Magnus Midtbø (33) was one of the world’s best climbers and became a celebrity after a hard-fought battle against Aksel Lund Svindal in “Mesternes Mester”. After rounding up a million subscribers on YouTube, the biography “Magnus” is now in a sensationally high circulation.
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Magnus Midtbø resigned as a sports climber in 2017. Well worth noting after having asserted himself in the top tier internationally in the in the Norwegian context narrow competitive sports. Little did he know then that his next career choice, as a youtuber, would bring attention he as a climber was never close to.
– Not at all. I had not imagined that this would be the way forward. I did not know if it was possible to make money from climbing, nor did I ever see that I could make money on YouTube, says Magnus Midtbø.
A significant difference between “making money” from climbing and YouTube: As a climber, he had to hunt for sponsors himself, and “never” anyone was interested. Now – as a YouTuber – he receives around 10 requests from sponsors every day.
– Have you become rich as a youtuber?
– Right now I earn very well, Magnus Midtbø answers.
He has invested the money in four climbing centers in Norway, and in a clothing brand. The trademark “Rungne” is from Norse mythology (Rungne challenged Tor) and derived from Rognan, Midtbø’s second surname.
However, he emphasizes that it is important to keep the YouTube cook. One day he will run out of ideas, and then his channel will “die out” – and other youtubers will take over.
Magnus Midtbø recently visited Adam Ondra (28) – considered the world’s best sport climber – at his home ground in the Czech Republic. Ondra (785,000 Instagram followers) was obviously surprised by Midtbø’s physical strength:
VG wrote about his success for the first time almost three years ago, in March 2019. He then had 234,000 subscribers to YouTube. With that number, he could make a living from producing and publishing his films through that channel.
Then he got a name, as it is called, as participates in NRK’s «Master of the Masters», for then in mid-October this year around one million subscribers to YouTube. For that business, he received a towering plaque from YouTube. Today, the number of subscribers has increased by 55,000, ie a thousand per day.
– It’s violent. I’ve been doing this for five years. It is going steadily upwards. But the most important thing is the number of views and the average viewing time, he points out in terms of earnings.
According to him, his videos have reached 140 million views. They are seen on average for about nine minutes (total time just over 20 minutes).
Not only that. Now comes the book about Magnus Midtbø – a biography – written by Thor Gotaas (has written among others “Femmila”, “Birken” and “My life as a medium cross-country skier”) and published by Kave Publishing. The choice of author was random, but also almost natural as it turns out that Gotaas knew Magnus Midtbø from before.
– I have followed Magnus for many years, since he became known (as a climber) in 2004-2006, and on YouTube. He is a solid guy, as part of the skiers I have written about. He is a vagabond, with around 2500 travel days in the last 20 years. And then he has the biggest climbing channel on YouTube, says an always enthusiastic Thor Gotaas.
– He is a perfectionist, a typical top athlete in his head – and so is he on YouTube. He has been as dedicated to climbing as the best in other sports. He is a modern phenomenon, adds Thor Gotaas.
“Magnus” is his book number 42.
Midtbø, as in 2015 climbed to the top in Holmenkollen and have 385,000 followers on Instagram, says that it is about «the previous chapter», about his life as a climber: Why he started, the competitions, all the journeys and how the sport has changed.
– Climbing was «underground», with strange types. Now it is available to everyone. It is not certain I would have had the same drive and started climbing if the sport then was as it is today, he says.
The book has been pre-sold in over 40 countries. The first edition, in Norwegian, English and German, is 30,000, according to Kave’s general manager Pål Skaugen.
Ordering site and YouTube subscription site are related. Kave has received over 2000 orders from the USA. Magnus Midtbø estimates that his largest subscription and viewership is in the USA (25 per cent), ahead of England (10 per cent) and Germany (8 per cent).
The proportion of followers in Norway is only four percent, and he refutes the assumption that the “Master of the Masters” profiling led to a jump at home.
– I did not get any help from the “Master of the Masters”. The month that passed was the worst I’ve had on YouTube, reveals Magnus Midtbø.
He has virtually no subscribers in Asia. There is a growth potential. Therefore, his videos will be dubbed into Chinese and Japanese.