Discover how much money YouTubers can earn in 2023. This article explores the factors influencing earnings and offers insights for aspiring creators.
YouTube has become a popular platform for content creators to share their passions, interests and talents. Many creators have even turned their channels into full-time careers, earning significant income through monetization, sponsorships and collaborations. But how much do YouTubers make in 2023?
Below you’ll find an in-depth examination of the factors that impact a YouTuber’s earnings, including the number of subscribers, video views and the monetization methods they pursue.
How do YouTubers operate and earn in 2023?
It’s crucial to grasp the fundamental aspects of what defines a YouTuber and the workings of the platform before answering the question: how much do YouTubers make?
What defines a YouTuber?
A YouTuber is an individual who creates and uploads videos to a personal YouTube channel. These videos encompass a wide array of content, such as personal vlogs, tutorials, gaming videos and unboxings.
The primary goal for most YouTubers is to amass a substantial following and generate income through monetization and sponsorships.
Subscribers, channels and influencers: What are they?
Subscribers have followed a YouTuber’s channel, receiving notifications each time the creator publishes new content. A YouTube channel is a platform where content creators upload and organize their videos.
On the other hand, an influencer has established a sizable following on a social media platform, such as TikTok or Instagram and leverages that following to endorse products or services. Many accomplished YouTubers can also be classified as influencers.
How does the YouTube Partner Program function?
The YouTube Partner Program is the platform’s monetization system, which enables creators to generate income from their videos (primarily through advertisements).
To qualify for this program, creators must fulfill specific criteria, including:
- Follow all YouTube monetization policies: You must adhere to YouTube’s policies, terms and community guidelines. This includes copyright, sensitive content, harmful and dangerous acts and other relevant policies. You must also have no active Community Guidelines strikes on your channel.
- Live in a country or region where the YouTube Partner Program is available.
- Have more than 4,000 valid public watch hours in the last 12 months: Your content must accumulate at least 4,000 hours of public watch time within the past year. Private, unlisted or deleted videos do not count toward this requirement.
(Alternatively, with the advent of YouTube Shorts, you can meet this requirement by gathering 10 million valid public Shorts views in the last 90 days).
- Have more than 1,000 subscribers.
- Have a linked AdSense account: You need to set up and link a Google AdSense account to your YouTube channel to receive payment for ad revenue.
The following sections will provide a more in-depth look at these topics, offering valuable insights into the world of YouTube and its earning potential.
What’s the difference between monetization and sponsorships?
Monetization refers to generating income from YouTube videos through different revenue streams, such as advertisements, channel memberships and merchandise sales.
Sponsorships involve partnering with brands or companies to promote their products or services in exchange for compensation.
What are the different revenue streams for YouTubers?
Apart from ad revenue, content creators can benefit from various other revenue streams, including affiliate marketing, Patreon support and YouTube Premium earnings. By diversifying their income sources, YouTubers can ensure a stable financial foundation, even during fluctuating ad revenue or changes in monetization policies.
How does view count impact earnings?
The number of video views directly impacts a YouTuber’s earnings. A higher number of views increases the chances of generating more ad views, leading to higher earnings through Google AdSense and other advertising platforms.
It is difficult to provide specific dollar amounts for YouTube creator revenue based on views, as earnings depend on various factors, including:
- The number of ads shown on the video (impressions).
- The type of ads displayed (e.g., display ads, skippable video ads, non-skippable video ads, bumper ads).
- The Cost per Mille (CPM), or the amount an advertiser pays for 1,000 ad impressions.
- Viewer demographics and location.
- The viewer’s engagement with the ads (e.g., clicks or interactions).
- However, to give a rough estimation, YouTube creators usually earn between $1 and $5 per 1,000 views, with the average being around $2. This estimation assumes that the video is monetized and meets YouTube’s ad-friendly guidelines.
Using this range, a rough estimate of earnings for different view counts could look like this:
- 100 views: $0.10 – $0.50 (potentially negligible or not monetized due to low view count).
- 1,000 views: $1 – $5.
- 10,000 views: $10 – $50.
- 100,000 views: $100 – $500.
Additionally, YouTube takes a 45% share of the ad revenue, so the actual earnings received by the creator might be lower than the numbers shown here.
How do watch hours impact earnings?
