiple staffers in writing, set-creation, makeup, filming, and editing.
Women account for 20% of BreadTube creators, and about 50% of BreadTube income. (Half of this 50% is ContraPoints and Lindsay Ellis, the #1 and #2 BreadTubers by patron count) Women went from 10% of BreadTube creators in 2017 to 20% in 2019, indicating a massive expansion audience.
With 52 creators, BreadTube flexed about 62,000 patrons in fiscal year 2019. We expect this number to grow by about 20% in fiscal year 2020 – but we also expect the number of creators to reach 80. The median wage of BreadTubers was $767.50 in fiscal year 2019 – held by Vaush.
25% of BreadTube creators are international, most based in Britain and Canada. BreadTube remains anglophonic and anglocentric, even as internationally, socialist movements make huge gains. BreadTube's true potential for influence and political organization remains untapped.
Many BreadTubers have much room to grow; the median BreadTuber has 305 patrons (held by Mia Mulder). While the bottom tier accounts for half of BreadTube creators, the third and second tiers are growing at a healthy rate. The top tier accounts for 13.5% of BreadTube creators – and 70.11% of BreadTube income.
Despite a rough year, 2019 has been the best year of BreadTube yet. It's been a year of incredible essays, music, and art. BreadTube as alternative media is almost in a position to replace traditional outlets, despite wholly existing in an ephemeral, digital video format. The dramatic rise of BreadTube continues.
In 2020, BreadTube will continue expanding and will attract a more diverse audience and a more diverse pool of creators, expanding from niche internet phenomena to having a much larger impact on politics.
BreadTubers have not, as yet, formed formal networks or unions. If BreadTube ever coalesces into something formal, it will have endless potential and lead to better wages for all involved.