YouTube is a platform that has grown in popularity over the past decade. In fact, it has blown up so much that it has now become a website where millions of people who have grown into YouTube stars are able to make a living for themselves by publishing videos and gaining cash from ad revenue. Some of the most notable names include faces like Pewdiepie, Logan Paul, and Markiplier, who make anywhere from $10 million to $12 million off of their videos per year. But have you ever heard of YouTube toy reviews and their success?
What might surprise you here is that not every YouTube millionaire is a 20-something-year-old sitting in a dimly-lit editing room. In fact, one of YouTube’s biggest stars goes by the name of “Ryan ToysReview“–a 7-year-old who posts YouTube toy reviews of himself where he plays with and discusses kids toys. It might not sound like much at first, but Ryan is able to bring in over $11 million per year by making videos such as action figure reviews. Now, what do you make of that?
Who even is Ryan ToysReview? And how is he making millions playing with toys?
Ryan ToysReview is a YouTube channel that started in March of 2015 that focuses around 7-year-old Ryan posting YouTube toy reviews, with each video gaining an average of around 5 million views (some even reaching over 90 million). Currently, Ryan ToysReview has over 15.7 million subscribers and has collectively gained over 24 billion views as of August 2018. Ryan’s channel is among the top 10 YouTube channels who have brought in the most cash thus far in 2018–giving him a place among big names like Jake Paul, Smosh, and iisuperwomanii.
The content of Ryan’s channel is more or less what you would expect. Each video consists of Ryan opening and playing with a number of toys, offering his input on them for other children to watch. Many of Ryan’s YouTube toy reviews are sponsored by companies like Disney, Lego, and Nickelodeon–allowing for him to bring in some serious bucks. That being said, the combination of his sponsorships and the money that he’s making via ad revenue on his videos allows for him to be richer than you could ever dream.
But YouTube toy reviews like these must only be posted by Ryan, right?
YouTube toy reviews is a currently growing trend that is spreading all over the video sharing platform like a virus. By simply searching YouTube toy reviews on Google, you’ll be met with over 123 million results–and this barely skims the surface. YouTube has become infested with these toy review accounts where young children open and play with toys for the audience’s viewing pleasure.
Parents have obviously taken note of the success of these videos, and one is able to assume that many of these adults are the ones recording their kids in order to make a quick buck. This has resulted in the spam of toy review videos, supposedly made by children, that are currently flooding the website. And you can be sure that they won’t be slowing down any time soon as long as they continue bringing in cash.
Bet that college degree you spent 4 years and $250,000 to get is feeling like a waste of time now, huh? Lots of people would agree.
The rise of these YouTube toy reviews has caused a fair amount of controversy within the YouTube and general video viewing community. Many are outraged that these videos focused around kids, which seemingly take minimal effort, are making more money than someone who works a 9-5 on a regular basis. Not only that, but YouTubers who have spent years building up their channels and working countless hours editing each of their videos feel the system has cheated them.
YouTubers with large followings, such as Pewdiepie, have even had moments of rallying against these YouTube toy reviews. Many claim that the attention these videos get is unfair to those who have spent blood, sweat, and tears on their content, and that these YouTube toy reviews are merely abusing the flawed YouTube algorithm.
And yet, these channels continue to thrive off of views from children everywhere.
If for some reason you don’t believe that this is really a thing, then consider looking over the shoulder of your young niece or nephew the next time you see them sitting on their iPad. Chances are, they just might be viewing one of these videos, because for whatever reason, kids get a kick out of watching other kids play with toys they don’t have.
That being said, it’s easy for them to click through video after video that’s shown to them in the sidebar–unknowingly allowing for these exploitative channels to make cash with every click or tap. It doesn’t help that the thumbnails for these videos often contain bright, eye-catching colors and images, making children more prone to being attracted to them.
If you think toy reviews are the only weird children’s videos making millions on Youtube, then you’re dead wrong.
As much as you probably hate to hear it, toy reviews are far from the only minimal-effort, low-quality, videos posted to YouTube that are raking in the big bucks. With a simple search, you might also notice the strange trend of videos with adults dressed as popular cartoon characters, such as Elsa or Spiderman, partaking in odd or inappropriate behaviors.
Not only that, but it’s also possible to find a hot mess of crudely animated shorts featuring these popular characters–often including strange themes such as pregnancy, injections, and affairs. Many of these videos are not what one might deem as being “child appropriate”, but parents are often unaware of what their kids are watching, leading to them clicking on these videos and contributing to the creators gaining views and making millions.