YouTube is arguably the most appealing platform for making money. There are Youtubers out there earning tens of millions of dollars by uploading videos without leaving their house. So how much money do Youtubers make?
Lots of these YouTube stars are getting paid to do stuff they enjoy, like playing video games or telling jokes. Or even unboxing kids toys.
I can’t promise that you’ll become the next multi-million dollar Youtuber. But there is still plenty of money to be made on this platform.
How much money exactly? I’ll explain below.
Ryan Kaji: $29.5 million
The highest-paid Youtuber is just 9 years old. His channel, Ryan’s World (formally Ryan ToysReview), has more than 24 million subscribers. The account is managed by his parents (to meet the YPP guidelines, of course).
Ryan started reviewing toys on YouTube at the age of 3. The videos were pretty straightforward, showing Ryan unboxing and playing with toys.
After his channel took off, the content expanded. Today, Ryan also conducts science experiments on YouTube. He has his own line of clothes and toys as well.
His YouTube fame landed him a deal with a TV series on Nickelodeon, called Ryan’s Mystery Playdate.
Mr. Beast (Jimmy Donaldson): $24 Million
Jimmy Donaldson, AKA Mr. Beast, boasts over 55 million subscribers. He is known for over the top stunts and large cash giveaways.
Mr. Beast first went viral in 2017 after posting a video where he counted to 100,000. Since then, more and more of his stunts have featured giving stangers thousands of dollars, and in 2018 he was named “Youtube’s Biggest Philanthropist”.
And Mr. Beast isn’t slowing down anytime soon. In December of 2020 he opened a burger restaurant that pays people to dine there. It’s no wonder he’s the second highest paid YouTuber on the platform.
Dude Perfect: $23 million
The Dude Perfect YouTube channel has nearly 60 million subscribers. The channel was created by five friends back in 2009, Tyler Toney, Coby Cotton, Cody Jones, and Garrett Hilbert.
Their video content consists of sports and comedy. Some of the most popular videos include the group doing trick shots, battling each other with bubble wrap, and breaking Guinness World Records.
For example, they hold the record for the world’s longest basketball shot. The shot came from the third deck of the Texas A&M Aggies football stadium.
Dude Perfect has more than 10 billion views on YouTube.
Rhett and Link: $20 million
Good Mythical Morning is a daily YouTube show hosted by Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal. The duo is often referred to as just Rhett and Link.
More than 16 million people subscribe to Rhett and Link’s channel. They have more than 6 billion views since the channel first launched back in 2008.
Rhett and Link essentially have a YouTube talk show. The two friends sit at a desk and do strange things with a comedic twist. They eat different foods on camera, try new products, conduct hilarious experiments, and play original games with celebrity guests.
Some of their most popular videos showcase the team eating a scorpion, eating the world’s hottest pepper, and deep-frying strange objects, like grass and toothpaste.
Mark Fischbach: $19.5 million
Mark Fischbach, better known as Markiplier, is another YouTube gaming sensation. Mark has over 25 million subscribers and roughly 12.6 billion views since his channel launched in 2012.
Unlike some of the other gaming channels we’ve seen, Mark does more than just play video games on YouTube. He uploads animated parody videos, comedy sketches, and other humorous forms of entertainment.
Some of the most popular videos on this channel include Mark’s “try not to laugh challenges.” He watches a series of random funny videos and films his reactions while he tries to hold back laughter.
Fischbach used his YouTube fame to co-found a clothing line called Cloak, marketed towards gamers.
Preston Arsement: $19 million
Preston Arsement is a 26-year-old Youtuber that runs a channel called PrestonPlayz.
Compared to other Youtubers on our list, Preston’s channel is relatively new. He joined YouTube in March 2018. But in just two years, Preston gained over 4.5 million subscribers and is quickly approaching 900 million video views.
Preston’s content shows him playing video games. He provides commentary on his own videos while showing his face in the corner of the screen. Preston was initially known for playing Call of Duty, but all of his most popular videos today revolve around playing Minecraft.
Preston regularly pranks his friends and tries humorous stunts while gaming.
Anastasia Radzinskaya: $18.5 million
Anastasia is a six-year-old Russian-American. Her parents run multiple YouTube channels with content made for children.
Anastasia (also known as Nastya and Stacy) has more than 117 million subscribers and 48+ billion views across all of her channels.
The content is centered on Anastasia learning new things, going to the park, playing with her cat, friends, and father.
Anastasia’s YouTube fame has earned her partnerships with brands like Legoland and Dannon.
