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The Untold Truth Of DanTDM

There are so many content creators these days, and if their videos target the younger generations, then you may only know some of them because your kids are watching their stuff. That could very well be the case with Daniel Middleton — better known as DanTDM — a breakout YouTube sensation who's grown in popularity thanks to his MinecraftRoblox, and Tomodachi Life videos. He's the proud owner of one of the UK's largest YouTube channels, and he's been making moves in other areas, too, such as winning awards at Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Awards show and starring in his own YouTube Red series.

He's kind of a big deal.

But even if you're aware of DanTDM and have followed his content — or if your kids have — there are a whole host of facts about this famous YouTuber that aren't well known. Lesser-known tidbits about how DanTDM got his start, interesting accolades he's received, and other projects he's been a part of. They help provide more background on how DanTDM got to where he is today, and what he's been up to outside of his immensely popular online media empire.

This is the untold truth of DanTDM.

Dan started out stacking shelves at Tesco

Quite a few YouTube personalities and Twitch streamers have already been involved in video games, either as professional players or as journalists. These stars had a pre-existing audience and figured out how to parlay that following into success on a new front, which is still impressive, but isn't really starting from scratch.

DanTDM, however, is one of a rare breed. He was just a guy who worked at the nearby supermarket and really liked Minecraft. And he decided to combine that love for Mojang's blocky world-builder with his love of filmmaking. The rest is history.

His parents were understandably skeptical when Dan explained that he could potentially make far more on YouTube than he could stocking shelves at the local Tesco. "When I started, it was less well known that you could turn it into a job. The difference between five years ago and now is massive," he told The Mirror. "But I told them how much it earned compared to my Tesco job and they were, like, 'OK, that makes sense.'"

With his parents' blessing, Dan quit Tesco and started full-time on his YouTube channel. And, financially, it wound up making a lot of sense.

Dan made over $16.5 million in 2017

DanTDM didn't just surpass his Tesco salary in 2017: he absolutely destroyed it. The revenue derived from his YouTube content, as well as a world tour that regularly sold out, totaled $16.5 million for the year. That was enough money to put him at the top of Forbes' list of highest paid YouTube stars, which had been littered with brand new entrants who were not celebrities per se, but gamers.

Dan saw the niche content he was creating for Minecraft as something unique that didn't necessarily pit him against others. "What's cool about YouTube, unlike TV, is that there isn't that competition element," he said in an interview with The Guardian. "I mean, you could make it into that, as there's obviously numbers involved, but people are free to watch whoever they want."

And watch they did. DanTDM's YouTube channel had racked up over 11 billion views when Forbes tabulated its list in 2017, and seeing as he still has one of the most-followed channels in his country — surpassing even Adele — there's a good chance that DanTDM will continue to garner billions of views and millions of dollars for years to come.

He's the author of a graphic novel

DanTDM has never been shy about expanding into new and different ventures. His world tour, for instance, put on a live, scripted show for his fans around the globe. That's not something a lot of YouTubers or Twitch streamers do. But there's another one of Dan's projects that's worth talking about, and it has to do with a character he created in Minecraft. That character is Trayaurus, and Dan was fortunate enough to get one of his stories published as a graphic novel.

It's called Trayaurus and the Enchanted Crystal, and it tells the tale of how Trayaurus and DanTDM go on an adventure to stop the evil Denton from growing even more powerful and dangerous.

Dan's audience bought it up in droves. The title earned the distinct honor of being both a New York Times bestseller as well as an Amazon bestseller, and gave Dan an opportunity to get both his Trayaurus character — and his other media channels — more exposure.

Plus it made him some more money, and that's never a bad thing.

He upset the London Fire Brigade when he set a stuffed toy on fire

Is it possible to be a YouTube star and not get wrapped up in some kind of controversy? Even squeaky-clean DanTDM has tripped up when posting content online, though he didn't get rebuked by the parents of his fans. Instead, he caught flack from the London Fire Brigade.

In early 2017, DanTDM posted a video online that starred both him and a pink Hatchimal, a stuffed animal toy. That combination would be par for the course on Dan's channel, but on this particular day, he also decided to bring a blowtorch. Dan said he wanted to give the toy a "haircut with fire," and proceeded to set the toy ablaze. The video garnered 2.8 million views before the London Fire Brigade stepped in to offer its piece: "We 100% condemn this reckless behaviour and would urge the YouTube vlogger to remove the clip immediately as it may inspire 'copycat' incidents which may go tragically wrong," said Charlie Pugsley, the LFB's fire investigation team chief.

The LFB also called the video "irresponsible and thoughtless."

Dan is a Guinness world record holder

YouTubers and Twitch personalities have achieved success in a number of different ways. Some are able to leverage their following to become television stars or comedy acts. Some were the very best players at a certain game. But how many of these people are listed in the Guinness Book of World Records? Probably not many.

But DanTDM is one of them, and not for the reason you might suspect.

It would be easy to chalk up a world record for a YouTuber as something to do with YouTube, and Dan does indeed hold a record for "most views for a dedicated Minecraft video channel." But he also obtained a world record playing a game he's not even known for. In Rocket League, DanTDM captured the record for "most goals in a game of Rocket League (team of three)" by scoring 41 against an AI team. On top of that, Dan also obtained the record (along with streamer Syndicate) for the most goals scored by a team of two with 11.

And he did both in front of a live audience. Talk about pressure.

He was announced as a playable character in The Escapists 2

The Escapists was a top-down strategy title released on Steam in early 2014 and later on Xbox 360, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in 2015. It was well-received enough to get a sequel, and in order to get fans excited for The Escapists 2, the team at Mouldy Toof Studios brought some major YouTube firepower in to help. But the popular creators enlisted by the team — DanTDM, Jacksepticeye, and InTheLittleWood — weren't brought on strictly to promote the game through YouTube. Instead, fans of these YouTubers got an even better surprise: their favorite stars would be in the game.

But of course, not all were pleased.

Some were unhappy that people they didn't care for were in the game as characters. And as those on the internet are wont to do, they complained. "Can we have an option to not have YouTubers in our prison?" one polite message board user asked. "Please give me an option to disable cancerous YouTube screamlords from my prisoners," demanded another. Mouldy Toof did just that, offering an option for those who didn't want see DanTDM and his crew a way to disable them. And inevitably, messages like the one below followed.

"I randomised my game so many times and didn't get a single youtuber."

Sometimes you just can't win.

Dan has been commended for keeping it clean

DanTDM makes content for kids. Sure, some adults and find his YouTube videos entertaining, but the truth is, Minecraft is huge with the younger population. Dan's demeanor in his videos, along with the characters he's created, are made for that audience. And Dan knows his audience very well.

In fact, he's received props from a lot of parents. On both his channel and at his live shows, he's known for "keeping it clean," breaking with quite a few video game YouTubers and Twitch streamers who curse in their videos or act in an untoward way. You've undoubtedly heard of the Paul brothers, who've made a living out of being pests not only in their neighborhood, but in other countries. In that regard, DanTDM is like the anti-Paul: he knows the content he's creating is appropriate for all audiences, and he's proud of that fact.

In an interview with Paste Magazine, he elaborated further: "I do these meet and greets before the live show, and most of the comments I get from parents are things like, 'Thanks for being such a safe environment for my kid to enjoy content online.' Which is obviously really important, not just for the kids but maybe even more so for the parents."