The highest-paid YouTuber is currently a seven-year-old kid
YouTubers with a loyal following built off the back of regular, quality content can make some serious money on the platform.
Take Ryan. The American has been ranked by Forbes as the world’s top-earning YouTuber, with his channel raking in an estimated $22 million in the space of just 12 months. And he’s only seven years old.
The channel, Ryan ToysReview, does what it says on the tin, showing Ryan (and his mom and dad) having fun with toys and games from a slew of different makers, with a few entertaining “challenges” thrown in for good measure. Ryan ToysReview launched in 2015, and in the space of just three years has attracted more than 17 million subscribers. The growing library of videos have so far been viewed nearly 26 billion times.
Forbes estimates that Ryan’s channel generated $22 million in the 12 months to June 2018, with about $21 million coming from pre-roll ads and the remaining $1 million the result of sponsored posts that pepper the channel.
Videos are posted on most days, each one running for between 5 and 10 minutes, though some can be as long as half an hour.
Viewing figures vary widely, but of the last 10 videos, 7 have received more than a million views, with Pac-Man in Real Life meets Ryan currently leading the field with 3.2 million plays.
Once Ryan has offered his opinion on each of the toys, the family says it donates “most” of them to charity. (Presumably, he keeps the best ones!)
Asked in a recent NBC interview why he thought his channel had become so popular, he said simply, “I’m entertaining and I’m funny.”
There’s money to be made away from YouTube, too, via deals with companies that want to plaster pictures of Ryan’s face across the boxes of their latest toys and games. In the summer just gone, for example, Walmart became the exclusive seller of a bunch of branded toys and apparel called Ryan’s World.
And more deals are being inked all the time — in October it was revealed that content from Ryan’s channel will be repackaged for shows on both Hulu and Amazon.
Other big-earning YouTubers currently include Jake Paul — brother of Logan — whose channel raked in an estimated $21.5 million in the 12 months to June 2018; Dude Perfect, which generated around $20 million; and DanTDM, who was last year’s top earner and this year reached around $18.5 million in revenue.
Forbes’ earnings estimates are based on data from Captiv8, SocialBlade, and Pollstar, as well as “interviews with industry insiders.”