MrBeast is the new No. 1 with record revenues, while Jake Paul, despite previous controversies, is in second place. The following is a list of how much money these celebrities made.
With a name like MrBeast, it was probably only a matter of time before he grew to be as huge as he is now. In 2021, the 23-year-old earned $54 million, the highest of any YouTuber in history, after his videos received 10 billion views, more than tripling from the previous year. What is it about people that makes them so appealing? MrBeast specializes in delivering super-sized feats, which the internet likes to see. He's spent 50 hours buried alive, paid $10,000 to anyone willing to sit in a bathtub full of snakes, and presented his own version of Squid Game, where he built copies of the Netflix show's sets.
For the first time, MrBeast is at the top of our current list of the highest-paid YouTubers, putting him among the world's highest-paid performers. In fact, his $54 million salaries would have placed him in the Top 40 of our most recent Celebrity 100, a list of the highest-paid celebrities in the world, ahead of Billie Eilish, Kim Kardashian, Angelina Jolie, and even BTS. MrBeast's closest competitors, No. 2 Jake Paul ($45 million) and No. 3 Markiplier ($38 million) would have also reached the Celebrity 100's $35 million limit.
In 2021, YouTubers earned a total of $300 million, a new high, up 40% from the previous year, mostly due to increased views on their YouTube channels and the ad money generated from those videos. (YouTube currently has over 2 billion users, up 40% from five years ago.) Ad income accounts for around half of company revenues. All of these celebrities have their own branded goods lines, which helps them supplement their income. And they experiment in a variety of revenue streams, including Twitch, Snap, Facebook, podcasts, NFTs, and even hamburgers. Spotter, a Los Angeles business that buys up the rights to old YouTube videos, has negotiated hefty deals with a handful of them.
Their hefty checks make one thing crystal clear: it's becoming increasingly difficult to tell the difference between a digital celebrity and an Angelina Jolie.
#1.MrBeast ($54 Million Up)
Because of the increase in views, his 2021 salary will be nearly double that of last year's No. 1. (That would be Ryan Kaji's $29.5 million, which drops him to No. 7.) MrBeast Burger, an app and menu that allows customers to purchase MrBeast-branded meals from 1,600 eateries around the country that have collaborated with him to fulfill the orders, is another eye-catching idea from 2021. MrBeast is in charge of marketing, promoting the burgers to his roughly 90 million YouTube followers. The revenues from the orders were then shared between him and the eateries. So far, 5 million sandwiches have been sold through the enterprise.
#2. Jake Paul ($45 Million up)
Look who's returned: Paul, who previously topped the list in 2018 with $21.5 million in earnings, is back, thanks mostly to his boxing earnings. Last year, he had three high-profile fights with two MMA fighters: one with Ben Askren and two with Tyron Woodley. (Paul was victorious in all of them.) In many ways, boxing, a sport rife with divisive personalities, is a perfect fit for Paul, who is no stranger to controversies. Until his brother Logan shared a video in December 2017 recorded in a Japanese woodland sadly known as a suicide location, he was one of YouTube's most popular names. It was reviled by fans, who thought it was in terrible taste. The criticism impacted both Paul brothers, who deemed it to be in bad taste. Their advertisers dropped them, and YouTube took them off the air. Now that they can earn money through YouTube advertisements again, Jake uploads less frequently than he used to, focusing on marketing his boxing profession, which now accounts for about 90% of his income.
#3.Makiplier ($38 Million up)
Few social media stars can sell merchandise as well as Markiplier, who had particularly good sales from T-shirts, sweatshirts, and other items associated with his Unus Annus series, which is the major reason his revenues have nearly quadrupled since our previous ranking. (Starting in 2019, Markiplier's Unus Annus videos were a collaboration with fellow YouTuber Ethan Nestor-Darling and aired on Markiplier's YouTube channel.) Markiplier erased them all a year later on purpose.) Markiplier's next goal is to reinvent himself as a television personality. He shot a television version of The Edge of Sleep, a post-apocalyptic thriller he first dramatized as a podcast in 2019; the TV project is still looking for a home, and he expects to sell it to Netflix or Hulu later this year. Markiplier is still a renowned YouTube figure (with 31 million followers), having gained notoriety by capturing himself playing video games like Five Nights at Freddy's, a game about a haunted pizza parlor.
