It’s no secret that social media influencers can make good money. Non-celebrity social media influencers can pull in millions of dollars each year from brand partnerships and sponsorships. Despite being the new kid on the block for social media platforms, TikTok has been feeding the coffers of influencers around the world in a big way. In this article, we’ll be sharing a list of TikTok’s highest-paid stars along with some details about what propelled them to stardom so you can duplicate their success.
While TikTok’s user base is largely Generation Z, the demographics have started to shift a bit since early 2020. The platform is still dominated by Gen Z, but there’s been a notable increase in Millennials, Gen Xers, and even Boomers on the app. The changing demographics have yet to bleed over into TikTok’s biggest earners, however, with the highest-paid influencers on the platform falling squarely within Gen Z. As TikTok continues to grow it’s possible that could change. For now, though, let’s dive into our list of TikTok’s highest-paid stars. Just how much do these stars make by the second?
15 of TikTok's Highest Paid Stars in 2020:
TikTok’s Highest-Paid Stars in 2020
Aside from a couple of short downturns, TikTok has regularly at the top of the list for highest-earning social media platforms in 2020. According to Sensor Tower, so far in the third quarter of 2020, TikTok ranked above other non-game apps for the second consecutive quarter, topping YouTube, Tinder, Tencent Video, and Disney+. TikTok also had the most downloads for a non-game app, followed by Facebook, Zoom, WhatsApp, and Instagram.
But who are the TikTok stars that drive the app to its record-setting earnings?
Annual Earnings (estimated): $5 million
TikTok Followers: 64.6 million
Addison Rae Easterling was an LSU student who mostly used TikTok to show off her dance moves. She joined TikTok in July 2019 and hit one million followers by October that year. She started getting recognized on campus while walking to class and even got autograph requests from younger teens while at LSU football games.
She posted her first sponsored content posts that fall, as well, for Fashion Nova, an online women’s clothing store. In December 2019, Easterling left LSU and moved to Los Angeles with the hopes of becoming a full-time celebrity. She joined forces with a group of TikTok influencers to form Hype House, a creator cooperative. This ended up giving her more notoriety and increasing her business opportunities. Easterling’s two main revenue streams came from branded merchandise and sponsored content from watch company Daniel Wellington and the well-known Reebok company.
Easterling was able to capitalize on this success and in July 2020, she became the main spokesperson for American Eagle, taking her from TikTok into the world at large through digital and traditional print and TV ads. She also has her own makeup line, Item Beauty, which is a joint effort between Easterling and beauty startup Madeby.
Annual Earnings (estimated): $4 million
TikTok Followers: 92.6 million
Charli D’Amelio started posting on TikTok in June 2019. She ended up launching to TikTok fame that summer and fall when a series of her dance videos went viral. Not long after that, Bebe Rexha invited Charli to join her opening for the Jonas Brothers at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn. D’Amelio moved to Los Angeles from her hometown of Norwalk, Connecticut, appearing as a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. From there, D’Amelio used TikTok to share her experiences at Paris Fashion Week for Prada and then entered into a partnership with EOS Cosmetics. D’Amelio even appeared in a Super Bowl commercial for Sabra hummus.
Like Easterling, D’Amelio (along with her sister, Dixie) became involved with Hype House and the two have since signed on with Hollister and Morphe Cosmetics. D’Amelio also has her own line of influencer merch.
Oh, and she just turned 16 in May 2020.
@dixiedamelio@angryreactions♬ Be Happy - Dixie D'Amelio
Annual Earnings (estimated): $2.9 million
TikTok Followers: 40.5 million
Dixie D’Amelio is Charli D’Amelio’s older sister. As you can imagine, the two have thus far hitched their wagons to one another. They both left Connecticut to move to Los Angeles and join in on each other’s videos all the time. They’ve signed a joint agreement with Hollister and cosmetics company Morphe.
Dixie, however, has recently opted to brand out into music, releasing her first single “Be Happy” in June 2020. The single debuted at number one on both Billboard’s Top Triller U.S. and Top Triller Global charts as well as being the number one trending video on YouTube, beating out a Kanye West-Travis Scott music video released on the same day.
