Richest YouTubers in the World
YouTube changed the world when it began monetizing videos in 2008, opening up an entire new ecosphere of virtual jobs. Creatives who would have had to scratch and claw their way through Hollywood to be seen now could find an audience of millions, no agent required.
As the site grew, advertisers took notice, and those with huge followings received lucrative offers. Today, being a YouTuber is a dream job. It’s possible to make a video about virtually anything, and if the content is good enough and luck is on your side, you can make a living by posting videos.
But the YouTubers who have millions of subscribers and billions of likes don’t just make a living. They’re making empires. These YouTubers have cultivated so many loyal fans that they can afford mansions. In fact, they could turn off their channel tomorrow and live the rest of their life in luxury.
Meet the richest YouTubers in the world, and see what they do.
Honorable Mention: Shane Dawson
Channel name: shane
Subscribers: 21.6 million
Views: 4.5 billion
Net worth: $12 million
Total estimated annual earnings from YouTube views: $33,000-$528,00
Note: Rankings are based on how much money YouTubers make per year, as estimated by Social Blade in 2020. They are ranked in order using high-end estimates first. If a user has multiple channels, both the low-end and high-end estimates from each channel were added together.
Bottom Line: Shane Dawson
Shane Dawson was one of the first YouTube stars, joining the channel in 2005 and gradually amassing viewers and views, gaining around 500,000 views by 2010.
His videos are — or were — mainly comedy skits, and some of them were very controversial. For example, he donned blackface in some skits and made inappropriate comments about Will Smith’s daughter, Willow Smith, who was then 11 years old.
Dawson wrote two biographical books, "I Hate Myselfie" and "It Gets Worse," two New York Times bestsellers. But because of his multiple controversies, Dawson is no longer making money from YouTube. The platform decided on June 30, 2020, that all of Dawson’s videos would be indefinitely demonetized. Target also removed his books from their shelves.
His last post was an apology video, and he has since gone silent, which is why his earnings are lower than usual and why he gets an honorable mention. Or should that be a dishonorable mention?
25. Roman Atwood
Channel name: Roman Atwood Vlogs, Roman Atwood
Subscribers: 25.8 million
Views: 6.7 billion
Net worth: $12 million
Total estimated annual earnings from YouTube views: $82,000-$674,000
Bottom Line: Roman Atwood
Roman Atwood is a YouTuber from Ohio who likes to pull family-friendly pranks and post daily blogs about his life and family. Or at least he used to.
Atwood hasn’t posted anything since December 31, 2019, ghosting YouTube and almost all social media platforms. He last posted on Twitter in July 2020, tweeting, "Positivity must return." Along with a picture of his family. No other details are known.
Despite this, Atwood’s videos are so popular they still brought in a high-end estimate of nearly $43,000 just in July 2020.
24. Lilly Singh
Channel name: Lilly Singh and Lilly Singh Vlogs
Subscribers: 14.9 million (combined)
Views: 3.8 billion
Net worth: $16 million
Total estimated annual earnings from YouTube views: $53,100-$850,000
Bottom Line: Lilly Singh
Lilly Singh is a comedian, actress, author and talk show host who rose to fame on YouTube. She started out on the platform as IISupewomanII in 2010, and became one of YouTube’s most popular stars by 2014, appearing on every annual YouTube Rewind since.
Singh is world-famous and has toured the world with musical performances and comedy. She made a documentary about the tour called "A Trip to Unicorn Island" for YouTube Premium. Now she owns a production studio and hosts "A Little Late with Lilly Singh," which replaced "Last Call with Carson Daly."
She doesn’t post as prolifically as she used to, but still makes a killing on YouTube.
23. Trisha Paytas
Channel name: Trisha Paytas, blndsundoll4mj
Subscribers: 6.1 million (combined)
Views: 2.1 billion (combined)
Net worth: $4 million
Estimated annual earnings: $60,400-$968,000
Bottom Line: Trisha Paytas
Trisha Paytas started YouTubing early, in 2006. She slowly cultivated a following with her daily vlogs. As an actress, she has had minor parts on shows such as "Modern Family" and music videos.
Paytas is also a singer and author, releasing over 30 singles and 11 books. Paytas also does adult modeling and has led a fascinating and controversial life.
Her estimated yearly earnings from her blndsundoll4mj channel (her most popular one) ranges from $55,4000 to $886,500 per year.
