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Kylie Jenner tops Forbes' highest-paid celebrities list as coronavirus lockdowns weigh on earnings

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Yahoo Finance's Alexandra Canal breaks down Forbes' highest-paid celebrities list, and how streaming services like Netflix, Amazon and Apple TV+ are paying millions to secure top-level talent.

Video Transcript

ZACK GUZMAN: Now, digging into the highest paid celebrities, a new raking out from Forbes. And for more on that, I want to get to Yahoo Finance's Alexandra Canal with the latest in this week's Fame and Fortune. Allie?

ALEXANDRA CANAL: Yeah, so Kylie Jenner topping Forbes highest paid celebrity list, the only female in the top 10, earning $590 million over the last 12 months. And this comes just a week after Forbes revoked her billionaire title, accusing her and her mother Kris Jenner of over-inflating the size and success of her company Kylie Cosmetics. That being said, Jenner did sell a majority stake of that company to beauty conglomerate Coty for a reported $600 million dollars earlier this year, that amount making up the bulk of her earnings.

And those Kar-Jenners, they seem to be keeping it in the family here, because coming in second place is Jenner's brother-in-law Kanye West. He earned $170 million, largely driven by sales of his successful Yeezy brand. And then after that it's pretty much athletes, with Roger Federer, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Lionel Messi rounding out the top five.

Now, Forbes senior editor did mention the coronavirus. And although the pandemic won't directly impact the wallets of these celebrities, it is going to have effect-- an effect on their overall bottom lines and earnings potential moving forward, because we continue to see live events just not happening right now, including sports and concerts. And according to multiple studies, it's going to take weeks, if not months for people to feel comfortable again to go out into the public and start participating in those events and activities once again.

Another part of the report that I want to highlight is the effect of streaming. So Netflix along with Apple and Amazon paid the stars on this list $300 million, with Netflix contributing about 2/3 of that overall bank. In fact, since 2016, Netflix has paid $540 million to celebrity 100 performers. And that just underscores the need and want for these streaming services to really invest in top-level talent.

It's not just Netflix doing this. We saw Apple TV+ pay a pretty penny for "The Morning Show," with both Reese Witherspoon and Jen Aniston earning $2 million each per episode, which is a ton of money. But right now, content is king. And if you can secure that top-tier-level talent, you're hopefully going to do OK in the streaming fight.

ZACK GUZMAN: Yeah, I mean, a lot of cash getting paid out there. And not just celeb celebs in the traditional sense, movie stars, TV stars, but also sports stars getting money for production things now as well. But when you look at the competition in the streaming space, obviously they're not just spending to get big name stars to do their shows but also to actually build out all of their shows when you think about what needs to be done now. But what have you seen on that front in terms of these big studios trying to keep the content cranking in the lockdown.

ALEXANDRA CANAL: Of course, and you know, there is a need for this content, because a lot of people are adding streaming services during this time. In fact, according to a new creditcards.com poll, over 3 out of 10 Americans added a streaming service in the months of March, April, or May. And if you break down that number by age group, you'll see that it includes 43% of millennials, 33% of Gen Xers, and 18% of Baby Boomers. Also in that survey, over 50% of respondents said they upped their usage during that same time period.

But if we take a look at average household minutes for the month of May, we'll see that all five platforms saw a decline. That's according to data from Seven Park. And I do want to focus in on Apple TV+, because out of all the platforms, they saw the sharpest decrease, falling about 19% compared to April. Now, that could be due to a myriad of reasons. But I do think it could have something to do with their overall content library.

They don't have a ton of originals. They have struggled with that second wave of content due to coronavirus production shutdowns. And if you look at the streaming landscape as a whole, there are a ton of options out there. HBO Max recently debuted. They have over 10,000 hours of content on their platform. So it's certainly important. But again, all five platforms seeing a decrease in May. And I think we can expect to see that trend continue as states start to reopen, the weather gets nicer, people want to go outside and not just sit on their couch and watch TV.

ZACK GUZMAN: Yeah, it's a lot harder to get away sneaking in a Netflix episode when you actually got to be back in the office than when you were just on your couch. But Alexandra Canal bringing us the latest on the Fame and Fortune front.