YouTube has turned some men, women, and children into famous millionaires. The growth of this platform as a business opportunity has introduced a new form of occupation – YouTubers. This job came from our growing attention to YouTube. Just consider that 8 out of 10 18-49 year-olds watch YouTube in an average month, while 90% of America 18-24-year-olds use it. Not to mention that YouTube is the second most visited website after Google and the 2nd most popular social media platform.
With the users’ dedication to this platform, it comes as no surprise that some managed to turn creating YouTube videos into a job. Their videos are just the starting point. Once they get popular, their business adventures spread on advertising, clothing collections, acting, and anything else they think of. That’s how they create a multi-million empire. So, who are these individuals who made it happen? Let’s take a look at the top 10 highest paying YouTubers.
1. Ryan Kaji (Ryan's World) - $26 million
Ryan Kaji is the 8-year-old boy whose earnings have reached $26 million all thanks to YouTube. Yes, it sounds unbelievable but that's how the world of YouTube works.
His channel is called Ryan's World or formerly Ryan Toys Review. Besides Ryan, other family members also take part in the videos – his mother (Loann Kaji), father (Shion Kaji), and twin sisters (Emma and Kate).
Ryan’s World is among the top 100 most-subscribed YouTube channels in the United States. Ryan has 24.2 million subscribers, over 30 billion views, and his video “Huge Eggs Surprise Toys Challenge” has over 1.9 billion views. His videos are translated in Spanish (Ryan's World Español) and Japanese (ライアンズ ・ワールド). Moreover, the whole family has a channel called Kaji Family.
It all started in 2015 when Ryan's parents set up a YouTube a toy-unboxing channel. Who would have thought that 5 years later this boy will earn millions?
As The Verge described the channel, it is “a mash-up of personal vlog and 'unboxing' video, a blend of innocent childhood antics and relentless, often overwhelming consumerism.” There is a new video every day on his channel. Therefore, fresh content keeps the users interested.
When it comes to his other sources of income, Ryan has his own show on Nickelodeon called “Ryan’s Mystery Playdate.” Besides, he has produced a line of Ryan’s World products. In July 2019, he also released his own branded toothbrushes and toothpaste. Ryan’s net worth is estimated at $30 million.
2. Dude Perfect - $20 million
This American sports entertainment group from Texas has taken YouTube by a storm. Dude Perfect channel originators are twins Cory and Coby Cotton, Garrett Hilbert, Cody Jones, and Tyler Toney. They were all former college roommates at Texas A&M University.
Their videos primarily focus on various tricks shot, stunts, “games with consequences”, “battles” in which they compete against one another, and similar. Some of the videos such as “Stereotypes” series add some comedy and satire to the mix. What’s fascinating is that they broke the Guinness World Records 14 times
The channel has 49.6 million subscribers, it is the 2nd most subscribed sports channel on YouTube and the 10th most subscribed channel overall.
Their story has an interesting beginning. They were simply doing basketball shots and betting on sandwiches which was ultimately recorded and posted online. The video which was the breakthrough for this group was “Backyard Edition”, a video of trick shots at Toney's ranch. It received 200,000 views within a week.
Dude Perfect’s net worth is estimated to a roughly $20 million. In addition to YouTube, they also have their own app games (Dude Perfect, Endless Ducker, That's Lit), a television series (The Dude Perfect Show), and their merchandise. Their online store brings them an income of $300,000 to $500,000.
3. Anastasia Radzinskaya (Like Nastya) - $18 million
Here’s another multi-million YouTuber under 10 years old. Anastasia Radzinskaya is a 6-year-old Russian-American YouTube star. She and her family run YouTube channels called Like Nastya, Like Nastya Vlog, Stacy Toys, Stacy Show, Funny Stacy, and Funny Stacy PRT. The most popular one is Like Nastya.
Like Nastya channel has 49.2 million subscribers. It is the 3rd most subscribed YouTube personality channel. However, her channels combined bring her 117 million subscribers and more than 48 billion views in total. This makes her the biggest children’s YouTuber in the world.
