Emily Baker to Lawbytes, “Lawtuber” who hit JACKPOT with Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial

The over-the-top libel case of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard played out on social media for several weeks. The case proved popular with fans of both parties, who followed the case from day one of the trial. High-profile cases have provided an opportunity for “lawtubers” to generate high revenue through live streaming and online analysis of the trials.

According to YouTube trend analysis site Playboard, Emily D. Baker, LegalBytes, and Rekieta Law are the top earners in the past month with super chat earnings — or earnings from tips during live streams. The three channels all recently and exclusively streamed the Depp-Heard defamation case. A representative told Insider that Lawtuber uses bots to analyze real-time data and earnings from YouTube’s Super Chart feature. His analysis shows that all three Lawtubers have seen tremendous growth in their accounts since nearly the entire Depp Heard trial was live streamed.

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Super Chat is a live stream feature offered to most YouTubers that can monetize their channels. During a live stream, fans can pay anywhere from $1 to $500 to have their comment featured and pinned to the creator. YouTube takes 30% of the total revenue during a stream, and the creator contributes 70% after Apple App Store handling fees (30%) and local sales tax. Here’s how much the top three Lawtubers made of the case.

1. Emily D. Baker

Playboard reported a total of $240,216 in Super Chat tips between April 11 and June 1. Emily D. Baker/YouTube

Baker is a 43-year-old former prosecutor who quit her job in 2017 due to ill health and soon began reporting high-profile cases from her home via YouTube. She told Insider in April that she is making more from providing legal commentary than she has ever made in her 15 years as a trial attorney. Baker made about $270,000 last year, and more than half of her YouTube salary comes directly from live streaming and Super Chat posts. Playboard reported that she earned a total of $240,216 in Super Chat Tips between April 11th and June 1st; after deducting YouTube fees, it was approximately $168,000.

“The number they show is a fair bit higher than what I show for super chat numbers,” Baker said. “Since many of my videos on this process don’t contain advertising due to the topic discussed, it’s just been amazing to see the support of the Law Nerd community as an independent content creator.”

Baker said her live stream during the sentencing drew 370,000 simultaneous viewers — a career high. “Interest in this trial has broadened my audience, and I’m grateful that so many have found a place to learn about the law while I break down pop culture cases,” she said. “The Internet continues to open up new ways of dealing with information. Legal analysis is no longer limited to a 5-minute segment or a 30-minute broadcast.”

2. LegalBytes

By the second week of testimony, Mazeika had 64,000 subscribers and told Insiders that she made $5,000 in one week (Source: LegalBytes/Youtube).

Alyte Mazeika, known to her subscribers as LegalBytes, is another creator who has reaped huge earnings during the trial period. Mazeika’s daily streams except Fridays were over 11 hours long. By the second week of testimony, Mazeika had 64,000 subscribers and told Insiders that she made $5,000 in one week, mostly from Super Chat. As of today, Mazeika has 243,000 subscribers and told Insiders that she made $47,122 in April. Mazeika’s channel grew exponentially in May. It published video-on-demand summaries for each test day, which also contributed to AdSense revenue.

Her most popular broadcast came on the 20th day of the trial, when she responded to the expert testimony of a particularly colorful witness, Dr. David Spiegel, responded.

3. Rekieta Law

Nick Rekieta, who runs the Rekieta Law channel on YouTube, is a practicing attorney in Minnesota and a veteran of the trial streaming format. Throughout the test, Playboard pegged Rekieta’s total Super Chat donations at $193,137. Rekieta told Insider that his Super Chat earnings for the period totaled $135,259 before federal and state income taxes. In addition to the test streams, Rekieta also does a nightly show. If you just look at US YouTubers, he’s been on Playboard’s Top 10 Super Chat Earners list every month this year. In November 2021, the month of the Rittenhouse trial, he was the world’s top super chat earner, according to Playboard, with $148,747 before fees.

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