Don’t tell your kids: This 7-year-old made $29 million this year from YouTube.

-With AAP.

Long gone is the era when the most ‘valuable’ (reflected by salary) people in the world are supermodels. These days, thanks to a small thing called the internet, a new breed of people called ‘influencers‘ now make millions from their online presence – and a lot of them are children.

Take, for example, Ryan from Ryan ToysReview. He’s a tiny seven-year-old, and he has topped the Forbes list of the highest-earning YouTube stars of 2018, after making $29.8 million from June 2017 – June 2018.

If you’re not impressed by that number, let us put it to you this way: this author is 42 and made $0 from YouTube in 2018 (and every other year).

Yes, almost $30 million is an impressive amount of money for anyone to earn, let alone a small child. It’s even almost enough to buy a house in Sydney.

So, how has Ryan done it?

Anyone who’s a parent knows that kids love watching videos of other kids unbox toys (literally open them), try them out (usually squealing in delight), and give their opinion. The appeal of these ‘unboxing’ videos isn’t entirely clear to many of us, but millions of children around the world are addicted to living vicariously through other kids’ excitement.

And it’s that addiction which has earned Ryan status as a major worldwide influencer – and millions of dollars. Since launching his main channel in 2015, Ryan has amassed more than 17 million followers, and close to 26 billion views.

Sure, Ryan may be young, but don’t underestimate him – he understands his value.

“I’m entertaining and I’m funny,” Ryan told NBC recently. Super sweet – and also, quite obviously very true.

But if being entertaining and funny was enough to make you bajillions, this author would be rolling in some hardcore cash. So, exactly how is money made from opening up toys and playing with them?

According to Forbes, most of Ryan’s income comes from pre-roll advertising on his channels Ryan ToysReview and Ryan’s Family Review. As he gathers more followers and views, the price of the automated advertising increases. The other income is made by sponsored posts. And voilà – that’s the simple way a child in junior school makes more money than most of us ever will in our lives.


But wait, there’s more: Ryan’s YouTube status equates to many more future dollars. Ryan’s World, a toy and apparel collection sold exclusively at Walmart, was launched in August. Since then, Ryan’s videos have featured his slimes, the Ryan action figures, and clothing from the collection – and the resulting sales are strong.

If you’re pondering whether your kids should perhaps not return to school in 2019 and concentrate instead on more lucrative pursuits than reading, to keep you in a life you could only dream of, you should know that Ryan is not seeing all of his money right now. Forbes reports that 15 per cent of his earnings are held for him in a trust for when he turns 18 years of age. The other money is needed for administrative and marketing purposes.

We somehow think Ryan will still be OK with 15 per cent of his bajillions over the next few years.

So who else made the top YouTube earners list for 2018?

  1. Ryan (7): $29.8 million.
  2. Jake Paul (21): $29.2 million
  3. Dude Perfect: $27.1 million
  4. DanTDM: $25.1 million
  5. Jeffree Star: $24.4 million

If you’d like to hear more from Nama Winston, check out her stories, and subscribe to her weekly Mamamia Parents newsletter here.

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