Just about anybody who can link a device that can shoot video to an Internet connection can upload those files onto the website YouTube. Reactions of fans attending a sporting event. A person performing a song or some other kind of entertainment routine. A proud mother showing off the fact that her young child is now able to take steps all on his own. These are just a few of the many types of videos that one could find while searching on YouTube. People who upload these files are, more often than not, not looking to make fortunes through the website. They merely have something that they would like to share with others.
That cannot be said about those who would be considered to be the “stars” of YouTube. For them, posting videos to YouTube is a standard job that is no different than whatever you do at a local office for 40+ hours a week. It may not, depending on your situation and the amount of money that you have stashed away in a bank account, be a stretch to suggest that the highest paid YouTube stars for 2015 actually have better jobs than you or I. Every one of those ten YouTube stars, according to a report posted by Forbes in October 2015, will make over $2 million a year off of their videos.
A woman who has shared her baking experiences with the world. The makeup artist who has become an international sensation. The young man who once thought it would be fun to post videos that featured him playing video games. The leader of a fan base that is known as the “Bro Army.” Every one of them are millionaires because of the website YouTube, and each of them will be able to have the careers and lives of their dreams all because of their Internet videos. Get to shooting, and then get to uploading. You could be the next person to be rich off of YouTube.
10 Rosanna Pansino: $2.5 Million
The star of the “Nerdy Nummies” videos is the first person to check in on the list of the highest paid YouTube stars for 2015. Rosanna Pansino had over 4.8 million YouTube followers as of the posting of this piece. Along with posting videos for her “geeky baking show,” Pansino has also used YouTube to launch her music video and song “Perfect Together.” That song can be purchased by fans via iTunes and Google Play. Pansino announced in 2015 that she would be releasing a cookbook, one that can be obtained via her official YouTube page. Who needs Food Network when you have YouTube?
9 Roman Atwood: $2.5 Million
Are you a fan of watching complete strangers getting pranked in different ways? Do you fondly remember the days when Punk'd was a fan-favorite among MTV viewers? If so, Roman Atwood may be the YouTube user that you want to follow from now on. Atwood has earned himself quite the reputation because of the numerous pranks that he has pulled off and showcased on YouTube. Atwood has, as of October 2015, over 7.5 million followers on the website. According to the Forbes story, Atwood has, in the past, had a relationship with Nissan, one that resulted in the YouTube phenom being showcased in a video for the company.
8 Lilly Singh: $2.5 Million
Lilly Singh is, per her YouTube name, one of the “Superwomen” of the video website. The comedian is a woman of many talents, and she has picked up a broad fan base because of her hilarious videos. Singh had a shade under 7 million followers on YouTube as of October 2015. One of her videos, titled “How Girls Get Ready,” has earned Singh over 15 million hits on YouTube. Among the celebrity encounters that she has had since becoming a famous YouTube personality, Singh partnered up with Selena Gomez for a video that was uploaded to YouTube in October of 2015.
7 Michelle Phan: $3 Million
A young woman coming up with the concept of using websites such as YouTube and Instagram is nothing new. Anybody looking to make a name for herself doing so would be wise to attempt to follow in the footsteps of Michelle Phan. Phan's videos have earned her over 8 million followers on YouTube as of the posting of this piece. It has not been all sunshine and rainbows for Phan over the years, however, as she was forced to settle with Ultra Records over some of the music that she used in her videos. Always get the proper permission before adding tunes to your videos, would-be YouTube stars.
6 KSI: $4.5 Million
Nearly 11 million people have subscribed to the YouTube page of gamer, musician and comedian KSI. Olajide Olatunjo picked up such a massive following on the website, in part, because of the videos that featured him playing versions of the popular FIFA video game series. He has since branched out and embraced other projects that don't involve that game. KSI has released a music video and songs, and he has uploaded videos of pranks. While YouTube has unquestionably been kind to KSI since he first began uploading videos, he has career dreams that go beyond just the Internet.
5 Rhett & Link: $4.5 Million
Rhett James McLaughlin and Charles Lincoln Neal III are better known by fans as “Rhett & Link.” The comedy duo has over 3 million subscribers on YouTube as of the posting of the Forbes story, somewhat of a low figure when you consider the other stars who are mentioned in this piece. As is explained in the Forbes piece, Rhett & Link have been smart as it pertains to business deals. They have had partnerships with companies such as Wendy's, Toyota, and Gillette. Check out their “Good Mythical Morning” show if you want an introduction to Rhett & Link.
4 Lindsey Stirling: $6 Million
Does choreographed violin performances now sound like it would be something that would interest you? Lindsey Stirling would like to have a word with you about that take. Stirling's jaw-dropping videos have made her one of the highest paid YouTube stars out there today, and they have earned her over 7 million subscribers on the website. Along with her career that has made her a millionaire and a celebrity, Stirling has used her fame to give back to causes. One such project involved Stirling raising money to “help underserved children have greater access to musical opportunities.”
3 Fine Brothers: $8.5 Million
The YouTube page for what is known as Fine Brothers Entertainment has over 13 million YouTube subscribers. Benny and Rafi Fine became so popular among users of the website for a series of videos that showed people reacting to other videos. Kids, teenagers and also adults have had roles in these videos over the years. Along with the YouTube videos, the Fine Brothers have had programs air on television networks Nickelodeon and Tru TV. Full episodes of the Tru TV show Six Degrees of Everything could, as of the posting of this piece, be watched via the show's official website.
2 Smosh: $8.5 Million
Ian Andrew Hecox and Anthony Padilla are the main men responsible for the sketch comedy duo that is known as Smosh. Per the story on the Forbes website, those two are rather busy running five YouTube pages. They went from web-based act that had a massive following to the big screen in the summer of 2015 when Smosh: The Movie was released. The YouTube stars who make millions of dollars via the website are two of the recognized names who are scheduled to be part of the Angry Birds movie that is set to be released during the summer of 2016.
1 PewDiePie: $12 Million
The comedian and gamer known as PewDiePie by fans sits atop the list of the highest paid YouTube stars for 2015. Felix Kjellberg has been known to be a private person when not “on,” and the amount of money that he has made from his videos is a subject you should not bring up if you meet him. He once told Icon magazine that he was “extremely tired of talking about how much I make” (h/t Business Insider). Some might think that is a negative attitude to have considering all of the success that he has enjoyed. When you are making $12 million a year off of YouTube, you can have any attitude you want.