The World’s Highest-Paid YouTuber Made $29 Million In 2019 And Their Identity May Surprise You
YouTube is an incredible place where you can find videos on just about any kind of topic, told by every type of person on earth. You have the expert makeup artists, the wannabe influencers, aspiring singers, little kids filming random stuff. All of them may not care to be the next Internet superstar, but they indeed seek viewership and subscribers. But what we love about this story is that the most popular YouTuber isn’t a high-profile makeup influencer or model but a little kid who makes learning a joy.
In 2019, the highest-earning YouTuber is 8-year-old Ryan Kaji, who made a whopping $29 million. Oh, and it’s the second consecutive year he has come in at No. 1.
Ryan first got on YouTube at just 3-years-old, of course with the help of his parents, and back then, his channel was all about testing out toys. Now he’s moved on to more educational videos, which we think is terrific. He informs his millions of subscribers how to brush their teeth, how to recycle, and why it’s essential, and other cool things like conducting experiments.
His channel is called Ryan’s world and has more than 23 million subscribers.
The revenue typically comes from sponsors of his channel, which include companies such as Walmart, Hasbro, Netflix, Chuck E. Cheese, and Nickelodeon, the New York Times reports. Aside from his sponsors, Kaji also makes his millions by having shows on Nickelodeon and Hulu. He also has a toy line and clothing collection, CNBC reports.
The rest of the top five YouTubers includes the cast of Dude Perfect, who made $20 million, a 5-year-old Russian-born girl named Anastasia Radzinskaya made $18 million with her videos of her and her dad playing with toys. Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal, host Good Mythical Morning (not kids), made $17.5 million, and makeup expert Jeffree Star made $17 million. We wonder how these adults feel about coming in fourth and fifth place after a couple of kids. But hey, millions are still millions.
The most popular video on Ryan’s World channel features Ryan playing with huge eggs. It has more than 1.9 billion views.
The video focuses on Ryan, who was much younger, playing with huge eggs inside a giant inflatable water slide. The whole thing was a challenge of sorts in which viewers watched how many eggs he could get. Each egg also had a toy. Sounds fascinating, right? I’m sure it is for younger children.
In another video, No. 2 for the most popular clip, which has more than a billion views, has Ryan opening a giant Disney Pixar Lightning McQueen Easter egg surprise filled with cars and planes toys for kids. Kids must really love giant eggs.
But of course, with that kind of revenue comes scrutiny and Ryan’s World channel has come under fire from a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
In September, someone filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and accused Ryan’s World of not being transparent with their toy reviews. The complaint, in essence, accuses Ryan’s World of not informing its viewers, which are typically children, of disclosing which products were sponsored by a company and which toys were being reviewed organically by Ryan, meaning without payment.
The New York Times reports that at least 90 percent of the Ryan ToysReview video, which was what his channel was previously called, “included at least one paid product recommendation.”
“A 5-year-old isn’t going to understand that Ryan’s talking about the toys because Target is paying him to talk about the toys,” Josh Golin, the executive director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, told the Times. “There may be some disclosure, but disclosure isn’t meaningful to a child that young.”
Ryan’s dad responded to those accusations by saying they have always complied with regulations and advertising disclosure requirements.
“As the streaming space continues to quickly grow and evolve,” Shion Kaji said to the Times, “We support efforts by lawmakers, industry representatives and regulators such as the F.T.C. to continuously evaluate and update existing guidelines and lay new ground rules to protect both viewers and creators.”