May 7, 2024

How much do YouTubers make? See real-world examples

There's no single answer to how much YouTubers make. But whatever your channel size, this article will give you a good idea of what to expect.
May 7, 2024

How much do YouTubers make? See real-world examples

There's no single answer to how much YouTubers make. But whatever your channel size, this article will give you a good idea of what to expect.
May 7, 2024
Alec Opperman
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There's a lot of competing information out there about how much money a YouTuber can make. But if you're looking to start or grow your channel, what can you actually earn?

The short answer is: You can probably make between $5 and $15 for every thousand views you get. Some will make less, and some might make more.

To put that into context, a video with 100,000 views might net you between $500 and $2,000. After YouTube takes their revenue share, that might be closer to between $250 and $1,000.

How can you avoid giving YouTube such a huge cut? How much can you make if you're a smaller creator who doesn't get six-figure views—or an even larger creator who gets millions of views? And who are the highest earning YouTubers out there? For the answers to these questions and more, keep reading.

How YouTube revenue works

One of the primary ways to monetize content is through advertising. YouTube creators can generally make money from two kinds of ad services.

AdSense: Programmatic ads

First, there's AdSense, which is what allows advertisers to play video ads before and during your video. It also plays ads between Shorts, which can also provide creators with revenue.

One of the easiest ways to talk about this revenue is by talking about CPM, or Cost Per Mille. That refers to what an advertiser is paying for every 1,000 views their ad gets. You may also see terms like RPM, or Revenue Per Mille. This is what a creator makes after YouTube takes their 45% for long-form content, or 55% for short-form content.

Lots of things can effect your AdSense Revenue. Advertisers can choose specific niches to advertise their content—think cars, beauty, wellness, or gaming. Some of those niches might be more expensive for advertisers due to high competition, which means higher rates for the creators in that niche.

For instance, a channel that reviews luxury cars might get higher CPMs from car manufacturers willing to target auto enthusiasts than a channel that reviews the latest news in literary theory.

VidIQ, a YouTube analytics company, identifies cooking, reaction, fitness and music channels as niches with generally low CPMs.

Another factor that affects how much ad revenue you can make is your video length. While videos under 8 minutes might feature ads up front (pre-roll ads), videos longer than 8 minutes can feature additional mid-roll ads. Longer videos can ultimately support more ads, and create more revenue, if your viewers stick around to watch them.

The location of your audience can also affect how much money you can make. Countries with higher average incomes tend to be more expensive to advertise in, meaning viewers from those countries will net you more ad dollars. The U.S., for instance, tends to be one of the most expensive markets to target.

Seasonality can also affect your ad revenue. Consumer product advertising tends to ramp up in holiday months, leading to higher CPMs.


Screenshot of an AdSense ad before a YouTube video
AdSense ad before a YouTube video

Sponsorships: Direct negotiation

The other source of ad revenue on YouTube is through direct sponsorships. These are ads that usually involve a video host speaking about a product or service directly, and rates are negotiated between the creator and the sponsor. YouTube doesn't take a share of these deals.

Like AdSense ads, CPMs are dictated by the niche. And having a specific niche will help command a higher CPM. If a company wants to target "people making podcasts," they'll have a better success rate advertising on the "how to make a podcast" channel than a general interest channel about news, sports, or games.

How many views do YouTubers need to get paid?

To make money from AdSense on YouTube, you need to get into the YouTube Partner Program. The criteria are as follows:

You need at least 1,000 subscribers, plus either:

  • 4,000 hours of watch time on your content in the last year or
  • 10 million views on your shorts in the last 90 days

Creators in the YouTube Partner Program also need to abide by all of YouTube's monetization policies.

What can you earn as a YouTube beginner?

If you've just cracked 1,000 subscribers, what can you expect to make? It depends entirely on your niche and video views—having a breakout video could increase revenue for weeks.

But it helps to hear from smaller creators to understand the range you might expect. In a Reddit thread, one creator in the travel niche with 1,370 subscribers commented they were making $100 a month off of 23,000 views. Another with 1,250 subscribers reported making $83 in their first week. Yet another creator with 6,000 subscribers only makes $60 per month. It's a wide range!


What can you earn between 1,000 and 1,000,000 subscribers?

