Donaldson takes the crown from Ryan Kaji, the now 10-year-old YouTube toy unboxing sensation, who's lead the Forbes top earner list for the past three years running.
The top YouTuber earnings overall actually saw a big jump in 2021 - as explained by Forbes:
|"Altogether, the YouTubers collectively earned about $300 million in 2021 - another record amount - up 40% from a year earlier, mostly propelled higher by increasing views on their YouTube channels and the ad revenue they generate from those videos. Around half their earnings come from that ad revenue. To pad their pay further, all these stars have branded merchandise lines. And they variously dabble in generating additional revenue from Twitch, Snap, Facebook, podcasts, NFTs - even hamburgers."|
- Jake Paul - $45 million: The social media influencer turned boxer, Paul remains a divisive figure for many. But no matter how you feel, he's clearly doing something right.
- Markiplier - $38 million: Gaming creator Markiplier continues to see huge success, with his 31.5 million channel subscribers tuning into his increasingly creative, and original content.
- Rhett & Link - $30 million: The YouTube OGs, Rhett and Link are currently preparing to launch Season 21 of their show 'Good Mythical Morning', which has run for more than 2,000 total episodes thus far.
- Unspeakable - $28.5 million: Primarily a Minecraft content creator, Nathan Graham has been expanding his content into more elaborate, real-life set-ups, which has propelled his success to new heights.
- Like Nastya - $28 million: Seven year-old Nastya Radzinskaya is the youngest creator in the Forbes list, with her channel content focusing on toy reviews and activities for kids.
- Ryan Kaji (Ryan's World) - $27 million: The former child king of YouTube, Kaji has dropped down the list in 2021, but remains hugely popular, with his toy unboxing videos keeping youngsters entertained around the world.
- Dude Perfect - $20 million: The Dude Perfect team formulate unique sports challenges, and have more recently taken to adding celebrity cameos and partnerships to boost their content.
- Logan Paul - $18 million: The other Paul, who's now a retired boxer himself, remains a highly influential figure, and in many ways highlights the value of creating a persona that people can align with throughout their own life. Though his luck did take a turn recently (see below). Worth noting too, Paul originally rose to fame on Vine.
- Preston - $16 million: Finally, making up the top ten, Preston Arsement has gained a massive following for his gaming videos, which once again underlines the significant of gaming in modern web culture.