The 8 Highest Paid YouTube Stars of 2015

Serious numbers.
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Since it first launched in 2005 YouTube has grown to be the internets biggest video viewing platform and its made a lot of people famous along the way, not to mention a lot wealthier. But just how much money do YouTubers make? Forbes have just published their look at what the most popular YouTubers earn pre-tax, taking into account data from Nielsen, IMDB and other sources such as interviews with agents and even the stars themselves.

8. Roman Atwood: estimated $2.5 million annually

roman attwood.jpg

Roman Atwood's YouTube channel contains a lot humour and is best known for its hidden camera pranks performed in public. Atwood is also tied with YouTuber's Lilly Singh and Rosanna Pansino at number 8.

7. Michelle Phan: estimated $3 million annually

Stefanie Keenan Photography

Stefanie Keenan Photography

27-year-old Michelle Phan has more than 7.5 million subscribers and is famous for her makeup demonstration videos and tutorials.

6. (tied) KSI: estimated $4.5 million annually

VICE screenshot

VICE screenshot

As a teenager Olajide "KSI" Olatunji started playing the popular football game series FIFA and uploading the gameplay to YouTube under the name KSIOlajidebt. Since 2009 he has become one of YouTubes biggest stars with nearly 11 million subscribers.

5. (tied) Rhett & Link: estimated $4.5 million annually

Rhett and Link

Rhett and Link

Rhett McLaughlin and Charles Lincoln Neal III are the internet entertainment and advertising duo behind the popular YouTube channel Rhett & Link with 3.7 million subscribers.

4. Lindsey Stirling: estimated $6 million annually

Lindsey Stirling

Lindsey Stirling

American violinist, dancer and performing artist Lindsey Stirling uploads her performances to YouTube. Classically trained she is best known for her renditions of hip-hop songs. Stirling has more than 7 million subscribers on her YouTube channel.

3. (tied) The Fine Brothers: estimated $8.5 million annually

the fine brothers.jpg

Run by Benny and Rafi, The Fine Brothers is a YouTube channel made popular by the extremely successful Reaction video series in which kids, the elderly, teens and other YouTubers react to other YouTube videos. The duo started out by making feature films and entering film festivals before channeling their energy into YouTube. The Fine Brother have 13.3 million subscribers on their YouTube channel.

2. (tied) Smosh: estimated $8.5 million annually

DEFY Media

DEFY Media

Smosh is a comedy duo featuring Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla who are both well known for their slapstick comedy videos. Smosh currently has 21 million subscribers and shows no signs of slowing down, diversifying into more YouTube channels and even an app.

1. PewDiePie: estimated $12 million annually

pewdiepie.jpg

Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, otherwise known as PewDiePie is a Swedish comedian and YouTuber who's 'Let's Play' series in which he plays lesser known games has made him hugely popular with almost 40 million subscribers on his YouTube channel.

h/t businessinsider