Last year, Forbes made official a new set of stars who bank millions from showcasing their talents on YouTube, and this year, the sophomore list shows that they are earning even more by the year with some doubling their previous paycheck. So, if you’ve been trying for so long to get a pay raise from your boss, maybe it’s time you reconsider your career. All you need is a YouTube account and most importantly, a unique ability that can get millions to hit the subscribe button on your channel and voilà! you’re a millionaire. You wouldn’t even be the first to quit your job to focus on vlogging as many of these stars did same after earning lesser paychecks than they desired. They include comedians, pranksters, rappers, and gamers.
Joining this year’s list is an LGBT activist. So practically, it can be anything, you just gotta be so good at it. HINT: A good sense of humor is pertinent. Four faces from last year’s list were replaced by four fresh faces, while the previous debutants earned more than they did last year with the exception of comic duo SMOSH whose earnings dipped by a little over 1%. The 10 channels grossed a combined $70.5 million pretax, a 23% surge from last year. These stars monetize their YouTube fame via advertisements, touring, selling their own merchandise and making paid cameo appearances. Without further ado, here is the list of the top 10 highest paid YouTube stars of 2016, beginning from the least earner. Click Here To See The Highest Paid Stars of 2015.
10. Colleen Ballinger
Earnings: $5 million
Colleen Ballinger is better known as her online alter ego Miranda Sings who has helped her garner over 4.5 million YouTube subscribers. Miranda is a singer seen to be ridiculously talentless by everyone but herself . Miranda’s online success has helped to boost Ballinger’s pop culture presence. She has guest-starred on shows such as Jerry Seinfeld‘s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. In 2015, Ballinger released a bestselling memoir with Miranda’s voice titled “Self Help”. This year, she inked a deal with Netflix to stream a series titled Haters Back Off, a chronicle of Miranda’s backstory. Also a standup comedian, Ballinger tours the country often.
9. Rhett and Link
Earnings: $5 million
Old-time buddies Rhett McLaughlin, 38 and Charles Lincoln Neal III, 37 both graduated with engineering degrees from North Carolina State University and worked for years before launching careers in vlogging. They run a number of channels some of which feature them engaging in the most bizarre of challenges like eating a scorpion. The comic duo co-host inept morning talkshow “Good Mythical Morning” which has welcomed star guests like Daniel Radcliffe. They also run an LA-based production company called Mythical Entertainment.
Earnings: $5.5 million
Hawaii-born Mark Fischbach dropped out of college where he was studying biomedical engineering to pursue YouTube fame by posting Let’s Play gameplay commentary videos. And after less than two years of setting up MarkiplierGAME channel, he now boasts over 15.7 million subscribers and over 6 billion views. A board member of comic book publisher Red Giant Entertainment, Fischbach is set to begin his own line of comics this year.
7. German Garmendia
Earnings: $5.5 million
At 26, Chilean comedian and musician Garmendia is the youngest on the list. With almost 50 million subscribers, he prides as the most successful YouTuber among Latin Americans. His Spanish language channels feature clips of his music band Ancud as well as comic videos of himself. His earnings also stemmed from the release of his book #ChupaElPerro translated “Lick the dog”. He voiced the role of Julian in the Spanish version of “Ice Age: Collision Course.”
6. Tyler Oakley
Earnings: $6 million
Tyler Oakley is a strong advocate for the LBGT people and uses his channel as a platform to address common problems faced by the LGBT community. Following the success of his book “Binge”, he signed a deal with Ellen DeGeneres‘ Very Good productions to begin is own digital talk show. He has interviewed political bigwigs like Michelle Obama and Hilary Clinton. Oakley has made it a habit of putting his money where his mouth is. Since 2013, he has raised over $1 million in support of The Trevor Project which aims at preventing suicide among the LGBT youths.
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