22. Jeffree Star
Channel name: jeffreestar
Subscribers: 17.3 million
Views: 2.4 billion
Net worth: $200 million
Total estimated annual earnings from YouTube views: $58,800-$940,200
Bottom Line: Jeffree Star
It feels a bit like cheating to add makeup mogul Jeffree Star to the list, but Star could still live off his YouTube revenue alone. And he started building his wealth in the nascent days of social media.
Star made a name for himself very early, beginning with Myspace, where he cultivated thousands of fans and became one of the platform’s biggest influencers (or highest-ranked, as it was known in those ancient times).
Starr ventured into music as well, but found extreme success with his own vegan makeup brand, Jeffree Star Cosmetics. The makeup brand is super successful. Mirroring Kylie Jenner’s strategy, the company manufactures scarcity with limited-release batches, creating hype and ensuring a cleared inventory in minutes.
Star has been involved in several controversies related to bullying and using racial slurs.
On YouTube, Star has over two billion views and 17 million subscribers, enough to net him an estimated $18 million in 2018. His net worth is $200 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth, and it's largely due to his ownership of Jeffree Star Cosmetics, which Forbes estimates sells over $100 million of products each year.
21. Liza Koshy
Channel name: Liza Koshy
Subscribers: 17.9 million
Views: 2.4 billion
Net worth: $6 million
Estimated annual earnings: $62,500-$1 million
Bottom Line: Liza Koshy
Liza Koshy went viral on Vine before starting a YouTube channel and gaining millions of followers within just a few years thanks to her funny, lighthearted humor.
Koshy also is an actress, appearing in Hulu’s "Freakish" and has a YouTube Premium comedy series called "Liza on Demand."
20. Tyler Blevins
Channel name: Ninja
Subscribers: 24 million
Views: 2.3 billion
Net worth: $20 million-$25 million
Total estimated annual earnings from YouTube views: $65,300-$1 million
Bottom Line: Tyler Blevins
Tyler Blevins, better known as Ninja, gained all of his fame on Twitch, streaming video games. He has made a massive amount of money, making about $10 million in 2018 — mostly by playing "Fortnite" — and raked in $17 million in 2019, becoming the highest-paid streamer of that year.
After his deal with Twitch expired, Blevins signed a deal with Microsoft’s Mixer in 2019. Mixer crapped the bed a year later, and Blevins was released from his contract.
He started streaming on YouTube in July 2020, so he’ll be making even more money from YouTube very soon.
19. The Dolan Twins
Channel name: Dolan Twins
Subscribers: 11.1 million
Views: 1.8 billion
Net worth: $5 million
Estimated annual earnings: $89,600-$1.4 million
Bottom Line: The Dolan Twins
In 2016, the 16-year-old Dolan Twins had gained 6.4 million subscribers on Vine and 1.6 million subscribers on YouTube. They quickly capitalized on this fame, launching a 12-city tour of comedy, live music and meet-and-greets.
During that tour, in New Jersey, the twins took off their shirts, causing a teenage and pre-teen frenzy to rush to the front. One person was taken to the hospital, and the show had to be momentarily stopped.
After the death of their father in January 2019, the twins said they would be taking their videos in a different direction, and planned to update their YouTube less frequently.
Bottom Line: Colleen Ballinger
Colleen Ballinger carved her path to fame by making fun of the typical YouTuber. She created a character called Miranda Sings, a narcissistic, talentless hack who can’t carry a tune and doesn’t have a full grasp on reality.
This character was honed with stand-up routines beginning in 2009. She expanded this routine to singing and dancing and made a well-reviewed comedy tour out of it. She had a two-season Netflix series called "Haters Back Off" and has garnered a truly massive social media following.
Aside from her YouTube, Ballinger has millions of followers on Twitter, TikTok and Instagram.
17. Jake Paul
Channel name: Jake Paul
Subscribers: 20.2 million
Views: 6.7 billion
Net worth: $17 million
Total estimated annual earnings from YouTube views: $180,600-$2.9 million
Bottom Line: Jake Paul
Jake Paul became famous on Vine and then transferred that fame to YouTube. He’s been embroiled in one controversy or another in recent memory.
Like his brother, Logan, there seem to be just as many (or more) people that hate Jake than like him. His amateur rapping career brought us "It’s Everyday, Bro," which is the eighth-most disliked video on YouTube, with 4.9 million dislikes to 3 million likes.
When he’s not making videos of whatever it is that he makes, he’s pissing off his neighbors. In 2017, Paul rented a Los Angeles mansion for $17,000 per month. His neighbors then sued him for turning their neighborhood into "a living hell," while the property owner sued him for $2.5 million in damages.
