YouTube distributed some US$300 million (C$375.6 million) to content creators on its platform in 2021, up 40% from 2020.
The increase in the number of views on the platform as well as the growing number of users, i.e. 40% more in five years, largely explain this increase, according to ForbesHave (New window)Have.
Half of YouTube personalities’ income comes from advertising revenue, ranging from merchandise to the sale of non-fungible tokens, according to the magazine. The people who earn the most money are therefore not necessarily those with the highest number of views for their videos.
Young Ryan Kaji dethroned
The 10-year-old YouTuber Ryan Kaji seemed unbeatable so far, he who occupied the first step of the podium of the highest paid YouTube personalities from 2018 to 2020 inclusive. The famous Texan kid slips to seventh on the list in 2021, with earnings of US$27 million (C$33.8 million).
He debuted on the platform in 2015 with his channel Ryan’s World, where he is seen unboxing new toys to review them, a hugely popular web trend known as video unboxing (unboxing in English).
His YouTube channel, followed by 31.4 million people, is growing with him; this is why we could see the integration of new animated characters, including Red Titan, in his videos. The youngster also does scientific experiments and educational content for children.
Nastya, the child of the hour
7-year-old YouTuber Nastya earns a spot on the charts of Forbes, she who pocketed 28 million US dollars (35.1 million Canadian dollars) in 2021.
The young girl, the only one to represent the fairer sex in the list, is followed by more than 85.8 million people on YouTube. On the program of his videos: songs, decorating cupcakes and slices of life. It also relies on revenue from derivative products, including a collection of non-fungible tokens.
The beast to beat: MrBeast
The 23-year-old YouTuber Jimmy Donaldson, more commonly known as MrBeast, sits at the top of the list for the first time, having pocketed the colossal sum of 54 million US dollars (67.6 million Canadian dollars) in 2021.
This amount is also the largest ever earned by a content creator on the platform, and allows him to carve out a place among the highest paid stars in the entertainment world in general, ahead of the Korean pop group BTS and singer Billie Eilish.
It must be said that MrBeast has gone into overdrive by accumulating some 10 billion views in the last 12 months, twice as many as in 2020. It has 88.3 million subscribers.
Among his most popular videos is the one where he was buried alive for 50 hours. One of his latest feats: a reconstruction of the sets and games of the South Korean Netflix series The squid game (Squid Game).
The return of the Paul brothers
In second place on the list is YouTuber Jake Paul, who pocketed US$45 million (C$56.3 million). It was mainly Jake Paul’s boxing fights with Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley that earned him this comeback.
His name hadn’t appeared on the list since 2018, partly due to controversy over his brother, YouTuber Logan Paul. The latter published in December 2017 a video of bad taste filmed in a Japanese forest infamous for being a place of suicide.
This story did not prevent Logan Paul from slipping into the charts of Forbes, occupying the ninth position there, with 18 million US dollars (22.5 million Canadian dollars).
Boxing also smiles on him: his fight against former world champion Floyd Mayweather paid off big. His income related to his podcast impulsive and his sale of non-fungible tokens – he is a precursor on this subject – in February 2021 were also staggering.
YouTube’s 10 Highest-Paid Personalities of 2021, According Forbes :
- Jake Paul
- Rhett and Link
- Ryan Kaji
- Dude Perfect
- Logan Paul
- Preston Arsement