- Forbes recently released its list of the highest-paid YouTube stars of 2018, based on data and interviews with industry insiders.
- The list is exclusively male, and half of the top-earning YouTubers share a focus on video games.
- Collectively, the 10 top-earning YouTubers take home more than $180 million a year.
YouTube’s impact on pop culture can’t be ignored — the platform’s top stars become the world’s premier influencers, coveted by media outlets and advertisers for their ability to reach tens of millions of followers on a daily basis.
As influencers become more valuable, many popular YouTubers have been able to turn their personal brands into million-dollar businesses. While the formula for YouTube success varies between channels, the most successful YouTubers have been able to find new sources of income beyond the ad revenue on their videos. For some, that means personal clothing lines and TV appearances, while others have capitalized on their success with sold-out live tours and custom toy brands.
Forbes recently released its list of the highest-paid YouTubers, based on their earnings from June 1, 2017, to June 1, 2018.
Here’s how they rank:
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10. Logan Paul — $14.5 million
Vlogger Logan Paul was YouTube’s fourth-highest earner last year. But his personal brand took a tumble after he uploaded a video of a dead body he found in Japan’s Aokigahara forest, a location that is notorious for suicides.
As a result, YouTube removed Paul from the Google Preferred program, impacting his ad revenue. However, his channel continued to rack up subscribers, and he continues to earn income from his personal merchandise and celebrity appearances. Despite the scandal in Japan, Paul was able to increase his earnings by $2 million in the course of a year.
One of Paul’s most watched stunts this year was a pay-per-view boxing match against British YouTuber KSI held in London. The fight ended in a draw, and the internet stars are planning a rematch for next year.
9. PewDiePie — $15.5 million
In past years, Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg was, without question, the world’s most successful YouTuber.
But recent scandals accusing the video-game commenter of racism and anti-Semitism have led to a slight decline in his sponsorships. Still, like Logan Paul, PewDiePie managed to increase his overall earnings by about $3.5 million between June 2017 and June 2018.
PewDiePie still has the most subscribers of any single account on YouTube with more than 92 million, but the Bollywood-focused YouTube channel T-Series briefly dethroned him in late March.
8. Jacksepticeye — $16 million
Irish video-game streamer Sean “Jacksepticeye” McLoughlin was one of the first YouTubers to be a part of PewDiePie’s Disney-sponsored Revelmode network, earning him a giant following.
While Disney eventually dumped Revelmode, McLoughlin was eventually signed to create original programming for Disney XD, a TV channel marketed toward children and teens. McLoughlin also serves as a host and stage personality for a number of live events and tours in Europe and North America.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider