How rich can you get? You're never gonna know 'til you've met this young boy. Ryan Kaji is his name! The newly minted nine year old is the world's highest earning YouTuber in the world whose videos in 2019 netted $26 million. Between this and partnerships, merchandise, and sponsorship income his net worth is estimated to be around $100 million. That's rich! How did he get here? It started in March of 2015 with a channel called Ryan Toys Review. There were plenty of unboxing and toy reviewing videos even then, but this one featured a kid, someone who actually played with toys. The most popular video from this channel is easily "Huge Eggs Surprise Toys Challenge” which has an excess of two and a half million upvotes and over two billion views.
Up And Moving
By 2018, Ryan Toys Review earned $22 million on YouTube. This made Ryan not just the youngest of the high paid YouTubers but the highest YouTube star period. As this channel grew so did the star. Last December it was decided that Ryan Toys Review would have its name changed to Ryan's World. Don't think the little millionaire is growing up too fast! He still likes toys. He still plays pretend games with his little sisters, Emma and Kate. Ryan just wants to branch off into other endeavors like science experiments, DIY projects and various challenges. The family has diversified into other channels. For international fans there is Ryan’s World Español for Spanish speaking fans and ライアンズ ・ワールド (Raianzu wārudo) for Japanese fans. E. K. Doodles, Let's Play Games With Combo Panda and a good amount of other smaller channels combined bring in an extra $20,000 to $100,000 every month.
From the Computer Screen to the TV Screen
A lot of Ryan's net worth isn't just from YouTube but from a very lucrative deal made with Nickelodeon, where kids win and keep winning! In 2017, the family signed a deal with the digital media studio PocketWatch, Inc. to produce Ryan’s Mystery Playdate. This blend of live action and animation is currently in its third season on Nickelodeon's Nick Jr. channel. The family has also signed a deal with Hulu, but the details are being kept under wraps. Last year a magazine titled Ryan's World came into print, the primary issue selling 49,000 copies. Of course, all of this is going to come with licensed products. There's a video game app called Tag With Ryan that's a racing game where you can collect objects to give Ryan different dress up costumes. This itself comes with a line of toys, both of the squishy and stuffy variety. You can also get t-shirts and even a tube of Colgate toothpaste with Ryan's smiling face on it. Tag With Ryan is free, but if you want a real racing game with a little oomph to it, Race With Ryan is available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Keep you fingers crossed for Road Trip Deluxe Edition, originally planned to be out for October. Just how much is revenue is coming out of these sponsorships is being kept on a need to know basis.
What's Going On With Ryan Now?
With everyone on lockdown, the channel now focuses on indoor fun and educational activities. Since some kids may not be going back to school any time soon, Ryan and his two sisters recently did a video where they roleplay being unruly students with Mom, Loann, playing the role of beleaguered teacher. On a serious note, they also managed a Q and A session with U.S. healthcare expert Andy Slavitt. The Covid 19 pandemic has hurt sales of most magazines but sales of the Ryan's World magazine still manage to hold up. Ryan's parents purchased a large production studio for $1.2 million in 2017 in the Houston suburbs, so we can infer that some big things are coming up. In a world where a lot of kids are experiencing an extreme case of cabin fever, Ryan has succeeded in making a connection with them, showing that there is still some fun in the world.
What's Next for Ryan?
Most kids his age would be going into fourth grade, learning multiplication, American history and how to read a map. Ryan is likely going to do that and possibly more. Something is going to be coming out of that studio in Houston, that much can be relied on. The third season of Ryan's World on Nick Jr.just wrapped up, featuring a visit from Kate The Chemist. It also seems that Ryan's videos are going to be longer, surpassing an hour, to take advantage of the longer attention span of both Ryan and his young audience. Ryan's World has been nominated for the YouTube Streamy Brand Awards for best influencer campaign. Nickelodeon has picked up Ryan’s Mystery Playdate for a fourth season for its English speaking audience. Ryan's TV show features Ryan's parents, Shion and Loann, plus some animated characters (Gus the Gummy Gator and Combo Panda) and the odd special guest. Perhaps in time Kate and Emma will make an appearance. They certainly seem to love cutting up for YouTube videos! There will be more puzzles, more physical challenges, everything Nick kids love!
The YouTuber is one of the newest paying occupations in the modern era and one that requires very little experience or education. Ryan's World is still something quite singular. It holds the Guinness World Record for the most watched YouTube channel for a “post-post-millennial” (meaning a person born post-2010) It was listed in 2018 and 2019 as the highest-earning YouTube channel by Forbes magazine. On the humanitarian side, Ryan has given away many of the toys he has unboxed and reviewed to various children's charities. Ryan has done more at age nine than some people do their whole lives. Let's see what else he can do!
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee