10 YouTube stars that rake in the big bucks

These folks have created a new career for themselves by becoming viral YouTube stars! Excluding channels dedicated to music videos and movie trailers, here are the top 10 highest-earning YouTube celebrities:

10. Annoying Orange: This comedy Web series, created by Dane Boedigheimer, debuted on YouTube in January 2010. Its videos feature an anthropomorphic orange who annoys other fruits and often uses crude humor. With more than 2 billion views in just four years, the channel has spawned a TV series, a video game, toys and a T-shirt line.

Annual earnings: $3.4 million

Subscribers: 4,100,240

Views: 2,410,594,143

9. UberHaxorNova: James Richard Wilson Jr. is the man behind this channel, known for its inappropriate jokes and videos on games and the gamer lifestyle. He joined the video-sharing site in 2008.

Annual Earnings: $3.5 million

Subscribers: 2,713,385

Views: 1,422,401,817

8. RayWilliamJohnson: Comedian Ray William Johnson was studying law at Columbia University when he started watching videos on YouTube. He then started making his own. He video-blogs and provides commentary on the biggest viral videos.

  • Annual Earnings: $4 million
  • Subscribers: 10,827,107
  • Views: 2,810,096,227

7. TobyGames: This popular gaming channel is most known for its “Minecraft,” “Skyrim,” Happy Wheels, Slender and “Walking Dead” series. “Watch me fail to be good at video games,” the channel’s profile reads. The author also has two other channels, Tobuscus and TobyTurner.

  • Annual Earnings: $4.2 million
  • Subscribers: 6,917,106
  • Views: 1,867,214,633

6. JennaMarbles: This comedian and YouTube personality has the seventh-most subscribed channel and the top channel operated by a female. Originally from Rochester, New York, Jenna Marbles first gained national attention with her video titled, “How to Trick People Into Thinking You’re Good Looking.”

  • Annual Earnings: $4.3 million
  • Subscribers: 14,511,148
  • Views: 1,650,076,560

5. BluCollection ToyCollector: This channel provides “kid-friendly videos in Portuguese and Español for toddlers, babies, infants and preschool children.” This toy channel posts videos of unboxing and reviewing toys and play sets.

  • Annual Earnings: $4.8 million
  • Subscribers: 1,513,438
  • Views: 2,622,204,041

4. DC Toys Collector: The channel is very similar to No. 5, and a Buzzfeed report suggests the founder of Disney Collector may be married to the man behind Blu Collection. The videos feature demonstrations of high-tech gadgets and children’s toys.

  • Annual Earnings: $5 million
  • Subscribers: 3,369,452
  • Views: 4,560,266,446

3. Smosh: Anthony Padilla and​ his friend, Ian Hecox, are the guys behind Smosh. The comedy duo posts sketches and lip-sync videos and offer their own spin on everything funny or awesome on the Web.

  • Annual Earnings: $5.7 million
  • Subscribers: 19,545,673
  • Views: 3,959,654,811

2. YOGSCAST Lewis & Simon: This YouTube mainstay, formerly known as BlueXephos, produces gaming content. “Join us as we laugh our way through the best, the worst and the funniest indie games, Minecraft mods, mini-games and adventure maps,” the authors write on their profile.

  • Annual Earnings: $6.7 million
  • Subscribers: 7,232,198
  • Views: 2,940,251,397

1. PewDiePie: Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg goes by PewDiePie, an online alias. He is a Swedish video game commentator. This high-earning YouTube star is known for playing horror and action video games, especially “Amnesia: The Dark Descent.”

  • Annual Earnings: $7 million
  • Subscribers: 33,528,405
  • Views: 7,400,126,842

YouTube’s 10 most profitable channels of 2014 were, um, not what I expected

1. DisneyCollector BR (Monthly Views: 379,932,270; Estimated Annual Earning: $4,860,207.60)

DisneyCollectorBR is quite possibly the most unusual channel I’ve seen. It’s just videos of women’s hands unboxing and playing with toys.

2. TaylorSwiftVEVO (341711430 views; $4,110,788.52 earnings)

Pop queen Taylor Swift is raking in some serious YouTube dough. “Blank Spaces,” which was released just a month ago, already has over 250 million views.



3. PewDiePie (323,333,040 views; $3,998,530.32 earnings)

Swedish video game commentator PewDiePie has become a Youtube case study. His satirical take on the defunct Flappy Bird game snagged 25 million views.

4. littlebabybum (270,031,260 views; $3,462,340.80 earnings)

The Little Baby Bum channel is a compilation of pastel-colored children’s nursery rhymes. A 54 minute video, starting with Wheels on the Bus, has roughly 250 million views. This is all kinds of fascinating. Kids love watching things over and over (and over) again. It appears that the ownership model of previous generations seriously undercut the amount of money that could be made. As a kid, I’d watch some movies dozens of time. But I always owned the VHS tape, so the company made a fixed amount.

5. emimusic (254,617,170 views; $3,063,044.52 earnings)

Music label giant EMI is riding high off its portfolio of artistic giants. Check out this blast from the past, MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This.”

6. getmovies (225,495,870 views; $2,712,715.32 earnings)

This channel is the home of Russian children’s programming, including Masha and the Bear, a cartoon that follows in the hallowed tradition of a mischievous child and a fuzzy sidekick. An episode about porridge has over 350 million views. Who’da thunk it?

7. movieclipsTRAILERS (218,276,340 views; $2,746,876.80 earnings)

Who doesn’t love a good movie trailer? At 218 million views, very few people, evidently. This channel’s dedication to official trailers gets a whole lot of page views on the hard work of other content producers. The new Star Wars trailer alone snagged 50 million views.

8. SpinninRec (200,102,550 views; $2,516,189.52 earnings)

Have you recently popped a molly, are draped in fur, and are alone near your computer? Then this dance mix channel is for you. The electronic empire hosts music videos of household names, including Martin Garrix’s “Animals” — a video of what is basically people rhythmically licking each other behind breakdancers. It snagged a mere 440 million views.

9. WWE (189,586,350 views; $2,350,169.28 earnings)

Do you wish soap operas had more shirtless actors pile-driving one another? Then you’re probably a fan of WWE. And, judging by the page views, there are a lot of professional wrestling fans. Enjoy their most popular video below — a match of 41 people in Speedos tossing each other around a wrestling ring.

10. stampylonghead (188,905,230 views; $2,373,518.64 earnings)

Stampy is a giggly pixelated avatar that uploads daily Minecraft videos. In Stampy’s most popular video, you can watch the hero eat a virtual cake and thank one of his fans named Boo Boo Chicken. Re-read that last sentence a few times and maybe, by the 1,000th time, it’ll make sense.

To put this all in perspective, the most popular New York Times video of all time, Obama’s 2012 victory speech, got less than 10 million views. I don’t think any established publisher in their right mind could have predicted that toy unboxing and pixelated cakes would earn more than the most venerable news brands. So, it’s clear that YouTube can support content — but it’s much much different than anyone could have anticipated.