YouTube’s Top Stars Won’t Dance & Sing for Peanuts

It’s time for a couple new articles to make you feel inferior to YouTube stars, who are attracting increasing attention by media for their alleged lucrative sponsorships and 6-figure advertising income via their YouTube fame.

We won’t bother commenting on the inaccuracy or accuracy of said reports, but we’d agree these stars won’t sellout for peanuts (don’t miss that hyperlink).

Maybe a higher-end pistchios, though.

Tadcast facilitated a campaign for “Wonderful Pistachios” via Annoying Orange, BrittaniLouiseTaylor and MysteryGuitarman. No financials were listed, but the Nalts theme song writer will not, it seems, be “sleeping on the floor” anymore (so I feel a bit less guilty for never paying him).

Of course it was almost difficult to tell these videos were promoting anything. Kidding. I love these three fellas. They got millions of views and made money. Says Tadcast’s founder and CEO David Parker:

“These guys have dedicated fans. When you let them make what they want to make and give them the creative power to incorporate the brand in their own voice, their fans very frequently like it and say so,” says David Parker (source: Clickz article, “YouTube Celebs Go Nuts With Product Placement.”

Meanwhile it’s “Sxephil-Gate” regarding revenue projections, as fans and YouTube stars challenge journalist William Wei.

Creator Philip DeFranco (Sxephil) challenged the conclusions by San Francisco Sfgate/BusinessInsider writer William Wei that 10 YouTubers were making six-figure incomes. Sxephil called the numbers “incorrect overall” and mentioned it in a video. A thread of comments and drama ensued. The iJustine fans felt overlooked. The newspaper clarified things with revised estimates that assumes 85 cents per 1,000 views.

Put that into your “YouTube star revenue-prediction model,” Renetto and Myu2b.  The MyU2B website by YouTube Godfather Paul Robinette provides total daily views by creator, and calculates daily revenue. In the bottom quadrant, you can scroll down the list to see people earning an estimated $700-$1,000 and more per day.

Spy on Renetto's estimated daily/annual earnings of your favorite YouTube stars at

But nobody seems to have mentioned that rumored 7-figure earner, RayWilliamJohnson who’s YouTube profile statement is rather telling:

BUSINESS EMAIL: Please don’t contact me with business offers. Respectfully, I’m not accepting any business mail or business deals at this time. I’m happy where I’m at. Thank you.

Sorry, Tadcast. Ray says “no nuts for you.”

Ray William Johnson, a top YouTube "star" says no to promo

41 Replies to “YouTube’s Top Stars Won’t Dance & Sing for Peanuts”

  1. It must be nice all the way up there for all of them. Now, I’m not saying I am jealous of all of these guys, but I am completely jealous of these guys. So, let me just preface what I’m about to say with that.

    Ok, so a few posts ago, you wrote that the YouTube community might not be dead, but it sure as crap isn’t better than it used to be. This is what it is coming to. All this copious amounts of money is changing everything, and I hate to say it, but I feel like it’s totally getting to their heads. I’ll tell you what the problem is, at least from my perspective, and it is that the YouTube community is, it would seem, way too non-inclusive nowadays. Money, sponsorships and promotions are the great divider. Does anybody remember ZacksMovies’ infamous Machu Pichu Gathering video, where he jokingly said that youtubers would be segregated by subscribers? Things totally feel that way now, only more money-based. In the 2008 Wild West of YouTube, I used to actually talk to people like CharlesTrippy and ShayCarl. Now, if I wanted to get into contact with any of them, it would be like trying to flog George Clooney on a red carpet. ‘Tubers these days (and I am NOT saying all of them or trying to generalize) seem to be segregated by lucrativeness. How about StirfryTV? Admittedly at first I liked what they were doing, but I really don’t like what they’ve arrived at. I was hoping it would end up to be more line your ill-fated “Bubblegum tree show,” but now it’s just ended up being those guys rubbing elbows with a couple of the top 100 most subscribed list, over in over, and snubbing everybody else, especially if those people don’t have six figures in their subscriber-base. I’m not bitter (oh, who am I kidding, of course I am) but the YouTube community, at least much higher up, seems to be living by the rich-get-richer philosophy now, and I don’t like it. It’s souring the whole experience. It’s like getting a bone in your burger, now that a few of the former recluse entertainers are making mad cash, its making Youtube so black and white that it has affected everything. Now people want to make money or go home, if those guys can do it. The community has largely lost the heart and acceptance it once had in most of it’s reaches, I think, and I’ve seen it become rather cold and money-driven, which has quietly been isolating scores and scores of people for a while. I, of course, am a cockroach of YouTube, and it would really take some heart-break to weed me out, but with every year that passes, and with every new report about how rich these youtubers are getting, YouTube becomes less and less like the YouTube I loved so much. It’s like deer population. There are thousands of slightly varying species of deer, but since those white-tailed ones are so abundant, everybody assumes all deer are flourishing and healthy. If one of the other species goes extinct, who will notice besides some wacky scientists? As long as the white-tailed CharlesTrippies of YouTube keep @replying a couple of random people and high-fiving some fans at Vidcon, it means the whole community is healthier and better than it’s ever been, but if you look beneath the surface and find the hundreds of people who used to be just as present as everybody else but suddenly gave up completely without telling anybody due to disappointment or being discouraged, people should be able to tell that the whole thing isn’t as lovely as it used to be, despite the fact some big-shots have struck it rich making videos.

