Photo: The Gregory Brothers
YouTube partners certainly have the potential to earn six-figures (ie: Cory Williams) but in order to get up to that level, they need to build up a following and rack up the views.So, in an effort to keep track of the viral stars making noise in the YouTube community, we’ve come up with a (somewhat) complex formula to rank the top independent YouTube stars.
To put it simply – we looked at the monthly views, average views per video, and percentage of “Likes” each partner received in December.
Alex Negrete makes parodies of popular music videos like Eminem's 'Love The Way You Lie' on his channel KEEPtheHEAT.
The Dallas, Texas native releases his parodies soon after a hit music video surfaces on the web, thus giving his videos tons of views through search.
This past July, he joined Next New Networks -- which already has a parody music video series called the 'Key of Awesome.'
As Mexico's all-time, most subscribed to YouTube channel, werevertumorro makes long-form vlogs and sketch comedy videos.
Basically, the guy in the video seems to be the Spanish-speaking version of Shane Dawson; occasionally, there's a lucha libre wrestler involved in these videos (or just some guy in a lucha libre mask).
The family band known for its 'Auto-Tune The News' series scored a HUGE hit with their 'Bed Intruder Song' -- which became YouTube's most watched video of 2010.
Countless end-of-the-year wrapups boosted The Gregory Brothers' (schmoyoho) stock even higher due to the pop culture relevance of the 'Bed Intruder Song.'
Lucas Cruikshank plays 'a lonely six year old named Fred' with a high-pitched, chipmunk-like voice.
Cruikshank, who's actually 16-years old, already has a Nickelodeon movie out based on his Fred Figglehorn character. Of all the YouTube stars, Cruikshank has apparently shown the most mainstream-crossover appeal.
The KurtHugoSchneider YouTube channel primarily consists of cover songs and mashups produced by Kurt Schneider that often feature Sam Tsui and other amateur musicians.
Considering the huge success of Glee, it's no surprise to see Kurt Hugo Schneider and Sam Tsui amass a growing following of their own while earning the highest percentage of 'Likes' over 'Dislikes' amongst top YouTube partners.
The Annoying Orange is a comedy web series that takes place in a kitchen and is about talking fruit.
Dane Boedigheimer created the realannoyingorange YouTube channel in January 2010 as a spinoff of his DaneBoe channel. The Annoying Orange has since surpassed the original in both views and subscribers.
Ray William Johnson posts a vlog twice a week reviewing viral videos.
Part of the reason for his huge surge in popularity is his commitment to YouTube. He has stated on his channel that he does not 'care to be on television' and that he is not accepting any business offers.
Freddie Wong was previously known as a professional Guitar Hero player before moving on to making YouTube videos full-time.
'Pro-gaming doesn't pay as well as you might expect,' Wong told us. So, Wong, with his college buddy Brandon Laatsch, held a bunch of odd jobs in film before becoming YouTube partners in March 2010.
Wong and Laatsch kick off 2011 as the top YouTubers due to the huge viral success of their video Future First Person Shooter.
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