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How do YouTubers make money?

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asked Nov 30, 2015 in Internet/Online Business by anonymous
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When you read that YouTubers like PewDiePie make millions, we all get to wonder why or how. As a YouTuber myself I can say that there are several ways to actually make either some money off of YouTube and in some cases even a living.



  • As a YouTube Partner. Seen those ads pop up over the videos? What about those ads that play before the video you want to watch? Clicks on those ads or watching these pre-video ads make YouTube a few cents. As a YouTube partner you get a small cut of that. On a single video that may not be that much -- the average is calculated at $1US per 1000 views per month. Or less. But the more videos there are, the higher the monthly income. Over time, that adds up nicely, especially if a few of those become successful. It may be less than one would expect (Psy for example only made about $8 million US with Gangnam Style) but it's nothing to frown upon either.


  • As an Affiliate. Look at some of the videos that review or unbox products. In the info section you will often find links to where those products can be bought. These are often affiliate link (amazon.com, alibaba.com, etc) that pay a cut if someone buys a product after clicking on the link. That doesn't mean it has to be the product that was advertised, it just needs to be bought within a certain time-period while the surfer used your link. This form can be even more profitable than just ad-clicks, as you can theoretically make dozens of dollars with one single click, depending on what kind of products were purchased. The commission starts at 4% but can be a lot more.


  • With Sponsors. Once a worthy amount of subscribers and viewers has been reached, companies may want to use a strong channel to advertise their products or offer money to have their products reviewed. Either way, it is an additional stream of revenue.


  • Additional Sites And Services. For some channels it may be advantageous to also have a website or blog that offers additional services or information -- My channel for example also has a site to go with it, that offers additional articles, charts, quizzes, etc. A product reviewer may want to link to his site and then place the above mentioned affiliate links on said site. Google ads on that site add to the chances of traffic generating revenue, even if nobody clicks on the affiliate links.

In the end it is all about generating viewers, preferably regular viewers. The more people come to see or watch videos or a show, the more clout a channel has. The more clout it has, the more likely it is to make money. 

answered Dec 1, 2015 by AlecCorday (5,810 points)
edited Dec 1, 2015 by AlecCorday

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