    Don’t get me wrong, though, I would totally love to make that kind of money. If I haven’t made it clear, as a person who still hasn’t made a cent from Youtube and probably never will, the only reason I wrote that huge thing back there is because I am insanely jealous. That’s purely it. Reubnick out!

  2. Just checked out
    The videos that they create are awesome — literally every video is entertaining — who cares that these youtubers are making money gopod for them — atleast the videos are still really entertaining

  3. As with anything, we have to grow with it, not against it, no matter how many subscribers you have. My first thought about my videos: Make Videos like Millions are watching. I’ve thought like this from the beginning.

    Having so many Subscribers now, they have a hard time just even reading the comments. So commenting back to a few is definitly a plus. Those top Tubers do have to Protect themselves also. They are people just like us. At Vidcon, they did not hide themselves but stayed with the crowdes of people. At least that was my experience on the Sunday that I visited.

    As they have made it bigger on youtube, they’ve made their videos better, honed their craft, helpped create community driven events like gatherings, Vidcon, fund raising, contests and so much more! It is what WE make of it, Partner, Not Partner, or In between.

    If you do not like what they are doing, you have the choice to not watch. Then go ahead and do it better in your own videos. YouTube is not a Contest nor a one way media. It’s part Entertainment, part Community, Its ENTERTOMMUNITY or COMMUNITAINMENT. I think the Later works better.

    But as my Trademark says: Keep on YouTubin!

  4. Where’d you get trolled BC? Reubnick thanks for the awesome reminder of Zack Scott: Machu Pichu Gathering video, where he jokingly said that youtubers would be segregated by subscribers

  5. Im coming to philly and having YouTube tated on my man-tits. all i want in return is a free nexus and 300,000 subscriber and I want BuddhaCharlie in the Nalts other channels box

  6. Nobody makes me cry, people are bitches with their crying about how shit should be free. This has nothing to do with politics. Every thing I have is from Google. My Google Voice number, My only income, my gmail. My free Notebook. But thats wrong. Then the same bitches will go and kiss some bosses ass and play the cubical game with the f-ing water cooler sex talk bull shit. It’s all bull shit. I scream into a cam like the f-ing jackass I am, and I have Chevy or Target advertising next to me. But if I went in for a job, they would want to know how big my man boobs are in a round.

  7. You people that call Shay and Phil sell outs, are just pissed off that your ass works hard everyday for some heartless employer that don’t give a rats ass about you. But you know these guys do what they want and get paid four or five times what you do in your ass kissing position. I don’t agree with everything Nalts says, but his post are open minded and at the end of the day he FARTS just like me and you, but he like me has the balls to admit he likes to fart and thinks it’s funny. You cant call him and undereducated asshole like you can me. Because more than likely he is more educated that you. You don’t like ad, don’t watch YouTube. Just over a year ago when I got into this, I thought like you shallow minded fools, and thought these guys are like superstars. No there not, their just people who kept doing what they love to the point, where it paid off. I challenge anyone who thinks I’m wrong, to make a video of yourself and make it public on YouTube. You wont, because you don’t have the balls. When Nalts needed friends on Facebook, you know who was right there and made a video just like Nalts. BuddhaCharlie, thats right he did not sit behind his computer and type and check his shitty grammer. No he popped out the chair and screamed Nalts needs friends on Facebook. Ill close by saying this, if Nalts don’t fart on me at VidCon, Ill fart on him.