He now owns a $6.9 million mansion in Calabasas, California, and has been throwing huge parties without any masks or social distancing, drawing the ire of the Calabasas mayor.
On Aug. 5, 2020, the FBI raided that mansion for currently undisclosed reasons.
16. Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal
Age: Both are 42
Channel name: Rhett and Link, Good Mythical Morning, Good Mythical More
Subscribers: 25.36 million (combined)
Views: 8.4 billion (combined)
Net worth: $16 million
Total estimated annual earnings from YouTube views: $260,000-$4.2 million
Bottom Line: Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal
Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal are a comedy duo who have produced an enormous amount of content, from blind burrito taste tests to game-show style bits to straight-up comedy bits.
McLaughlin and Neal have made a media empire out of their Mythic brand, drawing sponsorship interest from companies like McDonald's, Gillette, Hot Pockets and Amazon.
According to Social Blade, these guys can make up to $3.4 million just off of Good Mythical Morning views.
15. Alastair Aiken
Channel name: Alia-A, MoreAliA
Subscribers: 17.2 million
Views: 5.2 billion
Net Worth: $5 million
Estimated annual earnings: $299,000-$4.7 million
Bottom Line: Alastair Aiken
Alastair Aiken is a British video game streamer who holds Guinness World Records for Most Popular "Call of Duty" Channel by Views and Most Popular "Call of Duty" Channel by Subscribers. He received them in mid-2015, when Aiken had 1.3 billion views.
More recently, Aiken has been playing "Fortnite," and it fits his friendly-family style of commentary. He’s made several partnerships with companies like Monster and Scuf Gaming, the latter of which released an Aiken-themed controller.
Aiken has two channels. Both earn him upward of $2 million per year. Each.
14. Sean McLoughlin
Channel name: Jacksepticeye
Subscribers: 24.5 million
Views: 13.1 billion
Net worth: $16 million
Total estimated annual earnings from YouTube views: $297,500-$4.8 million
Bottom Line: Sean McLoughlin
Sean McLoughlin is Ireland’s most famous video game streamer YouTube personality. He owes PewDiePie for his initial boost in popularity, as PewDiePie mentioned him in a video, sending over 10,000 subscribers his way in a matter of days. Within a year, he had 1.5 million subscriptions. For a long while, he was uploading two videos a day.
McLoughlin has several other ventures, including voice acting in video games and his own startup coffee company and a clothing brand that he co-owns with Markiplier.
He makes upward of $4.7 million per year off of YouTube views. In 2019, Forbes calculated his earnings at $11 million.
13. Logan Paul
Channel name: Logan Paul
Subscribers: 22.3 million
Views: 5.6 billion
Net worth: $19 million
Total estimated annual earnings from YouTube views: $313,500-$5 million
Bottom Line: Logan Paul
Logan Paul hit paydirt with Vine, which led to paid collaborations with companies like HBO and Pepsi, bringing in five-figure income. After Vine shuttered in 2016, Paul focused on YouTube. There, he has accumulated an enormous following, and even managed to get the rub from Dwayne Johnson in a video promoting "Baywatch."
Of course, Paul is more widely known for his controversies. This included promoting the Tide Pod challenge and, most notably, the suicide forest controversy. In December 2017, Paul posted a video of him and his friends visiting the Aokigahara forest in Japan, a well-known suicide site. They found a corpse hanging from a tree, filmed it, and laughed about it.
Naturally, that didn’t go over well. But people still love to watch his videos, and he’s making bank on YouTube, upward of $417,000 per month from the platform. In 2018, he made $21.5 million.
12. Evan Fong
Channel name: VanossGaming
Subscribers: 25.1 million
Views: 12.9 billion
Net worth: $25 million
Total estimated annual earnings from YouTube views: $316,800-$5.1 million
Bottom Line: Evan Fong
Evan Fong produces gaming content, and tons of it. He’ll play anything from Uno to "Call of Duty," and his subscribers can’t get enough. Fong made $15.5 million just in 2017.
Fong’s videos are slickly edited, with him and his crew chatting during in-game antics. They’re all good friends, so the banter comes across genuine and good-natured.
Fong’s channel makes upward of $5 million a year, while his sponsorships take in the cash. According to Forbes, companies pay him up to $450,000 to get featured in his videos as of 2017.
11. David Dobrik
Channel name: David Dobrik, David Dobrik Too
Subscribers: 26.2 million
Views: 8.4 billion
Net worth: $7 million
Total estimated annual earnings from YouTube views: $329,000-$5.3M
Bottom Line: David Dobrik
David Dobrik is a social media star who gained a 15-million following on Vine before taking his vlogs to YouTube. In his videos, he performs stunts and memorable moments like driving a convertible through a car wash, surprising people with cars, or marrying his best friend's mom so he could be his stepdad.
