In the words of the French playwright and philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, “Man is a useless passion. It is meaningless that we live and it is meaningless that we die.”
Maybe you disagree with that sentiment. Maybe you believe life does have meaning. If so, consider this: in just one year, a six-year-old boy made $11 million, all by reviewing toys on Youtube.
Told you life is meaningless.
Ryan is the star of the Youtube channel Ryan ToysReview, whose premise is crushingly simple: Ryan “unboxes” a toy, plays with it, and offers his thoughts, while his parents guide him from behind the camera. It might not sound like much, but Ryan and his parents just landed at #8 on Forbes‘ list of the 10 most-watched Youtubers. Between June 2016 and June 2017, Ryan racked up over 8 BILLION VIEWS, which is more than the entire human population combined.
Ryan ToysReview’s most popular video of all time is titled “100+ cars toys GIANT EGG SURPRISE OPENING Disney Pixar Lightning McQueen kids video Ryan ToysReview” (rolls right off the tongue!) This video alone has over 800 million views.
The world is a carnival of tears.
Ryan’s success, can partly be chalked up to an ever-growing online video market. Those 10 successful Youtubers on Forbes’ list cumulatively made $127 million from 2016-2017, which is an 80% increase from the year previous.
On the other hand, Ryan’s success would be remarkable for even a seasoned content veteran. Ryan ToysReview was only launched in 2015, and in just two years his viewership has surpassed that of Youtube titans PewDiePie and Justin Bieber.
If there’s anything resembling a silver lining here, it’s that Ryan is beating out PewDiePie and the Biebs, both of whom very much deserve to lose to a first grader.
In an interview last year with Tubefilter, Ryan’s parents, who have preferred to stay anonymous, say the channel started as a fun hobby.
“Ryan was watching a lot of toy review channels,” Ryan’s Mom said. Then one day, Ryan turned to Mom and asked, “‘How come I’m not on YouTube when all the other kids are?'” At which point Mom said, “Yeah, we can do that.'”
Because of course the only thing worse than learning a first grader is a multi-millionaire, is learning a first grader became a multi-millionaire without even trying.
Their process is simple. First, Ryan’s parents take him to a toy store, where he picks out toys he’d like to review. Then, once the review is filmed and uploaded, the toys are either donated, or they are stored in a room in Ryan’s house devoted solely for that purpose. Finally, you and I cry until our pillows are soaked through.
Today, Ryan ToysReview has over 10 million subscribers, with no sign of slowing down. “As long as he’s loving it and it doesn’t disrupt his daily routine, we plan on continuing,” Ryan’s Mom said.
“Human existence is officially just the last 45 minutes of Titanic, played on a loop, until the sun blows up,” Ryan’s Mom could have added.
h/t: Scary Mommy