  8. Oh yeah, and can’t figure out how to change that logo next to the comment. Might have to do somethng with the Platform this is on and whether or not one had account on it.

  9. @nalts Kevin I don’t even know what the hell a troll is. The recent viral video of the baby girl saying No No NO, RWJ talk about it you know?. Well I did a parody of my fat ass in the tub saying no no. The little girls dad thought my parody was funny, and posted it as the only response video on the viral video. He and I have been talking back an forth and he told me as a thank you for some advice I gave him, kind of like Nalts gave to David at the Dentist Father, anyway he said he will leave my video as the only parody. Anyway, I have had haters calling me a troll for making the video. So the haters are trolls, but I am a troll for making the video. Anyway it seems on your blog here that all these people do is talk about how partners are evil for running Pre-Rolls bla bla bla. It’s just stupid. To me their trolls, they make no original videos of their own, but bitch that us partner want to make money. FU, what the hell is it that you all do that you don’t make a profit. Your fools, wheres your videos and wheres your books. No longer will I call them Trolls, will call them BITCH

  10. Kevin I give you permission to change my picture. Just find a picture of an ASSHOLE and make that my profile picture. But don’t tell anyone I said it was ok, will play it off like I’m pissed off at you.

  11. According to Hunter Walk, who works in product management at YouTube, “We have hundreds of partners earnings six figures annually directly through YouTube (excludes any side revenues they earn through other ventures).” via Quora

    Figuring out potential YouTube partner incomes is not an exact science, but is a YouTube Stat site that Nick long and I built to help shed some light on this subject.

    The Gross estimates on our site are dead on for many known YouTube partner channels. Unfortunately, YouTube restricts partners from disclosing exact numbers, so I can’t list exactly who… but many partners have shared in confidence with us, exact figures, and we’re constantly tweaking the algorithms to keep it as accurate as possible.

    Also keep in mind, we could be way off if channels fall outside of some basic norms. For example, all the Vevo channels currently restrict mobil views, presumably because they are not monetized, so they could easily make much more than we estimate. RayWilliamJohnson, on the other hand, gets as many as 50% of all his views through mobil and could make much less than we estimate.

    We get as many emails saying we’re 20%-30% to high as we do that we’re 20%-30% to low. So, we feel pretty good about that.

  12. Good point, Renetto. I understand why brands are reluctant to buy views off YouTube (mobil and embed). It’s a legacy of concern based on buying Google search text ads on versus on the site networks (blogs that embed Google Google ads). The latter is prone to click fraud and campaigns don’t perform as well. But I’m still not seeing why SOMEONE wouldn’t step up for mobile ads if YouTube offered it. Maybe at a lower rate, but don’t waste the inventory YouTube peeps. Really.

  13. I think any Channel on YouTube is still Hit or miss. Kia was smart to use multiple for their contest. That was Huge. I think the only one that would be the most reliable is MysteryGuitarMan. He keeps to his schedule and is Consistent. But using mutiple Top Tubers seems to work too.

    FREE Kiddsock!

  14. I have absolutely no idea what has happened to this thread of comments overnight, but if I read correctly through the novel-equivalent BuddhaCharlie wrote, I think I was called a shallow-minded fool, and also told that Nalts is more educated than me for some reason. At any rate, I feel like I have been assumed to be a Youtube detractor who has never made a video in my life. Well, just for the record to BuddhaCharlie, I have been making videos for almost 5 years, and Nalts can attest to that (I’ve also been writing comments on this site for just as long). I have also been incredibly active in the Youtube community for almost all of that time, so don’t even think I am an outsider who is jealous of success of Youtubers while never trying to make a video for myself. It’s not really fair for you to assume I don’t have at least a little bit of a reason to be bitter towards my Youtube experience, either. You are a partner, I can see, so at least you are getting a little something out of it when you make videos. I still get nothing, NOTHING whatsoever except for some funny stories and interactions with people I’ve met on here, while dedicating just as much effort for all of my time up until a few months ago when I just didn’t want to even think about Youtube for a while.