As your channel grows, sponsorship opportunities can help supplement your AdSense revenue. Your audience size and dedication may even enable a sustainable amount of revenue from memberships or merchandise.

Like AdSense, sponsorship rates can vary widely by niche. They also are usually calculated using CPM. And broadly speaking, those tend to be between $30 and $70, though many creators have probably taken deals in the $10–$20 range. Some brands, especially e-commerce brands or mobile games, might prefer to pay out based on sign-ups or sales made. In my own experience, these are usually lower-quality deals reserved for creators without much bargaining power.

Though you can't exactly determine how well your sponsored video will do, advertisers often will set a fixed price based on estimated views or choose to pay for actual views (though they often set a cap, in case a video goes viral and beyond their budget).

The wide range of CPMs might seem confusing, but it speaks to the importance of having a strong business plan if you want to take your channel from a hobby to a career.

Many creators also supplement their income by launching brands or selling products. That might mean selling merch like T-shirts, but there are also more ambitious example like MrBeast's line of Feastable chocolates. Creators can use the YouTube's shopping features to promote their products.

Another strategy is membership programs, either through YouTube's own membership feature or something like Patreon. These memberships allow fans to pay monthly to earn access to additional content or perks from the creator.

YouTube's affiliate program provides yet another revenue stream. It allows creators to tag products in their videos and receive a commission if they're purchased. This feature is only available for creators with more than 15,000 subscribers.

Examples of mid-sized creator revenue

For a look at what these mid-sized creators can actually make, let's look at two examples.

Celine, a creator with 31,000 subscribers, made $5,500 from a little under a million views.

Creator Katie Steckly, with 272,000 subscribers, reports making over $217,000 in brand deals in 2023, a sizeable portion of her $500,000 income that includes courses and digital products. Only $43,000 came from AdSense.


Celine, left, made $5,500 in a year with just under 1 million views. Katie Steckly, right, made $43,000 from ads in a year with 272,000 subscribers.

What can you earn when you hit 1 million subscribers?

While new creators might think hitting 1 million subscribers is a pie-in-the-sky goal, the reality is that it's not that rare: there are 25,000–30,000 channels with 1 million subscribers.

If one of these channels published one video that got 1 million views, here's what they might make:

  • In AdSense revenue: Between $5,000 and $20,000, though YouTube will take 45% of that for its long-form revenue share.
  • From brand deals: With a good brand deal, they could make between $30,0000 and $70,000.
  • The brand deal might preclude you from pushing your own products or memberships, but in theory that could yield even more money.

It's entirely possible a channel with 1 million subscribers can make less money than a smaller channel with half those subscribers. Even if views are consistent, a channel reviewing music releases might not have the same opportunities as a channel gives in-depth editing tutorials, and can sell both editing classes and sponsorships for editing software.

Thomas Frank, a productivity YouTuber who started covering the note-taking app Notion, has the best of both worlds. He has nearly 3 million subscribers and makes over $100,000 many months selling his own ‎Notion templates.

Who are the highest earning YouTubers?

According to Forbes, in 2022 the highest-paid YouTubers were:

  • MrBeast: $54 million
  • Jake Paul: $45 million
  • Markiplier: $38 million

FAQ

How much does a YouTuber with a million subscribers make?

While it can vary wildly based on views and ad rates, one YouTuber with roughly a million subscribers reported making between $14,600 and $54,600 a month. In general, a YouTuber this size might expect to make between $2.50 and $10 for every thousand views they get, after YouTube takes its revenue share. Larger channels can also make hundreds of thousands of dollars between direct sales, brand deals, and memberships.

How much does a YouTuber with 100k subscribers make?

If a 100,000-subscriber channel regularly gets 100,000 views on their videos, they could make between $500 and $1,500 per video. Those videos might also receive between $3,000 and $7,000 for a brand deal (though it could be lower), or even more if the channel sells their own products directly.

How much does YouTube pay for 1 million views?

YouTube pays between $5,000 and $7,000 for 1 million views, Hootsuite reports. But it can vary wildly based on what countries your viewers are in, your content niche, and the time of year.

How much do average YouTubers make?

YouTubers in the YouTube Partner Program can make between $5 and $15 for every thousand views, but after YouTube takes its portion of the revenue, it might be closer to $2.50–$7.50. Many channels supplement this with brand deals and affiliate deals.

