The highest-paid YouTubers of 2020 have been revealed – Screen Shot
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The highest-paid YouTubers of 2020 have been revealed

Although TikTok has recently become everyone’s number one app, YouTube remains our go-to video-sharing platform when looking for any type of content. Want to see Cardi B’s new music video? You go on YouTube. Looking for a video tutorial on how to open a tin without a tin opener? Again, you know you’ll find one on YouTube. You get my point.

According to research firm Statista, 77 per cent of US internet users aged 15 to 25 tune into YouTube. But what about Youtubers—are they as young as their audience, and how much do they earn? Forbes just revealed the highest-paid YouTube stars of 2020, and some of them are shockingly young.

YouTube’s top earners in 2020

10. Jeffree Star


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Earnings: $15 million
Views (from June 2019 to June 2020): 600 million
Subscribers: 16.9 million

Beauty influencer Jeffree Star has regularly made headlines for different controversies. His self-described past racist behaviour and allegations of sexual assault, which he denies, as well as a years-long feud with fellow YouTuber James Charles have caused some business ramifications, including the decision by retailer Morphe to stop selling his line.

Regardless, Star still clocked 600 million views between June 2019 and June 2020. Even more lucrative than his YouTube channel, though, is his makeup line, which he sells direct-to-consumer. One of his most recent collections, Blood Money, features £52 eyeshadows and £16 lip balms, and his popular Conspiracy Collection, launched in 2019, reportedly sold 1 million eyeshadow palettes in 30 minutes.

9. David Dobrik


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Earnings: $15.5 million
Views: 2.7 billion
Subscribers: 18 million

Over the past few years, Dobrik, 24, has done just about anything to make his audience laugh. “He has driven a convertible through a car wash, shaved someone’s entire body and even once surprised his best friend by marrying his mom,” writes Forbes.

Lately, Dobrik has concentrated on his TikTok presence. He’s been a hit there, too, accumulating more than 24.7 million followers. He’s also won corporate sponsorships from SeatGeek, Bumble, EA and others. His devoted audience has led to a thriving apparel business named Clickbait.

8. Blippi (Stevin John)


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Earnings: $17 million 
Views: 8.2 billion
Subscribers: 27.4 million

Stevin John is the only adult creating kids content on the list. After launching his channel in 2014, the 32-year-old became known as Blippi, the brightly dressed, child-like character who educates through videos like Blippi Visits the Aquarium and Learn Colors with Blippi. Like other YouTubers, he has rolled out a full-scale merchandise line at big box retailers—child-size versions of his iconic orange glasses and blue-and-orange beret are top sellers—and offers his videos through Hulu and Amazon.

7. Nastya (Anastasia Radzinskaya)


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Earnings: $18.5 million
Views: 39 billion
Subscribers: 190.6 million

The six-year-old Russian YouTuber goes by Nastya on her channel, which features her and her father playing with legos, doing household chores and explaining viruses. The videos are colourful, expressive and don’t feature much advanced language, making them perfect for her global audience of toddlers. Since her debut on the list in 2019, Nastya has branched out—she’s become a popular kid on TikTok with 3.1 million followers and will launch her licensing programme next year.

6. Preston Arsement


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Earnings: $19 million 
Views: 3.3 billion
Subscribers: 33.4 million

Arsement, 26 first rose to YouTube stardom off his videos exploring the animated cosmos and has since branched out to several other gaming-focused YouTube channels. On one, he plays Roblox. Another is called TBNRFrags—the acronym standing for ‘the best never rest’, the last word gaming slang for slaying an opponent. TBNRFrags features his exploits on Call of Duty. Arsement operates several lucrative Minecraft servers, where users pay to access Minecraft worlds he’s created and for in-game items; he also runs another YouTube channel, PrestonCosmic, devoted to his time playing on his servers.

5. Markiplier (Mark Fischbach)


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Earnings: $19.5 million
Views: 3.1 billion
Subscribers: 27.8 million

Markiplier has been at it on YouTube for eight years, posting ultra-popular breakdowns of video games. They’ve drawn in nearly 28 million subscribers, eager to pour over his new videos and vast archive—like, say, his 31-part series examining 2013’s Cry of Fear.

Over the past year, Markiplier, 31, decided to change things up, and in addition to his existing YouTube channel, he and fellow gamer Ethan Nestor (aka CrankGameplays) founded a new channel, Unus Annus. On it, they featured funny, stunt-y vlogs. One time they tried on a bunch of Grinch costumes. In another, they had themselves pepper-sprayed. They posted a video every day for a year, then deleted the channel entirely, erasing all of its content, a comment about the fickle lifespan of internet popularity.

Unus Annus was indeed popular, bringing in 4.5 million subscribers and nearly 1 billion views. When the time came to pull the plug last month, more than 1.5 million people tuned into a livestream as the duo bid goodbye, about roughly the same number who might ordinarily watch a primetime Sunday night baseball game on TV, according to Forbes.

4. Rhett and Link


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Earnings: $20 million 
Views: 1.9 billion
Subscribers: 41.8 million

Having started their nerdy talk show Good Mythical Morning back in 2012, Rhett and Link are some of YouTube’s longest-standing stars. Rhett (43-year-old Rhett James McLaughlin) and Link (42-year-old Charles Lincoln III) have recently added something else to their Mythical Entertainment Co.

In February 2019, they paid $10 million to acquire SMOSH, a sketch comedy YouTube channel. With that purchase, Mythical Entertainment, which now has 100 employees, did almost 2 billion views on YouTube in the past year, bringing in some $11 million in estimated revenue from YouTube’s ad-share program. Good Mythical Morning also has a thriving fan club with monthly dues ranging from $10 to $20 for access to exclusive content.

