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You've never heard of these 7 YouTube personalities, but they're making crazy money

Meet the wealthy members of the billion-view club.

Image: YouTube

MORE THAN A billion people visit YouTube every month, watching more than 6 billion hours of video between them.

Among those people are more than a million videomakers who earn real money from their footage.

And at the very top of that group are a few self-made personalities who are making huge amounts of cash. The chances are you’ve never seen these people, but they’re all in the billion-view club – with more than 1,000,000,000 video views in total – and earning enough to make them rich.

Meet the YouTube millionaires you’ve never heard of.

Estimated earnings are calculated by SocialBlade, which gives an upper and a lower limit based on different deals the creator could have cut with YouTube.

1. Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg / PewDiePie

Source: YouTube

Regular subscribers to his channel: 26,210,000

Total views: 4,204,891,586

Age: 24

How he makes big money: Born in Sweden but living in the UK, Felix makes short films of his own reactions as he plays video games. He has a dedicated online fandom, who he calls his ‘bros’ or the ‘Bro Army’.

Estimated earnings: €1.5million-€12.8million per year.

Source: PewDiePie/YouTube

2. Alejandro Garmendia / HolaSoyGerman

Source: YouTube

Regular subscribers to his channel: 17,294,000

Total views: 1,158,485,279

Age: 24

How he makes big money: HolaSoyGerman uploads comedy videos about lifestyle issues, particularly those around teenagers and young adults. He’s a Spanish-speaking YouTuber with a distinct high-energy style, who likes to complain about the difficulties of relationships.

Estimated earnings: €302,000 – €2.5million per year

Source: HolaSoyGerman/YouTube

3. James Wilson Jr / UberHaxorNova

Source: YouTube

Regular subscribers to his channel: 2,410,000

Total views: 1,214,384,913

Age: 23

How he makes big money: James is a gamer who posts ‘walkthrough’ clips of gameplay, accompanied by his commentary. He takes requests to play particular games, and talks through them in his distinctive, generally profane and always excitable voice.

Estimated earnings: €143,000 – €1.2million per year

Source: UberHaxorNova/YouTube

4. Ryan Higa / NigaHiga

Source: YouTube

Regular subscribers to his channel: 12137,817

Total views: 1,767,601,090

Age: 23

How he makes big money: Hawaii-born Higa started out posting comedy lip-sync clips while still at school, then moved on to writing his own skits and music videos. His biggest hits satirise social stereotypes – examples include How To Be Emo, How To Be Gangster and this song about how nice guys don’t get the girl.

Estimated earnings: €164,000 – €1.4million per year

Source: nigahiga/YouTube

5. DisneyCollectorBR

Source: YouTube

Regular subscribers to her channel: 1,268,683

Total views: 1,852,033,404

Age: ?

How she makes big money: DisneyCollectorBR is, quite simply, an unnamed Brazilian woman who collects Disney toys. In her videos she takes the toys out of their boxes, plays with them a little to demonstrate their functions, and sometimes explains where she got them.

All the while, she discusses what she’s doing and gives basic reviews – “This is awesome… very cute and colourful”.

Estimated earnings: €1million – €8.4million per year

Source: DisneyCollector/YouTube

6. Ray William Johnson / RayWilliamJohnson

Source: YouTube

Regular subscribers to his channel: 10,770,038

Total views: 2,671,253,232

Age: 32

How he makes big money: One of the oldest people on this list at 32, Johnson began his career putting out a regular YouTube show called Equals Three in which he reviewed viral videos and added commentary to them.

Other strings to his bow include a discussion-show podcast called Runaway Thoughts, an animated web series called Riley Rewind, and a band called Your Favourite Martian whose songs regularly notch up millions of views.

Estimated earnings: €37,000 – €308,000 per year

Source: RayWilliamJohnson/YouTube

7. Jordan Maron / CaptainSparklez

Source: YouTube

Regular subscribers to his channel: 7,351,000

Total views: 1,383,571,547

Age: 22

How he makes big money: The youngest YouTube personality on this list, Jordan’s channel centres around parody videos of hugely popular online game Minecraft. (He also plays through other games, but his most popular videos are Minecraft-based.) His biggest hits have been Minecraft versions of hit songs with altered lyrics – like this take on Usher’s DJ Got Us Falling In Love.

So we back in the mine / Got our pickaxe swinging from side to side, side to side…

Estimated earnigns €290,000 – €2.4million per year

Source: CaptainSparklez/YouTube

Viewing figures via VidStatsX.

A note: Yes, it’s sad that there’s only one woman in this list. The only other self-made (ie not a pop star) female member of the billion-view club is Jenna Marbles, who you might well have heard of as she has successfully parlayed her YouTube celebrity into the real world.

More: These are the must-follow Irish YouTubers you may be missing>

About the author:

Michael Freeman

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