YouTube Millionaires: Meet the Top Earning Stars

Chances are these YouTube stars are already familiar faces, but did you know how much money they're making from their videos?

ByAlyssa Newcomb
October 15, 2015, 12:39 PM

— -- Chances are these YouTube stars are already familiar faces, but did you know how much money they're making from their videos?

Forbes, known for its annual world's billionaires list, has compiled a list detailing the most successful YouTube stars. The list was compiled using data from sources including Nielsen and IMDB, as well as various interviews with some of the stars, their agents, managers, and industry analysts, among others, to provide as clear of a picture as possible about who is raking in the most revenue.

Here's a look at the top five spots for people who are making the big bucks on YouTube.

No. 1 PewDiePie

This video game playing Swede comes in at the top spot, making $12 million pre-tax in the past year, according to Forbes' estimates. PewDiePie, real name Felix Kjellberg, has nearly 40 million subscribers and more than 10 billion views of his videos, which show him playing video games and providing colorful commentary.

No. 2 Smosh and Fine Brothers (Tie)

Both acts tie for the second spot with an estimated $8.5 million in earnings in the past year. Smosh is an online comedy duo who run 5 YouTube channels, even spawning "Smosh" The Movie." The Fine Brothers, Benny and Rafi Fine, are known for their hilarious reaction video series, showing everything from "Elders React to 3D Printers" to "Kids React to Old Computers."

No. 4 Lindsey Stirling

This talented musician found a following on YouTube. Since joining in 2007, her videos have garnered more than 1.1 billion views, showing her playing the violin, dancing and having fun. Of her YouTube fame, Stirling told Forbes: "It’s a very loyal fan base that wants you to succeed because they found you. It wasn’t some big radio station or record label that shoved art down someone’s throat."

No. 5 Rhett & Link and KSI

Both acts tie for the fifth spot, raking in a cool $4.5 million. Comedy duo Rhett & Link have amassed part of their fortune thanks to earnings from sponsored deals, according to Forbes.

KSI has more than 2 billion views of his video game commentary videos. In April, he released a song called "Lamborghini" -- something the YouTube star can certainly afford with his $4.5 million payday.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events