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The 10 Highest-Paid YouTubers in the World

Logal Paul attending the 2017 Teen Choice Awards in Los Angeles
Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock.com

There’s no denying that YouTube has revolutionised the media landscape. It’s the platform that launched the careers of music artists Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes and Alessia Cara. It’s also responsible for creating a new type of entertainment that made popular social media influencers like Jeffree Star and Roman Atwood into certified A-list celebrities.

However, while YouTube has the power to turn you into a star overnight, the landscape is also extremely volatile. One wrong tweet or video from the past could send you tumbling down the totem pole.

But if you’re curious to find out who’s currently reigning supreme and bringing home the big bucks, then you’ve come to the right place!

Here are today’s top 10 YouTube earners.

 


 

10. Lilly Singh

Lilly Singh attending the movie premiere of 'Atomic Blonde' in Los Angeles Jaguar PS/Shutterstock.com

YouTube channel: IISuperwomanII

Total earnings: $10.5 million (£8.1 million)

Known as the Tina Fey of the Punjabi community, Lilly Singh’s empire began in her small room in Ontario, Canada when she first turned on the camera to make simple comedy sketches – 8 years and 14 million subscribers later, she’s now one of the biggest YouTube stars in the world!

Apart from being a YouTube creator, she’s also partnered with big brands like Coca-Cola, launched a successful worldwide tour called A Trip to Unicorn Land, and starred in two hit movies: Bad Moms and Ice Age: Collison Course. True to her YouTube name, Singh is undeniably a superwoman.

 

9. Ryan (tie)

Ryan ToysReview L.A. Biz

YouTube channel: Ryan ToysReview

Total earnings: $11 million (£8.5 million)

Whoever said you’ve got to be a grown-up to make money clearly hasn’t met the boy behind the hit YouTube channel RyanToysReview. Despite being on the platform for only three years, Ryan has already amassed a huge following of over 15 million. His 2016 video ‘Huge Eggs Surprise Toy Challenge’ also broke records when it surpassed 1.4 billion views in July 2018, making it one of the most viewed videos on YouTube.

At only seven years old, there’s no way of knowing where Ryan will be in the next few years, but one thing’s for sure: he’s definitely earned more than most people will make in a lifetime.

 

8. Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla (tie)

Smosh attending the movie premiere of 'Dumb and Dumber To' in Los Angeles Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock.com

YouTube channel: Smosh

Total earnings: $11 million (£8.5 million)

Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla make up the dynamic duo behind the immensely popular YouTube channel Smosh. The two have been uploading videos for over a decade, and their hard work has definitely paid off. With over 23 million subscribers and 7 billion combined views, Smosh is listed as one of the most-subscribed channels on YouTube. They’ve grown so big that even Hollywood A-listers like Chris Pratt, Emma Watson and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson have guest starred in their videos.

Even when Padilla left to pursue his own career in June of 2017, Smosh remains one of the highest-ranking channels worldwide with over 300,000 views daily.

 

7. Jake Paul

Jake Paul The Hollywood Reporter

YouTube channel: Jake Paul

Total earnings: $11.5 million (£8.9 million)

Similar to Lele Pons and Cameron Dallas, Jake Paul, along with his brother Logan (we’ll get to him later), first rose to popularity through Vine, a video service app that allowed its users to loop six-second videos. Paul was able to build a strong following of over 5 million subscribers on Vine which remained loyal to him, even when he moved to YouTube. Paul got so popular that he got a role in Disney Channel’s comedy series Bizaardvark. However, after being recently caught in several scandals, Jake was fired from the show.

Despite the many controversies surrounding him (and his brother), Paul’s YouTube channel continues to grow with over 16 million subscribers.

