TikTok's top earners all make over $1 million a year and most of them are still teenagers!
Over the past year, TikTok stars have become household names. For the app's top content creators, it's also become an extremely lucrative endeavor. In fact, some of these viral video stars are bringing in a seven-figure salary, all while barely being old enough to drive a car!
Stars like Charli D'Amelio and Addison Rae have been able to bring in millions of dollars (and millions of followers) over the course of the last 12 months. These huge paydays came thanks to the sale of personal merchandise, sponsored videos for brands, commercial appearances and more.
Forbes recently took a look into what goes on behind-the-scenes for TikTok’s rich and famous and compiled a list of the app's top earners. The outlet estimated the "pretax earnings that these stars took in from June 30, 2019, through June 30, 2020" with the help of the influencers, agents, managers, marketers and investors. They excluded creators that had found fame prior to joining the app like actors and musicians.
As for their findings? The creator who topped the list brought in a whopping $5 million and had been on the app less than a year.
With the opportunity to monetize their fame just beginning, these TikTok stars are in for an even bigger payday in 2021.
Check out TikTok's top earners and find out who brought home $5 million.
6. Michael Le & Spencer X – $1.2 million [TIE]
Creators Michael Le and Spencer X tied for sixth place on Forbes' list, each bringing in $1.2 million.
Michael became popular for his skit videos, most notably the ones featuring his 5-year-old brother Jonathan. He also started the TikTok collective, the Shluv House, and recently branched out into YouTube.
Meanwhile, Spencer is known for his beatboxing skills and has gained over 40 million followers as he works on his debut album.
Josh Richards may be the most creative member of this list when it comes to capitalizing on his TikTok fame. He's made the typical creator moves - sponsorship posts, a merch line, YouTube videos, and a song-making deal with Warner Records - but he's also made some major business deals. He cofounded his own talent management company, TalentX, created his own drink businesses, Ani Energy, and was named the chief strategy officer of TikTok competitor Triller.
4. Loren Gray – $2.4 million
Loren Gray has the most experience when it comes to content creation, as she got her start on TikTok's predecessor Musical.ly. Up until recently, the18-year-old was the most followed star on TikTok, until she was surpassed by Charli D'Amelio. In 2018, Loren signed a deal with Virgin Records and has since released eight singles. She's also landed sponsorship deals with Skechers, Hyundai, Burger King and most recently, Revlon.
3. Dixie D'Amelio – $2.9 million
Dixie D'Amelio was encouraged to join TikTok by her younger sister Charli, who also appears on the list of the app's top earners. The 19-year-old star rose to fame sharing dancing videos and funny snippets of her life, often collaborating with her sis. Dixie has gone on to star in Brat series "Attaway General" and released her first single "Be Happy." Dixie and Charli were also recently named the new faces of Hollister.
Charli D'Amelio may be just 16-years-old but she's the most followed person on TikTok, garnering over 80 million fans since last summer. After joining the app in June 2019, Charli went viral with her dance moves and has since branched out into voice acting, merchandise and just became the face of Hollister with her older sister Dixie.
1. Addison Rae – $5 million
With 56 million followers, Addison Rae may not be the app's number one creator, but she is the top earner. Less than a year ago, the 19-year-old creator was a college student at LSU, but has since moved to LA to pursue major business opportunities. She has a podcast with her mom titled "Mama Knows Best," is the global spokesperson for American Eagle, and just launched her cosmetics company, Item Beauty.