YouTube’s Biggest Earners: Who Makes Millions Creating Videos?

The world’s highest-paid YouTubers, who can now earn up to $30 million a year, are in a fierce content creation war with top OnlyFans creators.

However, you may also want to know how much popular YouTube channels like MrBeast, PewDiePie, and Jake Paul earn.

In fact, T-Series, the highest-paid channel on YouTube, earns a whopping $479 million a year, while MrBeast is the highest-paid individual creator on YouTube, earning a whopping $101.8 million a year.

Here’s how much he and his fellow millionaire friends earned last year, according to Social Blade.

Highest paid YouTubers at a glance

1. T-Series – $29.9 million to $479 million

2. Cocomelon – $6.9 million to $111.1 million

3. Vlad and Niki – $6.9 million to $109.8 million

4. MrBeast – $6.4 million to $101.8 million

5. SET India – $5.7 million to $90.4 million

6. Zee TV – $4.7 million to $76 million

7. Kids Diana Show – $3.9 million to $62.4 million

8. Like Nastya – $3.4 million to $54.8 million

9. WWE – $2.7 million to $43.6 million

10. Zee Music Company – $2.4 million to $37.9 million

1. T-Series – $29.9 million to $479 million

Estimated monthly revenue: $2.5 million to $39.9 million

Founded by a former street vendor (he died in 1997), T-Series has become India’s largest record label, with over 30 channels on YouTube alone. Luxurious music videos are their specialty, some straight out of the latest Bollywood blockbusters.

Their main channel leads the way in subscriber numbers, with an average of over 95 million views per day. In 2019, the channel’s subscriber base surpassed that of PewDiePie, who released two diss tracks “B*tch Lasagna” and “Congratulations” as a tongue-in-cheek riposte.

Number of subscribers: 259 million+

Number of video views: 246.98 billion+

2. Cocomelon – $6.9 million to $111.1 million

Estimated monthly income: $578,800 to $9.3 million

Considering the age we live in (where the computer screen has virtually become a mobile nursery), it’s no surprise that Cocomelon has racked up astonishing viewing figures.

This YouTube channel has been a source of free educational and entertainment content since its launch in 2006 under the name “Checkgate”. While the content remains free, don’t think of parent company Moonbug (which acquired the channel in 2020) as a nonprofit.

The channel’s iconic selling point is still 3D animated music videos and short films, plus classic children’s songs, reaching a global audience.

Number of subscribers: 171 million+

Number of video views: 177.43 billion+

3. Vlad and Niki – $6.9 million to $109.8 million

Estimated monthly income: $571,600 to $9.1 million

Vlad and Niki refer to the American-born Russian brothers Vladislav Vashketov and Nikita Vashketov, who attract young audiences around the world through vlogs, animations, music videos and other “kidfluencer” content.

The brothers are part of a larger family that now includes two other siblings and parents Sergey and Victoria, who run a total of 21 YouTube channels in 18 languages.

The main channel launched in 2018, and the following year it was reported that Vlad and Niki earned approximately $312,000 per video. Add in merchandise sales and other revenue streams, and you can see how much money they make!

Number of subscribers: 111 million+

Number of video views: 85.41 billion+

4. MrBeast – $6.4 million to $101.8 million

Estimated monthly income: $530,200 to $8.5 million

No one has mastered the art of YouTube better than MrBeast (real name James Stephen Donaldson), who claims to invest most of his income directly into various businesses.

One might wonder if this guy has time to sleep, given his steady stream of hit content with high production values. Most of his videos include an epic challenge or charity (or both), like when he and his team built 100 wells in Africa, or held a live-action “Squid Game” competition, just to name a few. Two examples.

In addition to YouTube, he has also been active in other fields, founded companies such as Feastables, and oversees various fundraising activities. So we ask again: When does this guy sleep? He can make up to $101.8 million per year, depending on the CPM of the video.

Number of subscribers: 239 million+

Number of video views: 43.09 billion+

5. SET India – $5.7 million to $90.4 million

Estimated monthly income: $471,000 to $7.5 million

India currently has a population of over 1.4 billion, which gives YouTube channels like SET India an advantage in terms of viewership and corresponding revenue.

SET stands for Sony Entertainment Television, and the channel reports truthfully, not only with popular segments, but also complete episodes of popular TV shows such as Indian Idol (the Indian version of So You Think You Can Dance). This YouTube channel can earn up to $90.4 million per year, depending on CPM.

