Sidemen

The journey of Sidemen is among the biggest success stories in the YouTube content space. While there can be various reasons attributed to the success of Sidemen as the big face of entertainment, the association of seven of the most celebrated individual YouTube creators has to be the most appealing factor for the channel. In fact, as an idea, a bunch of big time YouTubers coming together to offer a promising streak of content was primarily pulled off by The Sidemen on such a big scale. So, as we go further, let's look at how the decade-long journey has been for The Sidemen, one of the biggest brands on YouTube. 

Sidemen's features are entertaining not just because they give a sneak peek into fans’ personal favorite creators but also provide an ecstatic display of chemistry and the profound dynamic between all the members. A friendly code that has worked for a lot of famous creators before and after Sidemen, MrBeast being one big example of the same. Despite the strong evolution of their individual careers, the bond has remained constantly enriching among the members of The Sidemen, keeping them as relevant as ever. 

Early Life 

On the 19th of October 2013, a group of seven legends came together for a project that would be of historical significance on the YouTube platform. Initially, the project had no fan following or any notoriety, and the name represented nothing but a GTA online group created by a few small YouTubers. However, the potential for the group was unbounded. 

The group comprises seven members: 

  • Olajide Olayinka Williams “JJ” aka KSI

  • Harry Lewis “Wroetoshaw” aka W2S

  • Simon Minter aka Miniminter

  • Vikram Singh Barn “Vik” aka Vikstar123

  • Tobi Brown aka TBJZL

  • Ethan Payne aka Behzinga

  • Joshua Bradley “Josh” aka Zerkaa

But in the beginning of early 2013, the name Sidemen represented very little on the YouTube platform and each creator was doing their own thing with individual channels of substantial size. However, the creators had some common links with each other. For instance, KSI and Miniminter had both attended the same school and therefore had made plenty of videos together in the past while Zerkaa and TBJZL had also studied together, leading to a similar scenario. The other remaining creators of the group have met each other through YouTube and other scenarios. 

Career 

The first big claim to fame started for the Sidemen when they began creating videos together while playing video games, GTA V to be more specific. Through an iconic upload titled ‘GTA V Online Group Fun #1 (With Zerkaa, TBJZL, KSI, Behzinga)’, the big foundation of the group was laid. In fact, these group collaboration videos led up to the release of GTA crews in October 2013. Eventually, Behzinga created a GTA group called The Ultimate Sidemen, a point all members consider being the official beginning of the group. 

The word Sideman refers to copying everything a friend does, but at the time of the establishment, KSI was the biggest Youtuber among all the members having 4 million subscribers which kicked off a joke calling all other members his ‘Sidemen’. Later on, as they rose to popularity, the members moved into a house together. However, the group didn't have a channel until KSI was inspired by the idea of an official single YouTube channel. After six months of planning, the Sidemen official YouTube Channel went live on May 16, 2016. It became the fastest YouTube channel to reach one million subscribers. 

Within six months of the channel launch, the Sidemen launched a book they promoted through a tour, and also started a football club under the label of Sidemen FC. 

Net Worth 

Sidemen has 3 main sources of income: 

  • Merchandise Sales

  • Sponsorship Deals

  • YouTube AdSense

As of November 2023, an estimate of their net worth was reported to the tune of $56.3 million, with the group dipping into ventures like clothing, books, fast food, and vodka. It is important to note that the clothing merchandise has been running since December 2014, before the official YouTube debut of the channel. 

KSI has a reported net worth of $29 million, while Miniminter's net worth is estimated to be $35 million.

Achievements 

The Sidemen have achieved significant success and milestones in their careers, both individually and collectively. 

  • Diverse Content Creation: The group has produced many kinds of items, such as gameplay, dares, blogs, and joint ventures. The flexibility associated with this has made them very popular.

  • Charity Football Matches: Sidemen has been conducting charity football matches with other YouTubers and celebrities at different times. They have contributed to charities a substantial amount in these events.

  • Sidemen Clothing Line: They started off with an apparel collection called Sidemen Clothing that has earned widespread fame. The brand has different types of clothing and accessories.

  • Podcast Success: Some members of the Sidemen have also tried their hands at podcasting where “What’s Good” is a popular show between Miniminter and Randolph.

  • Involvement in the Gaming Community: Moreover, many Sidemen are known personalities in the gaming world – they are engaging in eSports activity and have contacts with other gamers.

  • Book Releases: Some of its individual members have published books based on their stories and views.

  • Impact on YouTube Culture: Sideman has impacted on the generation of YouTube’s culture and they influence trends and have led to the generation of the standard of collaborative content.

Bans and Controversies 

While the Sidemen have generally maintained a positive and entertaining presence on YouTube, they have faced a few controversies and bans over the years. One notable incident involved KSI (JJ Olatunji), a founding member of the Sidemen, who was temporarily banned from uploading on YouTube in 2012 due to violating the platform's terms of service. This ban was related to some of KSI's content, which was deemed inappropriate at the time.

In a more recent controversy, KSI was subjected to some internet scrutiny after allegedly using some racial slurs in a Sidemen video. The YouTuber made a public apology following the callouts and cleared the air in April 2023. There’s no excuse, no matter the circumstances, I shouldn’t have said it and I’m sorry,” he wrote in a tweet. 

In terms of controversies within the group, there have been occasional disagreements and conflicts, but they have usually been resolved privately or addressed in a lighthearted manner. The Sidemen members have been transparent about the challenges of working together while maintaining their individual brands.

Awards 

  • Sidemen: The Book was nominated for Non-Fiction Lifestyle Book of the Year along with the channel being nominated for Best YouTube Ensemble. 

  • Recently, the Sidemen established a Guinness World Record for Most viewers for a charity sports match live stream on YouTube for the Sidemen vs YouTubers charity match of 2023

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