Women make up an equal share of total YouTube viewership, yet a quick scroll through the YouTube trending page reveals only a handful of videos from female-led channels. Despite this imbalance, there are still plenty of women who are absolutely killing it on the platform. Different creators will have different definitions of success, but for many, subscriber count remains a key metric. That’s what we’ll focus on here. Let’s take a look at the top five most successful female YouTubers (in regards to sub count) to see why they have been so successful in building an audience.
5. Lilly Singh: 14.9M
Lilly Singh, a.k.a. Superwoman, uploaded her first video to YouTube in 2010. Since then, she has become a wildly popular feminist icon both on YouTube and off, with world tours, documentary projects and book deals decorating her resume. In 2019, Lilly signed with NBC to host late-night talk show, “A Little Late with Lilly Singh,” as the only female late-night host on a major network. She is also the first queer person of color to take on this role. The show was recently renewed for a second season. Always a voice for positivity, Lilly also heads up a women’s empowerment campaign called GirlLove.
At the core of Lilly’s content are her satirical reenactments of events from her personal and family life. Much of her comedy stems from the cultural disconnect between her experience growing up in Toronto, Ontario, and life at home with her parents, who emigrated from India to Canada before Lilly was born.
Beyond her bold, authentic and relatable content, Lilly’s success stems from her strong business sense, her personal drive and her ability to embrace new opportunities.
4. Caeli Alien (formerly CaELiKe): 16M
Having earned more than 16 million subscribers since starting her channel in 2010, Caeli Alien is next up in our top five female YouTube creator countdown. Based in Mexico, Caeli engages with a broad audience of both Spanish and English speakers. Her content ranges from beauty tutorials to prank videos, but it’s always upbeat and energetic. The colorful high-gloss aesthetic of her channel complements the fast-paced editing style, and even her more casual vlogs maintain a high production value that’s sure to draw in viewers.
Aside from her engaging and well-produced videos, part of Caeli’s overall success comes from her versatility. Off YouTube, Caeli is popular on Instagram and TikTok, and she also works in film and television. Even within her YouTube channel, Caeli posts a wide variety of content while maintaining a consistent brand. This, combined with her cheery attitude, has helped make her one of the most popular female creators on the platform.
3. Liza Koshy: 17.8M
Like other top female creators on our list, Liza Koshy puts in plenty of work outside of YouTube; she has several film and TV roles under her belt. In fact, this top YouTube comedian started her career on another platform altogether — Vine. There, she earned around 7 million followers before Vine closed down in 2017. Liza started her YouTube channel in 2013 and has since amassed 17.8 million subscribers.
Liza is not afraid to make herself look ridiculous in the name of comedy. She uses her content to address some more serious issues like mental health, but she does so in a lighthearted way that makes her message easier to digest. She’s also not afraid to speak up on issues she cares about, once interviewing President Barack Obama in an effort to get out the vote.
Today, Liza’s main focus is her YouTube Original series, Liza On Demand, which just launched its second season. The show brings polish to her familiar skits, but Liza’s loud enthusiasm continues to shine through.
2. Jenna Marbles: 20.3M
Jenna Marbles started her channel in 2010, and it maintains that old-school YouTube feel with an emphasis on authenticity. Her videos follow a simple format: sit down in front of the camera and do something entertaining. You’ll find no flashy thumbnails or gimmicky titles here — just a mix of comedy and sincerity that has endeared her to viewers for more than a decade.
One key to Jenna’s success is that she allows her content to evolve along with her as she grows as a person. Once a repository for her comedic monologues, the Jenna Marbles channel has shifted over time to focus more on absurd craft projects and outings with her beloved dogs and long-term boyfriend. She also has a podcast and a Twitch channel to supplement her YouTube content.
Accepting change and growth sometimes means making difficult decisions, however. Recently, in a video that is no longer available on her channel, Jenna announced that she will be taking a break from YouTube and the internet for an undetermined amount of time — possibly forever. Though not currently active, Jenna Marbles remains of the most successful female YouTubers thanks to her consistent output of wholesome, relatable and down-to-earth content.
1. Yuya: 24.6M
Starting her channel way back in 2009, Yuya claims our top spot in our top five successful female YouTubers countdown. That decade-plus on YouTube has earned her 24.6 million subscribers and her channel doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Hailing from Mexico, Yuya’s Spanish-language content mostly consists of beauty and fashion tutorials and vlogs, all presented in her warm and welcoming aesthetic.
Her success on YouTube has allowed Yuya to share her voice in other ways, as well. She has her own perfume and a makeup line with Republic Cosmetics, and she is the author of two books. Despite her immense following, Yuya maintains an intimate shooting style, sometimes still addressing viewers from her bedroom floor. The personal nature of her videos has endeared her to fans all over the world.
Who’s your favorite female YouTuber?
That’s it! Those are the top five most successful female YouTubers by subscriber count. Each of these women takes a different approach to content creation, but they have each achieved their own brand of success. The trend is clear — the best route to success on YouTube is to be yourself, speak up and grab onto the opportunities that are in front of you.
But subscriber count is just one measure of success on YouTube. There are plenty of amazing and inspiring female creators who you won’t find at the top of the SocialBlade charts. For this author, some favorites include Bestdressed, Safyia Nygaard, Emily Artful, mewTripled and Loepsie. Share your top five favorite female YouTubers in the comments below.