Here’s how much money you can make on YouTube

written by Josh on September 30th, 2009

People often wonder how much money YouTube Partners actually make.  And I’m one of those people. Even though I’m a YouTube Partner, the amount that I make from it doesn’t even cover the cost of the digital tapes I use to record my videos (yes, I use tapes —  MiniDV ones that cost $7 each in bulk because I needed a professional camera that used them for my day job).  In fact, I haven’t even received my first cheque from Google at this point because I haven’t quite hit their minimum payout yet… although I’m finally getting close.

Most YouTube Partner’s are very hush hush when it comes to how much money they make. And really, it’s their job (when they’re popular enough) and who really goes around saying how much they make publicly?  But every now and then one of them shares a little info on the subject and I’ve figured out a very general idea of the kind of money there is to be made.

I watched one girl on BlogTV who had about 20,000 YouTube subscribers and when asked about how much money she makes from YouTube she said that it’s enough for a second part-time job, but she also was working as a waitress part-time to make a decent living.  Another YouTuber with about 40,000 subscribers was talking on his BlogTV show about how he was about to go travelling around North America with some other YouTubers and when someone asked him what he did for a living he said doing videos online was his only job and how he made his living.

So that right there can give you a general idea of how many subscribers you’d likely need before you could consider money coming from YouTube as a realistic “income” of some sort.  Then you get on to the bigger YouTubers with subscribers in the six figures, all of whom pretty much never say anything about how much they make except that it’s their only job.  One of them gave a really good hint though by starting an account with all of his YouTube Partner proceeds going to charity —  Kev Juma started the Jumbafund channel and one month reported earning just over $1700, and I believe he had about 175,000 subscribers at the time.  Now the channel is up to almost 300,000 subscribers (and his personal channel has over 680,000 subscribers).

Now, at $1700 a month that would be just over $20,000 a year if the views were consistent, so seems like there is something different going on with the YouTuber who claims to make a living with only 40,000 subscribers.  But perhaps he’s including a few other online sources such as BlogTV, his own blog, sponsorship, etc.

But that at least gives a pretty good idea of how you realistically need to get into the tens of thousands of subscribers to start to actually earn anything decent.  It is of course based on viewers more than subscribers, but there’s usually a direct correlation between the two.

What do you think? Have you had experienced or seen other levels of financial success from the YouTube Partner program?  Have you made money from it with under 10,000 subscribers?

YouTube Comments of the Day:

PtrickBteman has made a comment on Father Lover (Mother Lover spoof):

OMFG you’re freaking genious!!!!!! this video is as good as “mother lover”, or even better!!! so hilariousss!! great!!!

bmxistheshiz has made a comment on Father Lover (Mother Lover spoof):

this video is epic

RapingStreak has made a comment on Father Lover (Mother Lover spoof):

Never gonna understand how your fathers agreed to do the video…, just saying man…Mother Lover is less….well….gay. LOL

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Facebook Comments:

  1. Greg

    Hey Josh,

    It’s interesting what you’re doing with your blog. I’m keen to see how it goes. The reason I first actually found you was I was looking for information on how to create a second youtube channel and saw your blog posting on whether or not to create a second channel.

    I also noticed you’re from Vancouver, so perhaps I’ll see you around.



  2. SpandyAndy

    Oh wow, a bit discouraging. I hope our favorite people that want to create a YouTube channels read this 😉

  3. Paul Millard

    I have just started using youtube as medium that will hopefully add a new dimension to my online efforts.
    I had only recently heard of the partner channel and didn’t realise that these sums of money was attainable.
    I think I need to get your ebook Josh.

  4. color therapy

    So, youtube pays for subscribers, not watchers? Is it using Adsense system?

  5. admin

    No, I just use subscribers as a good way to measure the kind of regular audience you would want to have. It’s an RPM system that YouTube uses though – CPC for the advertisers mixed with paying YouTubers a CPM type of format.

  6. Storyteller Queen

    Looking forward to build such a channel. I believe it will help increase sells on my first christian fiction book. Thank you Josh!

  7. Mike - YouTube Money King

    Great post. Another Great way to monetize your youtube channel is with relative affiliate and CPA offers.
    For example if your channel is about frugal living, you can promote free coupons and samples offers to your audience and you get paid about $2 for each email submit.
    cheack out this post :

  8. Bishal Sharma

    People are making fortunes on youtube. I think the best and easiest way to earn from youtube is by content locking. There is no easier way that i know of.
    Content locking will make you some good money which you can start investing on other projects.

  9. Jennifer

    Thanks for this info, I am very new to creating Youtube videos and did wonder.

    Please check out my vlog channel!
    Thank you, any views or subscriptions are appreciated :)

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