US toy reviewer Ryan beats UK’s Daniel Middleton to the top spot for highest earnings
A seven-year-old American boy who reviews toys has topped a list of the highest-earning YouTube stars after making £17.3m in a year.
Ryan, from Ryan ToysReview, made the sum for his online reviews between June 2017 and June 2018. Since launching his main channel in 2015, Ryan has amassed more than 17 million followers and close to 26bn views.
The online sensation Jake Paul was second on Forbes’ list, with £16.8m. His raps and jokes were viewed more than 3.5bn times over the 12-month period.
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The sports entertainment group Dude Perfect made £15.7m and Daniel Middleton, who specialises in the popular Minecraft game, was fourth with £14.5m. The British gamer has been playing the building game on camera for several years and also has a line of merchandise.
The top five was rounded out by the makeup artist Jeffree Star, who made £14.1m.
Forbes measured pre-tax earnings from 1 June 2017 to 1 June 2018, without fees for agents, managers and lawyers being deducted.
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According to the magazine, the vast majority of the money made through Ryan’s channel came from adverts that run before his videos start. It said such ads accounted for about 96% of the revenue – or about £16.5m. It said the remaining money came from sponsored posts.
Its analysis suggested that Ryan’s channel was more focused on the so-called pre-roll ads, which are more valuable the more viewers a channel has, than those of other YouTube stars. While his larger audience accounted for his higher earnings, it also means his channel’s revenue could be more susceptible to fluctuations in interest levels.
The channel was set up by Ryan’s parents and the videos usually focus on the child opening and playing with a new toy – serving as a review for his audience, which Forbes said was mainly made up of children about his age.
Asked why they were so successful by NBC News recently, Ryan said: “Because I’m entertaining and I’m funny.”
According to Forbes, due to his young age, 15% of Ryan’s earnings are placed in a special account, in which they are protected until he becomes an adult.
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