Long Story Short
The highest paid YouTube stars of 2016 have so much money, they don’t know what to do with it. With that said, you’ll never make as much as them in your lifetime and you’ve probably never heard of any of them, either.
The Internet Age has gifted many creative souls with income generated from such things as instagram modelling, promoting for numerous types of brands and agencies, and even becoming a YouTube sensation with umpteen amounts of subscribers.
According to Forbes, the top 10 highest grossing YouTube personalities of 2016 earned a combined US$70.5 million in the last 12 months, ending in June. This is a 23% increase from the amount these YouTube studs made in 2015.
Some YouTube channel managers are making more than doctors, sports superstars, and even the President of the United States. For example, someone who narrates and reviews video games in a unique fashion is making more than LeBron James or Sidney Crosby.
For every YouTube star out there, there is an editor somewhere working 70 hours a week and can only afford to live on Burger King until his income tax money comes in, or a social media manager that still illegally downloads because they can’t afford the Netflix account.
We feel your pain.
Here are the 10 highest earners on YouTube this year, in case you wanted to visit their pages and see what all the fuss is about:
10. Colleen Balliger — US$5 Million
You may have heard of Colleen Balliger if you’re familiar with her Internet character Miranda Sings. Her YouTube channels have reached over 2 billion views. As Miranda, she has over 5 million Instagram followers.
9. Rhett & Link — US$5 Million
These two bros were so popular that they made it to IFC with a show titled Rhett & Link: Commercial Kings. They’re known for their online viral videos and comedy songs. Let’s just say they’re an acquired taste.
8. German Garmendia — US$5.5 Million
German’s two channels rank in at number 2 and number 19 on the Most Subscribed List on YouTube. He works as a comedian, a musician, a singer and a writer. He was the first person to ever receive two Diamond Play Buttons for achieving 10 million subscribers.
7. Markiplier — US$5.5 Million
A specialist in the action and horror genre, Markiplier literally reviews video games and makes over US$5 million per year. Big in the gamer world, he sheds some light on important indie games as well.
6. Tyler Oakley — US$6 Million
Perhaps the busiest sensation on our list, Oakley is a podcast personality, a humourist and author and an activist. He started to dabble into the world of YouTube while he was a freshman at Michigan State. His 399 videos have over 535 million views.
5. Rosanna Pansino — US$6 Million
This bombshell is most famous for her cooking show called Nerdy Nummies, which is a popular baking channel on the media site. She’s got over 7 million subscribers and counting. She also averages 75 million views per month.
4. Smosh — US$7 Million
These sketch comedians were on top of the YouTube chain for a while as the most subscribed channel. Both Ian Andrew Hecox and Daniel Anthony Padilla also run their proper website. They currently boast 22 million loyal followers.
3. Lilly Singh — US$7.5 Million
Singh isn’t only a YouTube starlet; she’s a vlogger, a comedian, an actress, and a rapper, too. Her videos have received a combined view count of over 1.5 billion, with 10 million subscribers linked to IISuperwomanII.
2. Roman Atwood — US$8 Million
This mega prankster makes quite a bit of scratch tormenting people for a living. The 33-year-old Ohio native was in his own movie, Natural Born Pranksters (which he directed), and has a subscriber count of over 20 million people.
1. PewDiePie — US$15 Million
This Swedish web-based comedian has reached over 49 million subscribers, and he even surpassed Rihanna’s Vevo account, making him the most viewed channel of all time on both platforms. YouTube has recently contacted him over deleting his account.