YouTube’s top earners are revealed. Forbes‘ annual ranking of YouTube’s highest-paid creators places Jimmy Donaldson, also known as “Mr. Beast,” at the top, having earned an estimated $54 million from his videos throughout the year.
After Ryan Kaji, the now 10-year-old YouTube toy unboxing phenomenon had led the Forbes top earner list for the past three years running, Donatella takes over as number one.
YouTube’s top earners in 2021
The top YouTuber income in total saw a substantial increase in 2021, according to Forbes:
“Altogether, the YouTubers collectively earned about $300 million in 2021 – another record amount – up 40% from a year earlier, mostly propelled higher by increasing views on their YouTube channels and the ad revenue they generate from those videos. Around half their earnings come from that ad revenue. To pad their pay further, all these stars have branded merchandise lines. And they variously dabble in generating additional revenue from Twitch, Snap, Facebook, podcasts, NFTs – even hamburgers.”
These figures are not definitive earnings, according to Forbes. They’re based on a variety of sources, including data from Captiv8, SocialBlade, and Pollstar, as well as interviews with industry insiders.
So the statistics aren’t definitive since we can’t know how much each creator has earned. Based on these combined research resources, however, the top 10 YouTube earner list for the previous year is as follows:
1. MrBeast – $54 million
2. Jake Paul – $45 million
3. Markiplier – $38 million
4. Rhett & Link – $30 million
5. Unspeakable – $28.5 million
6. Like Nastya – $28 million
7. Ryan Kaji (Ryan’s World) – $27 million
8. Dude Perfect – $20 million
9. Logan Paul – $18 million
10. Preston – $16 million
You can see Forbes’ entire top ten YouTube earners of 2021 here.