AFP — Eight-year-old Ryan Kaji earned US$26 million in 2019 on his YouTube channel, making him the highest-paid creator on the platform, according to a list published Wednesday by Forbes magazine.
Kaji, whose real name is Ryan Guan, was already the video platform’s highest earner in 2018, with US$22 million, according to Forbes.
His channel “Ryan’s World,” launched in 2015 by Ryan’s parents, is only three years old but already has almost 23 million subscribers.
The channel mostly consists of “unboxing” videos — videos of the young star opening boxes of toys and playing with them.
Several of the videos have racked up more than one billion views, and the channel has received almost 35 billion views since its creation, according to data from the analytics website Social Blade.
The channel has also evolved as Ryan ages, now offering more educational videos in addition to the toys.
At the beginning of September, YouTube’s parent company Google agreed to pay a US$170 million fine after the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) accused the internet giant of collecting personal data from child YouTube users without permission.
According to the FTC, the platform used the data to ensure that advertisers were able to target children.