Alec Opperman
Alec is a producer and writer. He is the former head of the YouTube channel Wisecrack and a Vidcon Featured Creator.
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How much do YouTubers make? See real-world examples

There's a lot of competing information out there about how much money a YouTuber can make. But if you're looking to start or grow your channel, what can you actually earn?

The short answer is: You can probably make between $5 and $15 for every thousand views you get. Some will make less, and some might make more.

To put that into context, a video with 100,000 views might net you between $500 and $2,000. After YouTube takes their revenue share, that might be closer to between $250 and $1,000.

How can you avoid giving YouTube such a huge cut? How much can you make if you're a smaller creator who doesn't get six-figure views—or an even larger creator who gets millions of views? And who are the highest earning YouTubers out there? For the answers to these questions and more, keep reading.

How YouTube revenue works

One of the primary ways to monetize content is through advertising. YouTube creators can generally make money from two kinds of ad services.

AdSense: Programmatic ads

First, there's AdSense, which is what allows advertisers to play video ads before and during your video. It also plays ads between Shorts, which can also provide creators with revenue.

One of the easiest ways to talk about this revenue is by talking about CPM, or Cost Per Mille. That refers to what an advertiser is paying for every 1,000 views their ad gets. You may also see terms like RPM, or Revenue Per Mille. This is what a creator makes after YouTube takes their 45% for long-form content, or 55% for short-form content.

Lots of things can effect your AdSense Revenue. Advertisers can choose specific niches to advertise their content—think cars, beauty, wellness, or gaming. Some of those niches might be more expensive for advertisers due to high competition, which means higher rates for the creators in that niche.

For instance, a channel that reviews luxury cars might get higher CPMs from car manufacturers willing to target auto enthusiasts than a channel that reviews the latest news in literary theory.

VidIQ, a YouTube analytics company, identifies cooking, reaction, fitness and music channels as niches with generally low CPMs.

Another factor that affects how much ad revenue you can make is your video length. While videos under 8 minutes might feature ads up front (pre-roll ads), videos longer than 8 minutes can feature additional mid-roll ads. Longer videos can ultimately support more ads, and create more revenue, if your viewers stick around to watch them.

The location of your audience can also affect how much money you can make. Countries with higher average incomes tend to be more expensive to advertise in, meaning viewers from those countries will net you more ad dollars. The U.S., for instance, tends to be one of the most expensive markets to target.

Seasonality can also affect your ad revenue. Consumer product advertising tends to ramp up in holiday months, leading to higher CPMs.


Screenshot of an AdSense ad before a YouTube video
AdSense ad before a YouTube video

Sponsorships: Direct negotiation

The other source of ad revenue on YouTube is through direct sponsorships. These are ads that usually involve a video host speaking about a product or service directly, and rates are negotiated between the creator and the sponsor. YouTube doesn't take a share of these deals.

Like AdSense ads, CPMs are dictated by the niche. And having a specific niche will help command a higher CPM. If a company wants to target "people making podcasts," they'll have a better success rate advertising on the "how to make a podcast" channel than a general interest channel about news, sports, or games.

How many views do YouTubers need to get paid?

To make money from AdSense on YouTube, you need to get into the YouTube Partner Program. The criteria are as follows:

You need at least 1,000 subscribers, plus either:

  • 4,000 hours of watch time on your content in the last year or
  • 10 million views on your shorts in the last 90 days

Creators in the YouTube Partner Program also need to abide by all of YouTube's monetization policies.

What can you earn as a YouTube beginner?

If you've just cracked 1,000 subscribers, what can you expect to make? It depends entirely on your niche and video views—having a breakout video could increase revenue for weeks.

But it helps to hear from smaller creators to understand the range you might expect. In a Reddit thread, one creator in the travel niche with 1,370 subscribers commented they were making $100 a month off of 23,000 views. Another with 1,250 subscribers reported making $83 in their first week. Yet another creator with 6,000 subscribers only makes $60 per month. It's a wide range!


What can you earn between 1,000 and 1,000,000 subscribers?

As your channel grows, sponsorship opportunities can help supplement your AdSense revenue. Your audience size and dedication may even enable a sustainable amount of revenue from memberships or merchandise.

