YouTube finds its purpose for Justin Bieber as top-channel views rise 58%

The biggest YouTube channels are getting bigger, with Justin Bieber currently the biggest beneficiary of the Google-owned service’s growth.

Bieber had the most popular YouTube channel in February, with his videos watched 721.6m times that month. Bieber now has more than 20 million subscribers to his channel, and is about to reach 10bn lifetime views.

The figures come from the monthly chart produced by analytics firm OpenSlate for online-video industry site Tubefilter. In recent months, it has been tracking startling figures for Bieber’s channel.

His videos were watched 824.3m times in January and 866.2m times in December, meaning his Vevo-branded channel has generated more than 2.4bn views in the last three months alone, buoyed by the success of his latest album, Purpose.

Bieber was famously discovered on YouTube in 2007, after his manager Scooter Braun spotted videos of the young singer performing cover versions.

The latest chart also reveals strong growth for the biggest YouTube channels over the last year. In February 2016, the top 100 channels were watched 22.4bn times, up 57.6% from 14.2bn views for the top 100 a year before.

Bieber was joined in the top 10 this February by an eclectic mix of other YouTube channels. They include children’s channels Ryan’s Toys Review, Family Fun Pack, Masha and the Bear, Little Baby Bum and Get Movies.

Wrestling body WWE had the third-biggest channel in February, with Indian music channel T-Series, Turkish music channel netd müzik and US chat-show The Ellen Show also appearing in the top 10.

Some big YouTube names are further down the list. Gamer Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg, who enjoyed a long run as the most popular YouTube channel, was only the 29th biggest in February with 245.9m views, for example.

Another former chart-topper, toy reviews channel Fun Toyz Collector, was 15th with 318.1m views in February.

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Powered by article was written by Stuart Dredge, for on Tuesday 22nd March 2016 15.11 Europe/ © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010