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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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17 Content Options for Each Stage of the Sales Journey [Infographic]

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17 Content Options for Each Stage of the Sales Journey [Infographic]

Looking to formulate a better content strategy for 2023?

This will help – the team from Orbit Media has put together a listing of 17 content formats, and where they fit within the sales funnel which could provide some inspiration for your planning.

There are some good pointers here, with specific approaches that you can take at each stage of the journey.

Check out the full listing below – while you can read more on the Orbit Media website.

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Meta Soars by Most in Decade, Adding $100 Billion in Value

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Meta Soars by Most in Decade, Adding $100 Billion in Value

Correction: February 2, 2023 This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: An earlier version of this article misstated how much Meta expected to spend on its deal with the virtual reality start-up Within. It is $400 million, not $400 billion. Meta’s stock surged on Thursday …

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Twitter’s Cancelling Free Access to its API, Which Will Shut Down Hundreds of Apps

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Twitter’s Cancelling Free Access to its API, Which Will Shut Down Hundreds of Apps

Well, this is certainly problematic.

Twitter has announced that, as of February 9th, it’s cutting off free access to its API, which is the access point that many, many apps, bot accounts, and other tools use to function.

That means that a heap of Twitter analytics apps, management tools, schedulers, automated updates – a range of key info and insight options will soon cease to function. Which seems like the sort of thing that, if you were Twitter, you’d want to keep on your app.

But that’s not really how Twitter 2.0 is looking to operate – in a bid to rake in as much revenue as absolutely possible, in any way that it can, Twitter will now look to charge all of these apps and tools. But most, I’d hazard a guess, will simply cease to function.

The bigger business apps already pay for full API access – your Hootsuite’s and your Sprout Social’s – so they’ll likely be unaffected. But it could stop them from offering free plans, which would have a big impact on their business models.

The announcement follows Twitter’s recent API change which cut off a heap of Twitter posting tools, in order, seemingly, to stop users accessing the platform through a third-party UI. 

Now, even more Twitter tools will go extinct, a broad spread of apps and functions that contribute to the real-time ecosystem that Twitter has become. Their loss, if that’s what happens, will have big impacts on overall Twitter activity.

On the other hand, some will see this as another element in Twitter’s crackdown on bots, which Twitter chief Elon Musk has made a personal mission to eradicate. Musk has taken some drastic measures to kill off bots, some of which are having an impact, but Musk himself has also admitted that such efforts are reducing overall platform engagement

This, too, could be a killer in this respect

It’ll also open the door to Twitter competitors, as many automated update apps will switch to other platforms. This relates to things like updates on downtime from video games, weather apps, and more. There are also tools like GIF generators and auto responders – there’s a range of tools that could now look for a new home on Mastodon, or some other Twitter replicant. 

In this respect, it seems like a flawed move, which is also largely ignorant of how the developer community has facilitated Twitter’s growth. 

But Elon and Co. are going to do things their own way, whether outside commentators agree or not – and maybe this is actually a path to gaining new Twitter data customers, and boosting the company’s income. 

But I doubt it.

If there are any third-party Twitter apps that you use, it’ll be worth checking in to see if they’re impacted before next week.



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