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Meet The YouTube Millionaries, These are the highest-paid YouTube stars:
YouTube has exploded since it first launched in 2005, becoming the de facto launchpad for the next generation of internet celebrities.
It’s no secret that YouTube’s biggest stars are using sponsored videos and advertising to make a living on the platform, in addition to just making a name for themselves.
But who on YouTube is getting paid the most?
Forbes just published its look at which YouTube stars make the most money. The publication based its rankings on raw, pre-tax estimates of earnings that are derived from “data from Nielsen, IMDB, and other sources, as well as on interviews with agents, managers, lawyers, industry insiders, and the stars themselves.”
Forbes says most of the YouTube millionaires on its list get paid through ads, previews, and sponsored videos. Some of the people on its list also have their own side businesses and book deals.
Income: $12 million
Felix Arvid Ulf Kjelberg is a foul-mouthed Swedish video-game commentator who has absolutely dominated YouTube over the past year. Kjelberg’s videos show him playing various video games while a box in the top corner of the screen shows his reactions to what is happening. Many attribute his success to the attention he pays to his fans — Kjelberg spends lots of time talking about them, answering their questions in the YouTube comments section, and forming a community of “bros.”
Income: $8.5 million
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 the duo’s 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
3. The Fine BrothersIncome: $8.5 million
Brooklyn natives Benny and Rafi Fine are two online producer/writer/directors who created the extremely successful React video series. In React’s various iterations (Kids React, Teens React, Elders React, and YouTubers React), TheFineBros show viral videos to subjects and film their reactions. The duo has been sponsored by both Ford and Comedy Central. Many consider TheFineBros to be two of the first YouTube stars.
4. Lindsey Stirling
Income: $6 million
Lindsey Stirling couldn’t get signed to a big record label in 2007, so she started posting her videos to YouTube. The classically-trained violinist became known for her violin renditions of hip-hop songs. In 2010, Stirling wound up on Fox’s “America’s Got Talent,” where she was known as the hip-hop violinist. She is now often referred to as the “Skrillex of classical music.”
5. Rhett & Link
Income: $4.5 million