The undisputed top platform for extended video content, YouTube has become a full time job and major source of income for many creators, with some earning in the tens of millions through advertising, premium subscription, sponsorships, and sales.
Over the years, the rise of YouTube creators becoming fully fledged celebrities has been nothing short of outstanding. Several creators have expanded their online video content into partnerships, mega deals, tours, and more, and there is no shortage of rising stars on the platform.
Here are YouTube’s highest earners of the past year, according to Forbes, and with an eight-year-old on the list, there’s no telling the kind of success the platform can offer anyone!
Jimmy Donaldson (MrBeast)
With over 95 million subscribers and counting, and whose channel is packed with some of the platform’s most mind-blowing videos, MrBeast is the first and top earner on this list, with accumulated earnings of 54 million dollars in 2021. The YouTuber has multiple channels that provide different types of content, such as: gaming, video reactions, and charity work and has also bagged himself multiple endorsement deals. He has also partnered with 1,600 restaurants to provide branded meals to his fans, marketing them to his subscribers online.
Pro boxer and content creator, Jake Paul is second on the list. With earnings of 45 million dollars, and over 20 million subscribers on his YouTube channel, he is making serious bank despite the controversies tied to his name. Although most of his earnings are from his matches, his YouTube adds to his growing net worth. His channel was previously demonetized after he and his brother were involved in a scandal, but now, Paul mainly uses his channel to promote his boxing career, which currently accounts for over half his earnings.
Mark Fischbach (Markiplier)
Third on the list is the insane merch pusher, Markiplier. With over 32 million subscribers, his channel has provided engaging content for viewers since 2012, ranging from video game vlogs, to comedies and podcasts. His live plays of the horror game Five Nights at Freddy’s is one of his most popular series on his channel. However, what boosted Fischbach’s earnings to a whopping 38 million dollars, were the sales of merch project Unus Annus, which ran from 2019 to 2020. Markiplier has since then deleted the promotional videos he made for the merchandise, and is now focusing on becoming a TV star.
Rhett and Link
With earnings of 30 million dollars and over 17 million subscribers, the nerdy duo Rhett McLaughlin and Charles Lincoln “Link” Neal III are the only duo to make the current list of YouTube’s highest earners. The channel initially focused on the original daily talk show, Good Mythical Morning and has grown over the years to become a much larger content base and has featured notable celebrities like Terry Crews and Post Malone, among others. Their other spinoffs, Mythical Kitchen, a cooking series, and Mythical Accelerator, a support fund to invest in other YouTubers, have become great successes.
Making his debut on this list is the Minecraft-addicted game and content creator, Unspeakable. With 20 million subscribers that enjoy all four of his channel’s contents ranging from kid-friendly stunts and games, to more intense challenges, Unspeakable’s YouTube is a plethora of interesting videos. However, what spurred his appearance on this list was selling off his catalog of videos to Spotter, an independent owner of YouTube content in 2021. Instead of waiting for his videos to grow revenue overtime, his mega sales have caused his earnings to skyrocket, with an outstanding 28.5 million dollars added to his pockets.
The lovable seven-year-old YouTuber documents her daily life and uploads it on her channel with over 94.9 million subscribers. She not only bagged a similar Spotter deal like Unspeakable last year, but Nastya also has a merch line, an NFT collection, and several brand sponsorships which have boosted her empire with 28 million dollars. Although she sold the monetization rights to her older videos on the platform to Spotter, she retained the rights to her newer content and will continue to increase her earnings through ad revenue.
The 10-year-old host of the YouTube channel, Ryan’s World started on the platform in 2015 when he was just four years old. His content initially consisted of him playing with toys, but as he continues to grow older his content matures along with him. His parents have worked with the former Disney executive Chris Williams to guard Ryan’s business interests and keep his brand going, and his toys and merchandise are being sold at Walmart and Target, boosting his earnings to 27 million dollars.
The popular group of five YouTubers is known for their risky sports trials, and epic stunts and challenges. With two live stunt shows under their belt, a third to take place this summer, and a published book, 101 Tricks, Tips, and Cool Stuff, the members of Dude Perfect have earned so much fame that they have successfully ventured outside the video platform and established other sources of income for themselves. Their YouTube channel has gained over 57 million subscribers, and all their endeavors have earned them a very comfortable 20 million dollars.
Brother to the aforementioned Jake, and no stranger to controversy himself, Paul had a stint in boxing, and dabbled in the music industry to try to resurrect his public image. With earnings of 18 million dollars, brought about by his popular podcast, Impaulsive, and a five million dollar NFT sale, Paul’s finances are anything but troubled. The 27-year-old YouTuber made headlines last year when he moved from California, to Dorado, Puerto Rico.
Preston Arsement creates various content including: pranks, challenges, Minecraft gameplays, comics, and more that he divides across his many channels. He has over 20 million subscribers on his main channel, Preston, and advertises various merchandise on his channels. Coupled with sponsorship deals, he has earned 18 million dollars.