So How Much Can You Make On Youtube ?
You’ll be surprised. Here’s the list of the highest paid YouTube stars of 2015:
1. PewDiePie: $12 million
This Swedish star, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg has nearly 40 million people subscribing to his “playing videogames with your bros” channel.
2. Smosh: $8.5 million
Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla, childhood best friends from Sacramento, California, have reinvented themselves online as Smosh, a comedy act that got famous for live-action skits based on Pokémon games. It just got bigger from there: The pair runs 5 YouTube channels, including ElSmosh (Smosh en Espanol). Their first full-length movie, Smosh: The Movie, came out in July.
3. Fine Brothers: $8.5 million
Benny and Rafi Fine first drew notice—and a Daytime Emmy Award—for their React video series, in which they film people watching over-the-top videos from the likes of PewDiePie and rapper Nicki Minaj. Now they are moving from the very small screen to the small screen: In 2014 Nickelodeon debuted React to That.
4. Lindsey Stirling: $6 million
She plays the violin. She dances. Then she does them at the same time, and it’s kind of amazing. Stirling began posting her videos of herself performing in 2007 after failing to be signed by a major record label. Now they are begging to sign her, but too late—she doesn’t need them anymore. Explains Stirling: “It’s a very loyal fan base that wants you to succeed because they found you. It wasn’t some big radio station or record label that shoved art down someone’s throat.”
5. Rhett & Link: $4.5 million
Rhett McLaughlin and Charles Lincoln Neal III both earned engineering degrees from NC State and worked in corporate America before launching their comedy careers on YouTube relatively late in life (they are 38 and 37 respectively). The duo is famous for Good Mythical Morning, a send-up of morning television news shows. Nearly half of their earnings come from sponsored deals—they’ve shot sponsored clips for their channels for such brands as Gillette, Wendy’s and Toyota.
6. KSI: $4.5 million
The British videogame commentator, born Olajide Olatunji, has used his YouTube stardom—almost 11 million followers—as a springboard to a music career. His hip-hop single “Lamborghini” reached number 30 on the U.K. charts in April last year.
7. Michelle Phan: $3 million
The self-taught makeup artist established herself with tutorials teaching girls how to paint themselves like their favorite celebs, including Lady Gaga and Angelina Jolie. She’s playing a long game; she reinvests most of the money from her projects— including her cosmetics line and ipsy, a monthly makeup-subscription service— right back into her business.