Forbes has announced its second-annual list of the 50 highest-earning content creators and influencers across TikTok, YouTube, Instagram and Twitch… and their annual earnings will make you rethink your life choices.
We live in an increasingly digital world in which the biggest celebrities of today are no longer trapped in the finely polished enclaves of the silver screen, but are projected into our living rooms and bedrooms, or more pertinently, straight to our phones, available whenever we want.
This phenomenon has given rise to a new breed of celebrities: content creators and influencers who boast followings in the millions worldwide. They primarily cater to a younger demographic, consistently churning out daily content on their burgeoning platforms – and where there’s an increased viewership, there are big bucks to be made.
Forbes has revealed that “the 50 honorees on our second annual Forbes Top Creator list harnessed their combined 2.6 billion followers to haul in an estimated $700 million in earnings. That’s up more than 20% from 2022’s $570 million score.”
Topping this year’s list is Jimmy Donaldson, known around the world by the moniker, MrBeast. The American YouTuber has become a household name through his various philanthropic – and big-budget – stunts and challenges that he posts regularly to his channel.
Forbes estimates MrBeast took home a mouth-watering sum of $82 million USD (~$129 million AUD) last year, transforming his dedicated 312 million following and his unmatched online clout into a small fortune, turning his once small YouTube channel into a multi-million dollar empire.
Coming in second is the multifaceted KSI – real name, Olajide Olatunji. Rising to prominence in 2009 through his hilarious reaction videos to one of the world’s biggest games, FIFA, KSI has grown into one of the biggest stars on the planet, making videos alongside his team of British YouTubers, The Sidemen, KSI has grown from being an online comedian making videos in his bedroom to a multifaceted artist and entrepreneur.
He is also the prominent face of Prime Hydration, sharing the spotlight with Logan Paul; together the pair have secured official partnerships with football teams FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Arsenal, in addition to pro athletes Erling Haaland and Alisha Lehmann.
Forbes predicts KSI made around $24 million USD (~$38 million AUD) last year. Not bad at all.
Rounding out the Top 3 is Jake Paul, the self-profess Problem Child. Paul started his career on Vine and was featured on the Disney Channel as a teenager. Now 26, Paul has amassed 66 million followers across all his social channels, entertaining his following with a series of high-stakes pranks and challenges – but with it, has attracted a litany of controversy.
Paul now considers himself a professional boxer going toe-to-toe with high-profile opponents such as Tommy Fury, Tyron Woodley and even Nate Diaz.
Forbes puts Paul’s earnings at just over $34 million USD (~$53 million AUD) for last year.
Check out the Top 10 of Forbes Top Creators 2023 below.
|1||MrBeast||$82 million (~$129 million AUD)||312 million|
|2||KSI||$24 million (~$38 million AUD)||112 million|
|3||Jake Paul||$34 million (~$53 million AUD)||66 million|
|4||Rhett & Link||$35 million (~$55 million AUD)||51 million|
|5||Charli D’Amelio||$23 million (~35 million AUD)||213 million|
|6||Logan Paul||$21 million ($33 million AUD)||74 million|
|7||Elliot Tebele (F*ckJerry)||$30 million (~$47 million)||17 million|
|8||Emma Chamberlain||$20 million (~$31 million AUD)||28 million|
|9||Matt Rife||$25 million (~$39 million AUD)||22 million|
|10||Brent Rivera||$17.5 million USD (~$27 million AUD)||96 million|