4. Loren Gray
@lorengraypartying by myself♬ Kesha- Your Love Is My Drug - SunriseMusic
Annual Earnings (estimated): $2.6 million
TikTok Followers: 48.1 million
Loren Gray had a rocky start, suffering through several bad talent managers before deciding that she was going to listen to herself and do everything on her own terms. Since then, she’s seen some great success. In 2018, Gray signed a deal with Virgin Records and has eight singles under her name. Thanks to her TikTok presence, she’s also landed several deals with brands like Sketchers, Hyundai, and Burger King. More recently, Gray has a new Revlon deal that offers her creative freedom to generate Revlon-related content that really resonates with her followers.
@joshrichardsThe drafts of og sway @brycehall @luvanthony♬ Savage - Megan Thee Stallion
Annual Earnings (estimated): $1.5 million
TikTok Followers: 22.4 million
Josh Richards puts a lot of effort into being one of TikTok’s highest-paid stars. Since exploding in popularity on the app with his singing, dance, and lip-sync videos, Richards has grown up quite a bit. He’s landed partnership deals with Reebok and HouseParty, has his own influencer merch line, leverages YouTube ad revenue, and has a song deal with Warner Records. As if that weren’t enough, Richards has also started his own energy drink business (Ani Energy), cofounded a talent management company (TalentX), and has joined Triller as its Chief Strategy Officer.
Richards’ move to Triller as a social media executive sets him up for evolution from his TikTok persona to an industry leader and is sure to bring additional opportunities. As a signal of his growth, he recently left Sway House, the TikTok creator coop that he helped found after the collective began heading down a path that Richards didn’t see as conducive to his own growth.
6. Michael Le
@justmaikoi dont see a difference with us anymore😳♬ original sound - UrboiiCaleb16
Annual Earnings (estimated): $1.2 million
TikTok Followers: 40.7 million
Michael Le is another TikTok influencer who has started a creator collective. Le’s TikTok coop is housed in a 9,000-square-foot Los Angeles mansion that Le rents with four other creators. It’s called Shluv House (“shluv” is a portmanteau for the term “self-love”). Le features his 5-year-old brother, Jonathan, regularly in his videos and Jonathan is even crediting as being a Shluv cofounder (adorable).
Le has landed several sponsorship deals thanks to his TikTok efforts, including a long-term partnership with Bang energy drinks. Looking to the future, Le has his sights set on YouTube and he fully intends to bring Jonathan along.
7. Spencer X
@spencerxI’m a dancer now 🗣🎶🕺🏻♬ original sound - Spencer X
Annual Earnings (estimated): $1.2 million
TikTok Followers: 45.8 million
Spencer X is a beatboxer who got started on TikTok in February 2019. He briefly attended Purchase College before dropping out to spend his 20s performing with a wide range of musical acts like a Russian rock band, a bluegrass group, and even an a cappella quintet.
By Fall 2019, Spencer X had moved to Los Angeles with just a couple hundred dollars in the bank and living on other people’s couches. At that point, he had around 10 million TikTok fans, but soon landed partnerships with big-name brands like Oreo, Uno, and Sony. These days, he’s stopped couch surfing and has his own space where he’s working on his first singles.
8 Other Well-Paid TikTok Influencers
We’ve covered the highest-paid TikTok stars, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only ones making money on TikTok. Here are 8 TikTok influencers that didn’t make the top seven for the highest-paid TikTok stars native to the app but are still making bank.
8. Zach King
@zachkingTurn your phone upside down to help me clean my yard. ##Levitating ##yardwork♬ original sound - Zach King
Est. Earnings Per Post: $41,000
TikTok Followers: 50.6 million
Zach King has been internet famous for years now. In 2008, his YouTube channel and website ended up going viral. He was also a huge hit on Vine with his “digital sleight of hand” video edits. His video editing chops landed him a deal with Tic Tacs and has earned him more than 50 million TikTok followers and a spot on this list of TikTok’s highest-paid stars.
9. Riyaz Afreen
Est. Earnings Per Post: $35,000
TikTok Followers: 43.4 million
Riyaz Afreen is an Indian TikTok influencer, actor, and fashion blogger. He got his start in 2017 by posting videos on Instagram but he’s best known for his lip-syncing and duet videos on TikTok. He also creates comedy content.
