how much do youtubers make

How Much Do YouTubers Make in 2024?

These days, making money on YouTube has a lot of appeal. After all, a lot of people think that top YouTubers can spend just a few hours a day creating content, then rake in a fortune. The truth is that there are some top YouTubers who can do this. However, it’s not typical. For most YouTubers, creating content on the platform is a mixture of hobby and side gig.

In addition, you must consider that many top YouTubers do not make a majority of their cash directly from YouTube. Instead, they become famous on YouTube and get some of their income there, but there are other lines of revenue that developed from YouTube fame. For instance, a lot of influencers will have a product line or participate in influencer marketing. A few of them might even have speaking engagements or other opportunities.

For this reason, the answer to how much YouTubers make is quite complicated. In this article, we’ll look at is always in which content creators can make money directly on the platform and how much they might be able to make. Then, we will take a brief look at the off-platform options that are available.

How Much Do YouTubers Make per View in 2024?

Strictly speaking, there isn’t a per-view price. However, YouTube creators can get paid based on advertising revenue, which is partially linked to the number of views.

Let’s look at some numbers. Publishers receive 55% of Google’s AdSense revenue, which means that for every $100 an advertiser pays, Google pays them $55. This might sound like too much of a cut for Google, but you have to remember that the advertising revenue is also what YouTube uses to fund its operations.

But, how does that number translate into revenue for review? According to Forbes, a top Youtuber can earn around $5 per 1000 video views, while Mint thinks $3 to $5 per 1000 video views is more realistic. This is quite a spread, and by itself, this level of reimbursement seems like pocket change. However, it adds up over time, and there are a lot of other ways to make money on YouTube besides AdSense.

Further Reading: How to Become a YouTuber in 2024: 19 Steps to Success

Factors that Impact YouTube Earnings

Despite the global estimation of 3 to 5 dollars per thousand views, this is just an average. It can be difficult to determine compensation without considering several factors. Each of these factors influences the amount of money that advertisers will pay for their ads and, therefore, the baseline from which YouTube pays creators.

Number of Video Views

Number of Video Views

Similarly to how ratings on television affect advertising rates, the number of times a video is viewed has a significant influence on how much money future advertisers will need to pay for placement. For example, a video that has gone viral and is constantly being watched by an advertiser’s target audience is going to be much more expensive to advertise on than a similar video that only has a few viewers.

Keep in mind that advertising on a very popular video also means that you pay for a lot of views. In other words, being a popular YouTuber means that the money adds up very quickly.

Further Reading: 15 Useful Tips on How to Get More Views on YouTube Videos

Ad Quality

In this case, ad quality refers to how well you are targeting certain viewers. Therefore, ads that are supposed to be shown to practically everyone, or to people who have opted out of YouTube targeting, won’t cost as much per view.

There are several reasons for this, including the bidding process for certain keywords. Advertisers that want their advertisements shown to as many people as possible usually don’t compete for the most in-demand keywords. On the other hand, those who want quality over quantity are probably going to obtain more for the most relevant keywords and targeting techniques.

Video Length

Longer videos have more opportunities to insert advertisements. For this reason, advertising any longer video is typically less expensive than it would be for a shorter video that has similar statistics and subject matter. Of course, just may or may not affect how much do YouTubers make because there will be several less expensive ads on the video. In other words, the revenue adds up.

Video Engagement

YouTubers care more about engagement than they do basic views. One reason for this is the YouTube algorithm, which serves up the video to more people based on engagement. Similarly, if a content creator has more engagement on their video, it may mean that they are more influential. Therefore, advertising is more expensive on these videos than the ones that don’t draw engagement.

Further Reading: 12 Tips on How to Run a Viral Video Contest

Number of Ad Clicks

Number of Ad Clicks

In this case, the advertisers are not paying simply by the number of views or impressions. When ad clicks are the goal, brands will typically pay YouTube for that specific result. For the advertisers, this is advantageous because they don’t pay for impressions that do not yield results. From Google’s point of view, this also means that they are being paid for performance rather than just slapping an ad onto a piece of content.

Naturally, when it comes to how much do YouTubers make because this means that a creator’s video may be reviewed several times before it generates revenue from that ad. On the other hand, a pay-for-result ad usually costs more, so this can make up for some of the difference.

Advertiser Demand

Advertising on the hottest videos and the most important keywords is expensive. Everybody wants a spot on those pieces of content, and so there’s often a bidding war. In other words, when it comes to the popularity of specific ad space, YouTube advertising is just like any other Google product — sometimes, you just have to pay for it.

Geographic Location

As they say in real estate, “location, location, location.” There’s no question that video views from the USA, UK, and other developed countries fetch higher ad revenue. On the other hand, video views from India or other developing countries generate lower revenues. This isn’t surprising when you consider that people from wealthier countries have more money to spend on average. On the other hand, money goes farther in poor countries, so YouTubers in India might make less in real dollars, but it may go just as far as their American counterparts.

