DanTDM (real name Daniel Robert Middleton) is one of the biggest YouTubers in the United Kingdom. The young Englishman who started off making Minecraft videos for kids is now a self-made multimillionaire and a household name for many people with young kids (and a few people without!) But what’s his story?
DanTDM certainly wasn’t born into wealth. As a youngster, he was the eldest of two brothers and like many had to endure the ignominy of separating parents. Arguably this had an impact on his young life.
Dan was a decent student but a better gamer and it was clearly a passion of his. During his formative years while studying at Northampton university he began a channel on Youtube dedicated to Pokemon. His username at the time was PokemonDanlevel45.
In 2012 he began a new channel entitled The Diamond Minecraft. As the name suggests this channel revolved around videos for the popular Sandbox game Minecraft. The channel proved a massive hit, especially with kids aged between 5 and 10 who couldn’t get enough of his videos that were produced from his home in sleepy Wellingborough.
In 2013 Dan celebrated his 100000 subscribers. Although his following has grown massively since he still considered this an incredible achievement. It was around this time that he posted his first ever video where he just appeared as himself. He announced that this would be something he did on a more regular basis and launched a sister Youtube page entitled MoreTDM where he posted videos telling his fans about his life outside of Minecraft. This was also a memorable year for Dan as he married his girlfriend. Proof that you can be a Minecraft fanboi and be a hit with the ladies.
Evolution and expansion
The name for Dan’s channel evolved as did the range of things the young Englishman was doing to grow and develop his brand. It started as The Diamond Minecraft and evolved to The Diamond Minecraft // DanTDM and then finally just to DanTDM.
Based on the characters on his videos Dan was able to break into other mediums and produced a graphic novel on the characters included DanTDM, Grim the dog, Trayaurus, The evil lab boss Denton and his sidekick Fin. The book was a shock success and not just in his native England. It became a New York Times bestseller. He also made a guest appearance at the prestigious Cheltenham Literature Festival.
New directions for DanTDM
He started to branch out in 2016 and no longer focused purely on Minecraft videos and in fact, he almost phased them out completely. His focus was now on other, equally popular, games such as Roblox and Fortnite. Despite this change in tact his popularity only grew. However, there has been a clamouring to see him return to his roots and he has teased that he may return to Minecraft videos this year.
Rags to riches
DanTDM’s story has been an inspiring one. He was able to grow his channel from humble beginnings to be one of the countries top Youtube channels. Along the way, he has made rather a lot of money. Estimates place his annual income anywhere between £200k a year through to 1.2million and he has an estimated net worth northwards of ten million.
While he may not have the same global appeal as the likes of Ali-A or PewDiePie it is clear he has carved out his own niche and he has made a lot of money on the way. While there is plenty of more competitive gaming channels on Youtube DanTDM’s has a charm that few posses.