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Get paid to eat on camera: The world of mukbanging

Lydia 24th Apr 2023 3 Comments

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Mukbanging: Is it as dirty as it sounds? Well, it depends on how messy of an eater you are. Mukbanging is a YouTube trend that started around 2010 and has picked up in popularity in recent years. So, what is it all about and why should you try to make some money from it?



What is mukbanging?

Mukbanging is the act of videoing yourself eating and uploading it to the internet or live streaming it. Often, people order a large amount of fast food and work their way through it over a few hours. Some are made in an ASMR style, some as vlogs, and others as menu reviews. People eat and chat about everything from their daily life to the latest YouTube drama – there’s something for everyone when it comes to mukbanging.


When did mukbanging rise to popularity?

Mukbanging started to appear on social media platforms around 2010 with the video style originating in South Korea. The word itself is a combination of the two Korean words “muk-ja” meaning to eat and “bang-song” meaning to broadcast. Mukbanging in Korea started on the streaming platform AfreecaTV, with broadcast jockeys cooking and eating meals on stream. As eating is a very sociable activity in Korea, many individuals will not go out to eat alone so instead tune in to their favourite streamers while they eat.

Much like we love a good TV dinner in the UK, Koreans like to have company when they eat. Live streaming mukbangs is a great way to get audience interaction as they can comment. This gives viewers the ability to suggest the best dipping sauce to go with the food they’re eating.

Mukbangs began to rise in popularity when American and English YouTubers started to make YouTube videos in the same vein. These are pre-recorded videos that people can watch as and when they like, making their favourite creators more accessible.

There are many big YouTube mukbang creators that focus on a mix of food reviews and real-life stories. There are thousands of results for mukbang on YouTube and Google so there’s certainly a lot of content to get through.


The difference between Korean and American/English mukbangs

Aside from the way mukbangs are accessed there is another major difference when it comes to different countries mukbang styles. Korean mukbangs tend to focus on the ASMR aspect of eating. For example, there are many videos of people cracking open lobster shells or slurping down noodles. ASMR aims to reduce anxiety so it may be particularly helpful for those who don’t like eating alone. Whereas American and English mukbangs focus on storytelling, reviewing food and vlogging.

The top mukbang video currently is 불닭볶음면 먹방 Mukbang Fire Spicy Noodle by DONA 도나. It is a ASMR-style mukbang with a comedy element. With a staggering 595,828,239 views since its upload on September 4, 2020, it is clearly very popular.

The most popular talking-style mukbang is by the YouTube creator group the Sidemen with 33 million views. Titled SIDEMEN REUNITED MUKBANG and lasting over an hour in length, it shows the group members sitting around, talking and completing challenges.

Mukbangs make for easy watching, you don’t have to be fully paying attention like when you watch TV, you can just have them on for background noise. They started as a way to not eat alone and still many university students and adults living alone use them for this. For some, eating alone is not a pleasant experience so being able to switch on a video and have someone eating alongside them is extremely comforting.


Most popular mukbang YouTube channels


Timmy’s Takeout

With 1.49 million subscribers, Timmy is not the biggest star on the list but he is one of my favourites! The American YouTuber does full menu reviews of takeout chains. From McDonald’s to Taco Bell, he has covered them all. I enjoy watching his menu reviews just to see what other countries’ McDonald’s are like as well as living vicariously through his ability to eat gluten.

Nikocado Avocado

Combined across all his channels, Nikocado has a subscriber count of 5.944 million, so to say he’s popular is an understatement. He posts a mix of videos of him eating alone and eating with friends. From spicy noodle challenges to menu reviews, he does it all.


With over 11 million subscribers over their channels, DONA is very popular. They focus more on the ASMR side of mukbanging but also integrate some comedy in as seen in the video mentioned earlier. They are more on the side of the original Korean style of video.


How much can you earn?

Well, as with a lot of YouTubers, the amount made per month varies. Sponsored videos can make massive amounts of money if you negotiate the right price. If you are lucky enough to monetise your channel, you’ll be paid for your views. It is also worth mentioning that the longer the video the more mid-roll adds you will have which will also increase your earnings. It’s hard to put down a number for possible earnings as these are not published by YouTubers but some very successful YouTubers are known to make upwards of six figures a year.

Woman eating doughnuts


How to start mukbanging

So now you’ve learnt all about mukbanging, you’re probably wondering how to get started yourself. Here at MoneyMagpie, we’ve put together a handy guide on how to get started mukbanging.


Decide on your name

Now picking a channel name may sound easy but it is at the centre of your brand. You might want something catchy or maybe food-based. You need your name to stand out as well as look good on your YouTube banner. Food imagery works well because almost everyone can imagine a potato or orange. Alliteration also works, rhyming names, anything that is memorable is always great.

Find a niche

So you’re set on your name but before you set up your channel you need to find you’re niche. Do you want to focus more on ASMR or storytelling? Do you want to use it to spread awareness for a cause close to your heart? Maybe practising your stand-up jokes? Watch some of the mukbangers suggested in the article to see their style and think about how you can make your own.

Set up your YouTube account

You’ve got your name, found your niche, now is the time to set up your channel. It’s a simple process to do but here are a few tips that might push your channel to the next level.

  • Set up an email address specifically for it – if your channel takes off this way potential sponsors can contact through an email just for your channel rather than your regular email. It’s also great for if you’re planning to have other social media connected to your account like Instagram and Twitter.
  • Make a banner for your channel – sites like Canva have free-to-use templates that allow you to make a channel banner that encapsulates your brand. They also have intro and outro templates and video thumbnails. You can make your brand cohesive and recognisable this way.
  • Build up the hype for your channel launch – whether you do this on your own social media channels or on the ones you set up for your new venture it’s worth building up to the launch. You could share a few posts in the week leading up to it to get those around you excited.

Purchase your equipment

You don’t need a top-of-the-range camera and microphone to get started – your laptop’s webcam will do! However, if you are thinking of making ASMR-style videos it might be good to get a cheap USB microphone to pick up the sound better.

Design your backdrop

So the focus of the video will be you and all the delicious food you’re devouring but you’re going to need some form of backdrop behind you. You could put a green screen behind you and edit a restaurant into the background or you could do something fun and creative. For example, MenKind have a whole host of fun lights and even lightsabre salt and pepper grinders. Have fun with your background and be creative!

Get your food in!

In essence, this seems obvious because you’re filming yourself eating but you need to choose what food. ASMR creators favour foods such as noodles to slurp and lobsters to crack. Storytellers might choose burgers or chips; food reviewers often purchase the whole menu! Some people do spicy noodle challenges while others eat a plate of cheese – the choice is entirely up to you!

Start filming

Now it’s time to start filming and eat away! Have a plan in your head of what you want to talk about and get chatting. Maybe imagine you’re at dinner with a friend having a wholly one-sided conversation after all mukbanging is supposed to be social.

Upload your first video

Now it is time to upload your video – remember to add in your intro and outro slides and ask everyone to like, subscribe and share. Share the link to the YouTube video on social media and remember to keep pushing it out. The more times you share it the more likely people are going to see it.

Stay consistent

YouTube success is not going to happen overnight so remember to stay consistent. You could start with a video a week while you get going and then gradually increase it over time. As with any side hustle success is not instantaneous so keep at it and see where it takes you!

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1 year ago

Your diet is a bank account..!!

1 year ago








2 years ago

Just not for me though, thanks!

Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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