Ad Type

It’s important to note that not all AdSense ads are the same and pay the same. CPM (cost per 1000 views) and CPC (cost per click) are two types of ads that advertisers and YouTube may decide to show on your channel. Additionally, some ad types don’t show in your video at all. In this case, they might be banner ads on the page. Advertisers can even place a small banner ad at the bottom of the video while it’s playing. All of these options have different cost structures.

Check YouTube monetization policies to know more about how much YouTubers get paid.

How Much Does a YouTuber with 1 Million Subscribers Make a Year?

Remember, YouTube does not pay per subscriber. The payment is solely based on the number of views. With that said, the more subscribers you have, the more views you are likely to get. After all, subscribers are notified any time a creator posts a video. Similarly, having a lot of engagement helps get more viewers through the YouTube algorithm, where the cycle repeats itself.

However, assuming that all of your million viewers watch your video, you can earn about $5,000 per million views. In reality, this is unlikely, because very few YouTubers have that many subscribers. On the other hand, even content creators was a million subscribers will find that most subscribers won’t watch absolutely every video. At the same time, nonsubscribers will discover the content and watch it, thereby generating some ad revenue.

How Much Does a 100K Subscriber YouTuber Make?

Going by the same logic, if all of your subscribers watch your video, you will earn about $500 per 100k views. Channels with a hundred thousand subscribers are relatively common. If a YouTuber has this much of a following and publishes videos two or three times a week, they’ll soon have rent money, at least in the US. From this number, it’s easy to see why content creators have a solid money motivation to publish.

Does YouTube Pay Every Month?

Does YouTube Pay Every Month?

Getting paid is easy. That’s because YouTubers receive monthly payments by check or direct deposit. Of course, for YouTubers that need a more steady income, getting paid this infrequently can seem inconvenient. Then again, most of us have rent or mortgage payments, and that come in a lump sum.

What are the Criteria for Monetizing a YouTube Channel?

According to YouTube, you need to have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the past year. Then you are eligible to apply for YouTube Partner Program. After applying, your channel will undergo a review process that determines if your content meets YouTube standards. If it doesn’t, they’ll tell you why and how you can fix it.

Monetizing Options on YouTube

once you’re approved for monetization, you’ll need to think about how you want to monetize your channel. There are several options, each with different benefits. For this section, we only talk about options that you can post on YouTube and get paid. Fully external options will be discussed later.

Ads – Google Adsense

This is the first and easiest option. When you sign up for YouTube Partners, you will automatically gain access to AdSense revenue. Unlike some other options, this one is essentially set and forget. About only have to do is turn on monetization for a video and indicate how many video ads you’re willing to have played. The second part can be a delicate balance. If you don’t authorize enough ads, you miss out on revenue. But if you request too many, you can annoy your viewers and drive them away.

Superthanks

Think of these as a sort of tip jar. A Superthanks is a sponsored comment that’s displayed in the comments section. Here, it’s purchased by a viewer rather than an advertiser to show their appreciation for a job well done.

Channel Memberships

Channel memberships are monthly sponsorships paid through YouTube by your most dedicated subscribers. In exchange, you offer perks such as exclusive content. Members also receive a special badge that identifies them as sponsors.

Streaming

Streaming

Arguably, streaming is where the answer to how much do YouTubers make can add up quickly. If you are the kind of YouTuber who likes to interact with your fans, live streaming gives you that opportunity. While you prepare content similar to a prerecorded video, you also include an element of audience interaction. Plus, the content is delivered live.

The reason why streaming is so lucrative is that there are opportunities for fans to send you money during the stream. Specifically, they can send you a superchat or a supersticker. Superchats are sponsored messages in the chat, and usually, the expectation is that the creator will interact by acknowledging or answering the question. Superstickers are similar, but you just pay for a GIF in the chat, along with its price. In this case, most creators will thank the sender for their donation.

Finally, there are affiliate links. You can put these in the video description or in a pinned comment. Either way, as with other affiliate links, you’ll get a commission if someone buys products through the link. This is a nice option because it requires minimal effort and doesn’t disrupt your content in any way. It’s also an excellent choice when you post a tutorial for products, especially if the link leads to the product website.

Producing engaging content won’t get you eye-popping answers to how much do YouTubers make on their own. Your success as a YouTuber also depends on the kind of niche you’re in. Here are some of the most lucrative niches. 

Gaming

Gaming

Video games have a very high-profit margin, and gamers spend a lot of money on equipment. At the same time, gaming is very popular. Therefore, it’s probably no surprise that gaming channels make a lot of money.

Lifehacks

People love to find better ways of doing things, whether it’s mowing the lawn or traveling in comfort. For that reason, a lot of Lifehacker channels draw a significant number of views and the advertising dollars that come with it.

News

More people than ever get their news from YouTube channels. So, it’s unsurprising that legitimate news sources get a lot of AdSense money. Sponsorships are also relatively common.

Celebrity Gossip

People love to talk about their favorite celebrities. Just look at the average magazine stand in a supermarket checkout line and you will see several publications dedicated to that topic. And now that people turn to YouTube for almost any kind of information, it’s unsurprising that celebrity gossip YouTubers make reasonably good money.

