Whether it’s anti-semitism, suicide, rap videos or drag queens, there’s one similarity among these YouTubers: they’re filthy rich.
YouTube can be great. It offers unprecedented access to information, democratises learning and archives important human documents – from WWI footage to lions hunting in the wild.
This years’ top earners list also shows that YouTube is a ridiculous place where people go to watch other people play video games, put on makeup, review toys, and… do whatever it is that Jake Paul does.
While those on the list made their name – and the majority of their money – on YouTube, they have become global superstars with merchandise, clothing lines, brand partnerships and more fans than Hollywood A-listers.
Here’s the list of the highest-paid YouTubers of 2018 (in Australian dollars) according to Forbes, who compiled data from June 1, 2017 through June 1, 2018:
10. Logan Paul – $19.7 million
The creative genius who filmed a suicide in Japan and gave the least genuine apology ever hasn’t slowed down due to controversy. Money keeps rolling in from pranks, short films and creepy music videos.
9. PewDiePie – $21 million
Being caught saying the ‘n’ word on stream and creating anti-semitic videos hasn’t stopped Swedish gamer Felix Kjellberg, who demands up to $450,000 for a sponsored video.
8. Jacksepticeye – $21.7 million
A foulmouthed Irishman, Seán McLoughlin is a gaming YouTuber who sets himself apart with his hilarious commentaries. The most popular YouTube star in his homeland, he’s done a series for Disney and is in the process of creating exclusive videos for Twitch.
7. Vanoss Gaming – $23 million
Yet another gamer on the list, Evan Fong plays mainstream games like Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed, as well as indie PC games. He makes unique and eye-catching thumbnails for each of his videos and is currently trying to launch a hip-hop career.
6. Markiplier – $23.77 million
Markiplier creates gaming videos, sketch comedies, animated parodies and anything else his more than 10 million followers request. He has recently founded CLOAK, a high-end clothing brand aimed at making gamers more comfortable.
5. Jeffree Star – $24.4 million
Jeffree Star has been around since Myspace, but has now become the most popular and prolific makeup artist and cosmetics creator on YouTube. In addition, his Jeffree Star Cosmetics brand sells an estimated $100 million annually.
4. DanTDM – $25.1 million
Last year’s top earner, Daniel Middleton is a British gamer who made the big time playing Minecraft, but has since transitioned into Fortnite, Pokémon and other games.
3. Dude Perfect – $27.1 million
A group of five friends and sports fans who do insane trick shots – from making magic with ping pong balls to hitting a three-pointer from half-court off your head.
2. Jake Paul – $29.2 million
Jake Paul is a 21-year-old YouTuber who lives in Los Angeles and seems to gain joy – and lots of money – from doing lots of ridiculous ‘comedy’ videos, rap film clips and pranks.
1. Ryan ToysReview – $29.8 million
Ryan is seven years old and plays with and reviews toys for his 17 million followers. He also does science experiments and has a toy and clothing line at Walmart and Target.
Forbes described the ranking methodology as follows:
“All earnings estimates are from June 1, 2017, through June 1, 2018. Figures are pretax; fees for agents, managers and lawyers are not deducted. Earnings estimates are based on data from Captiv8, SocialBlade and Pollstar, as well as interviews with industry insiders.”
While each YouTuber has worked extremely hard to upload and edit videos, come up with ideas and market their brands, if there’s one lesson from this list it’s that you can do it too.
So grab your smartphone and a gaming console and start making some videos. Who knows, you could be the next on the list.