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The 5 Biggest YouTube Channels Using Generative AI for Thumbnails

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Jose Kim is the founder of Gorilla Overview. Jose has been running Gorilla Overview and learning self-development, personal finance, and investment for the last 3 years. Jose has been creating celebrity net worth websites for the past 5 years. Currently, he is focusing on building Gorilla Overview. Jose and his team were previously working on the popular entertainment website known as "Bio Overview" which became one of the fastest-growing websites in the world. Jose doesn't use personal social media anymore, so you won't be able to find him on Instagram, or Twitter.

Hey everyone, have you ever seen some YouTube thumbnails that are more eye-catching than others? On this platform, it can be tough to stand out in such a crowded space. That’s where a cool tech called generative AI comes in. It’s a superhero for thumbnail creation, helping YouTubers like you and me grab eyeballs with amazing visuals. You can check out here how the YouTube thumbnail industry is changing with the use of AI. These AI tools can whip up awesome thumbnails in seconds, all based on a few keywords and a quick description.

Pretty neat, right? Read on below to dive into how some of the biggest YouTube channels are using this game-changing tech to their advantage.

1. MrBeast


Jimmy Donaldson, better known as MrBeast, is a YouTube powerhouse famous for his outrageous stunts and challenges. With nearly 130 million subscribers, MrBeast prioritizes high production value in every aspect of his content, including thumbnails. MrBeast’s team is thought to use AI tools like Adobe Spark to generate thumbnail concepts. These AI-generated options likely act as a starting point, allowing their in-house graphic designers to refine the visuals and maintain MrBeast’s signature bold and colorful style.

2. Mark Rober


Former NASA engineer Mark Rober has carved a niche on YouTube with his blend of science, engineering, and entertainment. His channel boasts over 49 million subscribers who tune in for his fascinating experiments and DIY projects. The sheer volume and consistent quality of his thumbnail visuals suggest a streamlined workflow in using generative AI. Tools like  DALL-E 2, known for its realistic image generation, could help create the eye-catching, science-themed thumbnails that Rober’s channel is known for.

3. SmarterEveryDay


Destin Sandlin’s SmarterEveryDay is a must-watch for science enthusiasts. The channel, with over 11 million subscribers, delves into scientific phenomena in an engaging and informative way. Sandlin has spoken openly about experimenting with AI thumbnail generation. He emphasizes the importance of human oversight, using AI-generated options as a springboard for his creative ideas. This approach allows Sandlin to maintain the channel’s signature blend of scientific imagery and engaging graphics.

4. Hacksmith Industries


James Hobson, a.k.a. The Hacksmith, takes viewers on a journey into the world of real-life inventions inspired by popular movies and video games. With over 14 million subscribers, this channel thrives on high-quality visuals that showcase his impressive creations. The use of AI tools like Midjourney, which excels at generating fantastical scenes and objects, could be a valuable asset. These AI-generated concepts could provide a strong foundation for the channel’s visually stunning thumbnails.

5. Peter McKinnon


Peter McKinnon is a renowned photographer and filmmaker who shares his expertise and creative vision with roughly 6 million subscribers on YouTube. While McKinnon is undoubtedly a skilled graphic designer, the sheer volume of content he produces suggests the potential use of AI tools.

The most successful YouTubers will likely continue to leverage AI as a starting point, adding their own unique voice and style to their thumbnails. If you’re thinking of doing the same, it’s good to understand the basics of the technology behind it. You can read here to learn more about generative AI and how it’s changing the entertainment media landscape. As this technology advances, you can expect even more captivating thumbnails to emerge, taking YouTube content to the next level.

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