#4.Rhett and Link ($30 Million Up)
What began as the couple producing a quirky daily discussion show called Good Mythical Morning has developed into an empire with spinoffs and brand extensions, increasing their YouTube views and revenue. Mythical Kitchen, a food show with a distinct host, Josh Scherer, is one of their most successful ventures. On YouTube, the two-year-old program has 1.8 million subscribers. Their Mythical Accelerator fund, which will invest $5 million in other YouTubers, is another effort. (In 2021, they inked their first contract with up-and-comer Jarvis Johnson, donating an unknown fee.) In October, they honored a long-standing fan desire to abandon their family-friendly act by staging a two-hour, clearly R-rated webcast, for which they sold 70,000 tickets for as much as $20,000 each as $50 a pop.
#5.Unspeakable ($28.5 Million Up)
Unspeakable is obsessed with Minecraft, a pixelated video game that has become a kid favorite. His four YouTube channels, where he uploads videos of himself playing Minecraft and other games, have a combined audience of more than 20 million subscribers. He also fills a room with live alligators in previous films. Nathan Graham, a Houston native, has been continuously uploading videos to YouTube for the past ten years. Unspeakable sold his YouTube video library to Spotter last year, thinking that the lump amount would allow him to expand his firm more swiftly than waiting for ad revenue from the films. (Spotter is currently one of the largest independent YouTube content owners, with more than a million subscribers.),In recent years, he's made other agreements like the one for Unspeakable's back catalog.) Meanwhile, the Spotter money was enough to enable Unspeakable to make its premiere here.
#6.Nastya ($28 Million Up)
Last year, Nastya struck a Spotter agreement, giving the monetization rights to her previous YouTube videos to Spotter in exchange for money upfront while keeping the rights to any new videos she uploads. The seven-year-old, who moved to the United States with her parents, has 87.5 million followers to her Like Nastya YouTube channel, where she recounts her life in mundane parts. (Videos about creating Halloween cupcakes and spending time with her best pals, Evelyn and Adrian, were among the most popular in 2021.) She and her business handlers have been busy adding various brand extensions, such as a retail line and an NFT collection, in addition to the Spotter money.
#7.Ryan Kaji ($27 Million Up)
Ryan began reviewing and playing with toys on YouTube when he was just four years old. Now that he's ten, his parents and the people who look after his commercial interests—including former Disney executive Chris Williams—are increasingly focused on keeping his brand alive as he grows out of his childhood. They're hoping that the animated characters that co-star with Ryan will provide the solution. (Williams' licensing and media startup pockets came in handy.) Keep an eye on them; they've made some progress. For the last two years, one of these characters, Red Titan, a young superhero with a crimson cape and a passing similarity to Ryan, has appeared as a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon.) For the time being, Ryan's World, his main YouTube channel, has 31 million followers and a massive range of branded apparel and toys available at big-box shops like Target and Walmart.
#8.Dude Perfect ($20 Million Down)
It's gold for this sports-comedy fivesome if it appears risky to you (twins Coby and Cory Cotton, Garrett Hilbert, Cody Jones, and Tyler Toney). Their movies show people bench pressing 405 pounds underwater and walking on the wings of a biplane in mid-flight. What could be more entertaining than watching these pranks unfold on the internet? Getting a close look at them: This summer, the band will embark on their third live tour, which will take them to 24 locations. Dude Perfect published 101 Tricks, Tips, and Cool Stuff, a 250-page photo-filled book with step-by-step instructions, last year for the bravest of hearts at home.
#9.Logan Paul ($18 Million return)
Ryan began reviewing and playing with toys on YouTube when he was just four years old. Now that he's ten, his parents and the people who look after his commercial interests—including former Disney executive Chris Williams—are increasingly focused on keeping his brand alive as he grows out of his childhood. They're hoping that the animated characters that co-star with Ryan will provide the solution. (Williams' licensing and media startup pockets came in handy.) Keep an eye on them; they've made some progress.
#10.Preston Arsement ($16 Million Down)
Preston has multiple YouTube channels, but PrestonPlayz, his most popular, conveys all you need to know about him: He spends a lot of time playing video games, particularly Minecraft. That four-year-old channel has about 12 million subscribers, and he has done an excellent job of keeping it current: In one of his most recent videos, he developed a Minecraft version of the Squid Game challenges.