In the digital age, social media influencers have emerged as some of the top earners, even outpacing traditional celebrities. TikTok, a platform that’s relatively new to the scene, has proven to be a goldmine for its top creators.
By Q3 of 2022, TikTok boasted a staggering 1.5 billion users, generating revenue of $1567 million in that timeframe. This prompted the launch of TikTok Business, catapulting the earnings of influencers even further.
While Gen Z predominantly uses TikTok, a growing number of Millennials, Gen Xers, and Boomers are joining the platform.
Interestingly, while Gen Z dominates in numbers, the top earners are mainly Millennials. As the platform matures, who knows which demographic will dominate next?
But for now, let’s focus on the current moneymakers. Here’s a closer look at some of the platform’s most lucrative stars with an forever growing social media engagement.
Top 5 TikTok Titans and Their Earnings
Despite facing criticism, TikTok’s strength as a social media giant is evident. By Q4 of 2021, Sensor Tower’s report highlighted TikTok as the second most downloaded app, second only to Instagram. The unique short-video format has even made giants like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube try to emulate its success.
Now, which stars have propelled TikTok to such dizzying heights?
1. Charli D’Amelio
Annual Est. Earnings: $17.5M
Charli D’Amelio is not only TikTok’s highest earner for 2022 but also an internet sensation. Twice in a year, Forbes featured her as one of the highest earners on the platform. She began by posting simple dance videos that quickly became internet gold. Charli’s success story includes appearances with The Jonas Brothers, features on The Tonight Show, collaborations with brands like EOS Cosmetics and Prada, and even a Super Bowl appearance. Having shifted to Los Angeles with her sister Dixie, they joined forces in the Hype House, ventured with Hollister, and launched their mini-TV series on Hulu. Companies like Morphe Cosmetics have also collaborated with her.
To put her earnings into perspective, The Wall Street Journal claimed she earned more than the CEOs of Starbucks and McDonalds. Even Dunkin Donuts named a drink after her!
2. Dixie D’Amelio
Annual Est. Earnings: $10M
Dixie, Charli’s elder sister, has also carved a niche for herself. Their collaborative content further elevates their individual profiles. Branching into music, Dixie released songs like “Be Happiness”, “Psycho”, and “F-kBoy”, even touring with pop stars. Moreover, she’s a regular on the Hulu reality series, “The D’Amelio Show”.
3. Addison Rae
Annual Est. Earnings: $8.5M
Addison Rae Easterling’s dance moves made her a TikTok favorite. A mere month into the platform, and she had already garnered a million followers. She soon dived deep into the influencer life, moving to LA and joining the Hype House. Addison’s partnership portfolio includes names like Daniel Wellington, Reebok, American Eagle, and her exclusive makeup line, Item Beauty. Moreover, her leading role in Netflix’s “He’s All That” has paved the way for more.
4. Bella Poarch
Annual Est. Earnings: $5M
Bella Poarch, TikTok’s recent sensation, skyrocketed to fame with a simple lip-sync video. From her struggles as a child to her success, she’s now a recognized pop artist with hits like “Build a Bitch”. A multi-talented personality, Bella has ventured into gaming, even partnering with professional Esports organizations, and working with brands like Google and Prada.
5. Josh Richards
Annual Est. Earnings: $5M
Josh Richards, popular for his lip-sync and dance videos, is more than just a TikToker. With sponsorships from brands like HouseParty and Reebok, Richards has explored avenues beyond TikTok, including his own energy drink brand, Ani Energy. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to co-found Talent X and to take an executive role in Triller. Further diversifying, he also co-established Animal Capital, a VC firm investing in a broad range of ventures.
These TikTok celebrities are setting the benchmark high with their diverse talents and business ventures.
As the platform grows, it will be interesting to see who rises to the top next and how the world of influencer marketing evolves. Stay tuned!