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Casey Neistat is a super-successful YouTuber who just sold his business to CNN for $25 million… here’s why a company like CNN would pay that kind of money for his business.

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31 Replies to “Casey Neistat and $25 Million of YouTube Subscribers”

    • don’t build your audience on somebody else’s platform. Build an email list of your own instead…

    • wendy beasley


      I thought he was saying where ever you are creating success; YouTube, blogs, podcasts, or what ever that’s great – just make sure you funnel them back to your email list.

    • In one of Casey’s videos, he mentions he made a “decent living” via his YouTube AdSense channel. However, not everyone makes good money from YouTube videos. Scott Devine runs the largest online bass guitar school. And he makes a tiny amount of money from his YouTube channel. He makes his money via his product line that he sells. And a big portion of that, is via his mailing lists.

  1. We are at the beginning of building a fashion design business on line. I am encouraged when you say use social media to drive people to your site who then, either sign up or purchase, adding to the list .
    We also like it when you said Launch,Launch,Launch So every new garment gets a mini prelaunch then a launch. We are doing our third one this week
    Thanks again for your sharing with us
    Michael and Kathleen

  2. Great example.
    In my opinion his net worth could be more if he also built an e-mail list on the side and give an opportunity to everyone to subscribe from his awesome YouTube videos.

  3. I think with the profusion of followings on social media platforms this idea of having an alternative place to channel the followers is very wise-like a membership or blog, some personally owned asset, even with videos we can have our own platform in addition to the third party site. Yep I have to agree strongly! Owning your own assets is vital.

  4. Hey Jeff I am just starting out and wondered what is the best way to start a following would love ❤️ to know what you say first. Karen

  5. Good advice, don’t build your content marketing and community on other people’s land. Casey got lucky, but look at Vine. Companies can and do shut down platforms for many reasons, +1 to always moving your community to an email list ASAP!

  6. Mrs.Burella


    I think you missed it….he sold his “list” for 25 MILLION after only 2 years of work and got a new career with CNN. YouTube subscribers get an email when a new video is uploaded.

  7. I am not familiar with the case, but I would guess that this app had something that CNN considered dangerous to their own business, and which they couldn’t even avoid by buying the app and running it under their name. So the only solution for them was to buy it for an amount that’s (much) smaller than the harm the app would do. That’s only a theory, though.

  8. Casey didn’t build his email list and that’s why his app failed.

    If Casey had built a 6 million person email list and did a launch he would of had great success.
    Because not everyone logs into youtube everyday but they do to their inbox.

    But oh well $25m is a lucky break, but not if he has to work at CNN for years on end 🙂

    • Casey is not going to be working “FOR” CNN. Casey was bored with his Vlogs and the collaboration with CNN will allow him to get into something new on a much larger scale this time 🙂

  9. People follow Casey because he is an incredibly authentic and creative artist. He follows his heart and his gut and does not just “chase the money” He creates way more than he consumes and does not worry about what others think. He has inspired me and I hope his collaboration with CNN will allow him to reach an even greater audience and inspire them as well. We need more authentic creatives like Casey in this world 🙂

  10. Jeff what are your thoughts about LinkedIn. I’m an executive coach and I can create a very targeted following and I get their email address to boot!

  11. Hi Jeff. This was an instructive video on a number of levels. For starters, Casey Neistat built his followers on YouTube by creating short “video stories” about himself, his life and his business. Casey’s authentic content over time found an audience willing to engage with him through his YouTube channel. The key to his success is that, despite not having a huge following at first, Casey kept “publishing” (directing?) stories and stayed true to himself. By playing the “long game”, the rest, as they say, is history! I think CNN got a bargain with Casey’s company for the $25 million paid. If CNN lets Casey continue to create personal stories about people all over the world that engages audiences globally, CNN will have a bright future ahead of itself thanks to creatives in the house like Casey! Good for him on the deal, and thanks, as always, Jeff for creating pretty great content yourself!

  12. Hello Jeff, great video. Good insight. Is LinkedIn a good platform for creating an audience? You absolutely convinced me (I watched as many of your videos as I could) that creating a list is important AND to have a good relationship with that list. How about a hybrid model: an email list (this is the core) and Facebook – YouTube – LinkedIn (to entertain your audience and push them to the list) – any thoughts on this? All the best, Bart

  13. Jeff, as a new member of the PLF community I have to tell you how much I enjoy your no hype, no BS, down to earth style. Looking forward to learining from and working with you for many years to come.

  14. Just like social platforms can be shut down or disrupted (due to algorithm changes), so can email be changed. It still does well now, but it cannot be your only leg to stand on. A balanced approach is the best way to go where you invest in a social platforms, email lists, and MOST IMPORTANTLY: building your brand.

    Without a brand, it doesn’t matter if you have a huge email list. Having a brand that people trust as an authority in your field is the real goldmine which is why this dude got so much money!

  15. J. Nicci Tina Free


    Dear Jeff – I posted to one of your videos earlier this year saying I was throwing in the towel on trying to create my own online business. I was done. Too hard for me, too much overwhelm, too much to learn. After letting go of the fight, I then applied for two jobs that were pretty much guaranteed to give both an interview and an offer. I got neither of them… didn’t even get an interview for either of them! The funny thing was, I felt glad, instantly – there wasn’t even a grief period. What that outcome told me was that I needed to circle back around to this work once again, and to work through the fears, the overwhelm, to create what I had first set out to create. I then watched all of your PLF videos – great timing!- and took notes. This past weekend got your book, Launch. I’m now building a website and then a seed launch. YIKES – did I just own that?! I’m saying this here and elsewhere to grow accountability for myself, and to say thanks to you for creating such good content, and so dang much of it. Some of us need a LOT of help! I’m still scared and overwhelmed, but at least I know what direction I’m going and I’m not going alone. Best to you in all you do! – J “Nicci Tina” Free

  16. Thx Jeff since LauncCon I’ve been focused on platform building. My Instagram following is pretty strong , lots of quality followers full of athletes and celebs and just now started doing weekly blog and vlog content for the last 2 weeks. The response I’ve gotten has been amazing,…. this video from you today is making me think of doing daily content, grateful for your genuine and genius ways.

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