Number of subscribers: 168 million+

Number of video views: 158.77 billion+

6. Zee TV – $4.7 million to $76 million

Estimated monthly income: $395,700 to $6.3 million

Zee TV is India’s oldest private television station (and one of the first Hindi channels to air in Europe and the United States) and is now the premier destination for clips, highlights, full episodes, music, features and more on YouTube. In 2019, the channel’s subscriber base soared from 23 million to 39 million.

Zee TV’s main YouTube channel continues to amass billions of views every year, allowing it to earn up to $76 million annually, depending on CPM.

Number of subscribers: 77.6 million+

Number of video views: 63.96 billion+

7. Kids Diana Show – $3.9 million to $62.4 million

Estimated monthly income: $325,100 to $5.2 million

Ukrainian-American “kidfluencer” Eva Diana Kidisyuk and her family host this super popular YouTube channel, which features music videos, cosplay, unboxing, vlogs and more.

Diana debuted online in 2015 and gained 1 million subscribers in less than a year.

Since then, her popularity has soared and expanded into merchandise sales, mobile games, and a spin-off media series called Love Diana – The Princess Of Play.

Number of subscribers: 119 million+

Number of video views: 100.16 billion+

8. Like Nastya – $3.4 million to $54.8 million

Estimated monthly income: $285,500 to $4.6 million

Anastasia Sergeyevna Radzinskaya, also known as Nastya, was wrongly diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth and doctors feared she might never be able to speak. She certainly proves them wrong with her insanely successful YouTube channel, where the 10-year-old Russian-American girl is rattling off stories to more than 113 million subscribers.

She was named “one of the world’s fastest-growing creators” by Forbes in 2019, in part because her videos are available in seven languages ​​(now 11).

Five years on, Nastya is excelling in all areas, welcoming viewers into her world on YouTube and signing multi-channel deals behind the scenes.

Number of subscribers: 113 million+

Number of video views: 97.72 billion+

9. WWE – $2.7 million to $43.6 million

Estimated monthly income: $227,300 to $3.6 million

We won’t dwell too much on the recent controversy surrounding Vince McMahon, but we will say that the media empire he helped build is now more popular than ever, both on television and online.

Not only will WWE’s YouTube channel be constantly updated with the latest highlights, matches, reports and interviews, but it will also feature classic wrestling matches and highlights from the past. Aren’t you entertained? This allows them to earn up to $43.6 million per year, depending on the CPM YouTube pays.

Number of subscribers: 99.5 million+

Number of video views: 81.71 billion+

10. Zee Music Company – $2.4 million to $37.9 million

Estimated monthly income: $197,500 to $3.2 million

Here’s a good idea: If you play music videos from India’s top stars and hottest Bollywood movies, you’ll get tons of views. In this way, Zee Music Company’s YouTube channel does this kind of thing every year, and the number of subscribers continues to rise, exceeding 104 million. It is part of Zee Entertainment Group, one of the largest media conglomerates in India, and can earn the group up to $37.9 million annually, depending on CPM.

Number of subscribers: 104 million+

Number of video views: 63.96 billion+

The income of YouTube creators and channels fluctuates based on the CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions) of the video. CPM varies based on bid price, ad type and consistency. What’s more, YouTube takes a 45% cut of the CPM, so you only get 55% of the total revenue.

YouTube channels like these listed above may not be the most popular on the platform, but due to the nature of their content, they receive higher CPMs and therefore make more money.

For this list, we used YouTube-certified website Social Blade to gather information on the channels with the most subscribers, then ranked them based on their highest estimated annual revenue on YouTube. Of course, many traditional “YouTubers” have made over $100 million through off-platform channels such as merchandise sales and advertising.

What happened to traditional YouTube content creators?

With the rise of social media, most of the income of traditional “YouTubers” comes from outside the platform, such as launching their own merchandise lines, applications, subscription services, or, like Jake Paul, becoming a professional boxer. Here are some former YouTubers and their estimated net worth:

Jake Paul (estimated $80 million): Few YouTube celebrities have broken into off-platform development like Jake Paul. Although he remains a content creator, his recent move to professional boxing has been making headlines. According to Forbes, it is boxing (not YouTube) that accounts for the majority of his current wealth. Anyone who thinks that this kid and his brother are just a flash in the pan are wrong, at least for now.