 

6. Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg

PewDiePie Time

YouTube channel: PewDiePie

Total earnings: $12 million (£9.3 million)

He might not be number one on this list but Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, otherwise known as PewDiePie, still holds the record for most-subscribed user on YouTube with over 65 million subscribers. Known for his outrageously funny and entertaining gaming videos, it’s hard to believe that this YouTube star used to be a straight-A student. In an interview with Sveriges Radio, Kjellberg admitted that he never felt comfortable going to university and doesn’t regret dropping out to pursue his YouTube career. And with over 18 billion views on his channel (and counting), who can blame him?

 

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5. Logan Paul (tie)

Logan Paul Variety

YouTube channel: TheOfficialLoganPaul

Total earnings: $12.5 million (£9.6 million)

If there’s anyone who embodies the saying ‘all publicity is good publicity’, it’s Logan Paul. Despite being punished by YouTube for instigating a global scandal during the latter part of 2017, the controversial star seems to have gotten back on his feet and is now slowly gaining back subscribers. Paul’s recent boxing match with fellow YouTuber KSI also earned him a pretty penny, with some boxing pundits estimating his profits at around £75 million ($97 million).

Even if he hasn’t uploaded on his official channel for over a year, Paul’s vlogging channel remains strong with over 18 million subscribers.

 

4. Mark Edward Fischbach (tie)

Mark Edward Fischbach IMDB

YouTube channel: Markiplier

Total earnings: $12.5 million (£9.6 million)

After getting dumped, fired and learning that he had a tumour in his adrenal gland, Mark Edward Fischbach, or more popularly known as Markplier, started his YouTube channel in 2012 to serve as a creative outlet. Little did he know that a few years later he would be one of the richest YouTubers in the world. Best known for his ‘Let’s Play’ videos that typically feature survival horror games, Fischbach distinguished himself quickly rose to the top as one of YouTube’s best gamers.

 

3. Dude Perfect

Dude Perfect Heads up by Boys' Life

YouTube channel: Dude Perfect

Total earnings: $14 million (£10.8 million)

One group that’s going strong in this list are twins Coby and Cory Cotton who, along with their friends Garett Hilbert, Cody Jones and Tyler Toney, have made one of the most eye-catching channels to date. Dude Perfect was able to create and capture the interests of a niche market through their videos that combine sports, creativity and comedy. Having over 30 million subscribers and 5 billion views, Dude Perfect holds the title for the sixth most-subscribed channel and is also included in YouTube’s top 150 most viewed channels of all time.

 

2. Evan Fong

Evan Fong Evan Fong

YouTube channel: VanossGaming

Total earnings: $15.5 million (£11.9 million)

With an average of 3 million views a day, it shouldn’t be a surprise why Evan Fong, aka VanossGaming, is on this list. Although many would draw comparisons between his video style and PewdiePie’s, Evan was still able to attract his own following and make his own mark. Evan is also known for his trademark style of not showing his face in his own videos.

Recently, VanossGaming surpassed 9 billion views, making it one of the most viewed channels in the world.

 

1. Daniel Middleton

Daniel Middleton Forbes

YouTube Channel: DanTDM

Total earnings: $16.5 million (12.7 million)

Occupying the top spot in this list of the highest-paid YouTubers in the world is Daniel Middleton. Known to his fans as DanTDM, this British gamer left his mark on millions of gamers through his quirky style and killer Minecraft skills. His fanbase may be young, but their loyalty is outstanding. Averaging 13 million views per day, Middleton’s channel gets even more views than Beyoncé! Apart from his earnings on YouTube, Middleton also receives a part of his income from his live tours which were sold out both in the UK and the US.

In 2016, Middleton also released a graphic novel called Trayaurus and the Enchanted Crystal. It became a New York Times bestseller and was on Japan’s bestselling list for 11 weeks, thereby adding accomplished author on his long list of achievements.

 


 

Building a career on YouTube can be challenging, but these influencers prove that, through hard work and a strong creative vision, anyone can be a star in their own right. Who knows? You might even find yourself on this list in a few years’ time!

Who are your favourite YouTubers? Let us know in the comments section below.

 

Earnings are based on data compiled and published by Forbes. Currency conversions are based on rates supplied by XE.com on 7 September 2018.