Ryan has more than 17 million followers on YouTube and earns most of his money from adverts played on his videos. Picture: YouTube.com

San Francisco - A boy of seven whose family film him playing with toys has been named as YouTube’s top earner, pulling in £17.2 million this year.

The web star known only as Ryan ToysReview cleared nearly £400 000 (about R7 million) more than his nearest rival, according to a list compiled by Forbes magazine.

He has more than 17 million followers on YouTube and earns most of his money from adverts played on his videos.

Just this week one of his videos amassed 40 000 views in four hours. His most viewed video, uploaded two years ago, shows Ryan searching for giant Easter eggs containing toys and has been viewed 1.6 billion times.

The US boy, whose real name has never been revealed, also has a range of toys at the supermarket chain Walmart, including a plush superhero version of himself.

Asked in an interview last month why so many people watch his channel, Ryan, who wants to be a web developer when he grows up, said: "Because I am entertaining and I am funny." His family have been beaming footage of him across the globe since he was three years old.

The next biggest earner in the year up to June 2018, on £16.8-million, was Jake Paul, 21, a former Disney Channel actor who uploads comedy sketches and pranks to his audience on the Google-owned video site.

Daily Mail