Darren Watkins Jr, best known as IShowSpeed, is now a household name on YouTube. He is in fact, at the moment, one of the biggest streamers on YouTube, with his live streams attracting millions of views every week.
So, how did he become such a big influencer on a platform that has proven a hard nut to crack in recent times? What is his strategy?
First, let’s start with the basic information.
So, what is iShowSpeed’s real name?
IshowSpeed’s real name is Darren Watkins Jr. He was born on January 21, 2005, in Cincinnati, Ohio.
IShowSpeed has two siblings, a sister and a brother, who sometimes feature in his videos.
Darren’s younger sister sometimes enters his room during his live streams to engage in some siblings’ interactions with him.
His younger brother, on the other hand, has featured the most in his videos. They sometimes partake in some crazy pranks or stunts.
Below is a video of iShowSpeed shaving his younger brother’s hair for refusing to accept that Cristiano Ronaldo is better than Messi.
He soon regretted that move and begged his brother to not tell their father.
Father and Mother
He revealed that his parents weren’t very much invested in his YouTube career from the get-go.
In fact, when he attained his first 100,000 subscribers and shared the news with his mother, she sounded unenthusiastic about it, which left the youngster rather disappointed.
But there was no looking back for Darren, as he persisted and kept growing till he attained the height he has reached today and at such a young age.
|Speed, iShowSpeed, or Speedy
|Darren Watkins Jr
|Date of birth (age)
|January 21, 2005 (19)
|Currently in High School
|Country of Origin
|5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
|65 kg (143.3 lbs)
iShowSpeed has 3 YouTube channels, IShowSpeed, Live Speedy, and Speedy Boykins. His main channel, however, is iShowSpeed, which has the most videos and views. The other channels are generally clips from his main channel.
All of his channels have collectively amassed over 1.58 billion views.
iShowSpeed’s YouTube journey started on March 21, 2016, when he opened his main channel. However, he didn’t upload any videos until December 21, 2017, when he was just 12 years old.
iShowSpeed’s first video is an NBA 2k18 freestyle that featured a soundtrack of Young Thug’s Guwop.
In the video, his gaming character dribbled around with the ball and made some jump shots.
He went on to upload 2 more NBA 2k18 videos before dabbling into Fortnite, and then from there went on a wild streak of NBA 2K streams. That streak intensified during the pandemic which kept more people at home, skyrocketing the creation and consumption of digital content.
What started as a gaming channel soon transformed into a channel that showcased elements of his personal life.
He often posts videos of himself reacting frantically to trends, playing around, and doing funny pranks with his brother, while his eager fan base watches on.
He admitted during FaceTime with KSI that his biggest inspiration was none other than KSI, one of the most famous YouTubers in the UK and indeed the world.
His videos weren’t doing too well when he started, but he kept on uploading on a consistent basis until YouTube began to reward his hard work.
Hitting stardom has given Watkins Jr the confidence to try out other things such as music. And so far so good, his songs have not flopped.
As a matter of fact, his singles are the most popular videos on his YouTube channel.
What is his YouTube strategy?
People familiar with the digital world know that success on YouTube doesn’t come by accident.
iShowSpeed has a great strategy that works for him. His streams are very long, yet engaging.
He adopts a very energetic approach to his streams and often starts by recognizing live viewers.
That helps them to know that his streams are not prerecorded, thereby driving engagement on the live chat.
That way, YouTube gets the idea that since people were interacting with his streams, he must be doing something awesome.
Therefore, they kept showing his streams to more and more people until he became the famous chap that he is today.
Furthermore, many of his contents are highly controversial. He uses way too many swear words. One can describe him as kid that makes certain contents that aren’t meant for kids.
As the case may be, that strategy works for him, as it keeps people talking and news websites writing about him.
Youtube stats and info
|IShowSpeed, Live Speedy, and Speedy Boykins
|March 21, 2016
|Total views on YouTube (all channels)
|Gaming, Live Stream, Music, and reaction.
|Main YouTube Channel
|Date of First Video
|December 21, 2017
Darren’s content creation strategy has attracted attention and, as well, controversies. He has made the news a few times for the wrong reasons.
In August 2022, Watkins Jr was arrested by the Cincinnati Police Department for prank-calling them and allegedly setting his PS5 on fire during a stream. He was, however, subsequently released the next day.
The video of his arrest quickly went viral on YouTube.
Banned on Twitch
iShowSpeed got banned on Twitch following some disturbing utterances he aimed at model Ash Kash.
During Adin Ross’ recent E-Date show on Twitch, the YouTube content creator used some cringeworthy remarks on the model.
The clip was widely reshared on Twitter and other social platforms, attracting criticims and eventually leading to Twitch terminating his account.
Fireworks have been part and parcel of U.S. Independence Day, the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Howevever, people don’t usually light them inside their homes, considering the dangers that would pose.
But on July 4, 2022, Darren lit some fireworks in his room, in an apparent attempt to entertain his fans. He “thought they were noisemakers” that wouldn’t burst into flames, but that wasn’t the case.
The firework quickly started to spark, shooting fireballs around his room, leaving him in hysterics.
His mother could also be heard in background screaming “oh my God! Is it a fire? What the F*** is your problem?”
And when she noticed he was on a live stream, she yelled at him to turn it off.
Darren saw him self on the wrong end of a YouTube strike after he played an infamous Minecraft modifier labeled “Jenny Mod”.
On July 21, 2022, during a live stream, he accidentally revealed part of the footage, which depicted Jenny about to perform a not-for-children act to the player.
He later revealed that that got him a strike from YouTube, as what he did went against their Community Guidelines and Policies.