Ray William Johnson Is YouTube’s First Millionaire Creator

YouTube “Partners” are contractually obliged to not disclose earnings from Google’s video-sharing property, but that didn’t stop #2 subscribed Ray William Johnson this week. On Thursday he told ReelSEO’s Jeremy Scott that his YouTube ad-share income over the past 12 months (March 2010-March 2011) has surpassed one million dollars.

Ray William Johnson says "he's not embarrassed to be the first YouTube millionaire

Johnson, one of few top YouTubers that does not accept sponsorships or product placement, has earned $1 million strictly from YouTube’s advertising-sharing program. In his Tuesday video titled “F-U FORUM,” the  37-year-old New Yorker told his viewers he was tired of YouTube’s “cone of silence” about his “bodacious income.”

“I’m just a regular guy with an entertaining hobby that happens to make a friggin million dollars without leaving my apartment,” Johnson told Scott. “Am I supposed to apologize for that? If you’re jealous just do what I’m doing, and do it better.”

Numerous media articles have covered YouTube “star” income, but few YouTube Partners have revealed their revenue, either because they feared legal backlash from the “search giant,” or they hesitated alienating “fans” and viewers.” Johnson said he’s “tired of pretending he doesn’t earn it” because he “spends about 11 hours a day surfing for killer videos to rip and replay.” Johnson told Scott he was not concerned about potential copyright violations from his creations.

“My use of these moronic clips is covered by what’s called “fair use,” (expletive). And it’s a free form of creative expression because I add some comedic writing to the videos instead of just playing them over and over. Like I’ll say ‘hey look at this douchebag’ and then jump-cut edit myself saying “hey look at this DOUCHE-BAG’ from the opposite side of the video frame.”

YouTube spokesperson Felicia Williams would not confirm Johnson’s claims, but former YouTube Community leader  “Big” Joe Smith said it’s “more than plausible.” Smith said Johnson’s nearly 1 billion cumulative views “would conservatively generate in excess of one million dollars.”

Johnson’s claims are also validated by Paul “Renetto” Robinette, who runs the metrics site “MyU2B.” Robinette said his most pessimistic calculations range in the $800,000-$900,000 range, and it’s possible he’ll double his income in the next 6 months based on growth projections.”

23 thoughts on “Ray William Johnson Is YouTube’s First Millionaire Creator”

  1. I unsubbed him a couple months back. It just seemed like the same thing over and over and… But hey! Good for him. He could be in trouble a couple different ways.. first would, of course, be violation of the terms of his partner contract by disclosing this information, Google might not be so forgiving. But he is making them money, so they probably will just give him a public slap while privately patting him on the back.

    He probably will need to set aside a largish portion to retain the services of a legal eagle to defend against copyright violation trollsuits and defamation litigation. Remember, you don’t have to have a case to file suit, all you need is a big set of balls and/or a sleazy lawyer. Some people make do with just one.

    Announcing this information publicly will cause the slime to come oozing out of the sewers.

  2. I spy… a fool on this month of day…standing far far away possibly scratching is itchy butt in his possibly sweaty-smelly monkey suit while eating a banana outside of banana republic library :) … oh wait… i wasn’t supposed to remember the dream… damn monkey.

    Good on him if he did make the money! That’d be awesome!

  3. Excellent pwn, dude. I couldnt have done it better myself. HAHAHA!!! Yeah, right. April fools!!

  4. Jimmer,

    Be this a joke or not, as I’ve said several times on this blog before, google does NOT say you can’t disclose how much you make. Find me that. If you look in the adsense TOS it only says you’re not allowed to disclose the breakdown. You can say you make a million a year on youtube, you just can’t say the eCPM for that was yatta yatta and it got this many clicks. In the TOS it specifically says you’re allowed to accurately disclose the gross amt you make.

    BTW I’ll add this to my site, http://AprilFoolsDayOnTheWeb.com :)

  5. Wow! I knew they make good bucks but that much…. great for him. When i read ”the 37 year old” i was …whattt i thought he is no older than 23…

  6. He is fucking screwed his adsense is going to be disabled and he won’t be making money anymore.

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