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Who Are the Top 5 YouTube Stars?

YouTube and online video has continued its growth as broadband and higher internet speeds not only become faster and cheaper on fixed line but also as mobile broadband continues to spread globally with smart phones such as the iPhone and new platforms such as the iPad providing hardware that makes viewing online video compelling even on the move.Who Are The Top 5 YouTube Stars

This has lead to the emergence of star video bloggers on social media channels such as YouTube to obtain and grow traffic numbers that make your eyes bleed.

What are some of the latest growth statistics for online video

  • Facebook is the fifth largest provider of  videos
  • Facebook users upload 20 million videos a month
  • Online video growing 4 times faster than TV
  • 12-34 year olds are the vast majority of the video viewing population
  • More than 177 million US internet users watched video content in June
  • 90% of 2009 -2010 broadcast TV was on the Internet

So with this availability of online video there are some emerging stars and some might even make you laugh. (These are the top ranked YouTube stars including traffic and banner ad revenue estimates according to research performed by Tube Mogul an online video aggregator and distributor )

Ranked Number One

Shane Dawson (Channel known as “Ask Shane & Others) who provides sketch comedy in a teenage sort of way (not my type of content) but with 431 million views that are aggregated from his weekly online videos on YouTube you can’t argue with the numbers and he certainly is providing content that is hitting the mark with his target audience. Apparently his estimated earnings last year from ads was $315,000

Ranked Number Two

Dane Boedigheimer (also known as the Annoying Orange) This is clever comedy starring a talking orange with very short videos often under 2 minutes that certainly made me laugh. Views to date number are in excess of 349 million. Estimated earnings last year $288,000

Ranked Number Three

Philip Defranco with a YouTube Channel called “The Philip DeFranco Show” that provides parody and satirical content and with 248 million views in the last year must be  doing something right. Estimated earnings in the past 12 months approximately $181,000. (I was able to watch this channel for about 60 seconds)

Ranked Number Four

Ryan Higa with again a sketch comedy YouTube channel (seems to be a consistent theme emerging here). Ryan’s YouTube channel’s last 12 months has seen over 206 million video views and his estimated earnings are in the region of $150,000.

Ranked Number Five

Lucas Cruikshank with his YouTube channel titled ‘Fred” which seems to be targeted as a Children’s online TV channel.  Total views in the past year 200 million with estimated earnings of $146,000

So with YouTube only starting in 2006 it is amazing to see these traffic numbers and to view these emerging YouTube stars and their creativity.

I am certainly looking forward to the next 5 years to see what this web world will look like and where social media will be.

In tomorrows article we will look the next 5 ranked YouTube stars.

Jeffbullas's Blog


  • I hate to be a downer on this because your article is not far off, but technically if you are looking for the most amount of views of any Youtuber you should be counting Ray William Johnson. He has more views on his videos than anyone, but he doesn’t run promotions. Now Philly D is up there, but I wouldn’t say his numbers are better than Fred’s or Niga Higas. The best reference to see would be the Top 100 Youtuber’s and you will see the numbers change daily so any article that is put out could be considered obsolete. Plus the Youtuber’s mentioned have all pretty much made statements about the earnings being guessed and not calculated correctly since technically Ray William would make the most money based off views alone unless you want to talk about endorsement deals then it’s probably one of the beauty gurus who makes the most.

  • Thanks for the ranking I am going to take a look at all the top 5 to see what I have been missing out on LOL! RICH :0)

  • That’s my plan, too, Richard~!!

    Anita @ModelSupplies

  • Jeff, you have me convinced – today I start my own videos. I hope I can make them funny and entertaining.

  • I feel shy in front of the camera hehe but really i am planning to do some videos about my activities !

    I am feeling shy in front of the camera , but i am really planning to record some videos about my activities !

  • anonymous

    this is not accurate it is actually this. 5.smosh 4. raywilliam johnson 3.shanedawsontv 2. fred 1.nigahiga

  • Ok, I used to LOVE pumpkins but that thing was just scary! Even the apple was a bit out there too..lol. Honestly, he should do one on GMO foods. The apple and pumpkin are pretty convincing!

    Thanks for the info. It is nice to keep up with what the rest of the world is into!

  • Paul

    I swear my kids contributed 1 million by themselves on the stupid orange.

  • Thesims2fan21

    hey smosh is number 3 actually even smosh has more audience than fred

  • Your #3 should be http://www.youtube.com/talkinganimals – Total Upload Views: 219,941,926

  • Dsg

    These numbers are all wrong. TubeMogul is a joke. Where’s RWJ?

  • b0untynat0r

    What about Machinima ???