The Depp v. Heard has resulted in huge revenue increases for law YouTubers. Here’s how much they won

LegalBytes / Emily D. Baker / Rekieta Law / YouTube

LegalBytes / Emily D. Baker / Rekieta Law / YouTube

  • The controversial Johnny Depp v Amber Heard affair has been playing out on social media for six weeks.
  • Lawyers on YouTube have been live streaming and providing commentary for nearly every trial date.
  • With Super Chat, fans have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars for them and their live streams.
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For law YouTubers, or “lawtubers,” streaming and analyzing high-profile cases isn’t just their job, but they’ve also cultivated a thriving community online.

One that literally pays them back for their entertainment and expertise.

According to trend-analytics site YouTube Playboard, the highest-earning creators in the past month from Super Chat revenue — or revenue generated from tips during live streams — are Emily D. Baker, LegalBytes and Rekieta Law. All three channels recently and exclusively aired the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard libel case.

A Playboard representative told Insider that they use bots to analyze real-time data and revenue from YouTube’s Super Chat feature. His analyzes show that the three lawyers have experienced phenomenal growth in their accounts since the live broadcast of almost the entire Depp-Heard trial.

Super Chat is a live streaming feature available to most creators who can monetize their channels. During a live stream, fans can pay between $1 and $500 to highlight and pin their comment to the creator. YouTube takes 30% of the total revenue during a stream, and the creator pockets 70% after Apple’s App Store processing fee (30%) and local sales tax.

Here’s roughly how much each top lawtuber has earned from fan donations for their Depp-Heard streams and legal commentary.

1. Emily D. Baker

Emily D. Baker/YouTube

Emily D. Baker/YouTube

Baker is a 43-year-old former district attorney who quit her job in 2017 due to health issues. She soon discovered she could continue to litigate high-profile cases — and from the comfort of her home — on YouTube. She told Insider in April that she earns more providing legal commentary than she ever did in her 15 years as a litigator.

Baker earned around $270,000 (R4.2 million) last year, and more than half of his YouTube salary comes directly from live streaming and Super Chat contributions.

Playboard brought in $240,216 in total Super Chat tips between April 11 and June 1. Baker, however, told Insider that Playboard counts are consistently higher than their internal analytics show because they don’t take YouTube’s cut into account. After Insider subtracted 30% from that estimate, the number was around $168,000, which Baker said was much closer to what she had earned.

“The number they show is a bit higher than what I show for Super Chat numbers,” Baker said. “Since many of my videos on this trial do not contain ads due to the subject matter, it’s just amazing to see the Law Nerd community supporting me as an independent content creator.”

Baker said his livestream when the verdict was announced drew 370,000 concurrent viewers – a career high.

She added that the tremendous support – both vocal and financial – from her dedicated viewers has given everyone a new platform to engage with the dense legal issues in this country.

“Interest in this lawsuit has broadened my audience and I am grateful to so many others for finding a place where they can learn more about the law while I break down the pop culture cases,” he said. she stated. “The Internet continues to open up new ways to interact with information. Legal analysis is no longer limited to a 5-minute segment or a 30-minute broadcast.”


LegalBytes / YouTube

LegalBytes / YouTube

Another lawsuit evasion creator is Alyte Mazeika, known to her followers as LegalBytes.

Mazeika was arguably one of the first creators to engage in hammer-to-hammer streams weeks before the trial officially began.

It was something of a Herculean feat: his daily streams (except Fridays) were over 11 hours long. But they served his channel well. In the second week of testifying, Mazeika had 64,000 subscribers and told Insider that she made $5,000 (R80,000) in one week, mostly through Super Chat.

Today, Mazeika has 243,000 subscribers and told Insider that for the month of April, she earned $47,122. While this number represents all revenue streams on YouTube, the majority comes from Super Chat. Insider verified Mazeika’s income with the documents she provided.

For the duration of the lawsuit, from April 11 to June 1, Playboard pegs Mazeika’s pre-fee revenue at $233,643, suggesting his channel grew exponentially in the month of May. In addition to the live streams, Mazeika released video-on-demand recaps for each trial day, which also contributed to revenue in the form of AdSense.

Her most popular show was on the 20th day of the trial, during which she was joined to react to the expert testimony of a particularly colorful witness, Dr David Spiegel.

After taking the time to reboot after the verdict, Mazeika recently returned to her channel to respond to some great Super Chat messages that she hadn’t yet responded to, in gratitude to the fans who have supported her throughout. throughout the trial.

3. Rekieta Law

Rekeita Law / YouTube

Rekeita Law / YouTube

Nick Rekieta, also known as Rekeita Law on YouTube, is a practicing attorney in Minnesota and a veteran of the streaming format.

In fact, in an April interview with Insider, Mazeika said she caught the virus after being guested on Rekieta’s streams of Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial, which also garnered concurrent six-figure tallies.

Over the course of the trial, Playboard values ​​Rekieta’s total Super Chat donations at $193,137 (R3 million). Rekieta told Insider that her Super Chat earnings for the period were $135,259, before federal and state income taxes. Insider verified the figure with screenshots he provided.

That said, there are some slight caveats. In addition to his tryout streams, Rekieta — a self-proclaimed advocate for the law who frequently resolves Scotch-related legal issues — does a late-night show that isn’t necessarily Depp vs. Heard-related, he said.

And although he saw a spike during the trial like his colleagues, Rekieta is something of a Super Cat veteran.

Looking only at US creators, he’s been on Playboard’s list of the top 10 Super Chat winners every month this year. In November 2021, the month of Rittenhouse’s trial, he was the first global Super Chat winner, per Playboard, with $148,747 before fees.

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