It has been common knowledge for some time that it is possible to make money on YouTube, and that some of the top YouTube Partners were even earning their entire living off the video site. However, nobody knew for sure how much money the top YouTube Partners were making, until now. New statistics released by TubeMogul list the estimated top ten highest grossing YouTube stars, all making more than $100,000 per year.
How did TubeMogul get their statistics? According to Business Insider, TubeMogul estimated revenue from banner ads alone. TubeMogul took into account the facts that banner ads have a two-second load delay and that, based on previous research, 2.59% of users click away before the ad has a chance to load, banner ad CPM is $1.50, and YouTube splits all ad revenue with partners, 50-50. Therefore, they got their figures by taking all the partners views from the last year, getting rid of 2.59% of those views, dividing that number by 1,000, multiplying by $1.50 and then dividing that number in half. Based on TubeMogul’s estimate, here are the top 10 highest grossing YouTubers, all making over $100,000 per year.
1. Shane Dawson – $315,000
Shane Dawson is the highest grossing YouTube star, making an estimated $315,000 per year in advertising revenue. Shane is 22 years old and hails from California. With over 1.8 subscribers and over 361.5 million upload views, I’d say he’s earned himself the title of the highest grossing YouTuber.
2. The Annoying Orange – $288,000
The second highest grossing YouTube Partner is none other than The Annoying Orange. If you aren’t familiar with the Annoying Orange, it’s exactly what it sounds like – a talking orange that is really, truly annoying, in every sense of the word. Created by Dane Boedigheimer, the Annoying Orange has over 1.1 million subscribers and 236.3 million upload views.
3. Phillip DeFranco – $181,000
Philip DeFranco, also known as SxePhil, is not only the third highest grossing YouTube Partner, but was also voted the World’s Sexiest Geek by Wired.com readers (maybe it has something to do with his original YouTube name being SxePhil?). In his video blogs he usually talks about politics and gossip. Across both of his YouTube channels he’s got over 342 million upload views and 1.6 million subscribers.
4. Ryan Higa – $151,000
Ryan Higa, also known as Nigahiga, is not only the fourth highest grossing YouTuber, but also has the number one most-subscribed to channel on YouTube, with 2.6 million subscribers. His videos are mostly funny music videos, parodies and sketch comedy, in which he usually plays a variety of different characters.
5. Fred – $146,000
Fred just may be more annoying than the Annoying Orange, but that hasn’t stopped him from becoming the second most-subscribed YouTuber of all time with 1.9 million subscribers. The character Fred, created by Lucas Cruikshank, is a 6-year old boy. In addition to his YouTube revenue, Fred also has a Nickelodeon movie coming out.
6. Shay Carl – $140,000
Shay Carl is a father of three from Idaho. He used to be a radio DJ until he started to broadcast videos of his comedy routines on YouTube and his online vlogging career took off. He has millions of views and subscribers across three separate YouTube channels.
7. Mediocre Films – $116,000
Mediocre Films is a comedy channel, started by Greg Benson back in 2006. According to The Independent, “Benson dismissed the findings of the survey as wrong, insisting he should not be in the Top 10.” However he remains on TubeMogul’s estimate list.
8. Smosh – $113,000
Smosh is one of the first sketch comedy duos to hit YouTube, created by Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox. They have been on the YouTube scene since the site launched in 2005. Smosh is currently the fifth most subscribed to channel on YouTube, with over 1.7 million subscribers and 60.3 million views.
9. The Young Turks – $112,000
The Young Turks is the longest running online talk show about politics, with a liberal twist. The show s hosted by Cenk Uygur and gets about 13 million hits per month.
10. Natalie Tran – $101,000
Natalie Tran is a Vietnamese-Australian who boasts over 278.8 million upload views and 747,000 subscribers.
You may be thinking you yourself that, for the highest grossing partners on YouTube, $100,000 isn’t such a large amount. However, consider that TubeMogul’s statistics are based on banner ad revenue alone. Many YouTube Partners earn additional income from working with sponsors on contests, creating special promotional videos and more. Also consider that many of these partners are only teenagers, or in their early twenties. I’d say that for someone right out of college, or even pre-college (like Fred), making $100,000 or more a year is not too shabby.
I hope that seeing this list will inspire more creative people to make a go for it on YouTube. After all, these YouTube Partners are making a living by doing what they love. Making YouTube videos was once just a bedroom hobby. These YouTube stars prove that it can be a career, and that’s pretty special.
How much money did you expect the top YouTubers were making? Were these findings higher or lower than you expected?