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Meet Ryan Kaji, the 9-year-old who became Forbes' highest-paid YouTuber

Image via Ryan Kaji
Image via Ryan Kaji
Modified 23 Dec 2020, 09:40 IST

Ryan Kaji is known for his toy reviews, and it turns out he is the highest-paid YouTuber.

Forbes released its 2020 list of the highest-paid YouTubers. As a first guess, many may have assumed that someone like MrBeast would be the No 1. That guess wouldn't be far off, as MrBeast is ranked at number two as he made $24 million in 2020.

But it's Ryan Kaji who takes the first spot as the highest-paid YouTuber, with $29.5 million made in 2020 alone. What may be even more surprising to many is that Ryan isn't the only child YouTube star on the top 10 list. Six-year-old Nastya also made the list at number 8 with $18.5 million made this year.

Ryan Kaji on Forbes and how he made so much money in 2020

Ryan Kaji's channel is based on toy reviews, DIY science projects of sorts, and time spent with his family. Overall, the Kaji family has nine YouTube channels, which equals out to over 40 million subscribers. But Ryan's World is the largest singular channel they have by far, at 27.5 million subscribers.

Though Ryan Kaji's videos garner plenty of interest and views, a majority of the Kaji family income isn't directly from making YouTube videos. The nine-year-old is essentially a brand at this point, used to market and license all kinds of deals. These can include shows such as Ryan's Mystery Playdate, which airs on Nickelodeon, and a second show has aired on Amazon Kids.

For merchandise, Ryan Kaji and his family have made licensing deals for over 5,000 product deals, such as decoration and toys of all kinds. His likeness has become so relevant that Ryan Kaji even had a float of Red Titan, his superhero likeness, in the Thanksgiving Day Macy's Parade.


According to Forbes, a significant takeaway from the top 10 highest paid YouTubers list is the pandemic's effect. Numbers were taken from June 2019 to June 2020 to prepare the list.

Ryan had one advantage that many other stars on the list didn't have. While many lost money and faced challenges due to the pandemic, the pre-teen faced buffed profits. That was due to Ryan Kaji and the Kaji family's thousands of merchandising deals that carried their profits even further.

Published 23 Dec 2020, 09:40 IST
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