A new breakdown, published by Forbes on Friday, August 7, details the earnings of seven viral video-makers who have all been able to turn their content into cash. Rae, 19, and D’Amelio, 16, have launched wildly successful personal brands, “primarily through sales of personally branded merchandise and sponsored content for brands such as Sony, Chipotle and Revlon.”
With millions of followers across multiple platforms, the teens topping Forbes‘ list have each made more than $1 million in the span of one short year. To estimate the social media stars’ earnings, the publication used the expertise of agents, managers, marketers and investors — and left traditional celebrities using TikTok out of their analysis.
Earlier this month, D’Amelio dished on her success as an influencer, which was never part of her plan when she downloaded the popular app.
“I got started with TikTok because all of my friends were using the app and posting on their accounts. I didn’t have an account, so I was just dancing on their phones and I’d be like, ‘Oh, can you send me that? That’s so cool,'” she told Variety on Wednesday, August 5. “Eventually I decided to make my own account because I was having so much fun making all of these dance videos with my friends. I got the app, I started dancing, my videos started getting a little bit more popular on the app and a lot has happened since then.”
Charli and her sister, Dixie D’Amelio, both landed on Forbes‘ first-ever TikTok list, and the pair have been working through their newfound fame together.
“If I didn’t have my family doing this with me, my experience would be very, very different,” Charli told Variety. “I think going through this alone would be a lot more complicated and I don’t think I would be able to do it like I am right now.”
While the D’Amelio sisters have each other, Rae has found herself falling into a crowd of famous pals, including Kourtney Kardashian and her kids, Mason, 10, Penelope, 8, and Reign, 5. Rae has spent plenty of time with the reality star, 40, in recent months and has “learned a lot” from their budding friendship.
“The advice I have gotten from hanging around people who have spent time in the spotlight is to always be humble and grateful for all that I am given because I am in a really fortunate position,” she told Us Weekly exclusively in July. “I’m truly thankful for the platform my followers have given me.”
Scroll down to see Forbes‘ breakdown of the highest-earning stars on TikTok.