The biggest earner on YouTube in the last fiscal year is Ryan, a kindergartener who unboxes toys with his parents for millions
Forbes has released its list of top YouTube earners from June 2017 to June 2018, and at the top of the list is someone who can barely read: seven-year-old Ryan of the channel Ryan ToysReview. The tyke, along with the help of his parents, raked in an estimated $22 million from his toy unboxing channel, pre-taxes, after making $11 million last year.
Ryan used to be such a fan of toy review videos that when he was four, he asked his parents if he could make one himself. They acquiesced, only to watch their son’s channel grow into an empire that now has 17 million subscribers and literally billions of hits. And it all started with a viral video in which he plays with a lot of toy cars. It’s been watched 934,621,669 times.
That’s right: while you’ve been carefully budgeting your sensible salary, Ryan is pulling in eight figures a year by playing with toys in front of his parents’ smartphones.
That’s right: while you’re doling out a two-dollar allowance to your kindergartener for picking up their room and remembering to flush the toilet, Ryan has bought his parents an enormous new house (which you can see in the background of his hundreds of videos).
That’s right: this kid probably doesn’t really understand the concept of money, and how you exchange it for goods, but he has a mountain of it.
The good news is that Ryan is awfully cute, and his parents are super-likable, too (they all keep their last names a secret, for privacy reasons). It’s probably why millions upon millions of people can’t get enough as he plays with all of the newest toys and runs around having fun.
“I’m entertaining and I’m funny,” Ryan said in an NBC interview — proving he totally gets his own brand.
He’s such a huge influencer now that he has multiple advertising deals, including one with Walmart that launched last year. That deal includes a “Ryan’s World” toy line that sells the stuff he loves playing with so much, from mystery eggs to squishy toys to race cars. His brand also appears on t-shirts and toys, so that you don’t need a screen to see his joyful face.
Still, though, while some of his money comes from business deals stemming from his fame, most of his income is simply from YouTube ads that play before his cute videos start.
Who else is on the list of top YouTube earners this year? Content creators who cater to younger generations, and videos that focus on toys, games, and video games are at the top of the list. That includes brothers Logan Paul and Jake Paul, make-up artist Jeffrey Star, and gamers Evan Fong, Seán McLoughlin, and Markiplier.
While they’re filling the web with original content and striking advertising and merchandise deals across the world, none of them can touch the popularity (or income) of one very happy little boy who plays with toys.