Forbes unveiled their annual list of highest-paid YouTube stars on Thursday (Dec 18).
Top of the list for 2019 was Ryan Kaji, who earned a whopping US$26 million this year. An even more jaw-dropping fact is his age – he’s eight.
HE IS THE STAR OF RYAN’S WORLD
Ryan Kaji, whose real name is Ryan Guan, is the star of the YouTube channel Ryan’s World. The channel was started by his parents and was called Ryan ToysReview until consumer advocacy organisation Truth in Advertising filed a complaint accusing it of not clearly denoting which videos had been sponsored.
RYAN “UNBOXES” TOYS
At the start of his YouTube career, Ryan would buy toys with his parents and take them home. There, he would “unbox” them – a trend that involves unpacking products, particularly high-end gadgets, and filming the process.
Over the years, the channel has evolved into a platform not just for toys but also educational material, with titles like How Do Tornadoes Form??? and Sink or Float for Kids: Science experiments you can do at home.
HE STARTED OUT WHEN HE WAS 3
Ryan’s YouTube channel was established in 2015, when he was just about three years old.
In the first video uploaded to the channel, little Ryan is seen picking out a Lego train set at the toy store, his reason: “because I like it”.
The video, which lasts 15 minutes, also shows Ryan “unboxing” the package at home and putting the train together with some help from his mum, who is recording. The video has pulled in nearly 50 million views.
RYAN’S WORLD GETS BILLIONS OF VIEWS
Videos featuring Ryan (and often his parents as well) get an average of about 50 million views each, but there are many that surpass even that. A 12-minute video of Ryan and his twin sisters pretending to buy food at a drive-through has more than 200 million views.
RYAN HAS HIS OWN SHOW ON NICKELODEON
Earlier this year, Ryan landed a show with Nickelodeon. The first season 20-episode Ryan’s Mystery Playdate premiered on Nick Jr on Apr 19, with the second season beginning on Sep 30.
The show, which features his parents and two other characters, involves the cast working together to solve puzzles and tackle a variety of physical challenges.