4 surreylive.news NEWS & MAIL WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 2020 News From stacking shelves to the world’s biggest YouTube earner By CHRIS SLATER MILLIONAIRE DAN @Hampshirelive HAS OVER 23.5M HE was once a supermarket worker, busy stacking shelves and working on the tills at his local Tesco. Fast forward a few years and dad-of-one Daniel Middleton, 28, who goes by the name The Diamond Minecraft, or Dan TDM, is named the highest paid YouTube star on the planet. He has over 23.5 million subscribers on the site – more than music top music stars Adele and Beyonce - and his videos, made in a homemade studio in the spare bedroom, have now been viewed over 14 billion times. It’s an extraordinary journey for the man born in Aldershot, who in 2017 was ranked as SUBSCRIBERS Dan began making videos of himself playing computer games while he was working at a supermarket the highest earning YouTuber by Forbes magazine earning a reported £12.3 million in just one year, more than many top footballers and Hollywood film stars. Eight years ago Dan was stacking shelves and working on the till at a Tesco Express in Wellingborough after graduating from Northampton University where he studied music production after moving from Hampshire. Aged just 22, he began making videos as a INSTAGRAM (@DANTDM) He revealed in November last year he was going to have his own waxwork at Madame Tussauds in Blackpool. However he says despite his entrepreneurial success some people have been “sniffy” about what he does and “make an assumption based on a 20-minute video which they think takes 20 minutes to make.” A large majority of the followers of his channel, originally aimed at five to ten-year-olds, are school age kids and Dan has admitted he feels a “loads of responsibility” to them and their parents. “I feel like I’ve got really good rapport with parents,” he told the BBC in 2017. “They always say I’m a YouTuber they can feel safe just letting their kids watch. He added: “The key thing is just to keep an eye on what your kids are doing online. Let them have their own devices, but don’t leave them to their own devices.” He still lives in his adopted home of Wellingborough with his childhood sweetheart, 28year-old wife Jemma, whom he met aged 11 and married in 2013. They have two pugs, Ellie and Darcy, for whom they have created social media accounts. Jemma is also an online gamer and vlogger, having around 230,000 YouTube subscribers and 340,000 Instagram followers of her own. Despite not uploading a video of her own for several years, she makes frequent appearances in videos on her husband’s channel. In January this year she gave birth to the couple’s first child, a son called Asher. Dan has spoken about his battle with postnatal depression saying he wanted to highlight the fact the condition could also be suffered by men and that it often went undiagnosed. The couple have shared numerous pictures of them at home with their boy but with his face covered by emojis. “You do have to be careful about what you put out there, regardless of whether you’re a YouTuber or not,” he said “If you put something online, it’s essentially there forever. You don’t know who’s kept it, who’s screenshotted it.” “With anything that’s popular, be it YouTube or just the internet in general, there are people who are going to use it for the wrong reasons.” hobby about Pokemon and then Minecraft – an online ‘sandbox’ game set in a virtual land where users can create their own worlds and experiences, using building blocks and other resources discovered on the site. As the game’s popularity grew so did that of his regular videos in which he talks fans through the game, sharing tips and commentating on different characters and game scenarios After posting his first video in 2012 he gained more than 2.5 million subscribers to his channel in just two years. He began to earn cash from it, his slice of advertising revenue the videos generated. He said he first around earned £250 which he used to supplement his earnings at Tesco. Speaking to The Times last year about the first time he was paid for making videos he said: “You just stare at [the money] for a bit and think, ‘what is going on?’ “I thought, ‘this is more than I get paid at Tesco. It’s crazy.’” That amount quickly increased to around £7,500 a month with vlogging becoming his full time profession as his earnings and his profile skyrocketed. “There must be a level of skill, but that is not necessarily why people watch my videos,” he said. “Learning a game and doing something wrong is sometimes funnier than being good at it.” He comes up with the ideas for, creates, edits and uploads all his own videos. However his fortune has been made not just from online advertising revenue, but also from merchandise and a worldwide tour – during which he sold out four nights at the Sydney Opera House. 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