Over the last decade, streaming has become a big business. Between Twitch, Mixer and, of course, YouTube, streamers have pulled in some major income. In fact, between June 1, 2018 and June 1, 2019, the top 10 streamers on YouTube brought in an impressive 126 million pre-tax dollars, combined. With the year nearly at an end, Forbes has compiled a list of the platform's highest earners, and it features an eclectic mix between gamers, child stars, makeup experts and more. According to Forbes, the list factors in not only revenue accrued from advertising sales and sponsored content, but also merchandise, as well.
- Ryan Kaji
- Dude Perfect
- Anastasia Radzinskaya
- Rhett and Link
- Jeffree Star
- PewDiePie and Markiplier (tie)
Topping this year's list, Ryan Kaji has quickly become a household name. While unboxing videos have become prolific on YouTube, the eight-year-old toy reviewer's channel has more than 23 million subscribers. That success has translated to his very own toyline, and even a video game. Race With Ryan released in November on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Microsoft Windows.
The success of Fortnite and Minecraft has translated into big numbers for the people who stream them (or is that the other way around?), and that's reflected in Forbes' list of top earners. PewDiePie, Preston, DanTDM, and VanossGaming have all streamed one or both of the games. It's interesting to see just how big the two titles remain on YouTube and beyond. Both games have been available for some time now, but interest in Fortnite and Minecraft remains incredibly high. It's hard not to wonder how long that trend can continue.
The list's breakdown is sure to change next year, for a number of reasons. Once the list's top earner, PewDiePie claims to be taking a break from YouTube in 2020. At this time, the streamer has not indicated exactly how long he expects the break to last, but content creation can be arduous and time consuming. It comes as little surprise to see anyone on the list needing to slow down. New FTC guidelines could also have an impact on how toy unboxing videos, like the ones that appear on Ryan Kaji's channel, are marketed towards children. Unboxing videos were a smart way for toy companies to directly advertise to kids, but that could very well change in the near future. Perhaps next year's list will have a very different Top 10!
Did your favorite YouTuber make the list? Who's your favorite in the Top 10? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!