“Watch hours” is another important metric for content creators, representing the total time viewers spend watching a creator’s content. High watch hours indicate audience engagement, leading to increased ad revenue and higher earnings.
A “high” or “above-average” amount of watch hours for a YouTuber can be subjective and depends on the creator’s niche, audience size, content type and upload frequency. However, to provide a general idea, we can consider some benchmarks:
- YouTube Partner Program eligibility: To be eligible for the YouTube Partner Program, a creator must have at least 4,000 valid public watch hours in the last 12 months. Achieving this threshold is a starting point for a growing channel.
- Mid-tier creators: Mid-tier creators usually have between 10,000 and 100,000 subscribers. Depending on their content and audience engagement, they may accumulate thousands to tens of thousands of watch hours per month.
- Top-tier creators: Top-tier creators, who have hundreds of thousands or millions of subscribers, often have hundreds of thousands to millions of watch hours per month. These creators are considered successful and influential on the platform.
To give a rough estimation of revenue based on watch hours, we can use the average earnings of $1 to $5 per 1,000 views (or $2 on average).
However, please note that watch hours and views are not the same – you would need to calculate the average views based on your watch hours and average view duration.
Assuming the average view duration is 4 minutes, we can calculate the approximate number of views for each watch hour milestone:
- 4,000 watch hours = 60,000 views.
- 50,000 watch hours = 750,000 views.
- 100,000 watch hours = 1,500,000 views.
- 500,000 watch hours = 7,500,000 views.
- 1M watch hours = 15,000,000 views.
- 5M watch hours = 75,000,000 views.
Using the range of $1 to $5 per 1,000 views, the estimated earnings for each watch hour milestone would be:
- 4,000 watch hours: $60 – $300.
- 50,000 watch hours: $750 – $3,750.
- 100,000 watch hours: $1,500 – $7,500.
- 500,000 watch hours: $7,500 – $37,500.
- 1M watch hours: $15,000 – $75,000.
- 5M watch hours: $75,000 – $375,000.
What other factors affect YouTubers’ earnings?
Multiple factors can affect a YouTube star’s earnings, such as the number of subscribers, watch hours, video content type and CPM (cost per mille).
Factors like collaborations, influencer marketing and the target audience’s geographical location can also impact revenue generation.
What role does monetization play in earnings?
Monetization refers to earning income from YouTube content through various revenue streams. Effective monetization strategies can significantly impact a content creator’s earnings, ensuring financial stability even during fluctuating ad revenue.
How do sponsorships affect earnings?
Sponsorships involve partnering with brands or companies to promote their products or services in exchange for compensation. These partnerships can substantially boost a YouTuber’s income, especially for influencers with a large following.
What is the connection between social media and earnings?
A strong social media presence can amplify a YouTuber’s earning potential by attracting a broader audience to their content. Engaging with followers on social media also opens up opportunities for influencer marketing and brand collaborations.
Does the type of content you make impact your earnings on YouTube?
The type of content a YouTube creator produces can significantly influence their income. High-quality, engaging and shareable content will attract viewers, sponsors and advertisers, leading to increased earnings.
High-quality and low-quality content on YouTube can be subjective and depend on factors such as the target audience, content niche and production value.
However, here are some examples of what is broadly considered high-quality and low-quality content based on the given guidelines:
- Educational videos: High-quality educational content, such as well-researched and engaging tutorials, how-to videos or explainer videos, can attract viewers, sponsors and advertisers. Examples include channels like Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell, TED-Ed and Crash Course.
- High-production-value entertainment: Content with impressive production value, such as short films, music videos or well-scripted web series, can be considered high quality. Examples include channels like Corridor Digital, Peter McKinnon and Wong Fu Productions.
- Engaging vlogs or personal stories: Well-edited and engaging vlogs or personal stories that provide valuable insights or inspire viewers can be considered high-quality content. Examples include channels like Casey Neistat, Yes Theory and Jaiden Animations.
- Repetitive or spammy content: Videos that use duplicate footage or similar content multiple times, have misleading titles or thumbnails or are created solely for self-promotion without providing value to the viewers are considered low-quality content.
- Poorly produced or unedited videos: Videos with poor audio and video quality, excessive background noise, shaky footage or unedited rambling monologues may be seen as low-quality content.
