Felix Kjellberg, the video-game vlogger and comedian better known as PewDiePie, remains by far the wealthiest YouTube creator — with a gross income of $15 million for the 12 months ended in June 2016, according to estimates by Forbes.
PewDiePie has nearly 50 million subscribers, and the Swedish-born personality mischievously declared in a video last Friday that he would delete his channel once it hit that milestone. In the video, PewDiePie complains about changes in YouTube’s video recommendations and the service’s reported issues with subscribers being notified of new content.
Kjellberg’s haul for the latest 12-month period is an increase of 20% year-over-year, per the estimates by Forbes, which attributed the gain largely to his YouTube Red series, “Scare PewDiePie,” and sales of his first book, “This Book Loves You.” Meanwhile, Kjellberg’s production company reported revenue of $8.6 million for 2015, according to an annual report filed in Sweden.
The Forbes list estimates earnings before subtracting management fees and taxes. According to the publication, it compiles the figures are based on data from Nielsen, IMDb and other sources, as well as on interviews with agents, managers, lawyers, other industry execs and the stars themselves.
Coming in at the No. 2 spot on this year’s Forbes list was Roman Atwood, a prank specialist who has been branching out into vlogging his life as a dad, who made $8 million for the 12-month period. That’s an increase of 70% year-over-year, with his earnings boosted by a live tour with fellow YouTube star Yousef Erakat (aka fouseyTube), the movie “Natural Born Pranksters,” which Atwood directed, produced, and starred in; an advance for his upcoming book, “Will Work for Smiles”; and merchandise sales.
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SOURCE: Variety, Todd Spangler