He and Liza Koshy used to date and filmed an emotional breakup video about it, which gained over 66 million views. Dobrik also is an aspiring actor, starring in "Angry Birds Movie 2" and hosted the 2019 Teen Choice Awards.
He's so popular that teens show up at his house unannounced, which he called "terrifying."
10. James Charles
Channel name: James Charles
Subscribers: 20.8 million
Views: 2.5 billion
Net worth: $22 million
Total estimated annual earnings from YouTube views: $348,400-$5.6 million
Bottom Line: James Charles
James Charles is a 21-year-old makeup guru who rose to fame very fast, joining YouTube in 2015 and amassing nearly 17 million views by 2019. Charles is the first male spokesperson for CoverGirl, and while we don’t know the details, it must have been lucrative.
Charles gained a lot of negative publicity in mid-2019, when former friend and beauty vlogger Tati Westbrook took to YouTube and criticized him for being two-faced. Charles lost the fastest number of YouTube subscribers in history, losing 1 million subscribers in 24 hours. His subs hit a low of 13.5 million a few days later, but he’s completely rebounded.
Charles now has 20.8 million subscribers and made a top-end estimate of $5.7 million from YouTube in 2019.
9. Preston Arsement
Channel name: Preston
Subscribers: 14.2 million
Views: 4.5 billion
Net worth: $20 million
Total estimated annual earnings from YouTube views: $383,500-$6.1 million
Bottom Line: Preston Arsement
Preston Arsement was 15 years old when he made the channel Preston Playz (it’s not just Preston). Like many YouTubers, he streamed "Minecraft," and eventually caught the eye of a company that designs "Minecraft" mini-games.
The venture proved so lucrative that "it actually outweighs my YouTube compensation," Arsement told Business Insider in 2019. To gain even more viewers, Arsement switched up his video styles, going from just streaming games to pranks and challenge videos aimed at kids. It shot his subscribers up by 3.5 million in a year.
It’s not just him doing all the work, though. Arsement has 24 people working with him behind the scenes to help him build his empire, which includes an in-house merchandise line and real estate investments.
8. Daniel Middleton
Channel name: DanTDM
Subscribers: 23.6 million
Views: 17 billion
Net worth: $35 million
Total estimated annual earnings from YouTube views: $427,000-$6.4 million
Bottom Line: Daniel Middleton
Daniel Middleton — better known as DanTDM — was the highest-paid YouTuber of 2017, bringing home $16.5 million. In 2018, he slipped to fourth place, but actually made more money: $18.5 million. In 2019, he pulled in $12 million.
The English YouTuber is mainly known for streaming games like "Minecraft," although he sometimes switches it up to focus on indie games.
In 2019, he created "an interactive cinema experience" tour called "The Contest."
7. Felix Kjellberg
Channel name: PewDiePie
Subscribers: 106 million
Views: 25.8 billion
Net worth: $40 million
Total estimated annual earnings from YouTube views: $8 million
Bottom Line: Felix Kjellberg
Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg became rich by playing video games and making obnoxious videos. Love him or hate him, PewDiePie is one of the richest and most notorious YouTubers in the world.
Kjellberg’s fame is truly something else. He gaine 15.5 million subscribers in 2013, more than any other YouTube channel that existed, and became the platform’s most-subscribed channel for several days, before being dethroned by T-Series, a channel owned by an Indian record company.
Kjellberg has the second-most subscribed YouTube channel and has held that position for nearly seven years. Advertisers pay him up to $450,000 for a deal to get their project featured.
Not bad for a guy who dropped out of college and sold hot dogs to pay the bills.
Because Social Blade has an algorithm that includes negative numbers, the amount of money it thinks he’s earning is at $0. But that’s impossible. In 2019, PewDiePie brought in an estimated $8 million a month, according to one study. In 2014, Social Blade ranked him as making upward of $16.6 million per year.
We're going with $8 million, but acknowledge that it's probably higher.
6. Dude Perfect
Age: Cody Jones (32), Garret Hillbert (33), Tyler Toney (31), Cory Cotton and Coby Cotton (33).
