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Summary:

For those hoping that the high-pitched, hyperactive “Fred” was just a passing sensation — guess again. The Fred YouTube channel today surpassed 1 million subscribers, the first channel to do so — and he got all of those subscribers in less than a year. (Suck on […]

For those hoping that the high-pitched, hyperactive “Fred” was just a passing sensation — guess again. The Fred YouTube channel today surpassed 1 million subscribers, the first channel to do so — and he got all of those subscribers in less than a year. (Suck on that, Jonas Brothers! Get your paltry 471,910 subs out of here.)

When asked for comment, Lucas Cruikshank, the Nebraska teen who plays Fred (and was a hit at our NewTeeVee Live Conference last year) sent us the following email:

“I wanna thank everyone who has supported the Fred series. It means a lot when something you created becomes popular. Oh, and Fred? He can’t count that high so he has no comment.”

While that’s a nice enough quote, to get the full effect, you need to watch his 1 million subscriber-mark celebratory video.

From what we can gather, Fred became the No. 1 most-subscribed channel back in October of 2008, passing other YouTube stars like Smosh.

And it’s not just having those subscribers — they keep coming back to watch more. In the last six months, only one video has gotten less than a million plays — the “Fred Thanks You” video released an hour ago. Most are in the 4-6 million plays range. (Note to self: Ask Fred to host a NewTeeVee Video Podcast.)

  1. Thee Stranger Tuesday, April 7, 2009

    You know that scene in Idiocracy where Luke Wilson’s watching the movie “ASS” and looking around the theater with a confused look on his face while everyone else is going into hysterics?

    That’s how I feel about Cruikshank’s “achievement”.

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  2. to get a sense of how big youtube is now, and what it means to have a million subscribers:

    may 2006: smosh is most subscribed (2,986 subs on may 23)

    june 2006: judsonlaipply (evolution of dance dude) is most subscribed. (has 7,710 subs on june 23)

    july 2006: brookers is most subscribed (She has a whopping 12,334 subscribers on july 12)

    aug 2006: geriatric1927 becomes most subscribed

    sept 12, 2006: lonelygirl15 passes geriatric1927 to become most subscribed, at around 27,000 subscribers

    april 26, 2007: smosh passes lonelygirl15 with 91,623 subscribers

    sept 24, 2008: nigahiga eclipes smosh with 531,007 subscribers, but fred is very very close behind

    no later than oct 16, 2008: fred moves into #1 slot

    apr 7, 2008: fred hits 1 million subs

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    1. That’s a great list, thanks milowent.

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  3. YouTube is a very powerful medium. The YouTube site: http://www.youtube.com/fred reach in viewers and marketing is just amazing.

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  4. [...] NewTeeVee estimates that the Fred YouTube Channel has been No. 1 in subscribers since last October. [...]

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  5. [...] long list of online video portal startups. If it seems a little outdated (not a single mention of Fred!), just remember I wrote this a full 10 months ago. Here it is: “YouTube Changes Everything: [...]

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  6. Amazing. The appeal of the Fred videos is a mystery to me. I’m aware I’m not remotely the demographic it’s appealing to, but still.. wtf? What differentiates this series of videos from the millions that came before it in the same vein?

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  7. [...] the last few days I’ve been processing the momentous fact that Fred became the first YouTube channel to have one million subscribers. It’s a milestone that has to be taken seriously, because unlike the number of views a video [...]

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  8. I think the reason why Fred’s channel has reached so many subscribers is because he is the same age as the people he is reaching. that and Fred gives them the motivation of their own like if he can I can too . Fred/Lucas is an inspiration to everyone, not just cos it is funny but because he taps into the real stuff :)

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  9. [...] Lo schizofrenico ma simpatico Fred festeggia il milionesimo utente che ha sottoscritto il suo canale facendolo diventare il più seguito di YouTube. (via) [...]

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  10. [...] a deep breath. Let it soak in. 1 million individuals elected to view every new video that Fred puts out. 1 million subscribers. 1 meeeeeelion. The video I posted above? 24,073,606 views as of this [...]

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