Forbes magazine just published a list of the top 10 YouTube channels based on annual revenue. To even get on the list you have to be generating at least $2.5 million. The top ranked channel is one guy who grossed $12 million in 2015.
2. Smosh (tie)
2. Fine Brothers (tie)
4. Lindsey Stirling
5. Rhett & Link (tie)
5. KSI (tie)
7. Michelle Phan
8. Lilly Singh (tie)
8. Roman Atwood (tie)
8. Rosanna Pansino (tie)
The topics of these top channels skew heavily toward comedy and how-to content, but watching people play video games is really popular too. The income is a mix of ad revenue from Google and sponsorships. A few people are parlaying their YouTube success into other ventures and one has gone from producing for the web to producing for television.
There are two key points that struck me reading this:
- YouTube Channels can be very profitable
- You don’t need big budgets and fancy productions to find an audience (but you do have to work at it)
My annual YouTube income doesn’t come close to $12 million (or even $2.5 million), but has been a steady source of revenue for years. And, those same videos help build a business beyond Google’s gates as well. Time to post up some more videos!
You can read the full Forbes article here: