×

PewDiePie Pulls In $15 Million, Again Topping List of Highest-Paid YouTube Stars

Felix Kjellberg, the video-game vlogger and comedian better known as PewDiePie, remains by far the wealthiest YouTube creator — with a gross income of $15 million for the 12 months ended in June 2016, according to estimates by Forbes.

PewDiePie has nearly 50 million subscribers, and the Swedish-born personality mischievously declared in a video last Friday that he would delete his channel once it hit that milestone. In the video, PewDiePie complains about changes in YouTube’s video recommendations and the service’s reported issues with subscribers being notified of new content.

https://twitter.com/pewdiepie/status/804807437320654848

Kjellberg’s haul for the latest 12-month period is an increase of 20% year-over-year, per the estimates by Forbes, which attributed the gain largely to his YouTube Red series, “Scare PewDiePie,” and sales of his first book, “This Book Loves You.” Meanwhile, Kjellberg’s production company reported revenue of $8.6 million for 2015, according to an annual report filed in Sweden.

The Forbes list estimates earnings before subtracting management fees and taxes. According to the publication, it compiles the figures are based on data from Nielsen, IMDb and other sources, as well as on interviews with agents, managers, lawyers, other industry execs and the stars themselves.

Coming in at the No. 2 spot on this year’s Forbes list was Roman Atwood, a prank specialist who has been branching out into vlogging his life as a dad, who made $8 million for the 12-month period. That’s an increase of 70% year-over-year, with his earnings boosted by a live tour with fellow YouTube star Yousef Erakat (aka fouseyTube), the movie “Natural Born Pranksters,” which Atwood directed, produced, and starred in; an advance for his upcoming book, “Will Work for Smiles”; and merchandise sales.

In the third spot with $7.5 million is Lilly Singh (||Superwoman||), who starred in a film about her worldwide concert tour, “A Trip to Unicorn Island,” on YouTube Red. She’s followed by comedy team Smosh, whose principals are Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla; Tyler Oakley, who has inked a pact with Ellen DeGeneres for his own digital talk show; and Rosanna Pansino, host of cooking show “Nerdy Nummies.”

Rounding out the top 10 are game vlogger Mark Fischbach, better known as Markiplier, who recently signed with WME; German Garmendia (whose channel is Hola Soy German); Rhett and Link, hosts of daily talk show “Good Mythical Morning”; and Colleen Ballinger, whose awkward character Miranda Sings was the basis for Netflix original series “Haters Back Off.”

Here are the Forbes estimates for the 10 highest-paid YouTube stars for the 12 months ended June 2016:

    1. Felix Kjellberg (aka PewDiePie): $15 million
    2. Roman Atwood: $8 million
    3. Lilly Singh (aka ||Superwoman||): $7.5 million
    4. Smosh (Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla): $7 million
    5. (tie) Tyler Oakley, Rosanna Pansino: $6 million
    6. (tie) Mark Fischbach (aka Markiplier), German Garmendia: $5.5 million
    7. (tie) Rhett and Link, Colleen Ballinger (Miranda Sings): $5 million

 

More Digital

  • Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce

    Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce GLAAD Media Award Nominations

    Mj Rodriguez and Nico Santos are set to announce the nominees for the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards. The “Pose” star and “Crazy Rich Asians” funny man will make the announcement during a live-stream from the AT&T Hello Lounge at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday, Jan. 25. “The images and stories recognized by the [...]

  • Netflix Claims 'Fortnite' Is a Bigger

    Netflix Claims 'Fortnite' Is a Bigger Competitor Than HBO

    It may be mostly gamesmanship, but Netflix says it’s not really focused on rival streaming-video services from Amazon, Hulu, Disney, WarnerMedia or other big players as much as improving its own service to win share of consumers’ attention. “We compete with (and lose to) ‘Fortnite’ more than HBO,” Netflix told investors in its quarterly letter [...]

  • Netflix - Apple TV

    Netflix Turns in Record Q4 Subscriber Gain, Price Increase Weighs on U.S. Forecast

    Netflix is beating Wall Street expectations for international subscriber growth — but its recently announced price increase in the U.S. may have put a damper on its momentum in the States. For the fourth quarter of 2018, Netflix reported 1.53 million paid net adds in the U.S. and 7.31 million internationally, to end the year [...]

  • Bird Box

    'Bird Box' Has Been Watched by 80 Million Subscribers, Netflix Says

    Netflix used its Q4 2018 earnings report Thursday to give us a rare update on some of its audience numbers: The company estimates that its horror-thriller “Bird Box” will be viewed by over 80 million member households in the first four weeks following its release. “We are seeing high repeat viewing,” company executives wrote in [...]

  • Crackle Latin America

    Sony Shuts Down Crackle Latin America Business

    Sony Pictures Television is folding the Crackle Latin America subscription VOD service, which has 400,000 subscribers across 17 countries, after concluding the business isn’t economically viable. Crackle Latin America first launched in April 2012 as an ad-supported streaming service — like the U.S. version of Crackle — before switching in 2016 to a subscription video-on-demand [...]

  • Google Home entryway

    NPR Has Turned 'Wait Wait... Don’t Tell Me' Into a Game for Smart Speakers

    NPR has turned its popular “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” news quiz show into an interactive game for smart speakers: Owners of speakers powered by Google’s Assistant or Amazon Alexa will be able to play along to questions about the news of the week. Just like the radio show, the quiz is being hosted by [...]

  • WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01

    BritBox Subscribers Hit Half a Million

    The number of subscribers to BritBox has hit 500,000, the streaming service said Thursday. The platform, launched as a collaboration between BBC Studios and ITV, is designed to offer U.S. and Canadian viewers the best of recent and classic British television content. The streaming service launched in the U.S. in March 2017 with a host of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content