Many were surprised when Kim Kardashian graced the cover of Forbes earlier this year – not as a reality star but as a mobile mogul.
Kanye West’s brag that Kimoji shut down the app store on his song “Facts” was no exaggeration.
The $1.99 app reportedly caused Apple’s app store to temporarily crash because so many of her fans rushed to purchase the app.
Kim Kardashian is estimated to earn about $51 million this year and has an estimated net worth of $140 million.
Forbes also estimated that Mrs. West earned $53 million in 2015, which makes her pretax earnings in the last two years over $100 million.
So how did Kim Kardashian do it? The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star is very influential on social media. Kim currently has over 80 million followers on Instagram and about 47 million on Twitter.
These accounts combined have 127 million followers and both accounts link to the Kim Kardashian West Official App, which offers both free and premium content to her fans.
The app also has a $2.99 subscription for exclusive content, which rakes in millions for the mobile mogul.
Kim Kardashian got her start in the mobile tech scene in 2014 when she launched the mobile game Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. The app was a success with 45 million downloads, which produced revenue of about $160 million. Forbes estimated that Kardashian made $45 million from the mobile game in 2014 alone.
Kim also regularly makes income from appearances and endorsements on social media. Kanye West’s wife recently promoted gummy vitamins on her Instagram and the clip has been viewed over 11 million times.
The reality star also sells merchandise directly from her website and frequently graces magazine covers with her husband Kanye West, who adds to her star power as a Hip Hop legend and fashion designer.
Kim Kardashian is more than just the face behind the machine. The reality star is actively involved in creating products for her mobile apps and businesses.
According to the Forbes cover story, Kim travels to Silicon Valley to collaborate with tech entrepreneurs.
“I became really intrigued with the tech world. I started spending a lot of time in San Francisco,” says Kardashian, without a hint of irony. “I realized this is really going to be the next cycle of my career and this is what I want to focus on.”
Kim Kardashian has diversified her income with revenue coming from her Kardashian Kollection with her sisters, the DASH boutique, make-up lines, endorsement deals and subscription earnings from her website and apps.
Kanye West easily rakes in millions selling out stadiums during his tours and revenue from his fashion line.
The Hip Hop legend doesn’t tour often and doesn’t earn to his potential. However, Kanye still has an estimated net worth of $145 million, which explains why no one seemed worried about his alleged $53 million in debt.
Kim Kardashian’s earning power comes from her ability to influence her audience. While it’s not through conventional means such as acting, music or politics, the result is the same.
In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Kanye West sums up why he looks up to influencers in society and how his celebrity also gives him the opportunity to do so.
“My heroes are people who have been in a position to shape our world. The influencers have been my biggest inspiration, and my biggest fight is to have this level of influence, this undeniable level of influence, and the fear of losing the influence before gaining the ticket to freedom. It’s balancing what it takes to become a celebrity—which is a very powerful platform as an influencer…”
Does Kim Kardashian’s net worth surprise you? What do you think of her business acumen?
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[Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images]