With more than four billion videos viewed each day, YouTube is the hottest place for advertisers to get their brands seen the world over. And it’s also home to some of the internet’s savviest entrepreneurs, whose talent and watchability have not only made them famous but stinking rich as well. These lucky people, for example, are all among YouTube’s top earners, based on their estimated annual salaries from the site as computed by Social Blade.
20. Michelle Phan – $22,000 – $360,000
Makeup artist Michelle Phan began uploading content in 2006, and ten years later she’s sitting pretty with 8.6 million subscribers. But while her yearly YouTube earnings, which are estimated to be anywhere from $22,000 to $360,000, are impressive enough, Phan can expect to make even more cash these days thanks to a deal with L’Oreal and through her very own website Ipsy.
19. Toby Turner – $28,000 – $440,000
Toby Turner found fame through the renowned “Don’t Tase Me, Bro!” video, and he has carried his channel “Tobuscus” straight to the bank. In fact, the comedian’s ear for trends combined with his expertise in search engine optimization have landed him 6.3 million subscribers and estimated yearly earnings of between $28,000 and $440,000. Not bad at all.
18. Lindsey Stirling – $68,000 – $1.1 million
She may have gained attention on America’s Got Talent, but YouTube is where talented musician Lindsey Stirling has really made her mark. Stirling has combined dance and classical violin in her videos to wow an audience of eight million fans, and she makes anywhere from $68,000 to $1.1 million per year thanks to her EDM-tinged style.
17. The Yogscast – $120,000 – $1.9 million
British gaming troupe The Yogscast – formerly known as BlueXephos – have made a massive name for themselves thanks to their Warcraft and Minecraft-themed videos. The gaming enterprise was first started by Simon Lane and Lewis Brindley in 2008 but has grown phenomenally over the years: the team now comprises 20 individual channels that could generate as much as $1.9 million a year, according to Social Blade.
16. Captain Sparklez – $120,000 – $1.9 million
Jordan Maron undoubtedly caused his parents some concern when he quit college to film himself playing Minecraft full-time. His risky venture, however, definitely paid off. Maron’s channel, Captain Sparklez, has since attracted over 9.3 million subscribers and generates a estimated yearly income of between $120,000 and $1.9 million.
15. Rosanna Pansino – $130,000 – $2 million
With 6.3 million subscribers to her self-titled cooking channel, Rosanna Pansino has quickly established herself as YouTube’s most popular chef. However, the star says that all the dough she’s earned from the site – currently an estimated $130,000 to $2 million each year – isn’t her primary motivation. She told Business Insider in 2014, in fact, that she only uploads videos to “share things I enjoy with the world.”
14. BFvsGF – $150,000 – $2.4 million
Warring couple Jeana Smith and Jesse Wellens – aka “BFvsGF” – earn between $150,000 and $2.4 million per year with their series of prank videos. As of now, however, Smith and Wellens’ channel – as well as their relationship – is on a break, but hopefully they won’t leave their nine million followers hanging for much longer.
13. SkyDoesMinecraft – $160,000 – $2.5 million
In another Minecraft success story, Adam Dahlberg manages to earn a yearly salary of between $160,000 and $2.5 million through his player channel “SkyDoesMinecraft.” It’s his interactions with fans, however, that really sets Dahlberg apart from his peers, and his loyalty has earned him 12 million subscribers – or “Recruits,” as he prefers to call them.
12. Lilly Singh – $160,000 – $2.5 million
Lilly Singh is one of YouTube’s brightest comedians, and she’s attracted over nine million subscribers to her channel “IISuperwomanII.” The funnywoman’s $160,000 to $2.5 million YouTube annual earnings, however, are just the tip of the iceberg for Singh, who has also used her online success to launch a world tour and gain a partnership with Coca-Cola.
