Mushroom-headed, big-eyed, bouncing around the camera, the look is weird: Ryan Kaji, 8, looks like a carefree kid, but he also has a more shiny identity – the most gold-sucking internet celebrity. Ryan topped Forbes’ 2019 YouTube revenue list with $26 million (about 180 million yuan). He earned $22 million in 2018.
Picture: Video Screenshot
Ryan owns a channel called Ryan’s World on YouTube, which has 23 million subscribers, as well as Spanish and Japanese versions. The channel was originally built in 2015, when Ryan was just three years old.
The channel updates a video every day, the content is very simple, is to play. With new toys, professional experiences, and science experiments, Ryan shows a sun-drenled children’s world with his bright smile.
In April 2016, the channel posted a video called “Huge Egg Surprise Toy Challenge on an Inflatable Slide” (HUGE EGGS Surprise Challenge With Water Slide) which received up to 1.9 billion views. It is one of the 50 most viewed videos on YouTube. The video shows five-year-old Ryan running up and down in a simple inflatable slide toy on the lawn, looking for the “egg surprise” hidden in it, and then opening the little toy hidden in the egg one by one.
Photo: YouTube Screenshot
Ryan’s parents and twin sister also regularly appear in the video with him. They created their own video style with bright colors, exaggerated expressions and body language.
Forbes’ earnings list is based on pre-tax income from sponsorships, advertising, peripheral product sales, and offline activities. For many “online celebrities” like Ryan, the video is a knock on the door, and other derivatives are the magic weapon of their crazy money-sucking. Ryan already owns his own brand, selling more than 100 toys, clothing and other products. In early December, the Ryanfamily opened an online store on Amazon.
Ryan’s spin-off TV show also aired its first season on Nickelodeon, and he struck a deal with pay-TV site Hulu to repackage his videos.
Ryan’s parents have previously said that most of his income is in a fund to prepare for his college education.
As the children’s economy heats up, small online celebrities are emerging. In addition to Ryan, there is another child on the list, 5-year-old Anastasia Radzinskaya. She came from Russia in third place with $18 million. Unlike “groundgas” Ryan, the golden-haired, white-skinned Anastasia is like a little princess.
Picture: Video Screenshot
When Anastasia was born with cerebral palsy, doctors were worried that she would not be able to speak. To document her growth and treatment, her parents recorded her daily routine and posted it online. The video sings with her father quickly gained worldwide popularity, and now she has seven-language YouTube channels, with 107 million subscribers and 42 billion views.
Next year Anastasia will launch a toy brand, mobile games and publish a book. Lego theme parks and Danone have also invested in a six-figure investment to work with her.
A survey this year by the Pew Research Center found that videos on high-subscription channels contain nearly three times as many video views as other types of videos. Another Pew study found that 81 percent of parents aged 11 and under allow children to watch YouTube videos.
“YouTube is the most popular nanny in the world. Eyal Baumel, chief executive of Yoola, YouTube’s largest multi-channel network, said.
But the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is unhappy with the way children are “showing up” to make money, accusing YouTube of violating the Children’s Internet Privacy Protection Act. In response, YouTube’s first move was to ban targeted advertising for children’s content. The new rules could also affect natural search results, making children’s videos less likely to be at the top of Google search results, according to people familiar with the matter.
Other online celebrities on the high-income list include the fun-loving five-person group Dude Perfect, funny bloggers Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal, and beauty blogger Jeffree Star.