MrBeast becomes the highest earning YouTuber in history

YouTuber MrBeast topped the platform’s rich list last year with reported earnings of $54m (£39.5m) in 2021.

The 23-year-old American star, whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson, has had huge plans over the past year, including recreating the Netflix hit squid game on his channel.

According to Forbes, which compiled the list, carrying MrBeast from 2021 is the most a YouTube creator has ever achieved.

In 2020, for example, Ryan Kaji — known as “Ryan’s World” — topped the inaugural list, but last year’s MrBeast total would more than double.

During 2021 Donaldson grew its subscriber base from 50 million to 88 million and it is currently the eighth most subscribed channel on all of YouTube.

MrBeast’s recreation of Squid Game was a huge hit. Credit: YouTube/MrBeast

On his channel, his videos have been viewed more than 14 billion times, as fans and subscribers tuned in to see his viral acts of kindness and often bizarre contests in which real people compete for cash prizes.

This squid game The video racked up 200 million views in just over a month, which is not far off the number of people who actually watched the South Korean show itself.

Sitting behind MrBeast on the rich list is YouTuber and – now – professional boxer Jake Paul.

Paul has fought three times in 2021, beating MMA star Tyron Woodley twice and fellow UFC fighter Ben Askren once.

Jake is a bit of an outlier on this list, given that his YouTube account hasn’t been the most lucrative part of his career.

In total though, he still raked in $45m (£33m) and probably won’t care less whether he earned it through online or pay-per-view views.

Markiplier sits third with $38m (£27.8m).

Markiplier seems keen to branch out into more mainstream media, having filmed a TV show – an adaptation of The edge of sleep – Last year.

Jake Paul was second on the list.  Credit: Alamy
Jake Paul was second on the list. Credit: Alamy

He also sold a shipment of goods, which is expected to be part of his vast 2021 earnings.

Elsewhere, Jake Paul’s brother Logan was ranked ninth on the rich list, having fought an exhibition bout against boxing legend Floyd Mayweather in June.

Paul’s older brother also found success with his impulsive podcast, which received over 100 million views in 2021.

The list, in case you’re interested in scrutiny, takes into account total income between January 1 and December 31, 2021, and is before taxes.

Information is compiled through interviews with industry bodies, as well as data from online number calculators such as SocialBlade, Captive8 and Pollstar.

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