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MrBeast Becomes The Highest Earning YouTuber In History

Tom Wood

| Last updated 

MrBeast Becomes The Highest Earning YouTuber In History

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

The 23-year-old American star, whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson, had huge projects in the past year which included recreating the Netflix smash hit Squid Game on his channel.

According to Forbes, who compiled the list, MrBeast’s haul from 2021 is the most that any creator on YouTube has ever made.

In 2020, for example, Ryan Kaji – known as ‘Ryan’s World’ – topped the inaugural list, but MrBeast’s total from the last year is reportedly more than double that.


Over the course of 2021 Donaldson grew his follower base from 50 million to 88 million and he’s currently the eighth most subscribed channel across the entirety of YouTube.

MrBeast's Squid Game recreation was a massive hit. Credit: YouTube/MrBeast
MrBeast's Squid Game recreation was a massive hit. Credit: YouTube/MrBeast

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

That Squid Game video had 200 million views in just over a month, which isn’t far away from how many people actually watched the South Korean show itself.


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

Paul 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 a reported $45 million (£33 million) and probably won’t care less about whether he earned it from online views or pay-per-views.


In third place with a reported $38 million (£27.8 million) is Markiplier.

Markiplier seems to fancy himself for a move into more traditional media, having filmed a television programme – 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 load of merchandise, which must account for some chunk of his vast 2021 earnings.


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

The older Paul brother also found success with his Impaulsive podcast, which received over 100 million views in 2021.

The list, in case you’re interested in scrutinising, takes into account total earnings between January 1 and December 31 2021, and are pre-tax.

The information is compiled through interviews with industry bods, as well as data from online number-crunchers like SocialBlade, Captive8, and Pollstar.

Featured Image Credit: YouTube/MrBeast

Topics: YouTube, US News, World News, TV and Film, Celebrity, Jake Paul, Logan Paul

Tom Wood
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