It warms the cockles of this journalist’s heart when we chance upon a story that has not had much airplay.
And so it was on June 18 when the just-launched FELLT Industry published this story on YouTube’s highest earning style and beauty bloggers: "YouTube's highest-earning fashion star is a ghost hunter".
Our curiosity aroused by the reported US$4million a year advertising earnings of YouTube’s number one vlogger, Swedish gamer PewDiePie, we looked into YouTube's most-subscribed style and beauty vloggers.
Then, using socialblade.com, which which bills itself as the world’s number one YouTube stats ranking site, we punched in their numbers to calculate ad sales.
Our story identified Texan Rachel ‘Bunny’ Meyer as one of YouTube’s top five earners in the style/beauty category, pulling in, according to socialblade.com, annual ad sales of US$182,900 to $1.5million a year.
We then averaged that out and subtracted YouTube’s 45percent commission to come up with an average annual net ad sales estimate for Meyer of $462,798. Which, surprisingly, considering that the kooky, hipster Goth with a penchant for the paranormal seemed virtually unknown beyond her social media channels, made her YouTube’s second-highest earner in the category after the far, far better-known American beauty vlogger Michelle Phan.
Meyer vlogs on a mix of subjects, including fashion, beauty and reviews of various products, via her popular 'Does this thing really work?' series.
At the time there were no pre-digested profiles of Meyer, certainly not in the mainstream media, so we had to dig around for info – some of which came from this interview with a local Texan television station, that was uploaded to YouTube in February this year.
How much has changed in the five weeks interim.
US fashion website Styleite picked up the story later that day, linking back to FELLT Industry (and many thanks to reporter Hannah Ongley).
British tabloid The Daily Mail picked the story up on June 26, noting:
"According to Social Blade, the 28-year-old Texas native and self-described 'Swamp Queen' rakes in an estimated $462,798 a year from her popular videos, which she posts almost daily….Much of the animated vlogger's earnings come from ad sales, which reportedly add up to between $182,900 and $1.5million a year”.
The Daily Mail also references the Texan tv interview – which took us quite some time to find, but was not mentioned on Styleite.
On July 19, US site Business Insider ran a story about Meyer, pegged on an appearance she had just made at the Tart beauty store in New York.
Headlined ‘Hundreds Of Teenagers Waited In Line For A Chance To Meet One Of YouTube's Highest-Paid Stars -- And You've Never Heard Of Her’, the story noted:
“She is one of the highest earning YouTubers, earning her an estimated $US462,798 a year from her popular videos”.
On July 22nd, US marketing site Brand Channel ran a story called ‘YouTube Creators are Commanding Major Money, Attention from Big Brands’, singling out Meyer for special mention, but again, failing to cite a source:
“Online, vlogger celebrities are earning upwards of six-figures just from ad sales. Rachel 'Bunny' Meyer, aka, Grav3yardgirl, is one of the highest-earning vloggers on YouTube, reportedly making between $182,900 and $1.5 million a year from ad sales”.
To give you an idea how much further this info has travelled, just punch “grav3yardgirl” and “$462,798” into Google.
For anyone reporting this story moving forward, a quick FYI.
At the time of our report, Myer had 2.9million YouTube subscribers.
At time of writing, that number had grown to 3,256,045.
According to our calculations, her annual net ad sales earnings could now in fact potentially be US$494,175.