Every parent goes through the nightmare of clearing up huge piles of cardboard, plastic packaging and ripped up gift paper over the holiday season.
But what if you could make money from videos of your kids opening boxes and playing with toys?
It sounds too good to be true, but the top earner on YouTube does just that – and is only eight years old and rakes in more than $26 million in 2019 as an online influencer.
Ryan Kaji, whose real name is Ryan Guan, was also the video platform’s highest earner in 2018, banking $22 million.
His channel Ryan’s World was launched in 2015 by his parents, has been online for three years and has ticked up 22.9 million subscribers.
Unboxing king is 8 years old
The channel mostly consisted of “unboxing” videos – videos of the youngster opening boxes of toys and playing with them.
Many of the videos have been watched more than a billion times and the channel has racked up more than 35 billion views in total, according to social media monitors.
Astonishingly, YouTube’s top 10 highest earners were paid in a total of $162 million between June 1, 2018, and June 1, 2019. The money comes from a share of advertising running alongside the channel or payments from brands for marketing their goods and services.
And YouTube is not just about videos.
Ryan has his own brands of toys, clothing and home goods sold at Target, Walmart and Amazon, a spinoff television show on kid’s TV channel Nickelodeon and a deal with online service Hulu to repackage videos.
Russian child star nets $18m
Second place in the rankings was grabbed by Dude Perfect, some guys from Texas who hang out together performing stunts like throwing basketballs through hoops from the tops of high buildings or even helicopters.
The crazy videos earned the guys $20 million.
Third was five-year-old Russian child star Anastasia Radzinskaya, who earned $18 million from her channels “Like Nastya Vlog” and “Funny Stacy”, which have almost 70 million subscribers between them and show videos in Russian, English and Spanish.
Nastya, who gets six-figure cheques from brands including Lego, will launch a line of toys, a mobile game, and publish a book next year.