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Here’s how much YouTube’s top earners made last year


PewDiePie, the top earner

It’s no secret that there’s plenty of cash to be made peddling premium content on YouTube.

You might be shocked at the scale of the earnings however, which have now been revealed in a new Forbes report.

The article ranks this year’s top ten earners based on capital gained through YouTube in the 12 months leading up to June 1, 2015.

Taking top spot is – no surprise here – PewDiePie, who’s made his fortune off the back of video game playthrough videos.

However, while two gamers feature on the list, there’s by no means a monopoly. The roster also features comedy acts, musical talent, and make-up sages.

Check out the full list below:

  1. PewDiePie – $12 million
  2. Smosh – $8.5 million
  3. Fine Brothers – $8.5 million
  4. Lindsey Stirling – $6 million
  5. Rhett & Link – $4.5 million
  6. KSI – $4.5 million
  7. Michelle Phan – $3 million
  8. Lilly Singh – $2.5 million
  9. Roman Atwood – $2.5 million
  10. Rosanna Pansino – $2.5 million

Maybe it’s time to quit your day job.

Related: Best Web Browser 2015

Were you surprised by the YouTube stars’ earnings? Let us know in the comments.

Check out our smartphone buyer’s video guide below:

Alex Mason

October 15, 2015, 4:18 pm

I'm not going to hate the players here but this kind of thing I think is a rather sad reflection on society. That someone can earn that much money from posting inane videos about a computer game or filming Arabs driving their super cars round London is really.... well I dunno, not sure what word I should use. I mean, I thought footballers were overpaid for what they did, but compared to this, I am not sure. They do after all have to exert some kind of strenuous effort for their money and face their baying/adoring fans every week.

I won't lie, it does make me feel like a mug for spending a long time learning and training to do something useful in life.

Roman Atwood, can't believe it. For doing some dumb pranks, many of which aren't funny or clever. The one where he pretended to blow up his own son on a quad bike in-front of the mother of said child was particularly distasteful.


October 15, 2015, 8:51 pm

Hard work alone has never made anyone rich. There has to be another element. Top of the list seems to be a commanding charismatic personality even if its someone scamming.

Next would be natural in demand talent or a very high IQ. We are talking singers, actors, Hard on the back of this is ruthlessness or ignorance. Hardwork and study is bottom but obviously it does contribute.

A combination of traits combine for the best chance in being rich. I'm thinking Cultist leaders as an example for having charisma, oratory talent and ruthlessness and ignorance. A particular person as an example is Mark Zuckerburg who is very intelligent, visionary, a highly talented programmer but also has a charismatic influence, is ruthless and manipulative in my opinion.

Alex Walsh

October 16, 2015, 8:19 am

Our lad, like several million others judging by the "watched" numbers, is a bit obsessed with Minecraft YouTube videos. I can't see the appeal personally but can attest to the skill- they lads that do it are very good at providing a fairly charismatic continuous running commentary. That's actually quite difficult when you look at what they're doing.

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