An eight-year-old YouTube presenter has topped its list of high earners, making $26m last year.
Ryan Kaji (real name Gaun) made his toy review empire unboxing toys on YouTube from when he was just three. Now the eight-year-old has his face on toys and gets spotted in the supermarket.
A video from four years ago shows him woken from a toy-car bed by his parents, to find a giant egg with toys inside next to him. His speech is not yet fully developed – in the intro he says “welcomes to Ryan toy review”.
He plays with a series of toys that he retrieves from the egg, including a large racetrack that he puts toy cars on. Everything in the room, from his bed to the toys he plays with, is on the theme of the popular Pixar movie Cars.
Gaun has his own YouTube channel, Ryan’s World, with 23 million subscribers. He regularly features in shows with his parents and younger twin sisters. In some videos, he runs around swabbing his sister’s shoes for bacteria, and grows his own homegrown bacteria in test tubes.
In others, he swims around in the pool with a water gun, explaining how tsunamis are formed. Sometimes his baby twin sisters, Kate and Emma, who are both two years old, also appear on the channel. In one video they play hide and seek with their mom and sing their ABCs. Gaun also has his own show on Nickelodeon.
Forbes estimates that YouTube’s 10 highest earners raked in a total of $162m in the last year, and Gaun is not the only child-star on the list. Anastasia Radzinskaya, a Russian American YouTuber has more than 103 million subscribers across her channels, at just five years old. Her channel Like Nastya Vlog was the fourth most subscribed YouTube personality channel in the world in 2018, according to Business Insider.
Radzinskaya posts videos of herself going on adventures with her family, to places like the seaside and the zoo, and playing with toys. She earned $18m last year, according to Forbes.