Ryan Kaji, aged eight, has amassed nearly 23 million YouTube subscribers and has a deal with entertainment studio Pocket.watch for his content to be repackaged and distributed on streaming platforms Hulu and Amazon. He has his own brand of toys, clothing and toothpaste and toothbrushes with Walmart.

By Ian Horswill


Posted on December 23, 2019

Ryan Kaji at eight years of age earned an estimated US$26 a million this year.

He is a household name to children under the age of 12 and Forbes stated Ryan Kaji remains the highest money-earner on YouTube for the second successive year. He earned a reported US$22 million last year.

Ryan Kaji, from Texas, became popular in the “unboxing” fad of opening and trying out games and toys after his mum Loan launched his channel when he was aged four. He then launched Ryan ToysReview in 2015, which he had to rename Ryan’s World after complaints about the non-disclosure of paid products.

Ryan Kaji’s channel now includes new daily educational videos for kids, such as how tsunamis are formed and work, Christmas pancake art, how to grow bacteria, and many more. The video “Huge Eggs Surprise Toys Challenge” garnered more than 1.95 billion views and was named on the list of the 50 most viewed videos on all of YouTube.

The eight-year-old has amassed nearly 23 million subscribers and has seized on his popularity after signing a deal with entertainment studio Pocket.watch in 2017. Content from Ryan Kaji’s channel will be repackaged and distributed on streaming platforms Hulu and Amazon.

The enterprising eight-year-old also launched his own brand of toys which includes items like slime, action figures, toy cars, a clothing collection and toothpaste and toothbrushes offered exclusively on Walmart in the US. He has a show on Nickelodeon.

The real surname of Ryan Kaji is Guan. His mother is a high school chemistry teacher and his father Shion, a structural engineer. Both manage him.

YouTube is working to limit revenue possibilities for children’s channels in response to a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission for allegedly violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act rule. YouTube’s first step is a ban on targeted ads for kids’ content that begins next year. It’s been said by creators that the new guidelines may also affect natural search results so children’s videos don’t appear at the top of Google searches. That’s a direct hit at potential earnings, which come predominantly from pre-roll advertising spends.

In second place on Forbes’ YouTube earning list is Dude Perfect, which features twins Coby and Cory Cotton, Garret Hilbert, Cody Jones and Tyler Toney .The channel is a decade old and shows videos of the five friends in their 30s doing stunts and breaking Guinness World Records. They earned US$20 million in 2019, the same as in 2018. Dude Perfect has 47 million subscribers and their popularity has seen them have a show on Nickelodeon.

The newest and youngest entrant on Forbes’ list is five-year-old Anastasia Radzinskaya, who became known for the videos her parents posted of her being treated for cerebral palsy.

Russian-born, “Nastya” or “Stacy” now posts videos playing with her father and has garnered 107 million subscribers across seven YouTube channels translated into different languages.