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Mr. Beast Takes the Top Spot in Forbes’ 2021 YouTube Earners List

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Mr. Beast Takes the Top Spot in Forbes' 2021 YouTube Earners List

It’s been coming for a while, and in 2021, it finally happened. According to Forbes’ annual listing of the highest-earning creators on YouTube, Jimmy Donaldson – aka ‘Mr. Beast’ – now leads the way, after raking in an estimated $54 million from his YouTube content throughout the year.

Donaldson takes the crown from Ryan Kaji, the now 10-year-old YouTube toy unboxing sensation, who’s lead the Forbes top earner list for the past three years running.

The top YouTuber earnings overall actually saw a big jump in 2021 – as explained by Forbes:

Altogether, the YouTubers collectively earned about $300 million in 2021 – another record amount – up 40% from a year earlier, mostly propelled higher by increasing views on their YouTube channels and the ad revenue they generate from those videos. Around half their earnings come from that ad revenue. To pad their pay further, all these stars have branded merchandise lines. And they variously dabble in generating additional revenue from Twitch, Snap, Facebook, podcasts, NFTs – even hamburgers.

It’s worth noting that these are not official earnings numbers – Forbes uses a range of sources to formulate its estimates, including data from Captiv8, SocialBlade and Pollstar as well as interviews with industry insiders. 

So the numbers here are not definitive, as we can’t know for sure how much each creator has brought in. But based on these combined research sources, the top 10 YouTube earner list for the past year is:

1. MrBeast – $54 million

Best known for his highly elaborate videos, and massive giveaways, Mr. Beast took some major steps in 2021, including launching his own chain of fast-food delivery outlets across the US and Canada.

2. Jake Paul – $45 million

The social media influencer turned boxer, Paul remains a divisive figure for many. But no matter how you feel, he’s clearly doing something right.

3. Markiplier – $38 million

Gaming creator Markiplier continues to see huge success, with his 31.5 million channel subscribers tuning into his increasingly creative, and original content.

4. Rhett & Link – $30 million

The YouTube OGs, Rhett and Link are currently preparing to launch Season 21 of their show ‘Good Mythical Morning’, which has run for more than 2,000 total episodes thus far.

5. Unspeakable – $28.5 million

Primarily a Minecraft content creator, Nathan Graham has been expanding his content into more elaborate, real-life set-ups, which has propelled his success to new heights.

6. Like Nastya – $28 million

Seven year-old Nastya Radzinskaya is the youngest creator in the Forbes list, with her channel content focusing on toy reviews and activities for kids.

7. Ryan Kaji (Ryan’s World) – $27 million

The former child king of YouTube, Kaji has dropped down the list in 2021, but remains hugely popular, with his toy unboxing videos keeping youngsters entertained around the world.

8. Dude Perfect – $20 million

The Dude Perfect team formulate unique sports challenges, and have more recently taken to adding celebrity cameos and partnerships to boost their content.

9. Logan Paul – $18 million

The other Paul, who’s now a retired boxer himself, remains a highly influential figure, and in many ways highlights the value of creating a persona that people can align with throughout their own life. Though his luck did take a turn recently (see below). Worth noting too, Paul originally rose to fame on Vine.

10. Preston – $16 million

Finally, making up the top ten, Preston Arsement has gained a massive following for his gaming videos, which once again underlines the significant of gaming in modern web culture.

It’s interesting to note the top trends, which are not based on views, so these are not the most-viewed channels, necessarily. But they are the creators that are beat monetizing their efforts.

If you’re looking to get a better understanding of YouTube, and what resonates with audiences, these creators can provide some key guide notes, while they also highlight the opportunities for revenue generation as a result of online content.

Which is definitely not easy, but it is worth noting the success of these stars, and learning from their channels to build your own online video approach.

You can read Forbes’ full top ten YouTube earners listing for 2021 here.


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Solar Flares Or Sabotage? Internet Theories On Today’s Massive Cell Phone Outage

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Solar Flares Or Sabotage? Internet Theories On Today's Massive Cell Phone Outage

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Massive cell phone outages across America are being reported today by customers of AT&T, Cricket Wireless, Verizon, T-Mobile, Consumer Cellular, Boost Mobile, US Cellular, and Straight Talk Wireless, according to data from Downdetector, an online platform that monitors connectivity. That story and more news you need to read today, inside.

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Meta Expands Access to Instagram’s Creator Marketplace

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Meta Expands Access to Instagram’s Creator Marketplace

Meta has announced that it’s finally expanding access to its Creator Marketplace tool, which will give more businesses the capacity to search for creators to work with on their Instagram campaigns.

