Why it matters: The year 2021 must have been quite profitable for some YouTubers. With content creators such as MrBeast, Jake Paul, and Markiplier earning more than many Hollywood stars, it's starting to be harder to distinguish them from the likes of Angelina Jolie and Will Smith.

At number one on the top 10 highest-paid YouTubers of 2021 list is MrBeast, who earned $54 million. That's almost double what 2020's top earner Ryan Kaji received ($29.5 million). A significant part of the $54 million comes from the 10 billion views of his channel. Still, the MrBeast Burger app and menu also played an important role, as it's available in 1,600 restaurants in the US and has already sold five million sandwiches.

In second place, we have Jake Paul with $45 million. Most of this ($40 million) supposedly comes from three boxing matches he had in 2021 against Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley (two matches). However, the boxer stated these numbers are actually slightly below what he actually earned. The rest ($5 million) is from YouTube ads, which isn't that surprising considering he primarily uses it to promote his boxing career.

Completing the podium, Markiplier earned $38 million from YouTube and merchandise. After the success of the Unus Annus series, which he ultimately deleted, Markiplier now plans to go to the small screen with his post-apocalyptic thriller The Edge of Sleep. Markiplier hopes to sell the series to a content provider like Hulu or Netflix this year.

Like Nastya is also featured on the list in 6th place. The full top 10 list of highest-paid YouTubers of 2021 is as follows:

  • MrBeast ($54 million)
  • Jake Paul ($45 million)
  • Markiplier ($38 million)
  • Rhett & Link ($30 million)
  • Unspeakable ($28.5 million)
  • Like Nastya ($28 million)
  • Ryan Kaji/Ryan's World ($27 million)
  • Dude Perfect ($20 million)
  • Logan Paul ($18 million)
  • Preston ($16 million)

These values are estimations based on measurements taken from January 1st, 2021, to December 31st, 2021, and data from Captiv8, SocialBlade, Pollstar, and industry insiders. These figures are pre-tax and don't include fees for agents, lawyers, and managers.