BBMAs 2018

Lindsey Stirling, PewDiePie and KSI Among Top Earners on YouTube

Austin Hargrave
Lindsey Stirling photographed at The Hollywood Reporter portrait studio at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah on Jan. 25, 2015.

Violinist extraordinaire Lindsey Stirling is YouTube’s top-earning musician, raking in an estimated $6 million in the 12 months ending in June, according to a Forbes list of the video site’s highest paid stars. "It’s a very loyal fan base that wants you to succeed because they found you," she recently said of her YouTube fans.

As impressive as her earnings were, Stirling was out-monetized on the list by two sets of comedy duos and a Swedish guy who plays video games. At No. 1 was PewDiePie, the video-game player, who earned $12 million thanks to his 40 million subscribers. Second place was a tie between comedy act Smosh and the Fine Brothers, producers of the React video series. Both duos brought in $8.5 million.

Lindsey Stirling Talks Next Album, Performs 2 Songs: Watch

The rest of the top five was made up by another comedy duo, Rhett & Link, and video game commentator KSI, who recently released a hip-hop single that cracked the top 30 on the U.K. charts. Both made $4.5 million.

Forbes’ list measures earnings before management fees and taxes and is based on data from Nielsen, IMDB and other sources. See the full list here.