2014 has arguably been the year where YouTube as a platform finally sprung into the mainstream, along with the people behind the hundred hours of video uploaded per minute to the site. Major media companies like Disney and Dreamworks have been buying out YouTube talent networks, YouTubers are getting book deals and TV appearances all over, and it's hard to walk down the street or through the local shopping centre without seeing giant billboard ads for a YouTube channel.
And while the YouTube creator community thrives as an industry more than it ever has, news platforms are falling over themselves to provide the ultimate listicle of this year's must-watch channels. It's possible you've read one or two of these, and you may have noticed the same multi-million-subscriber names keep popping up: Zoella, Tyler Oakley, and the Fine Bros are all popular names that most laymen with a vague idea of what YouTube is will already know.
But the community behind the site's success is cornerstoned by a plethora of fresh faces and diversity. We've handpicked a mix of up-and-comers, trendsetters and old favourites who you should be adding to your YouTube Subscriptions as they make waves in 2015.
1) Akilah Hughes (SmoothieFreak/AkilahObviously)
New York-based sketch-and-vlog comedian Akilah recently became a contributor for the digital side of MTV, and it's easy to see why. Her attention to quick-wit, production value and punch-up humour has brought her a handful of viral successes that have given her channel some healthy growth.
2) Connor Manning
Vlogger Connor has become every YouTube viewer's agony aunt, inspiration and best pal. Dedicating an inordinate amount of time to giving his followers life advice on his Tumblr, Connor also maintains a 2-video weekly schedule where he offers a mix of music, humour, and motivation.
3) Yulin Kuang
Writer and director Yulin has been making waves in the digital short film scene, and with three miniseries and two short films under her belt over the past year alone, it's not hard to see why. Definite must-sees include the whimiscal cuteness of Irene Lee: Girl Detective and the wizard-rocking Scott Pilgrim-esque lovefest I Ship It.
4) Franchesca Ramsey (Chescaleigh)
Across her social media, Chescaleigh has been a powerful voice in contribution to the recent events of racially-biased violence in the United States. On her channel she constantly maintains the delicate balance of satire and social justice, which makes for some hilarious content marred by enraged YouTube commenters.
Musician, comedian, and king of Vine, JusReign's rapidly growing YouTube channel is a wild blend of slick music videos, comedy vlogs about his Desi heritage, and downright surreal stuff like dance video "Bounce".
6) Meghan Tonjes
LA-based musician Meghan blasted to success when she appeared on Ellen in 2011. Her soothing voice goes surprisingly well with her take-no-crap attitude, and she has recently become an advocate for both body positivity and female censorship, sparking the popular #bootyrevolution hashtag on Instagram.
7) Nathan Zed (TheThirdPew)
Mastering the jump cut to add edge to his dry sense of humour, Nathan has firmly set his place as an unabashed community commentator. Where many YouTubers have shied away from discussing certain talking points about problematic events, subjects or individuals, Nathan is unafraid to call it out for the sake of preserving a healthy creator community.
8) Hannah Witton
Over the past year or so, sex-positive vlogger Hannah has turned her channel into a safe space of humour for your typical self-deprecating twentysomething. Covering such topics as feminism, relationships, and sexual health, Hannah puts a great and relatable spin on otherwise heavy talking points.
9) Andrew Huang (songstowearpantsto)
Andrew's gotten a lot of airtime on PopBuzz; he has a habit of making incredible and shareable music content that often blasts beyond his usual viewerbase. He's also notorious for making great music without using instruments, as demonstrated above.
10) Nadine Sykora (HeyNadine)
If one of your 2015 resolutions is to travel more, you'd do well to take some inspiration from Nadine - her travel-focused channel will put your wanderlust into overdrive.