Who Is the Richest YouTuber – And What Are Their Strategies?

richest youtuber strategies
  • Alex Lefkowitz
    (Author)

    Alex Lefkowitz is the founder and CEO of Tasty Edits. He holds a BA in Entrepreneurship and is an experienced video editor, having edited hundreds of videos for dozens of creators before starting his own video editing company. Since launching Tasty Edits, he has directly managed thousands of video and thumbnail orders. Now, he draws on his experience working with professional creators to write about video editing, the creator economy, and video marketing. You can also read his work on Hackernoon and Medium. Plus, he's contributed several expert opinions in interviews and articles as a guest on platforms like Jotform.

    View all posts

With well over 2.7 billion users worldwide, YouTube is one of the biggest social media platforms out there. And one of the most lucrative.

Tens of thousands of creators make a full-time living off their video content. Some even earn six figures or more… a lot more.

For most aspiring YouTubers, that’s the ultimate monetization goal.

But who is the top-earning YouTuber in 2024? And what can rookie creators learn from them to boost their own success?

Here are the answers.

Contents

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The Richest YouTuber in 2024 Is MrBeast

Jimmy Donaldson of MrBeast fame is the highest-earning YouTuber in the world. Last year, he cashed in a whopping $82 million.

According to Forbes, this catapults him into the ranks of the highest-paid entertainers in the US. Estimates have him earning roughly twice as much as any other internet creator.

The 25-year-old from Kansas can boast over 230 million subscribers on his channel. And that’s just the main one. He also runs several side channels, including MrBeast 2 (formerly MrBeast Shorts), Beast Reacts, MrBeast Gaming, and Beast Philanthropy.

Based on his view count – over 40 billion in total – he likely earns over $3 million in monthly ad revenue off YouTube videos alone. (If you’re wondering now: Here’s how much the platform pays for a million views!)

Plus, Donaldson also launched several businesses – including MrBeast Burger and Feastables – sells his own merchandise, and has inked deals with major brands like Microsoft and Verizon.

Overall, his net worth tallies in at over $500 million.

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Combine Viral-Worthy Strategies

For most YouTubers, a viral video is a thrilling one-off experience that they’ll spend months trying to recreate.

MrBeast, on the other hand, has seen each of his videos over the past 12 months get at least 10 million views. In fact, his Squid Game recreation video earned 42 million within 24 hours!

So what’s the secret sauce?

Most viral videos involve one of the following elements: money-related content, reactions, pranks, challenges, drama, or collabs with other YouTubers.

MrBeast’s basic strategy is to combine several of these elements in each of his videos. Many of his recent videos involve straight up giving away stuff or cash, or offering people the opportunity to win large sums of money. Just check out the “$300,000 Influencer Trivia Tournament” and “I Ubered These People and Let Them Keep The Car”.

But even older videos of his – from 2016 or 2017 – show the same strategy at a smaller scale, like the “$100 Giveaway Prank (No Weapons Involved)” or “24 H Explosion Giveaway”:

For years, the most prominent individual creators on YouTube were video game players like Markiplier (Mark Edwin Fischbach) or PewDiePie (Felix Kjellberg), as well as challenge YouTubers like Logan Paul or Dude Perfect’s Cory Cotton.

While MrBeast’s own popularity also began with extreme challenges, his “absurd acts of altruism,” as the New York Times calls themcreated an extremely popular niche of their own.

have a good hook

Master the Hook and Create Suspense

To start with, MrBeast has the YouTube algorithm on his side.

Currently, two of the key metrics that decide whether videos appear in search results and recommendations are click-through rate (CTR) and view time.

The more people click on your content, and the longer they watch, the higher your videos rank.

Watch any video on MrBeast’s YouTube channel and you’ll see that every single one has a short, captivating title and an on-brand thumbnail (more on that below).

More than that, though, there’s an effective hook at the start of each clip. Within the first 10 to 20 seconds, you’ll know what the video is about. And why you should keep watching.

Usually, MrBeast also sprinkles additional hooks throughout his videos to keep viewers engaged. And the resolution is at the very end. That, together with these half-time teasers, is one of the tricks that make people likely to stick around.

Check out the first five seconds of this video for some fantastic storytelling:

outsource your video editing to a company in the right niche

Know Your Audience

Another valuable lesson that pretty much any YouTube channel can take from MrBeast is the importance of knowing your audience. His popularity is built on catering to his fans’ tastes.

If you look at MrBeast’s thumbnails, for example, many of them look amateurish. Like he made them spontaneously, on his phone, in a matter of minutes.

Low-effort thumbnails are perfectly on-brand for MrBeast – although they don’t all look as zero-effort as this one.

Another valuable lesson that pretty much any YouTube channel can take from MrBeast is the importance of knowing your audience. His popularity is built on catering to his fans’ tastes.

If you look at MrBeast’s thumbnails, for example, many of them look amateurish. Like he made them spontaneously, on his phone, in a matter of minutes.