Her channels focus on playing, dressing up, learning, going to amusement parks, nursery rhymes, and reenacting children's tales. Her father, her cat, and her friends often join her in the videos.
The creation of her YouTube channel had nothing to do with business actually. Anastasia was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and some doctors thought that she won’t be able to speak. She progressed a great deal and her parents started posting videos of her playing to show friends and family this progress.
4. Rhett and Link (Good Mythical Morning) - $17.5 million
This American comedy duo has gained fame from multiple YouTube channels – Good Mythical Morning, Good Mythical MORE, Rhett & Link, and Mythical Kitchen. Additionally, the host a podcast called Ear Biscuit. These channels combine brought them over 70 million subscribers and 22 billion total views.
The faces and brains of the show are Rhett McLaughlin and Charles Lincoln “Link” Neal.
They call themselves the Internetainers (the mix of “Internet” and “entertainers”). These Internetainers make humorous videos that include comedy sketches and comedic songs.
Most watched videos created by this duo are “My OCD (Song)” with over 49 million views, “Epic Rap Battle: Nerd vs. Geek” with over 44 million views, and “I'm On Vacation (Song)” with over 29 million views.
They had guest appearances on popular shows like The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The TODAY Show, and Live with Kelly. Their net worth is estimated at $23 million. Some of that income came from his merchandise which includes tees, hoodies, mugs, and stickers.
Some of their most prominent brand collaborations are with SpyAssociates, Starburst candy, McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Taco Bell, Buick, and many others. Their commercials gained the attention of CNN, NPR, The New York Times, Forbes, and TMZ.
5. Jeffree Star - $17 million
This controversial YouTuber has found a way to cash in his fun personality and knowledge of makeup. Jeffrey Lynn Steininger or better known as Jeffrey Star is a beauty YouTuber, makeup artist, entrepreneur, DJ, singer-songwriter, model, and Internet celebrity.
With 17. 5 million subscribers and $75 million net worth he comes, he is one of the most popular YouTubers.
Before he embarked on a YouTube journey he was supporting himself with makeup, modeling, and music jobs. Jeffrey’s first social media outlet was MySpace where he promoted his music and his makeup artists skills.
In 2009 his music career took tool when he released an album “Beauty Killer” that even featured a song with Nicki Minaj. He left the music industry in 2013 because of some legal issues.
However, he cleverly took advantage of his fame and founded Jeffree Star Cosmetics in 2014. Star promoted his brand mostly on YouTube. This makeup brand turned into a multi-million dollar company.
6. Preston (Preston Arsement) - $14 million
When it comes to YouTube gaming channels, Preston is in the lead. Preston Blaine Arsement started a YouTube channel nearly ten years ago. It was called PrestonPlayz and he streamed himself while playing games “Call of Duty” and “Minecraft.”
With his two channels, Preston has around 17 million subscribers
In the beginning, Preston had two channels – PrestonPlays and TBNRFrags. On PrestonPlayz.
TBNRFrags was his first channel. There he showed his skills playing “Call of Duty” but with time he started playing other games like “Castle Crashers” and “Far Cry.” PrestonPlayz was created soon after TBNRFrags and was focused mostly on Minecraft.
His gaming videos attracted the attention of many and Preston found a way to make his channel even more interesting. As someone who knows how to detect and follow trends, PrestonPlayz turned into a channel called Preston. This channel now features vlog-style videos along with gaming videos. A video from January, "5 ways to prank your little brother's Minecraft house” has reached 35 million views.
Besides YouTube videos, Preston makes an income from Twitch where he live streams gameplays. Additionally, he has his own merchandise and gets sponsorship deals from companies such as Lil Spooky, Elmers, Electronic Arts, Hot Pockets, Hot Wheels, Sonic, etc. Currently, his net worth is estimated at $25 million.
