On Monday, according to CNBC, Forbes estimated that Ryan had earned $22 million from June 2017 through June 2018 and is one of YouTube’s top “influencers” with 17.3 million followers.
Ryan ToysReview is a family-run YouTube channel. In 2016, The Verge showcased the channel and Ryan’s parents. The parents shot and produced the nearly daily Ryan videos since they started in 2015, when Ryan was four-years-old. At that time, Ryan was a huge fan of YouTube toy reviews and asked his parents why he couldn’t do a toy review.
According to Fox News, all that money Ryan earned comes through an account with his family called “Ryan’s Family Review,” in which Ryan’s younger twin sisters, mother, and father give fans an inside look into the family’s life.
Ryan, a typical first-grader, loves trains, cars, especially Disney’s cars and Legos. He can spend hours building entire cities with them. The big difference is that Ryan does all his playing in front of a camera, much to the delight of his 17 million viewers – most of whom are elementary-school-age peers.
The Ryan videos range from 5 to 30 minutes in length, and have a total of nearly 26 billion views since he (and his parents) launched his main channel, Ryan ToysReview in 2015. This makes him the most popular influencer on YouTube. “I’m entertaining and I’m funny,” Ryan recently said in an NBC interview, explaining the popularity that has led him to become a mini-millionaire.
YouTube is trending “unboxing,” where content creators film themselves opening up toys, tech products and other consumer goods, giving the viewer a detailed account of the product’s different features, good and not so good. In Ryan’s case, there is a lot of screaming and giggling with enthusiastic delight as he does so.
Ryan has hit the jackpot this year when a deal was struck with Walmart to sell a toy line called “Ryan’s World” exclusively in over 2,500 US stores and Walmart’s website, according to Entrepreneur.com.
Ryan also made Forbes’ highest-paid list in 2017, pulling in an estimated $11 million. His family says Ryan wants to be a game developer when he grows up.