The 1st YouTube Channel to Reach 10M Subscribers Is…

Red Bull? Freddie Wong? Superman?

Smosh surpassed 10 million subscribers Tuesday morning, becoming the first YouTube channel to enter the eight-digit club. While the accomplishment is mostly nominal, the pace with which it was accomplished evinces the recent explosion in popularity of online video.

Smosh edged out Ryan Higa as the top channel on YouTube late last year, and cemented its perch as the top channel in January. At the time it had 6.8 million subscribers.

In the five months since then, the channels has increased its base by almost 50 percent.

Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox founded the channel in 2005, before Google owned YouTube, and have since built it into a model for how other channels can turn YouTube success into financial gain. They launched Smosh on a standalone website as well as YouTube, establishing a separate base to sell merchandise and net advertising revenue without Google taking a cut.

Smosh has since birthed two more successful channels – Smosh Games and Shut Up! Cartoons. Smosh Games claims to be the fastest growing channel on YouTube with almost 2.5 million subscribers while hut Up! Cartoons has become one of the most successful animated channels on YouTube, nearing 1 million subscribers.