The very first time the words "YouTube star" were used on CelebrityNetWorth to describe someone's profession was July 19, 2011. I'm absolutely certain that I scoffed as those words were were typed. Without a doubt in my head (at the time), no one would ever make a living from YouTube, let alone become rich. Honestly, if you told me back in 2011 that within just a few years some of the world's biggest and highest-paid stars would be earning their fame and fortune exclusively through YouTube, I would have laughed you out of the room.
You can add this to the long list of things I've been extremely wrong about over the years, including:
- Tesla stock
- Danielle Bregoli
Imagine my surprise when just two year later we published an article about a 24-year-old Swedish YouTube Star with a funny name who had made $7 million in the previous 12 months. That YouTube Star was Felix Kjellberg. Better known by his YouTube handle, PewDiePie.
In the five years between 2014 and 2019, the name PewDiePie was synonymous with being the highest-paid and most-famous person on YouTube. In 2016 he was literally named one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people in the world. For several years he was the most-subscribed channel on YouTube. Today his 111 million subscribers make him the 4th-most subscribed channel.
Between 2013 and 2021, PewDiePie earned at least $73 million from his digital empire. Today we estimate his net worth at $40 million. If you ask the average person to guess the highest-paid and most-famous person on YouTube, there's a good chance they'll still name PewDiePie.
But the winds of YouTube fame have shifted somewhat in the last few years. Without a doubt, the biggest YouTube star on the planet today is Jimmy Donaldson. Better known as…
And what a beast he is.
Consider this –
In March 2022 PewDiePie uploaded seven videos to his channel (from what I can tell he is only active on his one main channel, someone can feel to correct me). In March, PewDiePie's seven videos generated a total of 18.9 million views.
Impressive right? Well, consider this –
In March 2022 MrBeast uploaded just one video to his main channel, a video titled "Would You Swim With Sharks For $100,000?". This one video generated 36.2 million views in March.
Here it is if you're curious:
And we're not done.
MrBeast actually operates 13 channels, ranging from "MrBeast Gaming" to "Beast Philanthropy" and even things like "MrBeast en Español."
In March 2022 MrBeast uploaded 54 videos to his 13 channels. In March those 54 videos generated 283,494,620 views. Let me repeat that. In March, MrBeast's videos generated…
283 MILLION views
Aka, a little over a quarter billion views. That's a staggering amount of reach.
MrBeast currently has 93 million subscribers. He is the 5th-most subscribed channel on YouTube, right behind PewDiePie. If you take away corporation channels, they are the #1 and #2 most-followed individuals on YouTube.
Even if you assume that each of his subscribers watched every video twice, you still wouldn't be accounting for 100 million other views. To generate 283 million views, it's safe to assume MrBeast is reaching over 150 million unique people on YouTube every month.
For perspective, Netflix has around 75 million subscribers in the US and Canada, roughly 220 million worldwide.
Obviously this article is begging one question:
How much did MrBeast make off 283 million YouTube views?
Let me caveat by saying that it's mildly difficult to peg someone's total earnings because we can't know all of his sponsorship deals or merchandise sales. But using some rough estimations combined with previously reported stats, we can come up with some really good approximations. Mr Beast's three largest sources of income each month are ad revenue, sponsorships and merchandise. Let's start with ad revenue.
Video ads garner vastly different CPMs in different countries. A video ad in the US and Canada pays significantly more than an ad view in Brazil. However, it would be safe to assume an average video CPM of $5. That's $5 per thousand views, net to MrBeast. At 283 million views this equates to $1.4 million in net earnings.
It has been reported previously that MrBeast charges $1 million per month to be the primary sponsor of his main video page. For example, in March that sponsor was credit bureau Experian. I think it would be safe to assume that through sponsorships on his other channels, Beast is pulling-in another $1 million minimum, for a total of $2 million.
AKA the secret holy grail. Last year when MrBeast made around $54 million, approximately HALF came from merchandise sales according to various reports. That broke down to $2.25 million per month. Let's round down to $2 million to be conservative.
Tallying these three revenue sources and we get:
1.4 + 2 + 2 =
That equates to $174,193 earned every single day in March. On an annual run rate basis, that equates to $65 million.
So why is MrBeast "only" worth $25 Million?
MrBeast's net worth could be much, much higher if he wanted. However, as Jimmy himself has explained on a number of occasions, he invests the majority of his earnings back into creating future videos. In August 2021 it was reported that he spent $3 million on production costs, rent and staff salaries. If that number has stayed consistent, MrBeast profited around $2.4 million in March. If he did that every month of the year, that would equate to around $29 million in profits to Jimmy in 2022. Around $15 million after taxes.