Meet the YouTube Millionaires
Turns out, you didn’t need that Harvard education after all! According to Social Blade*, a site that tracks YouTube statistics, a laptop and regular trips to FAO Schwarz may be a wiser career investment than an Ivy League education — and the potential mountains of student loan debt that come with it. Why? Because, according to recent data from that site, it is now possible to earn a multi-million-dollar annual salary by unwrapping toys on the internet. (Whether it’s likely that you’ll hit the big time, of course, is another story.)
(Photo Credit: Kevin Dooley/Flickr)
The manager of DisneyCollectorBR (which also goes by “ToyChannel DCtoys Collector”), for example — SB‘s highest-rated YouTube channel — boasts 3,728,348 subscribers and earns as much as $21.9 million a year. Though People cites actual annual earnings as $4.9 million and Social Blade lists them as low as $1.4 million, the numbers are surprising even according to modest estimates, as is the content of the videos themselves.
The videos on this particular YouTube influencer’s channel revolve around a simple premise: unwrapping and disassembling Disney toys, presumably to show consumers exactly what they’ll be getting when they scoop up a new Frozen Fashems Squishy Fashion Elsa Toy. DisneyCollectorBR’s tutorial on said toy received more than one million views within the first week it was posted, and had reached nearly two million views at the time of this posting.
And toy unwrapping isn’t the only lucrative YouTube moneymaker. Other themes explored on the top 15 most relevant and financially lucrative channels include: animated nursery rhymes, chocolate egg-opening demonstrations, Minecraft commentary (a game “about placing and breaking blocks”), a very enthusiastic Spanish-speaking video game commentator, and a grown man who plays with Play-Doh, among others. Who knew that acting like a kid could be so lucrative? See below for the list of winners:
Top 15 YouTube Earners and their estimated annual earnings ranges*
1. DisneyCollectorBR: $1.5 – $23.4 million (videos about children’s toys)
2. PewDiePie: $1.2 – 18.9 million (comedy videos that are often about video games)
3. LittleBabyBum: $845,500 – $13.5 million (animated nursery rhymes)
4. Stampylonghead: $698,100 to $11.2 million (“Minecraft” / video games)
5. Popularmmos: $750,900 – $12 million (“Minecraft” commentary)
6. Blucollection: $720,700 – $11.5 million (man who plays with toys for toddlers such as Play-Doh)
8. MarkiPlierGame: $588,400 – $9.4 million (video game commentary).
9. TheDiamondMinecart: $603,000 – $9.6 million (“Minecraft” videos)
10. Jacksepticeye: $568,300 – $9.1 million (high-energy video game commentator)
11. MaterCarClub: $527,100 – $8.4 million (grownups playing with toys)
12. Vanossgaming: $517,800 – $8.3 million (video game / comedy videos.
13. TheEducVideos: $565,200 – $9 million (kids playing with toys)
14. Itsbabybigmouth: $567,200 – $9.1 million (chocolate eggs with toys)
15. Vegetta777: $505,600 – $8.1 million (Spanish video game commentary)
* SB bases its rankings for a channel’s “relevance” on a combination of factors, including recent activity, and quantity of subscribers video comments. Earning estimates are based on CPMs (average cost per one thousand ad views), and don’t factor in Google’s commission. The site also excludes certain obvious popular channels and users belonging to mainstream musicians and other celebrities from its analytics.
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Liz Suman is a freelance journalist and copywriter based in Los Angeles. Over the last ten years, Liz has written for a number of print and online publications including Vanity Fair, TIME Inc., The Discovery Channel, The Baltimore Brew, Seattle Business Magazine, About.com, Playboy.com, and The Daily Beast, where she covered film and television premieres as an entertainment reporter. In addition to editorial work, Liz provides professional copywriting and marketing services for individual companies and clients from a variety of industries including art, film, beauty, real estate, and business.