YouTube’s highest paid stars have been revealed, topped the list is the 23-year-old creator, who earned £ 39 million in 2021.
The platform is increasingly lucrative for content creators, with the highest paid stars earning a total of £ 219 million last year, up 40% from the year before.
Forbe’s list of the rich on YouTube found that MrBeast – real name Jimmy Donaldson – achieved the highest salary in 2021. That’s almost twice as much as last year’s number one, 10-year-old Ryan Kaji, achieved in 2020.
Last year, MrBeast spent 50 hours alive buried, offering £ 7,300 to anyone willing to sit in a snake tub, and hosting his own version of Squid Games, including making replica show kits with a cash prize of £ 333,000.
YouTuber has also expanded to include MrBeast Burger, an app and menu that allows fans to order branded dishes from 1,600 restaurants across the U.S. – and has sold more than five million sandwiches to date.
Brothers Jake and Logan Paul returned to the list this year, taking second place first.
The highest paid youtubers in 2021
1. MrBeast – £ 39.5 million
2. Jake Paul – £ 33 million
3. Markiplier – £ 28 million
4. Rhett & Link – £ 22 million
5. Unspeakable – £ 20.8 million
6. Like Nastya – £ 20.4 million
7. Ryan Kaji (Ryan World) – £ 19.7 million
8. Dude Perfect – £ 14.6 million
9. Logan Paul – £ 13 million
10. Preston – £ 11.7 million
The couple were some of YouTube’s biggest names until Logan posted a video in December 2017, shot in a Japanese forest, notorious as a suicide site. The resulting reaction affected both of their channels – sponsors severed ties, and YouTube demonetized their content.
The couple can now make money again with ads on YouTube, but Jake – who posts less often than he used to – now uses the site mostly as a way to market his boxing career.
Two children made the top ten and seven-year-old Natasha earned £ 20.4 million. Nastya, who immigrated with her parents from Russia, struck a deal with Spotter, which sold the rights to its old YouTube videos while retaining the rights to any new content it posts.
Her best-selling hits from 2021 included videos about decorating Halloween cupcakes and about spending time with her best friends.
Ryan Kaji, who started on the platform at age four and reviewed and played with toys, fell from number one to number seven and earned £ 19.7 million.
Among those helping run his business is former Disney CEO Chris Williams. The youth maintains 31 million subscribers and a line of brands and toys.
The list was compiled on the basis of estimates that measured earnings from 1 January to 31 December 2021 and the figures are pre-tax – fees for agents, managers and lawyers were not deducted. Estimates were based on data from Captiv8, SocialBlade, Pollstar and interviews with internal industry representatives.