HOUSTON ONLINE PERSONALITY Nathan Graham, 24, has landed on Forbes’ new list of the highest paid content creators on YouTube.
The business-world bible reports that Graham, whose series is branded as Unspeakable, pulled in $28.5 million last year thanks to the sale of his back catalog of over 600 unapologetically madcap videos to Spotter, one of the largest owners of YouTube content. Graham ranks number five on the roster, which also includes at number seven 10-year-old Houstonian Ryan Kaji, who’s been reviewing toys on his Ryan’s World channel to great fanfare since he was a toddler.
More than 30 million people subscribe to his multiple YouTube channels, Forbes says of Graham, noting that “he does things like fill a room with live alligators” online.
Graham, who is also an emerging entrepreneur in the city’s big-money car-enthusiast arena, began his career as a YouTuber in 2012 as a Kingwood teenager, posting videos of himself playing the popular video game Minecraft. He soon moved on to longer, more elaborately produced videos where he and a few buds keep themselves and viewers amused with non-lethal pranks, challenges and games.
“We try to stay PG-friendly,” says Graham, whose audience is mainly made up of kids under age 16, a demographic he connected with in the early Minecraft days. Laughter is contagious, and there is a wholesome comradery between Graham and his bros (and some gals) that, to many, is a lot more fun to watch than a bunch of knuckleheads trying to seriously injure themselves.
“They’re so loyal,” says Graham, “and they love and interact with the content. Sometimes, when you go to an older audience, it’s harder to get their attention.” (With that “older” market in mind, several Unspeakable videos feature more grown-up, please-don’t-try-this-at-home-kids challenges, such as trying to escape out of a prison of 100 layers of cardboard. Pro tip: Use a chainsaw!)
“I’m still learning new stuff every single day,” says Graham of Unspeakable’s success, which, since its humble beginnings as a one-man-show, now involves a large, talented team to ensure subscribers remain engaged and blissfully unaware of the daunting amount of preparation each video requires.
“It’s really important to go out and learn, fail, adapt, and just learn the process,” says Graham. “Because that is going to teach you how to be a creator. And not just a good creator, but a good businessperson.”
The online sensation was raised in Kingwood, where he still lives and operates.
Graham is parlaying his wild success on YouTube into a new exotic-cars venture in Houston.
Graham engages in colorful, 'PG-rated' antics on his multimillion-dollar 'Unspeakable' YouTube series.
More 'Unspeakable' fun and games with buddies (photo from @unspeakable on Instagram)
The young entrepreneur's 0-60 exotic car shop, storage facility and social space is under construction now near Bush International Airport. His new 0-60 YouTube channel launched this week.
Meanwhile, Graham’s lifelong passion for cars is the inspiration for his new bricks-and-mortar venture: 0-60 Society.
Upon discovering there were few facilities in Houston to store luxury automobiles, Graham, who owns two supercars, simply decided to build one himself, near George Bush International Airport. Currently under construction, 0-60 will provide state-of-the-art storage for exotic and antique cars, as well office space for work and areas for parties and special events. Other amenities will include a virtual putting green and a VR car-racing experience.
A separate building for auto customization will be dubbed 0-60 Customs. “Anything you dream you want to do with your car, we will do our absolute hardest to make it happen,” says Graham, who anticipates 0-60 will be completed by fall or sooner.
Just days ago, Graham launched a new YouTube channel to delve deeper into cars and promote 0-60 Customs, which he describes as “16,000 square feet of exotic-car customization glory.” On the channel, Graham promises “drag races, car reviews, pranks, challenges,” adding, “I’m so excited to launch this project.”