This is how a 6-year-old boy is currently making $11 million a year
If I knew as a kid that I could make money by reviewing toys, I would have jumped at the opportunity. In fact, if I got offered that gig now I'd probably go for it.
Paying your rent by playing with toys and giving your thoughts on them sounds pretty great, but earning $11 million a year for it? And all this when you're only six years old? That's just absurd.
Ryan, the host of Ryan ToysReview, does just this - and he's already made it onto YouTube's top earners list. His family's identity, Ryan's full name and location are all kept secret - but that didn't stop him from getting 22.6 billion total views and 14.5 million subscribers on YouTube.
The channel is a mix of personal vlogs and unboxing videos, but rather than a comic book guy in his 40s opening a new games console, Ryan offers something that younger viewers can relate to - and toy companies are big fans too. With his top watched video reaching 1.2 billion views, and one video released each day, he's got plenty of influence over the toy industry - all while earning himself a nifty $11 million in 2017 alone, according to Forbes.
Apparently, the channel started in 2015 when a three-year-old Ryan simply asked his parents why he couldn't review toys on YouTube, and his parents went with his entrepreneurial spirit. That year, his video reviewing the 'Giant Egg Surprise' box containing toys from Pixar's Cars series went viral, and now sits at nearly 900 million views. Since then, he's managed to get to a point where he's earning almost $1 million (before taxes) every month, in advertising revenue alone.
“He is definitely the youngest YouTube star we’ve ever seen,” Josh Cohen, an industry analyst and founder of TubeFilter, told the Verge. “It’s the biggest of this genre of programming that is getting billions of views a week on YouTube. Really nobody is talking about it, but it’s crazy once you start scratching the surface.”
According to a report from the Guardian last year, a fifth of the top 100 channels on YouTube are focused on toys, which means this is a particularly lucrative market at the moment. “It is a new, very creative and effective way, even if it’s a sort of subliminal, form of advertising for the toy companies,” says toy industry analyst Jason Moser. “I imagine we’ll see more and more of this.”
Jim Silver, the CEO of the review site Toys, Tots, Pets, and More, told The Verge:
“If a product gets ten million, twenty millions views, and you see that Ryan loves it, or other kids love it, it has a huge impact at retail.
"He’s really the youngest success that we’ve seen. Most of the time the kids were in the six plus range, just because of the vocabulary and the maturity to do a review.”
After reading this, I would be tempted to start my own YouTube channel reviewing toys - but I don't think I'd have quite the same amount of charm doing so as a dude in his mid-twenties.