7 (tie). PewDiePie (Felix Kjellberg)- $13 million
Felix’s channel held the title of the most-subscribed channel on YouTube for over five years (from 2013 to 2019). Now PewDiePie is the 2nd most-subscribed YouTube channel worldwide, surpassed by T-Series, the YouTube channel of an Indian entertainment company. PewDiePie started his channel back in 2010. It consisted mostly of play-by-play and it featured videos of action and horror video games.
With the growing popularity of this channel, Kjellberg or better known as PewDewPie added some versatility by including vlogs, formatted shows, comedy shorts, and music videos.
PewDiePie has 103 million followers and his net worth is $25 million. In 2016, Time named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
The riches and the fame may have started from gaming videos but Felix acquired such fortune from multiple sources. He has a book “This Book Loves You”, which apparently sold in more than 112,000 copies. Along with his wife Marzia, Felix co-founded an apparel and homeware company. PewDiePie’s brand collaborations include GFUEL, Volvo, Mountain Dew Disney, LG, Archero and Cheetah Mobile.
7 (tie). Markiplier (Mark Fischbach) - $13 million
Mark holds the same place in the list of top ten highest-paid YouTubers as Felix. Same as PewDiePie, he specializes in gaming videos, or to be more specific survival horror video games. Mark’s channel, Markiplier, has 25 million subscribers and around 12 billion total views. Markiplier is now the 8th most-subscribed gaming YouTube channel.
The way he attracted the attention of viewers is with his accentuated commentary with a quirky and fun attitude.
In addition to YouTube videos, he had acting appearances in movies such as Smosh: The Movie, Disney XD's Gamer's Guide to Pretty Much Everything, and Five Nights at Freddy's: The Musical.
Some of his other work includes being on the board of comic book publisher Red Giant Entertainment, his line of comics, a fashion band called Cloak. The newest project is his first YouTube Premium web television special called A Heist with Markiplier.
What could be the next goal you may ask? He shared for Forbes the following, "I never have an end goal. I don't want to be a movie star. I just want to live every day making another cool thing I'm proud of.”
9. DanTDM (Daniel Middleton) - $12 million
Since the launch of his channel, Daniel Middleton or DanTDM reached 22.5 million subscribers, 16 billion views total views, and over 3,400 videos. He is a professional gamer who mostly focuses on Minecraft, Roblox, and Pokémon.
TheDiamondMinecart was the original name of his channel. Then he changed it to TheDiamondMinecart // DanTDM and in 2016 he became DanTDM.
Daniel is quite an impressive YouTube personality. In 2017, he topped the Forbes list of Highest-Paid YouTube Stars. He set three Guinness World Records for his gaming skills and videos and won several Kids' Choice Awards.
Middleton published two books – Trayaurus and the Enchanted Crystal and Official DanTDM 2017 Diary and Activity Book: Lots of Things to Make and Do. His net worth of $35 million was also achieved by selling his merchandise, promoting brands, and creating sponsored videos.
10. VanossGaming (Evan Fong) - $11.5 million
You can pretty much tell from his YouTube channel name that Evan is also a YouTuber from the gaming videos community. His fame originates from his YouTube videos that showed him playing games. These videos are mostly montages or they feature several clips from a particular game session.
His channel now has 24.9 million subscribers and over 11 billion views. The logo for VanossGaming (an owl head in the shape of the letter “V”) was modeled after his character in Grand Theft Auto V.
Evan is a man of many talents. Besides gaming skills, he also produces music under the name Rynx, he was the creative director for the video game Dead Realm, and he lent his voice for the YouTube Premium series Paranormal Action Squad.
In 2014, Evan was nominated for a The Game Award for Trending Gamer and in 2016, he gained another nomination for a Shorty Award for Tech and Innovation: Gaming.
Fong’s net worth of $25 million was also powered by his Vanoss merchandise.
Some Final Thoughts
Finally, we have come to the end of this list of the highest-paid YouTubers. If someone told us more than a decade ago that social media platforms can bring you millions of dollars, we wouldn't have believed that for a second. However, the world is changing, and the digital age has taught us that creativity with some talent can definitely pay off.
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