The YouTube stars making more money than anyone else on the platform
Earned: Estimated £6.5 million
What started as a method to help deal with depression has made Lily Singh a multi-millionaire. The Canadian superwoman’s channel has received more than 1.3 billion views since it was launched in 2010, thanks in part to Singh’s uncanny impersonations of her parents.
As the views continued to rise, Singh gave up her plan to get a Masters in Psychology and become a therapist, and instead pursued a career as a full-time vlogger. Her hilarious videos are always self-deprecating, and cover topics like ‘What Clubbing Is Like’ and ‘Why Bras Are Horrible.’ Her videos include guests like Victoria Justice, Gina Rodriguez and even Michelle Obama. Singh has appeared on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show, and in YouTube videos with James Franco and Seth Rogen.
Earned: Estimated £5 million
Tyler Oakley has made the crossover from YouTube sensation to mainstream media star by signing a deal with Ellen DeGeneres to create his own digital talk show. Oakley’s videos range from guessing celebrity abs with Tom Daley and trying strange toys with Kellie Pickler to interviewing Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama.
The 28-year-old, who uploaded his first video in 2007, uses his platform to advocate for LGBT youth, and as a result, he has raised more than a million dollars for The Trevor Project. Last year Oakley released his first book of essays, Binge, which became a bestseller, and did a live show tour.
Earned: Estimated £6 million
Childhood friends Ian Hecox and Daniel Padilla are Smosh, an American sketch comedy duo that joined YouTube just months after the video-upload site premiered in 2005. The childhood friends quickly rose to fame with parody sketches such as ‘Masterchef Millennials’ and ‘The Big What If,’ as well as a long running series dedicated to Pokemon-related videos.
Hecox and Padilla became the first YouTubers to have their own wax figures at Madame Tussauds, and their first feature-length film, Smosh: The Movie, is currently streaming on Netflix. However, in June Padilla announced he would be walking away from the channel-turned-brand-turned-network to do his own thing. In his goodbye video, Padilla said he and co-founder Hecox remain friends, and that Smosh will continue in his absence.