For law YouTubers, or “lawtubers,” streaming and analysing high profile cases is not only their craft, but it’s cultivated a flourishing community online.
One that literally pays them back for their entertainment and expertise.
According to YouTube trend analysis site Playboard, the top-earning creators over the last month from Super Chat revenue — or revenue generated from tips during livestreams — are Emily D. Baker, LegalBytes, and Rekieta Law. The three channels have all recently and exclusively been streaming the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation case.
A rep for Playboard told Insider they use bots to analyse real-time data and earnings from YouTube’s Super Chat feature. Its analytics show that all three lawtubers have seen tremendous growth to their accounts since livestreaming almost the entirety of the Depp-Heard trial.
Super Chat is a livestream feature offered to most creators who are able to monetise their channels. During a livestream, fans can pay anywhere from $1 to $500 to highlight and pin their comment to the creator. YouTube takes 30% of the total earnings during a stream, and the creator pockets 70% after Apple app store processing fees (30%) and local sales tax.
Here’s roughly how much each top lawtuber made from fan donations toward their Depp-Heard streams and legal commentary.
Nick Rekieta, also known as Rekeita Law on YouTube, is a practicing attorney in Minnesota and a veteran of the trial-streaming format.
In fact, in an April interview with Insider, Mazeika said she caught the bug after guesting on Rekieta’s streams of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, which were garnering six-figure concurrent counts as well.
Throughout the duration of the trial, Playboard pegs Rekieta’s total Super Chat donations at $193,137 (R3 million). Rekieta told Insider that his Super Chat earnings for the period amounted to $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 trial streams, Rekieta – a self-described lawsplainer who frequently breaks down legal issues over scotch – does a nightly show that isn’t necessarily linked to the Depp vs. Heard, he said.
And while he saw a spike during the trial like his colleagues, Rekieta is something of a Super Chat veteran.
If looking just at US creators, he’s been in Playboard’s list of the top 10 Super Chat earners every month this year. In November 2021, the month of the Rittenhouse trial, he was the top Super Chat earner worldwide, per Playboard, with $148,747 before fees.