Food Reviews

Food is something that brings everyone together, so it’s no surprise that food reviewers are popular on YouTube. And with gourmet food, in particular, being very profitable, it’s only logical that food-related YouTubers are well-paid.

Spoofs and Pranks

Everyone wants a good laugh now and then, so people flock to YouTubers with a good sense of humor. And for this reason, a lot of people are willing to sponsor those channels.

Funny Animal Videos

Pets and other animals are a big part of our lives. So, it’s unsurprising that people like to talk about their pets on YouTube. However, this match also can include non-pet animals, from horses and cattle all the way to lions and tigers.

Product Unboxing

This one is especially relevant to influencers who get free stuff, or for people who like to open mystery boxes. Not only is it fun to see what they get, but many influencers will also show you what are used for. Often, these videos include giveaways and insights into future content.

Tutorials

Ever see something in a store and wonder how to use it? That’s where tutorials come in. Not only can you learn something, but you’ll likely get some creative ideas. It’s no wonder that advertisers and brands love to be associated with this kind of content.

Product Reviews

Similarly, many people look to YouTube for product advice and insight. Whether it’s a new laptop, housewares, or even craft materials, there is the chance that people will research major purchases. By flying and reviewing products, YouTubers can have a high number associated with how much do YouTubers make.

Further Reading: The Power of Customer Reviews in Marketing Videos

What Other Ways Do YouTubers Make Money Besides AdSense in 2024?

Naturally, there are many ways to make money off of content besides YouTube monetization. Not only do you get paid differently, but they involve building your personal brand. Best of all, they often pay more than AdSense and other Google-controlled methods.

Sponsorships

Besides YouTube memberships, there are other ways to get sponsorships. One of them is by using a third-party site like Patreon or Buy Me A Coffee. These let people make one-time or monthly payments that help support your channel, and that does not go through Google.

The other kind of sponsorship is when a brand pays the content creator directly for a video sponsorship. In this case, the creator will insert a commercial in the middle of the video and indicate that it is sponsored by that brand. Typically, this involves a flat fee, and it needs to follow FTC guidelines.

Selling Merchandise

Creators can use a merchandise wall on YouTube, or they can use a different site like Teespring, then post the link underneath videos. This is a cool way to promote your personal brand, and in most cases, you don’t need to handle inventory. A modern version of a band shirt, anyone?

Digital Downloads

Another option is digital downloads. These can be music if the content creator has original songs they’ve written, books, and even white papers. Essentially, if you can sell it, you can market it as a YouTube creator.

An especially popular option these days is to create craft patterns of various types. Then, you would talk about that particular pattern and show people the possibilities. For example, in knitting, there is a concept called knit-a-longs. The idea is that everybody who participates is nothing but the same item at essentially the same time. A section of the pattern is released at regular intervals, and everyone tries to stay in sync with the group. This could be applicable to YouTube if the pattern creator also makes videos about the project.

Courses

Subject-matter experts on YouTube can also sell their courses. For example, there’s a long-time human resources specialist who did a lot of hiring in his day. This man makes videos where he gives tips and tricks on how to get hired, get a raise, and generally advocate for yourself professionally. However, through his website, you can also buy courses that provide more in-depth information.

Start a Product Line

This one is super popular in the beauty, fashion, and sports industries. Many celebrities and influencers have started makeup brands, and it’s very profitable. People who have become fashion icons frequently put their names on products. And, of course, personal brands of sporting equipment and apparel are one of the oldest ways that notable athletes make money.

Influencer Marketing

Many of the techniques I’ve talked about already can be part of influencer marketing. This is the practice of somebody using their influence to help sell products and services. They are paid by the brands, and payments can involve lump sum compensation, commissions, sponsorships, and even collaborations. While being an influencer is not a get-rich-quick scheme, it’s one of the best ways to get a large paycheck from YouTube activities. I have written extensively on how influencers get paid in other articles.

Further Reading: YouTube Influencer Marketing: The Definitive Guide of 9 Campaign Types [with case studies]

Conclusion

There is no clear-cut answer to how much do YouTubers make. In fact, the answer depends on a large variety of factors, from their geographic location to their niche, monetization choices, and off-site techniques. However, there are also a lot of YouTubers who simply monetize the channel and try to make a lot of extra money. For them, YouTube is frequently just a side gig or a hobby that happens to make revenue.

Hero Photo by AQVIEWS on Unsplash

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Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer

Neal Schaffer is a leading authority on helping businesses through their digital transformation of sales and marketing through consulting, training, and helping enterprises large and small develop and execute on social media marketing strategy, influencer marketing, and social selling initiatives. President of the social media agency PDCA Social, Neal also teaches digital media to executives at Rutgers University, the Irish Management Institute (Ireland), and the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland). Fluent in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese, Neal is a popular keynote speaker and has been invited to speak about digital media on four continents in a dozen countries. He is also the author of 3 books on social media, including Maximize Your Social (Wiley), and in late 2019 will publish his 4th book, The Business of Influence (HarperCollins), on educating the market on the why and how every business should leverage the potential of influencer marketing. Neal resides in Irvine, California but also frequently travels to Japan.

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