For some YouTube stars, playing with toys is a full-time job. "Unboxing" shows make up some of the most popular channels on the site, and they rake in big bucks. In fact, YouTube's highest-paid star in 2018 runs a toy channel. Oh, and he's 7.
As CNBC reports, the eponymous youngster behind the insanely popular channel Ryan ToysReview, was just named the No. 1 earner on the annual Forbes Highest-Paid YouTube Stars ranking. The 7-year-old rakes in $22 million a year through ad revenue and partnerships, including his new line of toys and shirts, Ryan's World, which launched at Walmart and Target in 2018. The latter is probably what catapulted him from No. 8 on Forbes's 2017 list (making $11 million that year) to No. 1 in 2018.
Ryan ToysReview launched on YouTube in March 2015, and within months, millions of followers were tuning in to watch him discover and play with new toys. He's remained at the top of the most-viewed channels rankings ever since, and his reviews are influential enough that just being featured in a video often results in a spike in sales for specific toys. The channel currently has more than 17.3 million subscribers and 26 billion total views. His most popular video, which you can watch below, has more than 1.65 billion views and counting.
His family has since also branched out into other channels, including another vlog channel featuring Ryan and his younger sisters, a behind-the-scenes channel, and more. As public as his life is, though, to give the young millionaire a modicum of privacy, his parents keep his full name and location a secret.
To read more about the booming business of unboxing channels, check out our deep-dive here.