As the raging COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the earnings of several enterprises in the entertainment industry, YouTube fame has proven more lucrative than ever for some of the top money making vloggers in the world.
Forbes magazine, in revealing its list of 2021’s top 10 highest-earning YouTube stars, said they made a combined US$300 million for the year. The #1 vlogger on the list, MrBeast, at US$54 million, brought in the most ever earned in a year.
The 23-year-old MrBeast, whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson, took the best-paid title from 10-year-old toy reviewer Ryan Kaji, who headed the list for the previous two years.
Donaldson creates elaborate stunts to thrill his audience and last year tapped into Netflix’s popular series Squid Game for inspiration for many of his latest stunts.
Kaji, meanwhile, has fallen to #7 on the list, earning just US$27 million. (Yeah, you’re reading right, US$27 million for a 10-year-old reviewing toys!)
THE FOLLOWING IS THE TOP 10 LIST OF YOUTUBE EARNERS
10. Preston Arsement
Preston Arsement grew his community largely thanks to videos centred around Minecraft. He runs several channels on the website.
He earned an estimated US$16 million in 2021 – down from the year before when he was sixth on the list.
9. Logan Paul
The vlogger-turned-boxer was last in the top 10 in 2017. He earned US$18 million in 2021, a year in which he went the distance with the legendary Floyd Mayweather in the ring.
8. Dude Perfect
Comedy pranksters Dude Perfect was number three on the list in 2020. They made US$20 million for the year.
7. Ryan Kaji
The world’s most famous toy reviewer has dropped to number seven, using his blend of toy reviews, educational videos and family vlogs to help him earn US$27 million.
The seven-year-old Russian has nearly 90 million subscribers on YouTube. She started as a toy unboxer but now her vlogs and music videos are growing in popularity and her earnings rose to US$28 million in 2021.
The Minecraft player has been uploading to YouTube for a decade, but made the list for the first time after selling the rights to his back catalogue to the business Spotter last year, which contributed to his earnings of US$28.5 million
4. Rhett and Link
Regulars on the YouTube highest earning list, the hosts of geek chat show Good Mythical Morning earned US$30 million last year.
Regular gaming creator, Markiplier has used his talent for business to create a successful brand of merchandise, earning US$38 million last year.
2. Jake Paul
Jake Paul, like his brother, Logan, is back in the top 10 after branching out into boxing. His high-profile fights against UFC stars helped him earn $45 million in 2021.
It’s a significant turnaround for the content creator who was criticised alongside Logan for some of their vlogs in 2017 which were considered to be in poor taste.
YouTube’s top earner is a creator who uses stunts and pranks to entertain his audience.
Last year, he recreated elements of Netflix hit Squid Game on his channel, played hide and seek in an 80,000-seater stadium and was buried underground.
His 10 billion views, alongside the MrBeast burger franchise, saw Jimmy Donaldson almost doubling his income in 2021 after ranking second on this list for 2020.