The score, released on Sunday, has been compiled by an independent intelligence platform CORQ. According to its website, the tool combines journalistic insight with data analysis to rank the most influential digital stars. More specifically, the algorithm takes into account audience size, growth and engagement rate, as well as the quality of influencers’ digital storytelling and the kind of reaction it elicits from their followers.
Based on these criteria, gamer PewDiePie topped the list. The Swedish internet sensation, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, raised to global fame quickly after launching his YouTube channel in 2010. Originally posting Let’s Plays, PewDiePie later expanded his content into internet memes and viral videos commentary. He has reigned on the video-sharing platform in the past six years despite recent backlash for racist and antisemitic comments. Currently, PewDiePie has over 101 million subscribers and an estimated net worth of $30 million.
Second on the Sunday Times list is Olajide Olatunji, also known as KSI. The YouTuber, rapper and amateur boxer, also started his influencer career as a gamer, recording his FIFA gaming experience. Three years after his 2008 debut on the digital scene, he branched out into the music industry. To date, KSI (which stands for knowledge, strength, integrity) has 20.4 million subscribers and a net worth of $5 million.
Craig Thompson, known as Mini Ladd, also made the top three on the Sunday Times list. Born in Dubai, but with English and Northern Irish heritage, Mini Ladd uploads gaming and comedic videos. He has 5.7 million subscribers on YouTube and a net worth of $4 million.
Other leading influencers include freestyle footballers Billy Wingrove and Jeremy Lynch, whose F2Freestylers channel boasts 10.6 million fans. Lifestyle and beauty vlogger Saffron Barker, entertainment star Joe Sugg, known as Teacher Joe, and Chelsea Clarke from CC Clarke Beauty follow on the list at the fifth, sixth and seventh position, respectively. The last three top-10 spots are taken by gaming vloggers Callum Leighton Airey (Calfreezy) and Joshua Bradley (Zerkaa), as well as entertainment star Colin Furze (colinfurze).
You can also visit our Greatest section to learn about top influencers across various industries, including entertainment, art, beauty, lifestyle and sports.