PewDiePie Tops List of Highest Paid YouTube Stars of 2016

Gamer made $15 million, up 20 percent from the previous year

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PewDiePie topped the list of the highest-paid YouTube stars of 2016, according to the list released by Forbes on Monday.

The gamer, whose real name is Felix Avrid Ulf Kjellberg, made $15 million in the 12-month period which ended in June. His videos, which primarily consist of clips of himself providing commentary as he plays video games, are watched by 50 million subscribers. During the period measured by Forbes, Kjellberg also launched the horror-themed YouTube Red series “Scare PewDiePie” and released his first book, “This Book Loves You.”

Kjellberg’s total is nearly double that of the second highest-paid YouTuber, Roman Atwood. Atwood earned $8 million for his prank videos, combined with a book deal, tour, merchandise and the film “Natural Born Pranksters.”

The top five is rounded out by vlogger Lilly Singh ($7.5 million), comedy duo Smosh ($7 million) and Rosanna Pansino ($6 million), who hosts the geek-themed baking series “Nerdy Nummies.”

Also making the top 10 are Tyler Oakley, German Garmendia, Mark Fischbach, Colleen Ballinger and the duo Rhett and Link.

In total, the list of the top-10 most lucrative YouTube channels earned $70.5 million this year. That’s up 23 percent from the year before.

According to Forbes, the rankings are based on “data from Nielsen, IMDB and other sources, as well as on interviews with agents, managers, lawyers, industry insiders and the stars themselves.”