Felix Kjellberg, A.K.A. PewDiePie, has topped the Forbes highest-paid YouTube stars list for a second year running, raking in a reported $15 million.
Alongside PewDiePie, nine other internet celebrities and their respective channels have made it on the list, earning a combined $70.5 million from their streaming stardom in the 12 months ending in June — a 23 percent increase from last year’s total.
The list includes a rapper, a prankster, a nerdy baker and a couple of pseudonymous gamers, all who made more than $5 million last year. Swedish vlogger PewDiePie sits on top of the pile, despite threatening to delete his YouTube account. The star somehow turned vulgar clips of himself playing videogames for his 50 million subscribers into a $15 million paycheck, which includes profits from his spin-off YouTube Red series and his book, This Book Loves You, which sold more than 112,000 copies.
Casey Neistat, who recently sold his business to CNN for a reported $25 million, didn’t make the list, presumably because his latest earnings fell outside of the measurement period.
According to Forbes, the list measures “earnings before subtracting management fees and taxes” and the figures are based on data from Nielsen, IMDB and other sources, as well as “interviews with agents, managers, lawyers, industry insiders and the stars themselves.”
Check out the full top 10 and their respective earnings below.
1. Felix Kjellberg (PewDiePie) – $15 million
2. Roman Atwood – $8 million
3. Lilly Singh (Superwoman) – $7.5 million
4. Anthony Padilla (Smosh) – $7 million
5. (tie) Tyler Oakley – $6 million
5. (tie) Rosanna Pansino – $6 million
6. (tie) Mark Fischbach (Markiplier) – $5.5 million
6. (tie) German Garmendia – $5.5 million
7. (tie) Colleen Ballinger (Miranda Sings) – $5 million
7. (tie) Rhett & Link – $5 million
In other news, Netflix is planning to spend $6 billion on 20 original shows in 2017.
- Source: Forbes