The world's top-earning YouTube star is an 8-year-old boy who made $22 million in a single year reviewing toys

Ryan ToysReview

  • The 8-year-old Ryan Kaji of YouTube’s Ryan ToysReview generated $22 million in revenue in a single year from his YouTube fame, according to Forbes in its most recent report on YouTuber earnings.
  • The internet star is profiting in a big way off his digital brand and has a massive following of 22 million subscribers on YouTube.
  • With the help of kids-entertainment company Pocket.Watch, Ryan’s brand is a multimillion-dollar franchise, with his face on the shelves of Walmart, on toothbrushes, and on TV.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The highest-earning YouTube star in the world is an 8-year-old kid who makes millions reviewing toys online. 

Ryan Kaji, of YouTube’s Ryan ToysReview, generated $22 million in revenue in a single year from his YouTube fame, according to Forbes in its latest report on YouTuber earnings.

A family-run YouTube channel, Ryan ToysReview generated about $22 million in pretax income from June 1, 2017, through June 1, 2018, according to Forbes, up from $11 million the year prior. The raw estimate of $22 million put Ryan ToysReview just ahead of controversial star Jake Paul (who banked $21.5 million that year).

Ryan ToysReview started from occasional five-minute toy-unboxing videos posted to YouTube, with Ryan as the host in 2015. 

As the channel began to grow in views and subscribers, Michael Bienstock, chief executive of the influencer-focused wealth-management company Semaphore, reached out to Ryan ToysReview, and had a conversation with Ryan’s dad about how complicated things would get financially if the channel continued to grow at this pace, Bienstock told Business Insider in a previous interview. 

Bienstock helped the Kaji family turn what Ryan’s parents were doing at home into something bigger. 

Today, Ryan ToysReview is more than a YouTube channel.

From toothbrushes to a television show, the Ryan ToysReview brand, Ryan’s World, is a lucrative empire, built with the help of kids-entertainment company Pocket.Watch. 

The company brought the Ryan’s World brand to Colgate, Nickelodeon, Bonkers Toys, Roku, and Walmart, expanding Ryan from YouTube. 

Bonkers Toys_Ryan's World Giant Mystery Egg

Ryan’s World merchandise can be found at Target, Walmart, and Amazon, like “Ryan’s World Giant Mystery Egg,” which includes many toys and was produced by Bonkers.

For more on the business of Ryan ToysReview, read these interviews on Business Insider Prime:

  • Meet the company that turned YouTube’s Ryan ToysReview into a business empire making tens of millions per year: Kerry Tucker, the chief marketing officer at Pocket.Watch, spoke with Business Insider about how the kids-entertainment company takes YouTube stars like Ryan ToysReview and turns their online brands into lucrative empires. 
  • Inside the toy business of YouTube star Ryan ToysReview, the 8-year-old boy who makes $22 million per year: We spoke with Deborah Stallings Stumm, the senior vice president of sales and marketing at the toy-manufacturing company Bonkers Toys, on what makes a successful partnership between a toy company and an influencer. 
  • The financial adviser to the world’s top-earning YouTube star shares the tips he gives clients to kick-start their businesses: Michael Bienstock, Semaphore’s chief executive, talked about assisting clients like Ryan of Ryan ToysReview (and his parents), in growing their careers.

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