Forbes Top Creators: Who Are They & Does it Even Matter?

Everyone loves to be on a list, and Forbes Top Creators of 2023 is no exception. But who are the new names on this list, and does it even matter?

Forbes Top Creators 2023

Here are some key insights into the Forbes Top Creators list for 2023:

  • Jimmy Donaldson (MrBeast) ranked #1 for the second year, with estimated 2022 earnings of $82 million. He has over 312 million YouTube subscribers.
  • Olajide Olatunji (KSI) ranked #2 with estimated 2022 earnings of $24 million and 112 million followers across platforms.
  • Jake Paul ranked #3 with estimated 2022 earnings of $22 million.
  • The top 10 creators include Rhett & Link, Charli D’Amelio, Markiplier, DanDTM, Preston Arsement, and Ryan Kaji.
  • The top 50 creators have a combined follower count of 2.6 billion and estimated total 2022 earnings of $700 million, up 23% from 2021.
  • Creators earn money through ads, sponsorships, merchandise, and entrepreneurial ventures like restaurants and consumer products.
  • The ranking evaluated creators on earnings, follower count, engagement rates, and entrepreneurship.

The Forbes list highlights the massive earning potential and influence of top social media creators like MrBeast, who are turning their online followings into business empires. The top creators have cultivated engaged audiences numbering in the tens or hundreds of millions, allowing them to generate over half a billion in revenue.

Here are the top 10 creators from the 2023 Forbes list:

RankCreatorAudience SizeEarnings
01Jimmy Donaldson (MrBeast)312M$82M
02Olajide Olatunji (KSI)112M$24M
03Jake Paul66M$34M
04Rhett & Link51M$35M
05Charli D’Amelio213M$23M
06Logan Paul74M$21M
07Elliot Tebele (F*ckJerry)17M$30M
08Emma Chamberlain28M$20M
09Matt Rife22M$25M
10Brent Rivera96M$17.5M

Forbes Top Creators 2022

The Forbes Top Creators list for 2022 includes some of the biggest names in the creative industries. These include filmmakers, musicians, actors, writers, entrepreneurs, designers, photographers, and more. Below are the top 10 content creators, but you can review the full list on Forbes.

CreatorAudience Size2021 Earnings
Jimmy Donaldson (MrBeast)162M$54M
Charli D’Amelio203.7M$17.5M
Alexandra Cooper3.6M$20M
Elliot Tebele20.1M$30M
Emma Chamberlain27.6M$12M
Huda Kattan63M$13M
Rhett McLaughlin & Link Neal11.8M$30M
Khaby Lame231.4M$10M
Addison Rae Easterling133M$8.5M
Jake Paul57.3M$45M
Mark Edward Fischbach (Markiplier)49.5M$38M

But are the Forbes Top Creators indicative of success or a benchmark for creative achievement? Can we measure the impact that these top creators have had on their respective industries, as well as how their work has influenced our culture and society at large?

The answer may be both yes and no.

While it’s great to see the names of these individuals on the Forbes list, it should not be regarded as a measure of success or indicative of their influence. It is important to recognize that many creators may not be on this list but still make valuable contributions to culture and society.

I might add that some individuals have tremendous influence but aren’t necessarily digital content creators. They may be technologists, scientists, advisors, or educators who have discovered innovations in technology and research or have a unique way of looking at the world and inspiring others to do the same.

The Forbes Top Creators list is just that: a list. Many on the list are talented, yes. Some are lucky. All of them are attractive. And others have a gift for building community.

All Creators Matter

What matters most is recognizing the diverse contributions of all types of creators, regardless of appearance, on lists like the Forbes Top Creators 2023. While we can applaud those content creators for their achievements, creativity and innovation should be encouraged and celebrated in all forms.

Limiting acknowledgment to only the most visible creators risks overlooking the efforts of those working diligently behind the scenes. For example, B2B creators—individuals who help companies develop strategies, workflows, technologies, and products to reach their audiences better—are notably absent from the Forbes list. Though less prominent publicly, these creators play critical roles in shaping the global economy. Their contributions demonstrate that creativity has an impact far beyond consumer content.

The truth is that human progress depends on creators of all types pushing boundaries and bringing novel ideas to life. Scientists developing new medical treatments, engineers optimizing sustainable energy solutions, designers improving accessibility through thoughtful products—these industry influencers and B2B creators may not attract millions of followers. Still, their work meaningfully improves people’s lives.

Appreciating creativity should not be about fame or followers. Rather, it requires recognizing the diverse manifestations of human imagination and innovation that collectively move society forward. The teachers sparking curiosity in classrooms, programmers building helpful new apps, bloggers giving voice to overlooked issues—these creators matter.

So, while lists offer visibility for some, let’s shine a light on the unheralded creators across industries who challenge norms and make a difference. Impact comes in many forms, and all creators have value in enriching our world.

Michael Brito

Michael Brito is a Digital OG. He’s been building brands online since Al Gore invented the Internet. You can connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.