If you’re over a certain age, the idea of Forbes.com publishing a list of 2016’s highest paid YouTube stars probably has you reaching for the Xanax. If you’re under a certain age, it probably has you reaching for your iPhone and tacking a sheet up in your dorm room to serve as a makeshift backdrop for the set of your new channel, which you are sure is going to be your ticket to stardom. And if you’re in that sweet spot in the middle, you might be trolling the list for eligible bachelors.
For the second year in a row, the financial mag’s ranking features overpaid pranksters, gamers, and other Internet stars. And nestled amongst this motley crew of YouTubers for the first time is LGBT activist Tyler Oakley. The cool $6 mil Oakely made in the past year earned him the number five spot on the list, next to fellow first timer Colleen Ballinger, a.k.a. Miranda Sings, star of Netflix’s Haters Back Off. That $6 million payday come not just from ads on YouTube and product integration, but from sales of the bespectacled 27-year-old’s book of personal essays, Binge, not to mention his recent deal with Ellen DeGeneres’s production company.
“[YouTube] is a place for people from all over the world to feel less alone,” Oakley says. “When I was younger and still in the closet, I couldn’t just google ‘coming out story’ to help me articulate what I was going through. Now, there are tens of thousands of first-person accounts that could help people make sense of their identities.”
In other words, it sounds like the market is close to saturated, and it seems unlikely that any of those thousands of YouTube diarists have a chance at making the same kind of chedda’ that Oakley takes home.
So, uh, does anyone have Tyler Oakley’s phone number?