YouTube / Jake Paul YouTube / Jojo Siwa
YouTube is awesome for a lot of reasons. It's one of the only major tech companies to have a female CEO, Susan Wojcicki. It's the second-most popular website in the world, with one billion hours of content being watched daily. It still has a bunch of unlicensed music and television shows if you miss the days of illegal pirating. Since its creation in 2005, YouTube has become a viable career option for anyone with a decent camera, something to say, and a lot of luck (or corporate sponsorship... or both).
Hundreds of YouTubers make over one million USD worldwide from uploading videos to the site and parlaying their online influence into sponsorships, merchandising, and the occasional traditional media deal for television or movies. These twenty YouTube stars make major bank from their channels. Some of them seem like really awesome people, and others are human dumpster fires, so only read on if you're prepared to be a little disenchanted. Knowledge is power! Maybe this list of major stars and their net worths will inspire you to pick up a camera and start filming.
Colleen Ballinger's character Miranda Sings is an icon. Who hasn't seen her skits of bad dancing, bad singing, bad tutorials, and incorrect ideas about current events. Miranda Sings is so popular that she got a Netflix comedy series that lasted two seasons named after her catchphrase, Haters Back Off! Her book became a number one New York Times best seller, "Miranda" was on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee with Jerry Seinfeld, and she regularly tours as the character. The most popular Miranda video, a cover of "Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift has over fifty-five million views, and she has millions of followers on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
JoJo Siwa might take over the world. The fifteen-year-old got her start on Abby Lee Miller's Dance Moms seasons five and six before leaving to pursue a music career and a very successful career as a vlogger. The fifteen-year-old has a net worth of nine million dollars, a car with her face on it, and more merchandise than anyone would ever dream. She's sold forty million of her signature bows from Claire's (and owns a thousand herself), leading to some U.K. schools to ban the bows for becoming a status symbol amongst middle schoolers. JoJo highkey might literally achieve world domination with her army of tweens.
Germán Garmendia's channel is called HolaSoyGerman (but his side channel, JuegaGerman, does really well too). His channels are the tenth and eighteenth most-subscribed-to on the site, and his main channel is the most-followed Spanish-language channel. He's dabbled in traditional media as Julian in the Spanish version of Ice Age: Collision Course, and he's won two Icon of the Year awards at the MTV Millennial Awards. The Chilean personality was the first person to receive two Diamond Play Buttons for two channels, beating Roman Atwood to the punch, and has appeared in YouTube Rewind since 2014.
Lindsey Stirling has more than eleven million subscribers on YouTube, but being a video content creator is just her side hustle. Lindsey is a dancer and violinist (who also composes and sings) whose choreographed violin performances got her to the quarterfinals of season five of America's Got Talent and her second album, Shatter Me, reached number two on the Billboard 200. Some people are just good at everything. Shatter Me also won Top Dance/Electronic in 2015 at the Billboard Music Awards. She's collabbed with Pentatonix and regularly tours her performances. She's also involved in charity work with the Atlanta Music Project, World Water Day, Toys For Tots, and Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Ryan Higa's channel nigahiga was the most-subscribed-to channel for nearly two years from 2009 to 2011, a record second only to PewDiePie. He's now the fortieth spot with over twenty-one million subscribers, which isn't too shabby. His side hobby is a parody K-Pop band that peaked at number two on the official iTunes K-Pop charts, and he's made two short films in addition to appearing in the 2016 horror film Tell Me How I Die and his own feature, Ryan and Sean's Not So Excellent Adventure. Ryan's main channel focuses on comedy videos and lip syncing.
People mostly know The Fine Brothers, Benny and Rafi Fine, for their uber-popular "React" video series. You know, the videos like "Kids React," "Elders React," "Teens React," and all of the other spin-offs. They've had a little controversy for being overzealous with licensing and trademarking, but as we've seen, it could have been way worse. They also created the sitcoms MyMusic and Sing It! for YouTube, a Lost parody show, and a channel called Spoilers where they, well, *spoil* things. Their main channel has over eighteen million subscribers, and the brothers have a combined net worth of ten million dollars.
