In 2021, Forbes revealed that MrBeast made approximately $54M from various income sources - YouTube ads, brand sponsorships, and selling his merchandise and burgers. This year, it was revealed that the highest-earning YouTuber made between $3-$5M per month.
While that is a lot of money, many viewers forget to consider how much it costs YouTubers to actually create their content. Popular videos such as I Built Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory (118M views) or the infamous $456,000 Squid Game in Real Life (301M views) require hours of planning, constructing, filming and of course, a lot of money. When asked how much money he spends on his high-budget videos and several off-screen initiatives, MrBeast answered “between seven to eight million dollars a month” on producing content across his YouTube channels and promoting his business.”
Back in September, MrBeast guest starred on an episode of The Iced Coffee Hour podcast and shared just how much he really spends on his MrBeast brand - everything from his main channel to ‘side gigs’.
It’s safe to say that whether you are an avid YouTube viewer or simply turn to the video-sharing platform occasionally - you know who MrBeast is. And, that’s true internationally thanks to MrBeast creating content in over 20 different languages, including MrBeast en Espanol (23M subscribers), MrBeast en Francais (1.71M subscribers), MrBeast in Arabic (1.9M subscribers), and even MrBeast Hindi (1.52M subscribers). Obviously, MrBeast makes a lot of money just from ad revenue alone across all his YouTube channels. Here’s a quick overview of all his channels:
If MrBeast’s RPM is about $5 then it's safe to assume that he brings in approximately $100,000 per video. If the YouTuber posts about twice a month on all his channels, he brings in over $600K just from YouTube ad content. However, ad revenue isn’t the only way Jimmy Donaldson makes money from YouTube. Throughout his years online, Donaldson has been sponsored by a number of different brands, including HelloFresh, NordVPN, Epic Games, and Honey. Taking a closer look at the latter, Honey has sponsored MrBeast over 20 times and on the videos they sponsored, the YouTuber received over 1.2M views. Now, if you assume that his CPV (cost-per-view) is 1 cent, then it’s safe to assume that MrBeast made (approximately!) $12.5M just from this one brand collaboration.
But, aside from YouTube, the uber-successful content creator also has ‘side gigs’ that bring in even more revenue. MrBeast has his own merchandise collection - which ranges from casual clothing and home decor to mugs and phone cases. The creator has also recently tapped into the fast-food industry, opening up his own burger chain across the US and Europe. MrBeast Burger is a delivery-only fast food restaurant that features various burgers, french fries, desserts, and beverages. According to reports, MrBeast Burger made over $15M in revenue in just 2 days and it’s estimated that Beast Burger makes around $38M per year. Jimmy Donaldson also shared via Twitter that “Beast Burger has shared over $100M in revenue with restaurants across America.” The creator also has his own plant-based chocolate company, Feastables. According to reports, Feastables “made over $10M in revenue in its first few months.”
Adding it all up, Jimmy Donaldson makes a few million dollars a month but, according to him, “I don’t really make money, I just reinvest it all.” So, where is the money reinvested? How does this successful YouTuber spend his much-earned cash?
When asked how much he spends each month running all his initiatives, Jimmy Donaldson was caught off guard and started scrambling the money together. He explained that:
So, as mentioned earlier, the MrBeast industry spends around $7-8M a month! This calculation doesn’t take into account how much money Jimmy Donaldson spends on his employees, which includes editors, a brainstorming crew, a filming crew, accountants, HR, and more.
Many people may say that spending $3-4M on video creation is extremely expensive but, as MrBeast sees it, his whole brand steams around people watching his videos. During his interview, Donaldson explained, “The money is best spent by making the best YouTube video possible - If we want to sell more Feastables or merch, it all literally stems around people watching the videos…The money is best spent by doing grander things that I finds interesting, that are unique and original, and people can’t really find it anywhere else. You can’t find what we do anywhere else, not at the scale we do - and that’s where I want to put the money because that’s what gets people coming back. They enjoy it and everything else benefits.”
However, with that in mind, MrBeast strongly believes that you don’t have to be a millionaire and spend millions on content creation in order to go viral and become uber-successful. Jimmy Donaldson states, “There are a ton of viral ideas that people can do that do not require money, it doesn’t require money to go viral. At one point, one of my most viewed videos was Surviving 24 Hours Straight in a Desert - we just grabbed a tent, some stuff, and went to the desert and it got 60-70M views. I have so many videos where we’ve spent hardly any money and they’ve gotten tens of millions of views and they would have gotten tens of millions of views even on a small channel. So, people who say ‘I could be MrBeast if I had money’, well, A) I didn’t start off with money and B) some of our most viewed videos literally like anyone could do.”
What aspiring YouTubers do need to keep in mind is that while you may (or may not) need to spend money to create good quality, original videos, you do need to be ready to put in the hard work. Jimmy Donaldson revealed that it can take months to prepare for one video, and on top of that, it can take anywhere from four to five days of relentless filming to achieve the final product. As MrBeast puts it, “There’s a reason other people don’t do what I do.” On the bright side, he also adds that “The beauty of YouTube is double the effort isn’t double the views…it’s like 10X.”
Money and spend aside, Jimmy Donaldson shared a heartfelt quote about his position as one of the top content creators of our time:
“YouTube is only going to grow bigger and bigger - almost every area of the internet leads to YouTube. In 10 years, YouTube is going to be bigger than television ever was and a lot of people underestimate that. I don’t think people really understand what it means to be one of the top creators on the biggest social media platform and that will also be the biggest in 10 years. You can do whatever you want and influence people however you want, and you can leverage that to build businesses. It’s mind-blowing the amount of influence the top YouTube channels have. We have over 100M people on average that watch almost everything we put up, everything we do, when will someone else have that sort of power.”