Seven-year-old Ryan tops list of biggest YouTube earners, making $29.8m from toy reviews
Ryan is still in primary school, but makes millions by playing in his backyard. (YouTube: Ryan ToysReview )
A few things stand out when you look at this year’s top YouTube earners.
- The list is dominated by young men
- Gamers still reign supreme
- The number-one earner is just seven years old
Yep. Meet Ryan, the primary school kid who, according to Forbes, made $29.8 million reviewing children’s toys on YouTube this year.
His channel, Ryan ToysReview, has just 17.3 million subscribers — a drop in the ocean compared to some of the other top earners — but since launching in March 2015, it’s racked up more than 25 billion views.
What’s the secret to his success?
When you watch Ryan’s videos, they’re relatively simple.
They show him playing with and reacting to all sorts of toys, from Play-Doh to jumping castles, often accompanied by his parents.
But many also show him “unboxing” new toys, a fad that has proven especially lucrative for other YouTubers as well.
“I wonder what’s inside,” he exclaims, as he runs around playing with Disney Cars toys in his latest review.
But Ryan doesn’t just review toys, his YouTube career has also led to his own line of merchandise being sold in Walmart, including tubs of slime, figurines and stuffed animals.
The deal was negotiated by the children’s media company, pocket.watch, which has secured licensing deals for a number of young YouTube stars.
Who were the other top earners of 2018?
Here’s the rest of the list from Forbes:
2. Jake Paul
Jake Paul, a 21-year-old YouTuber from Los Angeles, earned $29.2 million this year making prank videos, raps and vlogs about his misadventures.
His older brother, Logan, also makes this list (but a bit further down).
3. Dude Perfect
Five best friends make up the team behind Dude Perfect, a YouTube channel dedicated to making impressive (and downright impossible) trick shot videos.
This year they made a slick $27.1 million.
DanTDM, a professional gamer from the UK, made $25.1 million this year reviewing video games.
The business model is simple: he plays games and reacts to their various features and challenges. But he’s also known for featuring his pet pugs.
5. Jeffree Star
Jeffree Star is a make-up artist and singer who reviews different brands of cosmetics and creates tutorials for how to achieve certain looks.
He earned a stunning $24.4 million this year.
YouTuber Markiplier does a bit of everything: game reviews, comedy sketches, animations and vlogs.
He made $23.7 million in 2018 and also has his own clothing line with another gamer in this list, Jacksepticeye.
7. Vanoss Gaming
Vanoss Gaming launched in September 2011, and has racked up more than 10 billion views. (YouTube: Vanoss Gaming)
Evan Fong is the internet personality behind Vanoss Gaming, which made $23 million this year.
Like other gaming channels, he records himself playing video games and makes witty comments about the gameplay.
Irish gamer Jacksepticeye is known for his *ahem* colourful language as he plays and reviews video games.
But that didn’t stop him raking in $21.7 million.
Swedish YouTuber PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, was named as one of the world’s most influential people by Time magazine in 2016.
He’s best known for his wacky video game content, but attracted some controversy last year when a few of his videos were deemed anti-Semitic.
He still continues to bring in the big bucks though, making a cool $21 million this year.
10. Logan Paul
Logan Paul makes prank videos like his younger brother Jake, and made $19.6 million in 2018.
But like PewDiePie, his YouTube career has not been without controversy.
His apology video remains one of his most popular, attracting more than 53 million views.