If you’ve ever doubted that the world is a cruel and confusing place, you’ll be pleased to hear that a child born in 2010 (yes, really) has made £8.2 million on YouTube this year alone.
That’s right, a person who has only just started primary school (how is all that university debt looking for you now) has a channel that Forbes says was the eighth most financially successful worldwide in 2017.
Ryan ToysReview does what it says on the tin, seven-year-old Ryan basically has Christmas every day, and gets to unwrap toys while his parents film him doing so.
It was started in March 2015, after Ryan watched other kid YouTubers doing the same thing and he said he wanted to try it out. His parents said in an interview: “Back then we didn’t know you could make money from it.”
And the rest as they say, is history.
The channel is now so successful, with 45% of their viewers based in the United States and only 6.6% in the UK, that mum Loann gave up her career as a high school chemistry teacher.
Although dad Sean, who migrated to the USA from Japan at 15-years-old, has kept his day job as a structural engineer.
The family say that the money they are making is being put into a college savings plan for Ryan, and a trust fund for him and his younger twin sisters, Emma and Kate.
The children will be allowed to access the funds when they are 22 years old, and only on the condition they are in full-time employment.
When the channel was first created, it didn’t get many views, but gained massive traction after posting a video of Ryan unpacking a Lightning McQueen easter egg.
That video alone now has 799,670,609 views (as of 8 December).
Since then the family upload daily videos, each with Ryan unpackaging a brand-new toy (in most videos he gets through half a dozen items) and giving a fleeting review with all the eloquence of a seven-year-old before getting bored and moving on.
The family says that they send the leftover toys to Loann’s family in Vietnam or donate them to goodwill charity.
Josh Cohen, industry expert, told The Verge, that Ryan is the “youngest YouTube star” we’ve seen, and not enough people are paying attention to the growing market of toy reviews, targeted at other young children.
Although this genre has also come under fire from people calling the content “inappropriate” for children, most recently last month, when the family were reportedly forced to remove over a hundred videos from their channel.
The parents have also been criticised by other YouTubers, most notably PewdiePie (see above video) who claims the family fake the number of views using bots, on their videos.
PewdiePie was only two places above Ryan in this year’s earning list, banking himself nine million.
The World’s Highest Paid YouTube Stars 2017 1. Daniel Middleton $16.5m (£12.3m) 2. Evan Fong (VanossGaming) – $15.5m (£11.6m) 3. Dude Perfect – $14m (£10.5m) Markiplier – $12.5m (£9.3m) 4. Logan Paul – $12.5m (£9.3m) 5. PewDiePie – $12m (£9m) 6. Jake Paul – $11.5m (£8.6m) 7. Ryan ToysReview – $11m (£8.2m) 8. Smosh – $11m (£8.2m) 9. Lilly Singh – $10.5m (£7.8m)