(Pocket-lint) – There’s no doubt that YouTube can feel like a new frontier at times – much like travelling to the West in search of seams of gold, starting a YouTube channel might net you nothing at all in the long run or, if you’ve got the right blend of content and personality, it could see you hit big. Like, really big.
Some of the world’s most successful YouTubers rack up millions of views a day, and thanks to sponsorships, ad revenue and appearances that can translate pretty directly into really, really hefty paychecks. These are some of the top earners on YouTube, in case you need any more persuasion.
Mr Beast – $??? million
Jimmy “MrBeast” Donaldson has been big on the YouTube scene for quite a while now. He started on YouTube back in 2012, then started to grow exponentially when he began pulling stunts like recording himself counting to 100,000.
After rising to YouTube fame (and nearly 90 million subscribers) Mr Beast began creating all manner of videos of him donating thousands of dollars to random people online and “last to leave” challenges that pit players against each other for the promise of a big cash prize. The result is a lot of views and a lot of earnings too.
Jake Paul – $45 million
Starting as a wind-up merchant, Paul has branched out into boxing and has been raking in the cash for his high-profile fights, most of which have been against either other content creators or fighters from non-boxing disciplines.
His income is huge, therefore, but it might depend on him continuing to book big fights, and of course winning them.
Markiplier – $38 million
Markiplier dips his toes into all sorts of video content, but his real heartland is gameplay commentaries and let’s plays, and it’s still bringing in the money – $38 million in 2021, no less.
Rhett and Link – $30 million
Starting life on YouTube with comedy skits and big personalities, Rhett and Link were on to a doozy when they created Good Mythical Morning, a sort of talkshow for the platform that’s gone on to huge success.
Their laid-back style and family-friendly ways have meant financial success, too – as is clear from the huge $17.5 million they banked together in 2021.
Unspeakable – $28.5 million
A huge windfall came to this YouTuber, who’s been on the scene for ages, as he sold the back catalogue of his videos for a huge price – which might mean that he’ll slide back down the rankings in 2022.
Nastya – $28 million
Another child star taking home bundles of cash, Anastasia Radzinskaya and her parents actually have six different channels, some more educational and others more fun.
Whatever they’re doing, it’s working, because she brought home $28 million in 2021 using her blend of informative and relaxing videos for parents to show their kids.
Ryan Kaji – $27 million
Ryan’s World started as a toy review and unboxing channel, but times change, and as it’s exploded into one of YouTube’s most popular channels it’s become more of an educational platform, with episodes centred around school challenges and learning in fun ways. It all stars Ryan Kaji, its young child star, although he doesn’t feature for entire episodes to avoid getting burnt out.
His channel is absolutely raking it in, meanwhile, with earnings for 2021 topping out at over $27 million, ensuring that Ryan’s probably going to be able to take it easy for most of his days.
Dude Perfect – $20 million
What started out as a group of friends trying out crazy trick shots until they nailed them on camera has grown and grown into a huge operation that brings in $20 million a year and keeps one-upping itself on how crazy its tricks can get.
They’ve just released a full-length documentary about how they got this far, in itself testament to the channel’s success. Here’s to another 10 years of insane shots.
Logan Paul – $18 million
The older brother of Jake Paul, Logan is similarly full of machismo and controversy, having offended viewers throughout his career. His viewing figures just keep trending up, though, as does his huge income, showing that the Paul family is a force to be reckoned with.
Preston Arsement – $16 million
Arsement (which is quite a name, we have to say) fronts up his gaming channel PrestonPlayz which has gained a huge audience by playing family-friendly titles and increasingly branching away from gaming altogether.
His high-energy style and approachable content have netted him an army of fans, and in 2021 a purse to go with it.
Writing by Max Freeman-Mills.