They are not Hollywood superstars but they made it to Forbes list as millionaires because of their YouTube videos.
Forbes named Felix Kjellberg, better known in the video sharing world as “PewDiePie,” as the highest paid YouTube star the past year.
PewDiePie earned $12 million by creating YouTube content over the past year. The 25-year-old video gamer from Sweden is known for making commentaries while playing video games.
He has nearly 40 million YouTube subscribers and more than 10 billion views on his videos, ABC News noted.
The No. 2 slot was a tie between comedy prankster duo Smosh and the Fine Brothers. Both have earnings of $8.5 million.
Here’s the complete list of Forbes World’s Highest-Paid YouTube Stars 2015
1. Video game commentator PewDiePie (Felix Kjellberg) – $12 million
2. Comedy pranksters Smosh (Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla); and Fine Brothers (Benny and Rafi Fine) – $8.5 million
3. Dancing violist Lindsey Stirling – $6 million
4. Comedians Rhett and Link (Rhett McLaughlin and Charles Lincoln Neal III); and video game commentator KSI (Olajide Olatunji) – $4.5 million
5. Make-up artist Michelle Phan – $3 million
6. Comedian Superwoman (Lilly Singh); prankster Roman Atwood; and self-trained pastry chef Rosanna Pansino – $2.5 million
Forbes said the figures are based on data from Nielsen, IMDB and other sources. Interviews with YouTube stars themselves, their agents, managers, lawyers, and industry insiders themselves were also considered.
The minimum pretax earnings to make it to the list was $2.5 million, in the year ending June 1, 2015.
Forbes noted that most of its YouTube top earners are under 30 years old, which is slightly older than their target audience members. Many of the top earners’ subscribers belong to the generation that prefers YouTube than old-fashioned television.
According to Business Insider, YouTube stars earn money mainly by getting paid in discussing products on their channels and sharing ad revenue with YouTube. Some of them also got featured in movies, write books, made tours, sell music, or had endorsement deals.