- Title: YouTube child star Ryan Kaji pivots to help families in lockdown
- Date: 15th July 2020
- Summary: UNIDENTIFIED FILMING LOCATIONS (JUNE 17, 2020) (REUTERS VIA ZOOM) (SOUNDBITE) (English) YOUTUBE STAR, RYAN KAJI, SAYING: "Well, when I was three, I saw a bunch of other little kids on YouTube and I asked my mom if I could do it too and she said 'Yes'. So, we went to the store and she asked me what I wanted and I said a LEGO train so for the video we got a LEGO train. And the whole point of the channel was for our other family members but then a bunch of other people started joining in and I found out that I was famous when I went to school and a bunch of other people said they watched my videos."
- Embargoed: 29th July 2020 18:42
- Keywords: Forbes Loann Kaji Ryan Kaji Ryan's World Shion Kaji rich list toys
- Location: UNIDENTIFIED FILMING LOCATIONS;
- City: UNIDENTIFIED FILMING LOCATIONS;
- Country: USA
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Television
- Reuters ID: LVA002CMX62QH
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: He's just eight years old but Ryan Kaji is already wildly successful and famous. He has 25.7 million followers on YouTube and was named 2019's highest paid content creator on the platform, raking in $26 million.
The secret behind his success is his channel 'Ryan's World', which sees the youngster testing out toys for other young viewers.
"When I was three, I saw a bunch of other little kids on YouTube and I asked my mom if I could do it too and she said 'Yes'. So, we went to the store and she asked me what I wanted and I said a LEGO train so for the video we got a LEGO train. And the whole point of the channel was for our other family members but then a bunch of other people started joining in and I found out that I was famous when I went to school and a bunch of other people said they watched my videos."
Kaji's videos, which frequently include his parents Shion and Loann, have millions of views every week. One of them has even surpassed two billion views.
However, since the coronavirus lockdown, Kaji, like many other influencers, has pivoted. Now, the family creates more content about fun activities to do during lockdown, and talks to experts about the virus.
Ryan's father Shion, said "There's a video where we had a Q and A video interviewing a US healthcare expert Andy Slavitt and Ryan asked his own questions to him about COVID-19 and a lot of those questions were coming not only from himself but other of his fans too so a lot of the questions were what kids were wondering about."
The family has already donated $500,000 to First Responders Children's Foundation to help with coronavirus relief efforts.
Loann, doesn't appear in as many videos as he husband, but she wants to help other families during this difficult time.
She said "Well we knew that kids during this time can't go outside just like us so we try to make videos and fun activities that they can do with their family at home just like us. We wanted to also know that they're not the only one out there doing this. Everybody around the world are going through the same thing that they are so the best thing we could do is try to show them fun activities, like we did a science experiment, a dance challenge, things that they can do at home together."
The family is hoping to expand "Ryan's World" to international audiences by doing Spanish and Japanese language videos.
Ryan has been learning Japanese from his father and said he needed "maybe, like, two months" to do a full video in the language.
Kaji is now expanding beyond YouTube and toy reviews, with his own branded toothbrush and toothpaste.
(Production: Rollo Ross)
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