YouTube star Mr. Beast breaks with management company

 The dominant YouTuber MrBeast is parting ways with his high-profile talent management company.

Jimmy Donaldson, the 25-year-old YouTube superstar better known as MrBeast, has told Night Media in recent days that the company will no longer be his primary talent management agency, two people briefed on the conversations told Semafor.

Donaldson, the people said, is taking increasingly personal control of his business, which he said last year brought in more than $600 million in annual revenue. The move is a mark of the growing power of giant creators across the entertainment industry. Donaldson recently made his first major Hollywood deal, selling the series Beast Games to Amazon’s Prime Video.

Night did not return multiple requests for comment, but the company has told people it expects to have an ongoing relationship with Donaldson, if not an exclusive one.

Donaldson began working with Night founder Reed Duchscher in February of 2018 when Donaldson was looking for help making money from his growing channel, Duchscher said in 2022. “We have a great relationship,” the manager said, adding that the two “sometimes bicker like an old married couple.” But their relationship cooled, one person who knows both men said, when Donaldson asked Duchscher to take over his Feastables food brand last year. Among the issues: are Duchscher’s insistence on continuing to operate his management company independently, and his refusal to move full-time from Austin, Texas to Greenville, North Carolina, where Donaldson grew up and is headquartered.

The move is also a setback for Night, which has rapidly built up an impressive list of online YouTubers, streamers, and influencers by pointing to its success in helping MrBeast become the most successful American YouTuber and one of the highest-earning digital creators.

Those attempts to enter new industries have not always been successful.

After MrBeast’s burger chain received bad reviews from his fans, Donaldson complained that he had lost control of the business: “Young signed a bad deal.” The troubled launch was “probably the most stressful thing I’ve ever been a part of,” Duchscher told the YouTubers Colin and Samir in 2022. (MrBeast’s company and the ghost kitchen firm to whom he’d licensed its brand are now locked in litigation in New York State court.)

While MrBeast remained Night’s biggest client, the company has grown dramatically in recent years, thanks partially to its connection to Donaldson as well as interest from investors in building businesses around a new generation of digital celebrities.

Duchscher has also become a well-known figure within the creator world and among fans of MrBeast. The former sports agent has over 100,000 followers on Instagram and a successful YouTube channel with over 56,000 subscribers.

The decision to leave Night is indicative of the growth of Donaldson’s business since he initially reached out to Duchscher in 2018 for help with basic business needs such as hiring and merchandising. Together, they grew his follower count from 10 million to over 100 million on YouTube. But the move is also a risk, as Donaldson seeks to break away from the infrastructure of a new industry. Donaldson plans to work with a range of talent agencies on a non-exclusive basis, but some firms are privately reluctant to work with the creator, who has a reputation for being a tough client.

Duchscher did YouTube interviews titled ”The Nearly Impossible Job of Managing MrBeast" and “The Insane Job of Managing MrBeast.”

The New York Times called Donaldson the “Willy Wonka of YouTube,” and cast doubt on the morality of his high-profile altruism, infuriating his fans.

“Parents are baffled,” the Wall Street Journal writes.

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