Updated 06:12 AM EDT, Sat, Oct 23, 2021

PewDiePie Number One On Forbes' List of Top YouTube Earners

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YouTube is fast becoming a platform for anything and everything and what started as a video site meant for home-made videos, the site is now a multi-million dollar brand with multi-million dollar businesses.

Over the past few years, some channels made their way to being big businesses, many of them, like PewDiePie and Smosh essentially small-time production studios with their own merchandise and advertising contracts. These channels have become so big, it's no secret that they're making a lot.

But how much?

These days, fans can find out how much their favorite YouTubers are making and they're making big. According to Tech Times, the list of the highest-paid YouTube stars from Forbes won't make it to Fortune 500, but it's still more than you might think.

For instance, topping the list is PewDiePie (Felix Kjellberg), who has an estimated $12 million revenue (pre-tax). Tied for second place are Smosh and The Fine Brothers, with $8.5 million each. Violinist Lindsey Stirling is third, with $6 million.

While Tech Times acknowledged that $12 million may not be a lot compared to actors and actresses, or CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, it is still very impressive considering that they make that much money just by uploading videos to a free platform.

PewDiePie, for instance, gets a lot of attention --- to the tune on 40 million subscribers --- who are all helping him pull in cash. Business Insider noted that YouTube stars are getting paid mainly by interacting with products on their channels and sharing the revenue with YouTube. Others have become so big that they get to star in movies, write books, go on tour or even sell music and have endorsement deals.

The rest of the top ten include Rhett and Link, and KSI with $4.5 million, make-up artist Michelle Phan with $3 million, and comedian Lilly Singh (Superwoman), prankster Roman Atwood, and chef Rosanna Pansino, with $2.5 million each.

These figured are based on data from online sources like Nielsen and IMDb, managers, lawyers, industry insiders and even the stars themselves.

Forbes mentioned that the DIY filmmakers, who are directors, producers and actors rolled into one, are making millions by doing what older generations may deem as more play than actual work. PewDiePie, for instance, made his money by commenting on videogames, while Smosh and The Fine Brother serve up some good comedy.

What do you think of YouTube being a platform making millions of dollars for its users?

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