Markiplier (estimated $40 million): The social media star’s annual revenue has nearly doubled from 2020 thanks to her Unus Annus line and related merchandise sales. He first became famous for his live streaming of games, but now also ventures into other areas such as podcasting and television. It is estimated that Markiplier’s channel has now received a total of more than 17.3 billion views. He remains one of the richest YouTubers, which is no surprise.

Unspeakable (estimated $28.5 million): This dynamic social media star debuts on the list of highest-paid YouTubers with earnings of $28.5 million. Nathan Graham, aka Unspeakable, is a master of Minecraft (and other games) and a veteran of crazy stunts. He recently sold his video catalog to Spotter for a large sum, which explains his surge in income.

Ryan’s World (estimated $100 million): Last year’s top earner, this kids host (real name Ryan Kaji) continues to see his earnings soar after six years on YouTube. Now 10 years old, he is trying to expand beyond his original core audience into other areas, such as licensing companion characters in animation to other companies. His merchandise is also a staple brand in stores such as Target and Walmart. With such a high net worth, Ryan’s World never has to worry about bankruptcy, but that doesn’t stop his guardians and business partners from pursuing every new opportunity.

Dude Perfect (estimated $50 million): This Texas comedy team pulls stunts and tricks you’d never try at home, straight out of the “Acrobat Madman” handbook. Then again, they recently published a illustrated, step-by-step tutorial book, so maybe you really should try these tricks at home (their suggestions, not ours). They also occasionally tour live across the United States, which undoubtedly adds a zero or two to the bottom line. Combined with merchandise sales and other income streams, they are definitely one of the richest YouTubers in existence.

Logan Paul (estimated $150 million): Even in today’s age of fast-moving content, viewers still remember the 2017 “Suicide Forest” scandal. Despite this and other controversies, Logan Paul and his brother Jake continue to “box”, literally. Now Logan is a professional boxer and once had a high-profile fight with Floyd Mayweather. He also hosts a hugely popular podcast, among other things. Therefore, this train of Paul brothers is still moving at full speed.

PrestonPlayz (estimated $25 million): If YouTube has taught us one thing, it’s that playing games is a way to make money. Such is the story of Preston Arsement, a.k.a. PrestonPlayz, who parlayed his exceptional gaming and pranking skills into a thriving content and merchandise empire. His videos cover multiple channels and games, but mainly focus on Minecraft. Although his income in 2021 is not as high as in 2020, he is still among the top 10 YouTubers with the highest annual income.

How creators make money on YouTube

There are various ways to make money on YouTube. In fact, even those with thousands of clicks may not make money. To be a true success story, you have to think outside the box and explore all kinds of peripheral factors.

Therefore, asking “how much does YouTube pay” is an unanswerable question in itself, because there is no unified answer. Well-known users like Ryan’s World (estimated net worth $100 million) combine various revenue streams through their channels and fan bases.

But let’s list some ways to make money on YouTube:

– Sell goods

– Join the YouTube Partner Program

– Use your influence to work with brands and sponsors

– Crowdfunding

– License your content for use outside of YouTube

– Become an Affiliate Promoter

– Seek peripheral opportunities in other media or industries

– Sell your catalog to third party companies such as Spotter

Remember, YouTube makes money through paid memberships and advertising. If you have a lot of clicks but not a lot of revenue, it might be because your subscribers aren’t watching ads. However, if you have a lot of paid YouTube members, you will earn money when they watch your videos, whether or not ads are playing.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does MrBeast make per year on YouTube?

According to Social Blade, MrBeast can earn up to $101.8 million per year. This number will fluctuate greatly depending on the CPM of each video, but it should be as low as $6.4 million.

What is the highest earning channel on YouTube?

According to estimates from Social Blade, T-Series is the highest-grossing channel on YouTube, earning between $29.9 million and $479 million annually, depending on the CPM earned.

How many views do you need to make $1 million?

This depends on your subscriber base and the CPM the brand is willing to pay to place ads on your videos. However, the average channel needs 1100-1500 views for every $1 earned, so to make $1 million on YouTube, you need 1.5 billion views.

Why are most of the highest-grossing YouTube channels from India?

After all, India has a population of over 1.4 billion and these YouTube channels are among the most popular in the world. They make the most money because advertisers are willing to pay higher CPMs to place ads on these popular channels.

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