Like AdSense, sponsorship rates can vary widely by niche. They also are usually calculated using CPM. And broadly speaking, those tend to be between $30 and $70, though many creators have probably taken deals in the $10–$20 range. Some brands, especially e-commerce brands or mobile games, might prefer to pay out based on sign-ups or sales made. In my own experience, these are usually lower-quality deals reserved for creators without much bargaining power.

Though you can't exactly determine how well your sponsored video will do, advertisers often will set a fixed price based on estimated views or choose to pay for actual views (though they often set a cap, in case a video goes viral and beyond their budget).

The wide range of CPMs might seem confusing, but it speaks to the importance of having a strong business plan if you want to take your channel from a hobby to a career.

Many creators also supplement their income by launching brands or selling products. That might mean selling merch like T-shirts, but there are also more ambitious example like MrBeast's line of Feastable chocolates. Creators can use the YouTube's shopping features to promote their products.

Another strategy is membership programs, either through YouTube's own membership feature or something like Patreon. These memberships allow fans to pay monthly to earn access to additional content or perks from the creator.

YouTube's affiliate program provides yet another revenue stream. It allows creators to tag products in their videos and receive a commission if they're purchased. This feature is only available for creators with more than 15,000 subscribers.

Examples of mid-sized creator revenue

For a look at what these mid-sized creators can actually make, let's look at two examples.

Celine, a creator with 31,000 subscribers, made $5,500 from a little under a million views.

Creator Katie Steckly, with 272,000 subscribers, reports making over $217,000 in brand deals in 2023, a sizeable portion of her $500,000 income that includes courses and digital products. Only $43,000 came from AdSense.


Celine, left, made $5,500 in a year with just under 1 million views. Katie Steckly, right, made $43,000 from ads in a year with 272,000 subscribers.

What can you earn when you hit 1 million subscribers?

While new creators might think hitting 1 million subscribers is a pie-in-the-sky goal, the reality is that it's not that rare: there are 25,000–30,000 channels with 1 million subscribers.

If one of these channels published one video that got 1 million views, here's what they might make:

  • In AdSense revenue: Between $5,000 and $20,000, though YouTube will take 45% of that for its long-form revenue share.
  • From brand deals: With a good brand deal, they could make between $30,0000 and $70,000.
  • The brand deal might preclude you from pushing your own products or memberships, but in theory that could yield even more money.

It's entirely possible a channel with 1 million subscribers can make less money than a smaller channel with half those subscribers. Even if views are consistent, a channel reviewing music releases might not have the same opportunities as a channel gives in-depth editing tutorials, and can sell both editing classes and sponsorships for editing software.

Thomas Frank, a productivity YouTuber who started covering the note-taking app Notion, has the best of both worlds. He has nearly 3 million subscribers and makes over $100,000 many months selling his own ‎Notion templates.

Who are the highest earning YouTubers?

According to Forbes, in 2022 the highest-paid YouTubers were:

  • MrBeast: $54 million
  • Jake Paul: $45 million
  • Markiplier: $38 million

FAQ

How much does a YouTuber with a million subscribers make?

While it can vary wildly based on views and ad rates, one YouTuber with roughly a million subscribers reported making between $14,600 and $54,600 a month. In general, a YouTuber this size might expect to make between $2.50 and $10 for every thousand views they get, after YouTube takes its revenue share. Larger channels can also make hundreds of thousands of dollars between direct sales, brand deals, and memberships.

How much does a YouTuber with 100k subscribers make?

If a 100,000-subscriber channel regularly gets 100,000 views on their videos, they could make between $500 and $1,500 per video. Those videos might also receive between $3,000 and $7,000 for a brand deal (though it could be lower), or even more if the channel sells their own products directly.

How much does YouTube pay for 1 million views?

YouTube pays between $5,000 and $7,000 for 1 million views, Hootsuite reports. But it can vary wildly based on what countries your viewers are in, your content niche, and the time of year.

How much do average YouTubers make?

YouTubers in the YouTube Partner Program can make between $5 and $15 for every thousand views, but after YouTube takes its portion of the revenue, it might be closer to $2.50–$7.50. Many channels supplement this with brand deals and affiliate deals.

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