These YouTube sensations are raking in millions – and you may be surprised by just who’s doing it. The site has the power to make celebrities out of everyday people (Justin Bieber can thank YouTube for his fame) and because of the site’s monetization structure, these folks are profiting from the comfort of their home.
The Google-owned platform brought in over $3.5 billion during 2017 through its advertising model: YouTube keeps 45 percent of all ad earnings while the content creator keeps the remaining 55 percent.
This article examines the YouTube stars who have successfully used the service to build their riches, according to a 2017 list published by Forbes.
1. Daniel Middleton (DanTDM)
The award for the top YouTube earner goes to Daniel Middleton. Middleton is a YouTuber focused on the game Minecraft. Middleton posts daily reviews and gameplay videos. DanTDM, as he is known to his fans, brought in $16.5 million for the year. Middleton has over 20 million subscribers and nearly 14 billion video views on his YouTube channel as of October 2018.
2. Evan Fong (VanossGaming)
The runner-up is Canadian gamer Evan Fong at $15.5 million. Better known as Vanoss or VanossGaming, Fong plays popular video games like Grand Theft Auto, and has integrated a number of sponsorships into his comedy videos. VanossGaming has over 23 million subscribers to his YouTube channel and has topped three million followers on Instagram in 2018.
3. Dude Perfect
Coming in at $14 million is the group of five friends known as Dude Perfect. They mainly make comedy videos around sports stereotypes, plus publish a number of trick shot and sports battle-themed clips. All of the "dudes" are former high school basketball players and college roommates at Texas A&M University. Their YouTube channel has nearly 36 million subscribers and generated over six billion video views.
4. (tie) Mark Fischbach (Markiplier)
The number four spot is a tie at $12.5 million. Mark Fischbach is another successful gaming YouTuber who has said that he hopes to expand into acting and music as well. His 22 million subscribers know him better as Markiplier and admire his penchant for exciting play-by-play commentary, original comedy sketches and animated parodies.
4. (tie) Logan Paul
Logan Paul posts a regular series of funny reaction videos and vlogs to his YouTube channel. He made $12.5 million in 2017 and the former Vine star has previously appeared with his brother, Jake on Disney's (DIS) "Bizaardvark." Paul's channel has generated four billion views since 2015 and is quickly approaching 19 million subscribers.