Blippi (Stevin John): $17 Million
Stevin John, AKA Blippi, runs a YouTube account for kids. His videos are educational and entertaining, and he’s the highest paid kids content creator who is not actually a kid.
John had the idea to start a kids youtube channel after seeing his two year old nephew watching YouTube videos that were low quality. He published his first Blippi video in 2014. Since then, he now runs multiple channels as Blippi, including the Blippi Toys channel which brings in 7 million dollars a year on its own.
He still wears the hat his mom sewed for him as part of his original Blippi costume in every video.
David Dobrik: $15.5 Million
David Dobrik is a 24 year old YouTuber who specializes in humor and entertainment videos. He has over 18 million subscribers, and recieved over 2 billion views in 2020.
Like Mr. Beast, Dobrik is known for dramatic students, including marrying his best friend’s mom as a practical joke.
He recently has been branching out into TikTok, and has amassed over 20 million followers.
Jeffree Star: $15 million
Jeffree Star originally came into the spotlight back in the MySpace days to promote his music. He’s a singer, songwriter, and DJ.
Jeffree ultimately leveraged his stardom to create YouTube content about makeup, cosmetics, and fashion. He has 17.5 million subscribers and over 2 billion video views.
Some of his most popular content includes makeup reviews, makeup tutorials, and travel video blogs.
Jeffree is also an internet personality that uploads entertaining content related to his everyday life. For example, he has videos about cleaning up his messy house and staying at a Taco Bell hotel.
How Youtubers Make Money
So how do these people actually make money on YouTube? This is the first question that most people have.
There are five main ways to get paid directly from the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). I’ll give you a brief overview of each.
- Ad Revenue — This is the most straightforward way to make money on YouTube. Get paid for allowing Google to display ads on your content. Advertising formats include display ads, overlay ads, non-skippable video ads, bumper ads, and sponsored cards.
- Channel Memberships — Charge a monthly fee to your subscribers. Paid channel subscribers will get access to perks like emojis, badges, and other offerings in exchange for their monthly payment. Great way to earn recurring revenue.
- Merchandise Shelf — Allows you to showcase branded merchandise on your video content. Made for Youtubers who are already selling products on a third-party ecommerce platform. Use YouTube to drive online sales.
- Super Chat & Super Stickers — Your fans can pay for Super Chat and Super Stickers when you’re broadcasting a live video. These features make their name and messages stand out in the chat feed during a broadcast. Depending on how much they spend, their comments can be pinned to the top of the feed.
- YouTube Premium — YouTube offers a monthly subscription to users who want an ad-free experience, offline viewing, and YouTube Music. Creators can get a share of this revenue based on how much their content is viewed by YouTube Premium members.
You can also leverage your YouTube channel to make money outside of the platform. Affiliate programs, influencer marketing, and licensing your content are three examples of this. All of these are managed and facilitated away from YouTube through third-parties.
Requirements for Making Money on YouTube
Before you can enable monetization features on YouTube and start earning millions, you must meet certain eligibility requirements. The first thing you need to do is apply to the YouTube Partner Program (YPP).
Minimum requirements to be considered for the YPP include:
- 1,000+ subscribers
- 4,000+ public watch hours in the past 12 months
- A valid and linked Google AdSense account (this is how you get paid)
- You must live in a region or country where YPP is available
- Follow all YouTube monetization guidelines and policies
Once you get accepted to the partner program, you won’t immediately have access to each monetization feature. Each one has its own unique requirements:
- Must be 18+
- Minimum 30,000 channel subscribers
- Must be 18+
- Minimum 10,000 channel subscribers
Super Chat & Super Stickers
- Must be 18+
- Must be living in a country or region where Super Chat is available
- Must create content that’s being watched by YouTube Premium subscribers
If you’re getting paid for sponsored content (separate from the YouTube Partner Program), you still need to disclose your brand relationships to YouTube when you upload content. Failure to do so could result in your accounting being suspended.
Frequently Asked Questions
The average YouTuber with 1 million subscribers typically makes roughly $60,000 a year. If you’re considering becoming a YouTuber as an easy way to earn some cash, first you should check out these options first.
The highest-paid Youtuber is just 8 years old. His channel, Ryan’s World (formally Ryan ToysReview), has more than 24 million subscribers.
It varies widely depending on the YouTuber. Typically, 1 million views on YouTube will get you between $2000 and $40,000.
The average YouTuber with a million subscribers makes about $5000 a month.
Do you know your earning potential?
Take my earning potential quiz and get a custom report based on your unique strengths, and discover how to start making extra money — in as little as an hour.