Have you heard of PewDiePie?

He’s worth $15.5million - but he isn’t a Hollywood actor, or a world-famous a singer. In fact, he’s a 27-year-old gamer, who has amassed a fortune making videos and posting them on the web.

And PewDiePie (real name Felix Kjellberg) isn’t the only one earning pay cheques that many of us can only dream of. This week, the top 10 highest paid YouTube stars have been revealed by Forbes. From comedians to gamers, LGBT youth activists to pranksters – we’re taking a look at the five highest earners from the list of savvy entrepreneurs who made a collective $70.5million in 2016 alone.

A candid reminder of the power of Gen C (The YouTube generation), these new stars are a powerful force in culture and commerce. Many on the list went to college and earned degrees in subjects such as psychology or engineering, only to pursue a career behind the camera. Let’s take a look at who the top five from the list are…

PewDiePie
Content: Gaming
Earned: $15million
Subscribers: 49million+
Fact: This is the second time Felix has earned the title for highest paid YouTube star, this year he earned $3million more than last year. He is also the first person ever to reach 10 billion YouTube views.

Roman Atwood
Content: Pranks
Earned: $8million
Subscribers: 10million+
Fact: The prankster took his ideas to the big screen this year, when he teamed up with fellow YouTubers Vitaly Z and Dennis Roady for the feature film Natural Born Pranksters.

Lily Singh
Content: Comedy
Earned: $7.5million
Subscribers: 10million+
Fact: Lily’s video-making initially started out as a method to help her deal with depression, and her initial plan was to gain a Masters in psychology and become a counsellor.

SMOSH
Content: Comedy
Earned: $7million
Subscribers: 22million+
Fact: SMOSH is made up of two friends called Ian Andrew Hecox and Daniel Anthony Padilla, and they were the first YouTubers to have their own wax figures at Madame Tussauds.

Tyler Oakley
Content: Lifestyle
Earned: $6million
Subscribers: 8million+
Fact: The 27-year-old uploaded his first video in 2007 uses his platform to be a prominent advocate for LGBT youth and has raised more than $1million for The Trevor Project.

We can’t help but think how incredible the YouTube story is, and how much the platform has grown since its launch. It makes us wonder what ‘the next big thing’ will be. Our bets are on virtual reality – but we’d love to know what you think. Let us know!

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