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The richest YouTube stars make millions.


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Harrison Jacobs explains:

YouTube videos can be big business for top independent content creators. These are the YouTube stars who have huge online fanbases — even though most people have never heard of them.

We picked out 20 of the biggest stars, who could each be earning more than $1 million a year in ad revenue — in some cases much more.

A range of earnings estimates for each channel was provided by YouTube analytics company SocialBlade. Its estimates are placed within upper and lower limits, based on their daily views multiplied by a low cost-per-thousand impression advertising (CPM) rate of $0.60 and a high rate of $5. The range is wide to account for differences in the type of ad (including kinds of banner ads and pre-roll) and brand value. These estimates also assume that every video is monetized, which is not always the case.

Even after subtracting Google's 45% cut, these YouTube stars have got it made.

A few notes:

1. Most of the top 20 are videogame and toy commentators. They are essentially commercials.

2. Toby Turner (video above) is now in the top 10. Most of the top 20 are young white guys.

Including my favorites below.

1. PewDiePie

1. PewDiePie

$825,000-$8.47 million estimated yearly income after YouTube's 45% cut.

23.9 million total subscribers.

3.69 billion total views.

Felix Arvid Ulf Kjelberg is a foul-mouthed Swedish video-game commentator who has absolutely dominated YouTube over the last year. His videos feature Kjelberg playing various video games, while a box in the top corner of the screen shows his reactions to what is happening. Kjelberg has broken numerous YouTube growth records, jumping from 12M subscribers in August 2013 to over 20M in January 2014. Many attribute his success to the attention he pays to his fans. Kjelberg spends lots of time talking about his fans, answering their questions in the YouTube comments section, and forming a community of "bros." 

3. DisneyCollectorBR

$505,000-$5.06 million estimated yearly income after YouTube's 45% cut.

1.05 million total subscribers.

1.51 billion total views.

DisneyCollectorBR is the YouTube channel of an unnamed Brazilian woman who posts videos of her opening, assembling, and playing with Disney toys, all while providing commentary in a soothing voice. It's a favorite of many children, whose parents find that they can put the videos on to calm and entertain their kids.  

2. BluCollection

$660,000- $6.38 million estimated yearly income after YouTube's 45% cut.

628,000 total subscribers.

1.38 billion total views.

Like DisneyCollectorBR, BluCollection is a YouTube channel dedicated to opening, assembling and playing with a variety of toys. The unnamed YouTuber gives reviews of car toys, Disney toys and Play-Doh.

4. Smosh

4. Smosh

$448,000-$4.50 million estimated yearly income after YouTube's 45% cut.

27.71 million total subscribers.

4.6 billion total views.

Smosh is a comedy duo consisting of YouTube veterans Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla. Smosh was one of the first YouTube sensations, becoming well-known for their slapstick comedy videos that parody video games and pop culture. The duo has shown no signs of slowing down, opening up multiple channels and an app for their content. Currently, they have eight YouTube channels producing content, all with significant views and subscribers, including SmoshIanHWatchUsLiveAndStuffElSmoshSmoshGames and Anthony Padilla. They have also been in talks to begin airing their comedy content on television.

10. TobyGames/TobyTurner/Tobuscus

10. TobyGames/TobyTurner/Tobuscus

$226,000-$2.18 million estimated yearly income across all three channels after YouTube's 45% cut.

13.96 million total subscribers.

2.87 billion total views.

Toby Turner is one of the most popular Internet comedians, having amassed a whopping 13.96 million subscribers across his three YouTube channels. He first joined in 2006, when he produced a popular parody of the Adam Sandler movie "Click." He has since created the popular series CuteWinFail, the YouTube equivalent of America's Funniest Home Videos, and Literal Trailers. He has begun to make the transition into traditional media, scoring roles in independent films and major advertising campaigns. Last July, Turner was signed away from gaming video giant Machinima to Maker Studios. 

20. EvanTubeHD

20. EvanTubeHD

$134,000-$1.32 million estimated yearly income after YouTube's 45% cut.

476,000 total subscribers.

443 million total views .

Evan is the 7-year-old face of EvanTubeHD, a family-friendly YouTube channel where Evan (and occasionally his sister or mom) reviews toys and video games. What started as a father-son bonding project — Evan and his dad would make Angry Birds stop-motion videos for fun — has snowballed into near-celebrity status for Evan. According to a Newsweek interview with Jared, Evan's father, all of the proceeds from the channel, for which they currently have a dedicated ad-sales team, goes into investment and savings accounts for their children.

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