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PewDiePie tops Forbes highest paid YouTubers list

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By John McCarthy | Media editor

October 15, 2015 | 3 min read

Felix Kjellberg, the Swedish gaming vlogger more widely known as PewDiePie, has been listed as YouTube’s top earner by Forbes.

The ‘Let’s Play’ vlogger raked in $12m pretax from the video platform, on which he has a fanbase of almost 40m subscribers he calls his ‘Bro Army’.

The Forbes YouTuber ranking listed the top ten channels on the platform making money from video ads attached to their content.

PewDiePie YouTuber Forbes

Using data from Nielsen and IMDB, “as well as on interviews with agents, managers, lawyers, industry insiders, and the stars themselves,” the publication estimated the creators’ pre-tax profits.

Following PewDiePie’s $12m, was Smosh with $8.5m, the Fine Brothers (also $8.50), Lindsey Stirling ($6m), Rhett & Link ($4.5), KSI ($4.50), Michelle Phan ($3m), Lily Singh ($2.50m), Roman Atwood ($2.50m) and Rosanna Pansino ($2.50m).

YouTube, now in its second decade, has become a place where content creators can cash in with sponsored videos, dedicated product lines and of course ads.

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The platform pitched its content as the perfect place for advertisers to engage with millennials – encouraging brands to divert almost a quarter of their TV media buy fund into pre-roll ads.

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