Since it launched in 2005, YouTube has become the de facto launchpad for the next generation of internet celebrities.
It’s no secret that YouTube’s biggest stars are using sponsored videos and advertising to make a living on the platform in addition to making a name for themselves.
Over the past few years, some of them have even snagged big-time shows from services like Netflix or YouTube Red, the company’s subscription tier.
But who on YouTube is getting paid the most?
Forbes recently published its look at which YouTube stars made the most money in 2017. The publication based its rankings on raw estimates of pretax earnings.
Here they are:
Maya Kosoff contributed to an earlier version of this post.
No. 10: Lilly Singh — $US10.5 million
Income: $US10.5 million
Lilly Singh produces comedy sketches, music videos, and other media on her one-woman YouTube channel, “Superwoman,” where she has a rabid fan base of over 12.7 million followers. Singh has also released a feature film, called “Trip to Island Unicorn,” for YouTube Red, the company’s premium service.
No. 8 (tie): Ryan ToysReview — $US11 million
Income: $US11 million
Likely the envy of elementary school kids worldwide, the 6-year-old Ryan of YouTube’s Ryan ToysReview makes millions for his family by opening and reviewing new toys. The family-run channel has over 10 million followers.
No. 8 (tie): Smosh — $US11 million
Income: $US11 million
Smosh, started by comedy duo Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla, was one of the first YouTube sensations, becoming well known for the duo’s slapstick comedy videos that parodied video games and pop culture.
Anthony Padilla left the Smosh channel in June 2017 to create his own solo YouTube account, which now has over 2 million followers.
No. 7: Jake Paul — $US11.5 million
Income: $US11.5 million
Jake Paul started out as a personality on the now-defunct Vine, creating comedic shorts with his older brother, Logan Paul (the fourth-highest earner on this list). Jake Paul now posts comedy videos, original music, and other material on his personal YouTube account, which has over 12 million followers. He’s also become something of a villain in pop culture.
No. 6: Felix Kjellberg (PewDiePie) — $US12 million
Income: $US12 million
Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg is a boisterous Swedish video game commentator whose videos feature him playing various video games, while a box in the top corner of the screen shows his reactions to what’s happening. His YouTube account has over 58 million followers.
Kjellberg came into a negative spotlight earlier this year after a Wall Street Journal report described anti-Semitic messages in his videos, leading Disney and YouTube to cut direct business ties with him (though he hasn’t been barred from YouTube).
No. 4 (tie): Mark Fischbach (Markiplier) — $US12.5 million
Income: $US12.5 million
Mark Fischbach, known as Markiplier, is a YouTuber focused on gaming. He has an energetic style, and his site has over 18 million followers. Fischbach has ambitions beyond YouTube, as well. He told Variety last year that he wanted to “push [himself] into music and acting.”
No. 4 (tie): Logan Paul — $US12.5 million
Income: $US12.5 million
The former Vine star and older brother of Jake Paul has over 14 million followers on his personal YouTube account, where he posts vlogs and comedic reaction videos. He and his brother have acted on numerous television shows, including their Disney channel sitcom, “Bizaardvark.”
No. 3: Dude Perfect — $US14 million
Income: $US14 million
Dude Perfect is a channel from twins Cory and Coby Cotton and three other “best buddies” from Texas A&M, all former high school basketball players. They do sports tricks and comedy, some of which makes fun of sports stereotypes.
No. 2: Evan Fong (VanossGaming) — $US15.5 million
Income: $US15.5 million
VanossGaming (or Vanoss) is the YouTube name of Evan Fong, a 25-year-old Canadian. While not much is known about Fong, he posts comedy videos that show him playing various video games. What sets his videos apart is the quality of his editing – he frequently posts montages that compress his hours of gaming into one compact video of funny moments.
No. 1: Daniel Middleton (DanTDM) — $US16.5 million
Income: $US16.5 million
26-year-old Daniel Middleton, otherwise known as TheDiamondMinecart, is a popular YouTuber focused on the game Minecraft. Middleton postsdaily reviews and gameplay videos. He is married to another popular Minecraft YouTuber, JemPlaysMC. This year, he had a world tour that included four sold-out nights at the Sydney Opera House.
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