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2 / 10

No. 8 (tie): Ryan ToysReview ($11 million)

Reviews online can sometimes be tedious to read through and lack the added personality that you may find on YouTube, as seen with this 7-year-old. The channel is run by Ryan’s family so although he is the star, there’s some serious work by the rest of the crew behind the scenes. He’s the envy of all the kids and entertaining for those wanting to see what the latest and greatest goods are in toy land — from Playdoh to Tonka trucks, he’s on it. Ryan’s channel has only been around for a couple of years and he’s already amassed over 10 million subscribers.
(Ryan ToysReview / @YouTube)

These were the highest-paid YouTube stars in 2017

YouTube creators are continuing to rake in money just like celebrities, and followers aren’t shying away from subscribing. Forbes released its yearly breakdown of the digital platform’s highest earning stars, with the majority of the 2017 personalities having content focused on comedy and video games. In fact, nearly half of the roster dedicates the majority of their clips to playing, reviewing and chatting about video games. On the list you’ll find creators as young as seven years old garnering popularity worldwide. You’ll also find two Canadians on the roster, both from the Toronto area.

While much of the success of these creators lies with their fanbases, there are also a ton of sponsors that actually give creators a pay day. But, as noted on the list, controversial posts can lead to sponsors pulling their funds and causing stars’ revenues to drop. Still, many YouTube channels are making well into six figures and these influencers are going on to sell out live shows, start clothing lines and release books, too.

Together, each of these high paid YouTube stars pulled in $127 million between June 1, 2016 and June 1, 2017. The metrics used to assess stars was based on data taken from Social Blade, Captiv8 and YouTube as well as one-on-one interviews with industry reps in publicity, talent management and entertainment. The majority of the stars have been running their YouTube channel for well over five years and post new videos on a weekly (sometimes daily) schedule.

As Lilly Singh notes, “I’ve had a lot of jobs in my life, but creating content on YouTube or being a creator in general feels like three full-time jobs…and there’s no boss giving you direction or telling yo what to do; it’s a complete entrepreneurship business where you drive yourself and you have to channel how successful you want to be and work relentlessly at it.”

Here are the top ten YouTube stars doing just that.