Low-effort thumbnails are perfectly on-brand for MrBeast – although they don’t all look as zero-effort as this one.

This is definitely intentional. His whole YouTube channel’s trademark look is being no-frills, spontaneous, fun.

Having something more refined or polished wouldn’t resonate with his audience.

In video production, though, MrBeast is notorious as a stickler for detail. He’s known for often spending hours on optimizing every last detail. A lot of planning and labor goes into that almost careless look, and he’s laser-focused on his growth metrics.

Over the past few years, the YouTube star has carefully honed his brand, refining it along the way. That has helped him build and expand his loyal audience. Apart from his sheer popularity, this is how he won his Streamy and Kids’ Choice awards.

In the following two-hour candid episode with creator duo Colin and Samir, that effort is a major topic. Donaldson also talks about the substantial toll it takes on him personally.

Donaldson speaks freely about the stress of being a content creator, the ‘beastification’ of YouTube, and struggles with the likes of Netflix.

Don't Fall for Beastification

The keyword is his brand. 

Rather than slavishly imitating MrBeast – though some channels are fairly successful doing just that – most creators have to follow their own path. His specific strategies are valuable, but not every channel exists for pure entertainment. In the video above, Jimmy himself complains about the “beastification” of YouTube.

You have to know your audience, not his. For instance, thumbnails and the hook are generally important. (Side note: The first few seconds are increasingly vital now that video previews are a thing, and they’re absolutely crucial for Shorts).

But if you post makeup tutorials or financial advice, you can’t solely rely on Beast-type comedy. You need to find something that works for your viewers.

This goes for just about all major YouTubers and their respective niches: The lucrative top spots are already taken. The spots for the “next” MrBeast, the next Jake Paul, the next Ryan Kaji, Nile Red or Dan Middleton are also already taken. There are only so many clone channels that can make a living from the exact same strategies.

So, apart from hard work and quite a bit of luck, you really do have to put your own spin on things.

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Keep at It and Re-Invest in Video Quality

Finally, one strategy that has helped MrBeast’s YouTube channel blow up over the past few years is that he’s been investing quite a lot of his earnings back into his channels.

Many successful YouTubers hit a plateau and stagnate there in terms of content quality and quantity.

In contrast, MrBeast keeps pushing his content. He invests a large part of his revenue in setting up still more elaborate challenges, still crazier stunts, and even bigger giveaways, for one. This has earned him several Guinness World Records entries. For another, he is funneling cash and talent into the quality of his videography, video editing and sound.

All of this together is what’s driving his quasi-exponential subscriber growth. He’s adding millions of fans every month, and seems well on track to even overtake T-Series, the current #1 subscribed YouTube channel.

Nothing demonstrates his dedication better than the Squid Game re-creation mentioned before:

The Bottom Line

In 2024, MrBeast is the biggest – and richest – YouTuber out there, and by now a real-life celebrity. Today, many of his videos involve a level of organization and financial investment that are way out of reach for most rookie creators.

However, any YouTube channel can still benefit from MrBeast’s basic strategies:

  • Hone your hooks and story structure to boost click-through and view time.
  • Mix and match viral drivers to create captivating content.
  • Know your audience and perfect your brand image to meet their expectations.
  • Reinvest constantly in your content quality and quantity. Outsource!

These strategies are a solid basis for any YouTuber to build their own success as a video content creator. And perhaps to become the next breakout YouTube star.

The richest YouTuber in 2024 is Jimmy Donaldson, better known as MrBeast. He earned $82 million last year.

 

As of 2024, MrBeast is currently earning upwards of $3 million in ad revenue every month.

 

MrBeast runs ads on his channel, but his biggest source of funding are sponsored videos. These brand deals are what make him able to give away hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The highest-paid YouTubers of 2023 are Jimmy Donaldson (MrBeast), Vladislav and Nikita Vashketov (Vlad and Niki) and Ryan Kaji (Ryan’s World). The all earned over $25 million last year.

The highest-paid YouTuber in 2024 is Jimmy Donaldson, AKA MrBeast. He earned $82 million throughout 2024, and makes about $3 million per month in YouTube ad revenue alone.

MrBeast might become the first billionaire YouTuber by value, if he gets the investment he’s asking for.

The single richest YouTube kid is Anastasia Radzinskaya of Like Nastya, with an estimated net worth of about $106 million in 2023.

4.7/5 - (11 votes)

Author

  • Alex Lefkowitz

    Alex Lefkowitz is the founder and CEO of Tasty Edits. He holds a BA in Entrepreneurship and is an experienced video editor, having edited hundreds of videos for dozens of creators before starting his own video editing company. Since launching Tasty Edits, he has directly managed thousands of video and thumbnail orders. Now, he draws on his experience working with professional creators to write about video editing, the creator economy, and video marketing. You can also read his work on Hackernoon and Medium. Plus, he's contributed several expert opinions in interviews and articles as a guest on platforms like Jotform.

    View all posts