How Much Money Can You Make On YouTube With 1 Million Subscribers?
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Have a great idea for a YouTube channel? Want to document your life or hobbies as a vlogger?
Many first-time creators ask, “How much money can you make on YouTube?” before taking the plunge into building a channel.
The reality is that there’s no one-size fits all answer. The best answer to the question isn’t much of an answer at all:
“Well… It depends.”
What a bad answer!
The reality is that there are many factors that go into one’s YouTube earnings: Views and subscribers are just one part of the equation.
Before starting a YouTube channel, it’s important to consider the opportunity. YouTube has minted many-a storied multi-million dollar careers since its inception in 2005. It’s turned everyday joes like Dude Perfect and Mr. Beast into household names. Ryan Kaji, the nine-year-old behind the YouTube channel “Ryan’s World,” was named the platform’s highest earner in 2020, raking in an estimated $20 million a year.
How much money can you make on YouTube?
Before putting in the work, however, it’s important to get a sense of how much money can you actually make on YouTube.
To make money directly from YouTube, your channel must be eligible for the YouTube Partner Program. This means your channel must have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the past year. This barrier-to-entry ensures high quality videos from creators that are putting forth some effort to build their channel. It also ensures that creators are following YouTube’s community guidelines and best practices for the platform.
In other words, the videos you put on YouTube must be advertiser-friendly.
Once you’re in the YouTube Partner program, you’re eligible to start monetizing your channel through ads, subscriptions, and channel memberships.
Ma launched her channel in 2010 and has amassed multiple videos with over 1 million views. Ma broke down her earnings to Insider from the YouTube Partner Program by month.
So far in 2021, she’s grossed $32,200 from her YouTube channel.
- January: $4,500
- February: $11,500
- March: $10,500
- April: $5,700
Ma also documented tips for maximizing revenue in the Insider article, so give it a read.
It’s important to consider the many factors that go into one’s earnings on YouTube. Earnings are calculated from a CPM associated with the ads served on the channels content. Each ad, however, has a different value based on the user. This is why a channel with 1 million subscribers about food can have an entirely different overall value than channel with 1 million subscribers about clothes.
What goes into making money on YouTube?
Some of the variables that go into this advertising equation, including the following:
- Age, gender country of viewers / subscribers
- Genre of video
- Type and price of ads
- % of viewers who have ad block or just skip all ads
- Actual click rate
- Audience comments, shares, etc.
- % of views on desktop vs. mobile
The content of each video itself is important for (A. feeding the YouTube algorithim and putting it infront of people interested in that particular topic and (B. the associated value to an advertiser putting ads on or around that content.
Ads from the YouTube Partner Program aren’t the only way for YouTubers to earn money. These days, many popular YouTuber will earn revenue and income from selling merchandise, apps, books, affiliate marketing, and brand deals.
At the end of 2020, personal finance YouTuber Shelby Church documented her earnings in a video on her channel. Shelby has amassed over 1.66M subscribers on her channel, which is focused on finance, style, and life in Los Angeles.
Shelby presented screenshots of her YouTube dashboard, showing annualized earnings of $169,473 on her main channel. She compared this to $140,467.74 in earnings on the same channel in 2019.
Previously, Shelby documented how much money she’s earned on a video with 1 million views.
“It occurred to me that the general public has no concept of how much money people make from YouTube videos.”
Guesses from Shelby’s family and friends were all over the place on the actual earnings.
Shelby adds: “People have no clue how much YouTubers make,” before showing how view count isn’t really everything when it comes to making money on YouTube.
She shows a specific example from videos on her channel: One received 370,000 views earned a whopping $17 CPM, earning $3,000. A video with over two million views, however, only earned $743.
“It goes to show you that making money on YouTube is not all about views. It’s about watch time, how long your video is, who is watching your video, what occupation they’re in – all these different factors.” .
If you’re looking into pursuing a career as an influencer, it pays to work smarter, not harder.
Think beyond the views if you’re embarking on a YouTube career. Sure, having people watch your videos is important. But what you’re making is also important. Quality speaks for itself and is worth its weight in gold in the YouTube algorithm.