US boy, 8, earns $35.2 million from YouTube channel: The highest-paid YouTubers of 2019

The top spot went to Ryan Kaji (left), who made S$35.2 million (US$26 million), while third place went to Anastasia Radzinskaya who raked in S$24.4 million for her home videos. PHOTOS: RYAN'S WORLD/FACEBOOK, SCREENGRAB FROM YOUTUBE

SINGAPORE - Two children made the top three of Forbes magazine's list of the world's top 10 highest earning YouTubers in 2019.

The top spot went to eight-year-old Ryan Kaji, who made S$35.2 million (US$26 million) from videos of himself opening toys and conducting science experiments, while third place went to Anastasia Radzinskaya, 5, who raked in S$24.4 million for her home videos each accompanied by catchy jingles and voice-over giggles.

They were among the top highest-paid 10 YouTubers on a list published by Forbes on Wednesday (Dec 18).

All earnings estimates on Forbes' list are sums accumulated from June 1, 2018, through June 1, 2019 and figures exclude taxes, fees for agents, managers and lawyers.

Earnings estimates are based on data from Captiv8, SocialBlade and Pollstar as well as Forbes' interviews with industry insiders.

Forbes defines a YouTube star as someone whose primary form of digital and media revenue comes from YouTube.

Here is the list of the content-creators who made the most on the video platform:

1. Eight-year-old Ryan Kaji retained the top spot, earning S$35.2 million.

Kaji, whose real name is Ryan Guan, earned S$30 million in 2018, according to Forbes.

His channel Ryan's World, launched in 2015 by his parents, is only three years old but already has 22.9 million subscribers.

Initially called Ryan ToysReview, the channel mostly consisted of unboxing videos - videos of the young star opening boxes of toys before commenting and playing with them, but more recently the channel has matured with him to involve science experiments.

His brand has also branched out beyond YouTube with a line of more than 100 toys and clothing items, as well as a show on Nickelodeon and a deal with video-on-demand service Hulu.

2. The runners-up position goes to Dude Perfect who raked in S$27.1 million from their channel.

The group are made of five friends in their 30s-Coby Cotton, Cory Cotton, Garret Hilbert, Cody Jones and Tyler Toney- who met as they were roommates in Texas A&M University together and currently play sports, perform stunts and break Guinness World Records for their content.

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Their videos, like "Bowling Trick Shots" and "Bubble Wrap Battle" helped them score a TV contract The Dude Perfect Show, which airs on Nickelodeon.

Celebrities like Paul Rudd, tennis player Serena Williams and singer Tim McGraw have been on their show.

3. Filling out the top three spots is five-year-old Anastasia Radzinskaya who boasts S$24.4 million in earnings.

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The Russian-born star has become one of the world's fastest-growing creators, thanks to her videos in seven languages that feature her playing with her dad on her channels including Like Nastya.

Born in southern Russia with cerebral palsy, her doctors feared she would never be able to speak. To document her development through treatments, her parents posted videos of her on YouTube so friends and relatives could see the progress.

Anastasia now lives in Florida and has 107 million subscribers across her seven channels who have watched her videos 42 billion times, with brands like Legoland and Dannon paying six-figure sums to work with her.

4. YouTubers Rhett & Link earned S$23.7 million to come in fourth.

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Two of YouTube's pioneer stars, Rhett McLaughlin, 42, and Link Neal, 41, host Good Mythical Morning, one of YouTube's most popular daily show on which they eat eccentric foods like Cheetos-flavored Pop-Tarts and sing with stars like Kelly Rowland.

They have expanded their brand to four channels, a podcast, two books and, earlier this year, purchased the multi-channel network Smosh for a reported S$13.6 million.

Their brand, Mythical, has an online store that touts itself as creating comedy and lifestyle products, and experiences "for the curious-minded".

5. American make-up artist Jeffree Star, 34, took the fifth spot on Forbes magazine's list with S$23 million in earnings.

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Initially a musician on MySpace, Star moved to YouTube where he found a following doing make-up tutorials.

He now uses his channel to promote his make-up line, which he claims brings in at least eight figures in revenue thanks to its popular lipsticks, highlighters and eye shadow palettes.

6. YouTube creator Preston Arsement, 25, is a newcomer to the list with S$19 million in earnings.

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When he started his channel Prestonplayz nearly 10 years ago, Arsement filmed gaming videos and streamed himself playing Call of Duty and Minecraft. Now, renamed Preston, his channel showcases vlog-style content for younger audiences which include challenge videos and pranks.

Outside of YouTube, he runs Minecraft servers for seven figures annually.

7. Tied at seventh is Markiplier, also known as Mark Fischbach, 30, and former top earner PewDiePie or Felix Kjellberg, also 30.

Both YouTube stars earned S$17.6 million.

Fischbach is a favourite among sponsors looking to reach the gaming community. He also promotes his clothing line for gamers, Cloak, which he co-founded with fellow YouTuber Jacksepticeye.

Meanwhile, Kjellberg, who recently announced his hiatus from YouTube earlier this month, has managed to shrug off a number of controversies, including racist and anti-Semitic videos. The Swede's channel was the most subscribed channel on YouTube from 2013 to April this year.

9. Gaming YouTuber, DanTDM, whose real name is Daniel Middleton, clinched the ninth spot with an income of S$16.2 million from his channel.

The 28-year-old British Minecraft and Fortnite player has long been one of the most popular on YouTube. His audience is spread worldwide and he visits his fans across the globe.

10. Another gaming YouTuber, Canadian VanossGaming, or Evan Fong, 27, earned S$15.6 million from his gaming videos.

He notched over 1.5 billion views from videos of himself playing games like Grand Theft Auto V and Minecraft.

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