Known better as IISuperwomanII, Lilly Singh is one of the most-followed women on YouTube and one of the highest paid. She has over fourteen million subscribers and a net worth of ten and a half million. She also has eight million followers on Instagram. Lilly makes comedy videos for the site and has won an MTV Fandom Award, a People's Choice Award, and multiple Streamies and Teen Choice Awards. She's also dabbled in acting and has collaborated with Terry Crews (pictured above) and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, been a Pantene ambassador, and was in the "Girls Like You" music video for Maroon 5 and Cardi B.
Roman Atwood is a vlogger and prankster with thirteen million YouTube subscribers on his main channel and ten million subscribers on his currently-inactive side channel. He was the second YouTuber to receive two Diamond Play Buttons for two channels, awards given to channels that surpass the ten million subscriber mark by the site. He had a film produced by Lionsgate called Natural Born Pranksters, and has had three pranks go massively viral. In the first, he turns his house into a massive ball pit and was turned into a Super Bowl ad. His "Anniversary Prank" shows Roman (falsely) telling his girlfriend of five years that he cheated on her — but she pranked him back when she (also falsely) made the same confession and he believed her. His final viral prank actually kind of sucks. He convinced his wife that he accidentally killed their child, and for sure slept on the couch that night.
Speaking of terrible people, Logan Paul is a terrible person. There was a whole Shane Dawson series exploring whether he's a sociopath, which should be a major tip-off that Logan sucks. He filmed a dead body in the suicide forest and laughed, then made money off of the video where he apologized. And the thing is, that wasn't even out of character for him. He tases rats for fun, removed an ill fish from water as a "joke," and he said he was going to "go gay" for a month (GLAAD was not glad). He's still worth fourteen million dollars though, which is funny because from here, he doesn't seem worth a sh*t.
PewDiePie has more subscribers than the population of Germany. Actually, at over eighty-three million subscribers, only sixteen countries have populations larger than his channel. He mostly focuses on "Let's Play" video game commentaries, with some vlogs and comedy segments. He's the most-subscribed-to YouTube channel in the world despite controversies over his usage of the n-word and anti-Semitic jokes. He also mocked Demi Lovato's struggles with addiction right before her overdose in 2018. It looks like the Swede is unstoppable, even though he also might be a closet racist, which sucks.
Casey Neistat is an artist. His YouTube channel began officially in 2010 with a video explaining emergency break cords on subway systems because he was upset with the MTA's lack of explanation, but it really got started in 2015 when he began posting daily vlogs. His video being towed through the streets of NYC and Times Square during the January 2016 United States blizzard and being pardoned by a police officer went viral, as did his vlog in Emirates' $21,000 first class seat. He's steadily gained at least two million followers per year since 2016, with a total of over ten million subscribers.
Seán McLaughlin prefers to go by Jack. That's right, Jacksepticeye is really a twenty-eight-year-old Irishman named Seán. The "Let's Play" vlogger got his twenty-one million subscribers from his desire to create a strong, inclusive community through energetic commentation. He calls swearing the key to his success in an interview with The Times, which is something we can definitely get behind. Seán also appeared in the YouTube Red show Scare PewDiePie before its cancellation and worked with Disney for a Disney XD programming block. He has also used his influence in charity streams for Save The Children and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, which each raked in over $200,000. Similar streams for the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, GameChanger, AbleGamers, and St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital raised over $100,000 each for their causes.
Evan Fong's online persona is VanossGaming. The Canadian's content centers around playing popular video games with other famous content creators, which has racked up over ten billion video views and nearly twenty-four million subscribers for the internet personality. Evan has dabbled in game creation on Steam, computer-animation for YouTube Red, and music production. Evan dropped out of college during his second year to focus more on his online endeavors. Luckily, it looks like that paid off big time. Evan has a net worth of seventeen million and climbing as his channel and other business ventures continue to grow.
