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The Rock flexes his digital muscles

The former wrestler was recently revealed to be the highest-paid actor in Hollywood, pulling in $65 million last year. Now, he's taking on digital.
July 19, 2016

It seems like things are only looking up for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The wrestler turned actor is reportedly the highest-paid actor in Hollywood. Now he’s bringing that big-screen star power to the digital frontier.

Johnson, who signed with MCN Studio71 in May,  debuted his first-ever video on his newly minted YouTube channel July 17.

Within an hour of posting, “The YouTube Factory” the clip received more than 100,000 views. By the morning of July 18, that total had climbed to nearly one million views.

“I mean, who knew that there was so much fresh, innovative, non-pornographic material online? It’s crazy,” Johnson said in the scripted video, which also stars YouTubers Lilly Singh, Grace Helbig, Flula and Gigi Gorgeous, among others. He also collaborated with Singh in her video “How to be a YouTube  Star,” which was released the same day.

The videos debuted only days after Forbes named Johnson the highest-earning actor in the businesspulling in a reported $65 million U.S. before taxes between June 2015 and 2016. (Another traditional-turned-digital star on the list was comedian Kevin Hart, who recently set out to launch his own comedy centered VOD service, Laugh out Loud. Hart pulled in $87.5 million U.S. last year, according to the magazine.)

If Johnson’s social media presence is any indication, crossing over into new media should be a breeze; he’s already got a reach of more than 100 million followers across platforms.

The genre that Johnson will focus on for future videos — or how frequently he will post — is still unclear, but one thing’s for sure, with his annual take-home pay, he’s set to give top YouTuber PewDiePie (Felix Kjellberg), who pulled in $12 million last year, a run for his money.

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