Peer Production: The Top Ten Highest Paid Creators on YouTube

People keep asking why we recommend that newbies create their own peer produced/indie video content. Here’s one reason:

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by Kate Aquillano

Tired of the 9-to-5 grind each day? These folks have made a new career by becoming viral YouTube stars.
  • Annual Earnings: $3.4 million
  • Subscribers: 4,100,240
  • Views: 2,410,594,143
This comedy Web series, created by Dane Boedigheimer, debuted on YouTube in January 2010. Its videos feature an anthropomorphic orange who annoys other fruits and often uses crude humor. With more than 2 billion views in just four years, the channel has spawned a TV series, a video game, toys and a T-shirt line.
  • Annual Earnings: $3.5 million
  • Subscribers: 2,713,385
  • Views: 1,422,401,817
James Richard Wilson Jr. is the man behind the UberHaxorNova channel on YouTube. Joining the video-sharing site in 2008, the channel is known for its inappropriate jokes and videos on games and the gamer lifestyle.
  • Annual Earnings: $4 million
  • Subscribers: 10,827,107
  • Views: 2,810,096,227
Comedian Ray William Johnson was studying law at Columbia University when he started watching videos on YouTube. He then started making his own videos. He video-blogs and provides commentary on the biggest viral videos.
  • Annual Earnings: $4.2 million
  • Subscribers: 6,917,106
  • Views: 1,867,214,633
This popular gaming channel is most known for his “Minecraft,” “Skyrim,” Happy Wheels, Slender and “Walking Dead” series. “Watch me fail to be good at video games,” reads his YouTube profile. He also has two other channels, Tobuscus and my Lazy Vlog.
  • Annual Earnings: $4.3 million
  • Subscribers: 14,511,148
  • Views: 1,650,076,560
This comedian and YouTube personality has the seventh-most subscribed channel and the top channel operated by a female. Originally from Rochester, New York, Jenna Marbles first gained national attention with her video titled, “How to Trick People Into Thinking You’re Good Looking.”