Channel name: Dude Perfect
Subscribers: 52.7 million
Views: 11.3 billion
Net worth: $30 million (as a group)
Total estimated annual earnings from YouTube views: $514,700-$8.2 million
Bottom Line: Dude Perfect
Dude Perfect consists of six friends goofing around with sports-related activities and challenges, especially their trick-shot videos, which are captivating to viewers of any age. They are the 12th-most subscribed YouTube channel, coming in three million subscribers short of Justin Bieber.
The Dude Perfect crew have worked with numerous big-name athletes, like Dale Earnhardt Jr., Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees. They have a Nickelodeon television show and print cash every year.
They even do tours.
5. German Garmendia
Channel name: HolaSoyGerman and JuegaGerman
Subscribers: 82.1 million (combined)
Views: 15.8 billion (combined)
Net worth: $9 million
Estimated annual earnings: $553,400-$8.9 million
Bottom Line: German Garmendia
German Garmendia is an ultra-popular Chilean YouTuber who produces comedy skits and streams video games.
While he might not be well-known in the United States, he is extremely popular in Spanish-speaking countries and was the first YouTuber to earn two Diamond Play Buttons — one for each of his channels.
Not too shabby.
4. Mark Edward Fischbach
Channel name: Markiplier
Subscribers: 26.5 million
Views: 13.8 billion
Net worth: $28 million
Total estimated annual earnings from YouTube views: $714,500-$11.4 million
Bottom Line: Mark Edward Fischbach
Mark Edward Fischbach is mostly known for streaming horror-themed games and creating live-action and animated comedy skits. There’s some creative stuff there, like a choose-your-own adventure video called "A Date with Markiplier" which goes completely off the rails.
Fishbach has led a rather controversy-free career and frequently does charity livestreams.
According to he YouTube, he has raised over $3 million for various organizations.
3. Jelle Van Vucht
Channel name: Jelly
Subscribers: 19 million
Views: 10.1 billion
Net worth: $5million-$25 million
Total estimated annual earnings from YouTube views: $1.2 million-$18.7 million
Bottom Line: Jelle Van Vucht
Jelle Van Vucht, aka Jelly, is a Dutch YouTuber who streams video games like "Minecraft" and "Grand Theft Auto V." His content is certainly aimed at younger viewers, and his content clicks with the pre-teen demographic.
Van Vucht has an astronomical 10 billion views on his channel, with top-end monthly estimated earnings of $1.6 million and daily earnings of between $3,000 and $55,000 according to Social Blade.
He also has his own line of products at the Jelly Store which sells branded shirts, hats, socks and backpacks.
2. Jimmy Donaldson
Channel name: MrBeast, MrBeast Gaming, Beast Hacks
Subscribers: 41.4 million
Views: 6.8 billion
Net worth: $8 million
Estimated annual earnings from YouTube views: $1 million-$33.2 million
Bottom Line: Jimmy Donaldson
Jimmy Donaldson started his YouTube career at 13 years old. Back then, he only streamed video games. It wasn’t until early 2017 when he posted a video of himself counting to 100,000 (which took 44 hours) that he found viral fame. After that, he performed similar stunts, like watching Jake Paul’s "It’s Everyday Bro" for 10 hours and reading every word in the dictionary.
By 2019, he had enough money (and sponsorships) to buy everything in a Save a Lot for $70,000. Then he donated the entire thing to a local food bank. He recently bought an island for $800,000 and gave it away.
That’s Donaldson’s real strength: He gives away massive amounts of money for good causes, so it feels good to watch his videos.
He also has a gaming channel and a "hacks" channel. Don't be surprised if his net worth increases substantially in the next couple of years.
1. Ryan Kaji
Channel name: Ryan’s World
Subscribers: 26.3 million
Views: 41 billion
Net worth: $100 million
Total estimated annual earnings from YouTube views: $2.8 million-$45.2 million
Bottom Line: Ryan Kaji
Ryan Kaji isn’t just a YouTube star. He’s the face of a media and toy empire.
Kaji skyrocketed to fame not long after his YouTube debut in 2015, where his family produced simple videos of Ryan playing with and unboxing toys. Those videos have since become more stylized and lavish and the toys bigger.
Ryan’s family quit their jobs to work on the channel full time, which paid off immensely. Ryan’s channel has a staggering 41 billion views, a Nickelodeon TV show, a video game, and his own line of toys. He’s so popular that the 9-year-old kid influences the toy industry and can drive sales just by featuring a product. Naturally, that means lucrative sponsorships.
Ryan was the top-earning YouTuber in 2018 and 2019, making $22 million and $26 million respectively. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Ryan and his family have earned over $60 million from the Ryan-branded empire. And some estimate the 9-year-old's net worth at around $100 million.
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