While we are watching and laughing and downloading, the creators behind some of our favorite YouTube Channels have made into Forbes Richest List – Forbes List of Highest Paid YouTube Stars for 2015. A Nigerian made this list, Olatunji Olajide, the creator behind KSI Channel.
See the full List Below:
PewDiePie: $12 million
This Swedish star has nearly 40 million people subscribing to his “playing videogames with your bros” channel. His real name is Felix Kjellberg, is notoriously private, rarely granting interviews, doing conferences or visiting the Los Angeles YouTube studios.
Smosh: $8.5 million
Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla, childhood best friends from Sacramento, Califiornia, have reinvented themselves online as Smosh, a comedy act that got famous for live-action skits based on Pokémon games. The pair also run 5 YouTube channels, including ElSmosh (Smosh en Espanol). Their first full-length movie, Smosh: The Movie, came out in July.
Fine Brothers: $8.5 million
Benny and Rafi Fine first drew notice—and a Daytime Emmy Award—for their React video series, in which they film people watching over-the-top videos from the likes of PewDiePie and rapper Nicki Minaj. Now they are moving from the very small screen to the small screen: In 2014 Nickelodeon debuted React to That.
Lindsey Stirling: $6 million
She plays the violin and dances at the same time, which is kind of amazing. Lindsey Stirling began posting her videos of herself performing in 2007 after failing to be signed by a major record label. Now they are begging to sign her, but too late—she doesn’t need them anymore. She explains “It’s a very loyal fan base that wants you to succeed because they found you. It wasn’t some big radio station or record label that shoved art down someone’s throat.”
Rhett & Link: $4.5 million
Rhett McLaughlin and Charles Lincoln Neal III both earned engineering degrees from NC State and worked in corporate America before launching their comedy careers on YouTube relatively late in life (they are 38 and 37 respectively). The duo is famous for Good Mythical Morning, a send-up of morning television news shows. Nearly half of their earnings come from sponsored deals—they’ve shot sponsored clips for their channels for such brands as Gillette, Wendy’s and Toyota.
KSI: $4.5 million
The British videogame commentator, born Olajide Olatunji, has used his YouTube stardom—almost 11 million followers—as a springboard to a music career. His hip-hop single “Lamborghini” reached number 30 on the U.K. charts in April.
Michelle Phan: $3 million
The self-taught makeup artist established herself with tutorials teaching girls how to paint themselves like their favorite celebs, including Lady Gaga and Angelina Jolie. She’s playing a long game; she reinvests most of the money from her projects— including her cosmetics line and ipsy, a monthly makeup-subscription service— right back into her business.
Lilly Singh: $2.5 million
Well known by her YouTube name, Superwoman, Singh is a stand-up comedian who leans heavily on her ethnic background (her parents immigrated to Canada from India). She is also a singer, whose 2015 world tour, A Trip to Unicorn Island, hit 27 cities worldwide.
Roman Atwood: $2.5 million
Atwood has taken the concept behind Punk’d to another level online—pulling pranks like using a stuffed skunk to spray bystanders and faux-flashing young children (while wearing a T-shirt that reads “Don’t Do Drugs”). He has attracted over 7 million followers along the way. Nissan gets the joke— the company partnered with him for a video that ran last January—and so do the customers of his online Smile More Store (sweatshirts, water bottles, tote bags, etc).
Rosanna Pansino: $2.5 million
A self-trained chef whose baking tutorials have taught millions the science behind a perfect cupcake will publish her first cookbook, The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook: Sweet Treats for the Geek in All of Us, this month. Earlier this year Pansino partnered with pan-and-tray-maker Wilton Brands on her how-to series, Nerdy Nummies.
Story Credit: Forbes.com
Picture Credit: Getty Images