Meta first launched its Creator Marketplace back in 2022, enabling U.S.-based brands to search and connect with relevant platform influencers based on a range of qualifiers, including focus topics, follower counts, location, etc.

And now, businesses in the following regions will also be able to access the tool:

  • Canada
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • United Kingdom
  • Japan
  • India
  • Brazil

In addition to this, Meta also says that Chinese export brands will also be invited to connect with onboarded creators in countries outside of China.

Which is interesting, considering Meta’s tenuous history with the CCP’s “Great Firewall”, but the deal here relates to Chinese businesses operating in regions outside of their homeland, which is somewhat separate to Meta’s internal dealings.

In addition to expanding access, Meta’s also rolling new machine learning-based recommendations within Creator Marketplace, which will use Instagram data to help brands more easily discover creators who are the best fit for their campaigns.

Instagram Creator Marketplace

As you can see in this example, the new recommendations will highlight accounts that have strong engagement rates in your niche, have mentioned your brand in the past, or have produced good results for similar businesses.

That could make it easier to find the right fit, or at the least, to give you more options to consider in your process.

Branded Content collaborations can be highly effective on IG, by using the established expertise and experience of creators who have already built a following in the app, and know what works, to boost your promotions.

By working with the right creators, with connection to your target audience, you can secure valuable endorsement within key communities, which can help to germinate your branding in the right communities.

Brands can check out Instagram’s creator marketplace in Meta Business Suite, with access coming to these new regions shortly.



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X Faces Restrictions in India and Pakistan Amid Government Orders for Content Removals

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New Report Finds That X May Be Inflating its Ad Performance Results

X is facing new challenges in both India and neighboring Pakistan, with the Indian Government calling on X to censor specified accounts to counter unrest, and Pakistani officials seemingly blocking access to X altogether, amid accusations of vote rigging in its recent election.

Firstly, in India. As confirmed by X, the Indian Government has issued a new order for X to ban users that it has identified as prompting civil disobedience.

As per X:

“The Indian government has issued executive orders requiring X to act on specific accounts and posts, subject to potential penalties including significant fines and imprisonment. In compliance with the orders, we will withhold these accounts and posts in India alone; however, we disagree with these actions and maintain that freedom of expression should extend to these posts.”

X says that even though it is moving to fulfill these orders, it will also continue to challenge the Indian Government’s bans through whatever legal means it has available.

It’s not the first time that the Indian Government has demanded specific censorship from the platform, with both X and previous Twitter management being called upon to remove certain comments and users who’ve gone against official rulings.

Last year, X was forced to remove a BBC documentary that was critical of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi after it was banned in the nation, which many used as an example to highlight X’s inability to uphold its own free speech approach.  

Twitter, meanwhile, was served with a non-compliance notice in 2021 for refusing to action similar account takedown demands from the Indian Government. In that instance, which directly related to civil unrest, India threatened to shut down Twitter entirely in response, while it also suggested that the company’s Indian staff could face up to seven years jail time for failing to comply.

As such, Twitter was effectively forced to action India’s requests, in order to protect its staff (note: The Indian Government has denied that any such threats occurred).

Both incidents serve as reminders of how authoritarian regimes will look to control mass communication platforms, like Twitter and X, in order to manage messaging, and combat noncompliance.

Pakistan, too, has a long history of seeking to control social platforms, though more notably due to “inappropriate content”, as opposed to what users are saying. Pakistan, which is a Muslim country, has banned various apps, at different times, in response to concerns about content, though in this latest instance, it does seem to be taking a leaf out of India’s book in using bans to quell civil unrest.

X will now have to find a way to maintain an adequate balance between adhering to such requests, while upholding its own “free speech” ethos, though X owner Elon Musk has been clear from the start that his free speech push will not go beyond the bounds of local laws in each region.

So while Twitter has challenged India’s requests in the past, and X has vowed to seek further legal clarification around the same, it will be aligning with the Indian government’s requests, and removing users and content in line with their requirements.

Does that mean that X isn’t willing to stand its ground on its much lauded open speech approach?

No, not when the alternative is to see X banned entirely, which would eliminate all speech for the impacted individuals, and reduce all protests against government action.

And no matter what your opinion of X may be, it is still a highly influential platform, in many ways, which is why officials are still looking to control the discussion in the app.

Though the bigger for question for Elon specifically is how such actions could impact his other businesses.

Tesla is still working to get into the emerging Indian market, which could become a huge sales opportunity for the company. Tesla’s been working with the Indian Government to enact new concessions on import duties, in order to bring its vehicles to market, and it’d be interesting to know whether Indian officials have used such as a lever to pressure action at X.

Based on what we know, it does seem like X would have little choice either way, but it’s another consideration in this instance, which could cause some uncomfortable internal discussions around the same.



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