10. Baby Ariel
Est. Earnings Per Post: $32,000
TikTok Followers: 34.7 million
Baby Ariel has been on TikTok since before it was TikTok. She started out posting lip-syncing videos on Musical.ly but now acts, has an emoji app, and is a musical artist. Her list of accomplishments is long. In 2015, she launched an anti-bullying campaign called #ArielMovement and was recognized by People magazine for her support of the #HackHarassment initiative to stop internet trolls. In 2016, Ariel was featured on the cover of Billboard magazine and has been cited as a top influencer by Forbes, People, and USA Today. In 2017, she was recognized by Time magazine as one of the most influential people on the internet.
With all of those accolades, it shouldn’t be surprising that Baby Ariel made it onto this list of the highest-paid TikTok influencers.
11. Gil Croes
@gilmhercroesa random trip turns into a random fight😤🤣 @jaydencroes♬ original sound - Justin
Est. Earnings Per Post: $26,000
TikTok Followers: 29.8 million
Gil Croes is an Aruban model, actor, and social media personality known for his lip-sync videos and comedy videos on TikTok and YouTube. He’s one of the best-known Aruba celebrities and one of the most-followed stars on TikTok. Gil and his brother Jayden work together on CroesBros, a popular YouTube channel. Croes graduated from college and started working as a model in Aruba while also make comedy and sketch videos for his Facebook account. These Facebook videos helped Croes get more followers while working to become a content creator.
12. Arishfa Khan
@_arishfakhan_Sahi kaha na?❤️ ##arishfakhan ##duetwitharishfa ##emotional♬ original sound - Ankit Sharma
Est. Earnings Per Post: $24,000
TikTok Followers: 28.5 million
Arishfa Khan is an Indian actor and social media influencer. She grew to popularity on TikTok by posting dancing videos, fashion videos, and lip-sync videos. Khan is one of the most-followed TikTok influencers and one of the most-followed Indian celebrities. She’s also a fashion blogger whose looks always draw views.
13. Kristen Hancher
@kristenhancherProps to me for attempting this dance through a wind storm♬ Hit the Quan - Original Version - iLoveMemphis
Est. Earnings Per Post: $24,000
TikTok Followers: 24.6 million
Kristen Hancher has millions of followers across YouTube, Instagram, YouNow, and TikTok. This Canadian actor and social media influencer is known for creative music, dance, and lip-sync videos on TikTok. She started her influencer career on the live-streaming site YouNow before moving to Musical.ly, now TikTok. She also has an OnlyFans account.
14. Awez Darbar
@awezdarbar##Golmaal5.0 ##LilAfaan ke saath next video mommy ke saat banao ##Gomaal wala? 😅 ##Atrangz ##Comedy ##Pubg ##PubgLover ##InspiredConcept♬ sonido original - magreth gomez
Est. Earnings Per Post: $23,500
TikTok Followers: 25.9 million
Awez Darbar is a choreographer, dancer, and social media influencer based in Mumbai, India. Shortly after joining TikTok, Darbar soared to fame as one of the platform’s most-followed stars in India and around the world. Darbar started his social media career on YouTube in 2014 when he started posting his own dancing videos. Some of the videos include his dance group, Ace.
15. Nisha Guragain
@nishaguragainWo bhi gya 😊##nishaguragainfam ##fantastic3 ##tiktokindia♬ original sound - भोले का लाड़ला ❤️👑
Est. Earnings Per Post: $23,500
TikTok Followers: 28 million
Nisha Guragain is a social media influencer and singer best known for her lip-sync and fashion videos on TikTok. She’s one of the most popular TikTok stars in India and has also appeared in various music videos. Guragain started her career on Musical.ly.
Who’s the Next Highest-Paid TikTok Star?
TikTok is one of the largest and most popular social media platforms despite just being a few years old. And, even though the numbers reported above are from all income sources, it’s clear that influencers can make a decent chunk of change on the platform.
If you’re interested in learning how to become a TikTok influencer, we’ve got you covered. Check out our TikTok influencer marketing guide. Want to know how much you could make before you get started? Our TikTok Money Calculator will help you figure it out.