Yeah yeah we know, how is this even news, reality television is dumb, it doesn’t matter, no one cares, stop making stupid people famous, blah blah blah.
It’s funny you should mention all those tired-as-hell statements about reality television being too vapid to matter though, because Forbes have just gone in and done an excellent ‘Reality Television Highest Earners’ list, and what was their reason?
Because a reality television star just became the President of the United States.
The list comprises of seven people, who altogether earned $133 million USD between June 2015 – June 2016.
Out of the seven, six of them are from the Kardashian / Jenner family – and out of that $133M, they’re responsible for $122.5M.
Kim Kardashian West is obviously at the top, earning $51 million. Most of Kim’s money comes from her digital marketing of her personal brand – 40% came from her ‘Kim Kardashian: Hollywood‘ game, and a decent chunk also comes from her ‘KKW‘ subscription app, Kimoji, and social media endorsements. She’s legitimately a marketing genius and should win some kind of award, imho.
Next in the list is Kylie Jenner, who despite being the youngest, has managed to market herself almost as well as Kim. She earned $18 million this year, at the age of 19. A massive chunk of that comes from brand endorsements on Instagram, which Forbes say there were eight of in 2016. She’s also released collaborative product lines with Pacsun, Topshop, Puma and Sinful Colors. A huge chunk comes from her insanely-hyped lip kits from Kylie Cosmetics, and the rest is from her app, and the ‘Kendall & Kylie‘ mobile game.
Shortly behind is Kendall Jenner, who’s made a helluva lot of bank, y’know, being one of the world’s top supermodels – she earned $17 million in 2016. Kendall‘s already on the Forbes’ ‘Highest Paid Models’ list, but boosts her modelling moolah with the family television show, plus the ‘Kendall & Kylie’ game and her app.
Number 4 on the list is Khloe Kardashian; while her ‘Kocktails with Khloe‘ show wasn’t a moneymaker, Forbes reports that her earnings are on the rise due to her new denim line ‘Good American’ jeans, a new book, and over a dozen social media endorsements.
5th and 6th on the list is Kris Jenner and Kourtney Kardashian, who earn $11.5 million and $10 million respectively.
The only non-Kardashian/Jenner on the list is ‘Real Housewives of NYC’ star Bethenny Frankel, who earned $8.5 million largely due to the massive payouts from the sale of her alcohol line, Skinnygirl.
Let’s round this out with this stunning quote from Kim, who is largely regarded as an incredibly hard-working and dedicated woman who is also a mother of two:
“It’s funny when people are like, ‘What does she really do?’.I know reality TV isn’t respected the way that I believe it should be, but it’s changing. People get that it is a job.”
Also, shoutout to the fact that this isn’t a specifically-female list – every person who earns the most just so happens to be a woman.
‘Think reality TV doesn’t matter? Take a look at America’s next President. Donald Trump’s role on NBC’s ‘The Apprentice’ helped him amass a social following of 33.7 million.The President-elect’s virtual megaphone built on itself during his campaign to lure real-life followers and define a platform – building walls, banning Muslims, overturning Roe v. Wade – that resulted in his shocking electoral victory.’
So yup, turns out reality TV does matter. It matters, like, totally a lot.
Photo: Jamie McCarthy / Getty.