    Anyway, I regretted posting the thing I said originally the moment after clicking the button. It made me look like the bad narc guy who doesn’t want Youtubers to succeed. The opposite is true. I shouldn’t have said specific names, that’s what I did wrong. I am not trashing Trippy or Shay. I didn’t call them sellouts either. RayWJ? Well, maybe I am trashing him. But I rescind what I said about those first two. My problem does not have anything to do with these people making money, in fact I am absolutely thrilled they are, even RayWJ. What bothers me is that the community is becoming so closed-off lately. Almost like an invite only type of deal. It just seems less accepting for some reason. There is a definite hierarchy that has formed, and it just seems based on who is making what, financially. That isn’t necessarily the faults of the successful youtubers, all I am saying is that whereas I used to actually get some of these guys to actually even be in my videos and shoot back emails back and forth just for the heck if it, I know something like that just wouldn’t happen anymore, especially as some of them eclipse me on regards to success. That’s when they act like they don’t even know you anymore. I wanted a couple certain Youtubers to be in a Candyland video I made, and I got utterly ignored the whole way, probably because nobody really had anything to gain from it. Top dogs on YouTube just seem less concerned in fun and interaction and more in what they can gain from doing something now, and it has reflected in the overall community. The “community” at the top only seems to come together for Carl’s Jr., not for the sake of making a goofy video. That’s all I’m saying. I am rooting for these Youtubers just like everybody else. BuddhaCharlie, you don’t seem to know who I am, but please don’t think I don’t want Youtubers to be successful. I’d be offended if you did. I am just saying that the community has changed.

  15. I’m still looking for these rumored posts where people are claiming everything should be free and partners are evil for using pre-rolls and wanting to make money.

    Does someone know what BuddhaCharlie is talking about, or do those comments only exist in his wildly distorted version of reality?

  16. @Alexis I know you don’t watch my videos. 1 because their terrible, and 2 because they have Pre-rolls LOL. But if you did you would see that most of what I say and do has no reason, shall we say I pull it out of my ass. I throw shit, and see what sticks. Not to say I don’t believe what I post, but I might make more out of it than it really is. In short I AM AN ATTENTION WHORE.

  17. @BuddhaCharlie I’ve seen enough of your videos to know to they aren’t exactly what I enjoy watching, but I wish you success with them.

    So the crazy ranting is part of your persona? That makes a little more sense. Having admitted that, it appears the definition of a troll fits you quite well:
    “A troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community […] with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.” (Wikipedia) Yep, that sounds about right for your recent comments.

  18. @Alexis Thank you. Yes I believe you are correct then. Perhaps someday soon, Wikipedia will show my face, next to Troll LOL. I wold rather be associated with FART but thats taken. LOL

    Have a nice night.


  19. Let me just say that buddha said is dead on. thanks bro for sharing. You are one for the people I want to meet at VidCon this year. I would like to say that I am on youtube for money (mind you that would kick ass if one day I could make a living doing it) I make videos for the fun of making them. If I am able to make my little sister laugh with them I know I have done my job. Once, again if other enjoy what I do than super. I am having a blast just being a part of the orbit and getting to know the people in that microcommunity. I have grown to love and respect a lot of them. Nalts, like I told you before my biggest goal on youtube is to one collab with you but if that never happens than yeah I understand. by the way still haven’t been able to find that naltsburger. this is my parting words to all that might read this. If you are making videos make them for yourself stay true to yourself and most of all have fun. What the bigger partners make is what the amke and they earned very bit of it. peace guy and keep it real.

  20. Wow you people talk a lot. Let me just say this about the YouTube community. It’s not dead at all. YouTube is a metropolis. Get off broadway, find a local, and there are plenty of great clubs 🙂 Take the nalts’ inspired YouTube Orbit. We have almost 40 people currently making daily videos now and interacting with each other. Let the big boys pay the bills for youtube and who cares if they make a nice living for themselves too. There are so many videos here there is something for everyone. 🙂