3. Dude Perfect


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Earnings: $23 million
Views: 2.77 billion
Subscribers: 57.5 million

These five brothers (Coby Cotton, Cory Cotton, Garret Hilbert, Cody Jones and Tyler Toney) have more fun playing with lightsabers, Nerf Guns and paintballs than most adults do. Their popular stunts have led to a national tour that grossed about $6 million and an accompanying documentary, Backstage Pass.

In March, when the coronavirus first hit and professional sports were at a standstill, the group took to their YouTube channel to host the Quarantine Classic, competing against each other in three-point basketball shootouts and roller-chair hockey. The series of videos raised about $160,000 for the Red Cross and Feeding America.

2. Mr. Beast (Jimmy Donaldson)


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Earnings: $24 million
Views: 3 billion
Subscribers: 47.8 million

Donaldson is YouTube’s biggest new star, good enough for almost 50 million subscribers. His ultimate goal? doubling that. His videos are a mix of stunts and humour. In the last 12 months, Mr. Beast has frozen himself in ice, gone around a Ferris wheel 1,000 times and constructed the largest Lego tower ever.

1. Ryan Kaji

Earnings: $29.5 million
Views: 12.2 billion
Subscribers: 41.7 million

This November, the nine-year-old star became the first YouTuber featured in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with a float based on his superhero alter ego. It was a marketing ploy as much as it was a thrilling moment for the kids who tune into Kaji’s videos of DIY science experiments, family storytime and reviews of new toys. The bulk of his business comes from licensing deals for more than 5,000 Ryan’s World products—everything from bedroom decor and action figures to masks and walkie talkies.

YouTuber Suede Brooks speaks up about online bullying for Anti-Bullying Week 2020

Influencer Suede Brooks first found refuge in the YouTube community at 12 when she became the target of extreme bullying in school. Brooks created her own YouTube channel as a coping mechanism and was able to rebuild her self-esteem through her videos. For Anti-Bullying Week 2020, Brooks spoke to Screen Shot for the Not Just a Comment campaign about her personal experience with online bullying and the impact it can have on someone’s mental well-being.


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You’ve been the target of bullying in school when you were 12 and found refuge in the YouTube community. How has the internet helped you find your voice and made you feel protected from the outside world?

The internet has helped me in more ways than I can even fathom. It has helped me find my voice and made me feel protected by always being able to reach people wherever in the world. YouTube and social media, in general, has let me build this family from all over the world and I am so blessed to be able to have people all around the world constantly look out for me and care for who I really am.

When you were being bullied, how much impact did those comments have on you, your confidence and your mental well-being?

The impact that comment had on my mental well-being was astronomical at the beginning of my career because I was very young and didn’t know that the internet had a very scary and dark side to it. As I grew older, I learned that there are always going to be people that judge you for your looks, the way you dress, the things you do, etc. and you won’t always win! Now that I am 19,  I try not to let complete strangers judge me because they only see what I choose to put on the internet.


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When did you realise that bullying could also take place online and how was it different from the one you experienced in real life?

I realised that bullying could take place online when I was about 12 years old and I received extremely negative comments because I had braces and a lisp due to having them at a young age. It was definitely a different experience because people don’t really have the guts to say certain things in real life, so they take it to the internet where they can type away and think that it won’t affect us, and in reality, it does, extremely.

Do you still get affected by the comments and messages you get or do you simply ignore them now?

I still get affected here and there when people comment about things I can’t control, but for the most part, I try to completely ignore them.

How mindful of online bullying would you say you are when posting new content online?

I think my mindfulness has grown so much the past few years due to the fact that this is my career. Before I post something I always have a small thought in the back of my head “will I get hate comments for this?” and I know this is something I have to work on every day because I like to preach how important it is to be unapologetically yourself.

How does having such a big following, if at all, boost your confidence?

Having a massive following does not really boost my confidence at all, at the end of the day, I started this as a hobby and I still look at it like that even though it is where I make the majority of my money. I am a normal 19-year-old girl just trying to navigate through this thing called life!

What are other things you do to help you feel more confident and that you believe could help others?

A few things that help me feel confident are only following people I look up to on social media and make me feel happy. This is something I always suggest doing because at one point I was only following girls that literally looked perfect all the time and they made me very self-conscious even though I knew for a fact that there was so much more behind the scenes that people didn’t see.

What boundaries have you set on your social media platforms in order to keep some aspects of your life ‘safe’ from online bullies?

A few boundaries that I have set on my social platforms in order to keep some aspects of my life safe from online bullies is only posting things that genuinely make me happy. I like to spread positivity and love but at the same time try to be as authentic and me as possible.

If you could change one aspect about the internet, what would it be?

I thought about this question a lot and there wouldn’t be anything I would want to change. The internet has helped me in situations more than real life and I am very blessed to be able to reach the world within a click of a button.

Finally, what is the best thing you would recommend people to do for Anti-Bullying Week 2020?

The best thing I would recommend people to do for Anti-Bullying Week 2020 is to spread positivity on all your favourite influencers’ pages, at the end of the day we are all normal people and it never hurts to compliment someone here and there!

For Anti-Bullying Week 2020, Screen Shot is supporting the anti-bullying charity Ditch The Label in its mission to tackle online abuse. Our Not Just a Comment campaign features 6 inspiring change-makers who know first hand what it’s like to receive hate online, including Suede Brooks. They shared with us the worst comments they’ve ever received as they come together to highlight the impact that words can have on each and every one of us.

Read the facts, hear the comments, share with anyone who you think might be suffering from bullying and donate if you can to help support the incredible work Ditch The Label is doing. Share the hurtful comments you’ve received online using #NotJustAComment and you too raise awareness.