This YouTube Star Earns $1M a Year
Ray William Johnson's one-man show has 1.5 billion views
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Feb 2, 2012 5:24 PM CST
Updated Feb 5, 2012 6:00 PM CST
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(Newser) – Sure, it's full of keyboard cats and double rainbows, but these days, YouTube is also a serious moneymaking machine. YouTube star Ray William Johnson is showcasing the medium's potential: With more than a billion total views, he's making about $1 million a year through his clips, insiders tell the Wall Street Journal. Thanks to a twice-weekly show that gets 5 million regular viewers, the comedian—who mocks other popular YouTube clips—currently boasts the site's biggest audience. He goes by RayWJ.

So where does all the money come from? YouTube offers partnerships that can bring popular users between $3,000 and $9,000 per 2 million views. "Several hundred" such partners made more than $100,000 last year, an 80% jump from 2010, says a Google rep. "This is a microcosm of what's going on in the overall media landscape. We're moving from a scaled mass media to more hyper-local, niche media," says an industry expert. Indeed, scoring a few million views means a user "rivals second- and third-tier cable networks"—and YouTube's 780 million monthly unique visitors represents a far bigger audience than that of traditional TV networks.

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Showing 3 of 23 comments
stinkpickle3L
Feb 6, 2012 12:42 AM CST
This guy makes more than 2X the average trauma surgeon working 120hrs per week. I don't mean to hate on the kid but that is screwed up.
Eat_Eateator
Feb 3, 2012 10:01 AM CST
Way too many haters in here. Let's see all yall's well produced and riveting youtube links that you have uploaded over the years.
USLady
Feb 2, 2012 9:53 PM CST
Well they are not saying how Google is going to invade everyone's privacy starting in March,they will begin keeping track of all your personal information that you use on Google and any Google service,even what type of photos you place on the internet. They are going to store everyone's information in their data base system.The only way to stop them from doing this,is to change your search engine and stop using Google services.I know they have a lot out there,they are getting ready to use it against the people using their services. This really should not be allowed.They have been talking about this on the news.So money? or your privacy? hum? I mean,i know our privacy is limited either way,but for Google to store everything on people -is not right.