  21. Nalts your above comment (way above) was “First one to make Buddha Charlie cry wins a piece of cheese” RobVlogs was the first,,,, So please, give him the cheese he likes most, and do a collaboration with him. Urgo and Robvlogs are proof that what I say is true. While I don’t go back as far as some of you, and I don’t know how it was at the beginning, for anyone to say that the community is dead, is crazy. It goes far beyond YouTube, I talk to Urgo and Steve Tartaglia sctartaglia, every day via twitter and or facebook. Anytime I have ever tweeted Daneboe, he always tweets me back. ShayCarl has shown PrincessTard both videos that my daughter made for her. Alphacat and Lisa Lavi always tweet me back. Iv never met any of these people, I’m just another person, why do they respond to me, if the community is dead. Ed Bassmaster said he would do a drive through prank with me, and he subscribed to me. Why would a guy that met Sean Pean and has an agent, even give the time a day to an idiot like me that screams into a camera in the hope one of his stupid videos might go viral. All of these guys are part of the same community, and equal community. ShayCarl means it, when he says anyone can do what he does, if they really want to. If you don’t believe that or really are not interested in taking your YouTube hobby to that extreme, than it wont happen. But if that is what you want, it is there. Things will change with YouTube, but opportunity will always be there for creative folk, it’s a stage that was not there six years ago, so to bitch and moan that its so different and it will never be the same is crazy. At the end of the 90s the burst of the DOT COM Bubble, there will never be another big Silicone Valley success story. Wrong FACEBOOK. Now I will go to sleep and have dreams of being so popular on YouTube that I get free Flips, free candles, free Google Tvs, Free Cr 48’s Free Mac Book Air’s. I will dream of going to Canada and being raped by Canadians. I will dream of going to VidCon and everyone saying, o so hes not really retarded. Hes just fake and gay.

  22. Nalts can I have a cookie for making this post the most discussed. Heck even YouTube gives little awards on the bottom of videos when they are the most discussed. Can you find a Pig Turd in your lawn and Fed Ex it to me overnight with a signed copy of your book and a Nalts Mug????? Please Nalts.

  23. The community is not dead, but it has changed significantly, especially since the inception of the partner program. When I was at VidCon last year it really struck me how there seemed to be about three classes of YouTube denizens. First class are the Top 100 people who nearly everyone recognizes. These were the people who had scheduled times for people to come meet them and get signatures and photos or whatever. The second class citizens are your ordinary partners, your typical vloggers who may only be known in small communities, but still have the distinction of being officially partnered. The third class citizens are the nobodies, a few of them may be really dedicated YouTubers, but since they aren’t partnered, it doesn’t matter. They aren’t invited to lots of the lectures and events (not that that necessarily stopped me from sneaking in), but rather are relegated to the ranks of the tweeny-bopper ShaneDawson fans, stereotypical brain-dead-meme-spewing YouTube commenters, and other casual viewers. Makes me wanna work hard and partner up or maybe just skip VidCon in the future.

  24. Yes, The YouTube Community is not dead. I think some people are saying that because YouTube is not promoting it. We have to Promote it ourselves.

    I snuck in on the last day of Vidcon and was very surprised to see so many Young Fans. A couple of months before that, there was a Partner Meeting in NY. I am not sure that there was aposting about it or an open invitation. I saw some tweets about it the day before and felt a little miffed about not being invited. I may have not been a huge partner, but I was finally on a roll with success and constant subscribers and growing views. I was disappointed, but moved on.

    Then after coming back from Vidcon, I was truly devastated.

  25. The problem is youtube only really features the top people, and they are only vloggers for the most part. No artists or new indie filmmakers. They won’t feature new talent on the front page.

    Every crappy video by Shane Dawson gets featured.

    I think the youtube community is dead and replaced by big business.

  26. Well Kevin, it wont be long till they find out that you and now me, and all the big featured YouTubers are really just employees of Google. Wait till they find out that Shane is really the CEO, and made Chad step down. I sure hope then never find out that Shay is the content manager, and NiggaHigga, is in charge of customer relations.

  27. All Ray William Johnson does is steal other peoples videos and comment on them. Plus, he uses bots.

    Meanwhile, lots of cool partners are getting click bombed and youtube doesn’t care.

  28. Olgakay and lisanova also supposedly use bots and have been caught.

    It is also sad that these jerks seem to be safe from click bombing.

  29. I know LisaNova used a team of people to do it and she admitted it. I did not know about OlgaKay. Did she admit that? Or was there just people accusing her of that? What did the bots do? up views or comments?

    I just through and found LisaNova’s Comment on my profile from 3+ years ago.

    “Thanks for all the comments. Hope you enjoy LisaNova does Youtube. Have a great day!”

    Maybe I will try to enlist her help to get mine, and other’s Adsense Back.

  30. So why should we be impressed by these top youtubers? They are just using tricks and have certain advantages.

    Even Nalts acts like we should be impressed by them in a lot of his posts.

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