Mark Edward Fischbach is better known as Markiplier, creator of the thirty-ninth most-subscribed-to channel on YouTube. Mark made his multi-millions for his "Let's Play" survival horror video game playthrough videos. He's had a storied journey on YouTube, with his first channel's Adsence account being banned from the site forcing him to rebrand after a year on the site. He branched out into sketch comedy and music with Cyndago in addition to his gaming account in 2015, but the group was disbanded after member Daniel Kyre's death. Daniel was Mark's roommate and close friend whose suicide deeply affected Mark, so the creator took time off from YouTube to recover. Upon his return, Mark quit alcohol after a health scare, and his channel continued to grow. He's passed twenty million subscribers but suffered another personal tragedy when his step-niece died in a car accident at age nineteen, leading to him taking another hiatus.
Dave Starbuck/Future Image/WENN.com
Jeffree Star is so well-known for his eponymous makeup company that it's easy to forget he has over eleven million subscribers and 1.2 billion views on YouTube. Jeffree started out on MySpace, where he was the most followed person in 2006, and originally planned to become a pop star. Jeffree was signed to Akon, who intended to make him the next Lady Gaga, but Jeffree ultimately left the troubled company and his music career in 2013. He used his life savings to start Jeffree Star Cosmetics, and he's now worth eighteen million dollars through his channel and his makeup company. Sometimes, risks really pay off.
Daniel Middleton, known online as Dan TDM, is a professional gamer who specializes in Minecraft. Is the twenty-first century wild? The TDM stands for The Diamond Minecart, his former username, which he created in 2012 for a young audience of five- to ten-year-olds. Dan is a twenty-seven-year-old Brit whose received multiple Kids' Choice Awards and Guinness World Records for the work he's done on his channel and for presenting. Dan has also released a graphic novel that reached the top spot on the New York Times' Best Seller list for graphic novels in Japan, and he has a daily vlogging side channel called MoreTDM.
Dude Perfect is the most-subscribed-to channel in the United States, the second most-subscribed-to sports channel on the site, and the eighth in the world. The 'dudes' are five former high school basketball players who roomed together at Texas A&M University. The group posts tricks shot and stunts, competitions between the players, and a few comedy videos. The quintet has multiple Guinness World Records including fourteen football records and eleven basketball records, and many of their attempts can be seen in compilation videos they post to their channel. You don't make money for breaking records, but you do if you film it for your millions of followers.
What is wrong with people? Jake Paul is consistently a flaming pile of garbage. He got fired from Disney Channel's Bizaardvark after his neighbors were so fed up with him that they considered suing him, and he said the n-word twice in the same video. He exploited his breakup for views, which pales in comparison to his promotion of sketchy gambling website, Mystery Brand, that's almost definitely a scam to his legions of young followers. Oh, and then there are the reports of his alleged harassment and abuse of Team 10 members. Jake Paul is one of YouTube's top earners, and life isn't fair.
Ryan ToysReview is just so cute. The channel stars Ryan, a seven-year-old boy, as he unboxes toys and hangs out with his mother, father, and twin sisters. This seven-year-old's opinions actually influence toy sales, and he has his own lines of toys at Walmart, Target, and Amazon. The owner of pocket.watch, a company that does Ryan's marketing and merchandise, puts Ryan's influence on the same level as Spongebob Squarepants. His "Huge Eggs Surprise Toys Challenge" is the fortieth most viewed video on YouTube, and he's one of the top ten highest paid YouTube entrepreneur. Reminder: Ryan is seven and worth 22 million.
Even though Michelle Phan hasn't released a video in over a year, she's still one of the most profitable YouTube content creators with a net worth of fifty million dollars. Michelle started out as a blogger before, posting videos to YouTube predecessor Xanga. Michelle brought her makeup tutorials to YouTube in 2007 and continued to post for nearly ten years before taking an official, indefinite hiatus in 2017. Michelle left YouTube because of frustrations regarding a lawsuit by Ultra Records stemming from confusion over music usage rights and due to issues with her self-image. Michelle still makes bank from her book sales, her beauty product subscription service, her YouTube advertising partnership, and tons of other business ventures. Never 👏 stop 👏 hustling 👏