Why one of YouTube's biggest stars refuses to cash in on sponsored videos

Jenna Marbles, née Mourey, is one of YouTube’s biggest success stories. She is the number one female star on the platform with over 15 million subscribers and nearly 2 billion views on her videos. She also has 2.1 million followers on Vine.

But while plenty of others online celebrities rake in cash through endorsement deals with brands, Mourey says she’s repeatedly declined offers to make money doing sponsored content.

She explained why on Larry King Now recently:

I think that with the internet, the most important thing you have is that you’re a genuine person and people trust you. People trust that when you turn on YouTube it’s really you. Working with brands and things can be great and a lot of people do it really well, but for me, it feels very much like stuffing my own pockets with money and taking advantage of the people that are there to see me.

This doesn’t mean Mourey is living in poverty, though. She does profit from the YouTube Partner program, which funnels money from ads that air before videos directly to content creators like Mourey.

Mourey has been able to maintain a massive following since she broke into the YouTube scene in 2010. Her most memorable video — How to trick people into thinking you’re good looking — has over 60 million views. That means she stands to make a good amount of money from the Partner program. 

In 2013, the New York Times put estimates of her yearly income at $US346,000.

Jenna MarblesYouTubeStill from ‘How to trick people into thinking you’re good looking.’

Mourey also told King why she’s maintained her independence as an entertainer, refusing to sign with a network or add a ton of assistants and producers.

“I like my freedom,” she said. “I like my creative freedom. I like doing everything, start to finish, myself … I didn’t need any production support. I just wanted to do silly things in my bedroom.”

Watch Mourey talk business below, and click here to see her entire interview with Larry King.

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