How Josh Richards Earned More Than $100K From TikTok Drama

Mehera Bonner
·3 min read
Photo credit: Instagram
Photo credit: Instagram

From Cosmopolitan

Look, anyone can join TikTok (even our moms, help), but it takes some ~special sauce~ to turn the app into a moneymaking machine. Even Josh Richards, who has more than 24 million followers to his name, had to work at it.

Josh is one of the richest kids on TikTok (along with Charli and Dixie D’Amelio, duh), thanks to seamlessly leveraging his popularity into lucrative #sponcon deals, investment opportunities, content collectives (hi, Sway House), and whole freakin’ brands. He also lives for the drama with fellow TikTok stars because, um, turns out drama pays QUITE well. So yeah, it seems clear that making money on TikTok is a legit art form. Let’s take a look at exactly how Josh compiled a net worth that’ll make you dizzy.

TikTok Freakin’ Sells

The most clear-cut way for TikTokers to make money is through sponsored posts (just like good ol’ Insta). These one-hit wonders typically pay pretty decently depending on how big your audience is—and Josh’s, as I mentioned, is huge. Like, 24.3-million-followers-as-of-March-2021 huge. We don’t know how much he charges per post, but Forbes reported that he “earned several hundred thousand dollars” from TikTok sponcon in 2019, so yeah, it’s, uh, a lot.

Something That Also Sells? Drama

In a profile of Josh from August 2020, Forbes noted that he feuded with fellow TikToker Chase Hudson, which led to Josh (a) releasing a diss track on YouTube called “Still Softish” and (b) dropping several vlogs all about their beef.

Each of these vlogs amassed almost 40 million views, and Forbes estimated that Josh earned $100,000 from ad revenue on them. On top of that, he released “Still Softish” pants for $45 a pop (sorry, they aren’t available anymore!) and advertised the product on his videos. His genius cross-platform strategy clearly worked, ’cause Josh likely earned close to half a million dollars in just merch over the course of one year. Meanwhile, Forbes said YouTube ad revenue accounted for “a third of his estimated earnings.” Nice.

He Has an Energy Drink (Casual)

It’s called Ani Energy (co-owned by Bryce Hall!) and lord knows what’s in it, but hey, I’m willing to put it in my body.

Here, buy some:

So Many Businesses, So Little Time

Sooooo on top of having his own talent managing firm TalentX (through which he signed a Warner Bros. deal), Josh just teamed up with Mark Wahlberg to launch a “Gen Z–focused” production company called CrossCheck Studios, which they hope will become the “go-to production company for the next generation” and “internet-native creatives.” Wow, me*!

*Not me. Not me at all. Not even a little.

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Other fancy business things Josh does? Please prepare to feel wholly inadequate because he’s the chief strategy officer of TikTok rival app Triller, a venture partner for Remus Capital, and a co-owner of Sillybandz. Yes. Those Sillybandz. He’s making them cool again, okay?!

Oh, also, back in February, Josh joined Alex Rodriguez in investing in Step, a financial services company built for teens. Meanwhile, I’m still out here trying to understand stocks.

So, What’s His Net Worth?

The exact number isn’t known, only because Josh has been So! Very! Busy! making money every single month. But back in August 2020, Forbes revealed that he’d made $1.5 million between summer 2019 and summer 2020. That’s a lot of money, but we’re a full seven months out from that report, and there’s no way Josh’s net worth hasn’t skyrocketed even more since then, so stay tuned!

You love all the deets on TikTokers. So do we! Let’s overanalyze them together.

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