11. WillyRex – $220,000 – $3.6 million
Spanish-language sensation WillyRex has rapidly gained attention within the YouTube community. In fact, with almost ten million subscribers, he’s one of the most popular Minecraft players on the site. And the star – whose real name is Guillermo Diaz – makes, it’s estimated, as much as $3.6 million per year for his efforts.
10. KSI – $270,000 – $4.3 million
Despite being a controversial figure in the gaming community, KSI has earned 13.4 million subscribers thanks to his FIFA videos. And he’s doing pretty okay financially, too, with yearly earnings that are estimated by Social Blade as anywhere from $270,000 to $4.3 million. The man known in real life as Olajide Olatunji is actually unsure of his net worth but, as he told Vice in 2015, the amount is “pretty ridiculous.”
9. Rhett and Link – $320,000 – $5 million
Comedy twosome Rhett McLaughlin and Link McNeal uploaded their first sponsored video in 2007, and since then their careers have really taken off. Releasing content on both “Rhett and Link” and “Good Mythical Morning,” their combined subscriber base is close to 15 million – and that means annual earnings from YouTube of as much as $5 million.
8. Smosh – $420,000 – $6.2 million
“Smosh” was founded by Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox in 2005, and it’s now one of the longest running – and highest earning – comedy channels on the site. What’s more, with an income ranging between $420,000 and $6.2 million a year and a subscriber base of 22 million, these jokers have plenty of reason to smile.
7. Fine Brothers – $400,000 – $6.3 million
Brothers Benny and Rafi Fine are best known for their “React” series of videos, making them, according to Social Blade, between $400,000 and $6.3 million annually through their channel “Fine Brothers Entertainment.” And although a copyright controversy earlier this year cost them many fans, their subscriber base is still strong at 14 million users.
6. Roman Atwood – $460,000 – $7.3 million
Making mischief can be a lucrative business – for Roman Atwood, the undisputed king of the prank video, at least. And while his tricks can be cruel at times, his sense of humor has seen his self-titled channel skyrocket to nine million subscribers, allowing him to pocket between $460,000 and $7.3 million each year as estimated by Social Blade.
5. Vegetta777 – $470,000 – $7.5 million
Like his friend Guillermo Diaz, Samuel de Lugue found fame thanks to his Minecraft videos. However, Lugue – who uploads under the name “Vegetta777” – broadened his audience by featuring GTA clips, too. And it seems to have worked; de Lugue now has an impressive subscriber base of 14.3 million and yearly earnings that are said to be anywhere between $470,000 and $7.5 million.
4. Hola Soy German – $560,000 – $8.9 million
Chilean vlogger Germán Garmendia is the most subscribed YouTube user in the Spanish language, with a staggering 28 million fans following his channel “Hola Soy German.” And that’s not all. Garmendia’s mixture of music and comedy – delivered in a fast-paced style – sees him rake in as much as $8.9 million a year, Social Blade has estimated.
3. Fun Toyz Collector – $750,000 – $11.9 million
Little is known about enigmatic vlogger Fun Toyz Collector, other than that she hates appearing on camera and that she really loves playing with Disney toys. But despite – or possibly because of – her mystique, this YouTuber has amassed over 7.5 million subscribers and earns, it’s said, anywhere from $750,000 to $11.9 million a year.
2. PewDiePie – $820,000 – $13.1 million
PewDiePie is undoubtedly the most famous face on YouTube, and he’s become the site’s most followed user too with a fan base of 45.7 million subscribers. The Swedish gamer – born Felix Kjellberg – is also one of YouTube’s highest earners and makes between $820,000 and $13.1 million a year for his entertaining Let’s Play videos.
1. The Diamond Minecart – $970,000 – $15.6 million
PewDiePie may be the most subscribed-to gamer on YouTube, but his success is being eclipsed by that of Minecraft player Dan Middleton. Middleton, who uploads under the name “The Diamond Minecart,” has so far amassed 11.4 million subscribers to his channel, which earns him between $970,000 and $15.6 million a year, according to Social Blade.