Highest Paid YouTube Stars List Revealed

The list of the highest-paid YouTube stars of the year has been released, and it's an eclectic mix of high-profile content creators. YouTube has been a driving force of Internet content since its creation in 2005, outliving many of its web contemporaries. For instance, the social media platforms Friendster and Myspace were created just two years earlier and are now completely defunct. While several video-sharing platforms have attempted to steal a chunk of YouTube's viewership, and several dedicated to video shorts have succeeded, the site is still a primary source for user-created content, television clips, music videos, and other video content.

Some YouTubers have become enough of a household name to break into other mainstream media platforms. Miranda Sings starred in the Netflix series Haters Back Off, Troye Sivan was able to start a pop music career, and Flula Borg is a character actor who has appeared in projects like Pitch Perfect 2 and Trolls. Even without breaking into the mainstream media, many YouTube stars have been able to rake in the cash thanks to lucrative advertising deals, selling merch, and many other avenues for monetizing their channel. YouTube has become such a driving force for entertainment that some of them are taking paydays that are comparable with some of the biggest Hollywood stars.

Related: 22 Jump Street Gave YouTuber Jimmy Tatro His First Big Movie Role

Forbes has released the list of the highest-paid YouTube stars, and many of the contemporary usual suspects are present. Newly topping the list is MrBeast, whose high-profile, big-budget stunts certainly betray the fact that he has money to burn (he's the one who put together a real-life Squid Game competition in November). He's making the most by far, raking in $54 million in 2021. Second on the list is the controversial figure Jake Paul, whose scandals have clearly only propelled his clicks through the stratosphere, sending him to a staggering total of $45 million. In third place is video game streamer Markiplier, whose Let's Play videos have garnered him $38 million.

The rest of the top five is filled out by Good Mythical Morning's Rhett and Link ($30 million) and the Minecraft channel Unspeakable ($28.5 million). They are followed by seven-year-old Nastya ($28 million), toy reviewer Ryan Kaji ($27 million), bro comedy group Dude Perfect ($20 million), Jake's brother Logan Paul ($18 million), and gamer Preston Arsement ($16 million), who likewise creates a lot of Minecraft-related videos. Jake Paul (who also appeared in the 2020 musical remake of Valley Girl) is probably the only member of the bottom five who is an out-and-out household name, because a lot of YouTube content hasn't managed to break out of its online bubble despite that clearly not mattering to their income.

YouTube is an enduring platform for content creators. This is probably because it's one of the places where the original dream of the Internet is clearly functioning well. The idea that anyone around the world can buy a cheap camera and become a celebrity is extremely appealing, and these people have all proved that - though it's still rare - it absolutely can be done.

Next: How Army of the Dead's YouTuber Modernizes Zombie Movie Social Commentary

Source: Forbes

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Brennan Klein (538 Articles Published)

Brennan (he/him) is a senior writer at Screen Rant and a millennial who knows more about 80's slasher films than he has any right to. A former host of the Attack of the Queerwolf podcast, Brennan has been writing and podcasting about pop culture (especially horror films) for a decade. Brennan's interests also include the Muppets, bubblegum pop from around the world, and reading (especially Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, the manga of Junji Ito, and novels of magical realism). His favorite film directors are Wes Craven and Pedro Almodóvar.

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