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If you’re wondering who the biggest star on YouTube is, you might want to ask your kid. Because despite what you might think, the online video space isn’t dominated by media bigwigs like “The Tonight Show” or Justin Bieber (sorry Beliebers), but by a kid named Ryan who has a knack for reviewing toys.
Ryan, the face of Ryan ToysReview, started doing toy reviews on YouTube when he was 3. Now, at the age of 6, he’s a multi-millionaire and one of the world’s highest-paid YouTube stars between June 2016 to June 2017. Forbes placed his estimated earnings, before management fees and taxes, at a whopping $11 million for the year. (C’mon, does he even know how many zeroes are in $11 million yet?)
But before you start pulling out your camera, ordering toys for surprise videos and getting your kids camera-ready, know that it’s incredibly hard to make it on YouTube. Sometimes what other children like to watch just doesn’t make sense—who could’ve predicted the wild success of watching other people unbox toysthat you might never even get to see IRL! And the thing is, although it might seem like easy work, especially when Ryan is raking in millions by doing things he loves or just being a kid, the videos take a lot of work.
According to the Verge, Ryan’s mom, who keeps herself mostly anonymous, as well as other facts about Ryan (for good reason), quit her job as a high school chemistry teacher to work on the YouTube channel full time.
It started when Ryan was just 3, and he had asked his mom why he wasn’t on YouTube when other kids were.
“So we just decided—yeah, we can do that. Then, we took him to the store to get his very first toy—I think it was a Lego train set—and it all started from there,” the mom told TubeFilter.
Ryan’s dad also mentioned that starting the videos was a good way for Ryan to share his childhood memories with his extended family outside of the U.S.
Their first foray into the YouTube space was a 15-minute video showing Ryan picking out and playing with a Lego Duplo train. It was pretty low-key and barely had any views.
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