- Infringing or harmful content: Content that violates YouTube’s community guidelines, such as copyright-infringing material, offensive or harmful content or videos promoting misinformation, can be considered low-quality content and can lead to demonetization or channel termination.
It’s important to note that these are general examples, and some creators may still find success with content that doesn’t fit neatly into these categories.
What is the average YouTube pay?
The amount of money an average YouTuber makes varies greatly depending on the creator’s niche, audience size and monetization strategies. While some content creators earn a full-time income, others may only generate a modest side hustle income.
Other content creators often create merch lines or take sponsorships, which can contribute to their overall pay and net worth.
What are the primary monetization methods for YouTubers?
Diversifying income sources is essential for YouTubers to ensure financial stability. Below, various monetization methods are discussed, offering insights into how creators can maximize their earnings.
A Google AdSense account allows YouTubers to earn ad revenue through display and video ads on their content. The revenue generated depends on factors like ad views, CPM and audience engagement.
Affiliate marketing involves promoting products or services and earning a commission on sales generated through unique referral links. YouTubers can create an additional revenue stream by incorporating affiliate marketing into their content.
Channel memberships allow viewers to support their favorite creators by paying a monthly fee for exclusive perks, such as custom emojis, badges and access to members-only content. This feature provides content creators with a stable source of monthly income.
Patreon is a platform that allows creators to receive financial support from their fans through a subscription-based model. YouTubers can generate a stable income independent of YouTube’s monetization policies by offering exclusive content and perks to patrons.
YouTube Premium is a subscription-based service that offers an ad-free experience and access to exclusive content. In addition, content creators can earn a share of the revenue generated from YouTube Premiumsubscribers who watch their videos.
This applies to all content creators – YouTube help makes it explicit that creators do not have to pay to make their existing content viewable to Premium subscribers.
A side-hustle approach to boosting your YouTube earnings
As the popularity of YouTube continues to grow, many content creators are leveraging the platform to generate a substantial side income. With a strategic approach, earning an extra $1,000 a month is possible by achieving specific targets regarding views, subscribers and watch time.
Here is a potential road map to achieving a viable YouTube side hustle:
- Aim for a minimum of 100,000 views per month. Assuming an average CPM (cost per thousand views) of $2, this will generate around $200 in ad revenue. To increase the CPM, focus on creating high-quality content in lucrative niches like technology or personal finance.
- Strive to amass at least 5,000 subscribers. This milestone will open up opportunities for brand partnerships and sponsorships, which can bring in an additional $500 to $800 per month, depending on the size and nature of the deals.
- Maximize watch time by maintaining an average of 4 minutes per view, resulting in approximately 400,000 minutes of watch time per month. This will improve your channel’s visibility in YouTube’s algorithm, leading to more organic growth and higher ad revenue.
Examples of successful side-hustleYouTube channels include The Financial Diet, a personal finance channel that generates substantial ad revenue, and TechGumbo, which focuses on technology reviews and tutorials, earning through both ads and affiliate marketing.
By emulating the strategies employed by such channels and tailoring them to your niche, you can potentially transform your YouTube channel into a lucrative side hustle.
Who are the top YouTubers and what are their earnings?
Recognizing the success of top YouTubers offers valuable insights into achieving financial success on the platform.
Here is a list of some prominent YouTubers and their earnings:
- Ryan Kaji: The eleven-year-old star behind Ryan’s World, who has amassed a fortune through toy reviews and unboxing videos. Forbes reported him as the highest-earning YouTuber in 2021, with earnings exceeding $29 million.
- MrBeast (Jimmy Donaldson): Known for philanthropy, stunts and expensive challenges, MrBeast’s innovative content and massive following have generated substantial earnings.
- Markiplier: A popular video gamecontent creator, Markiplier has built a dedicated fan base and garnered substantial income through sponsorships, merchandise and other revenue streams.
- PewDiePie: One of the most well-known YouTubers, PewDiePie has earned millions through gaming content, collaborations and various revenue sources.
- Dude Perfect: A group of friends known for their sports entertainment and trick-shot videos, Dude Perfect has turned their channel into a thriving business.
- Jake Paul and Logan Paul: Both brothers have earned millions through their YouTube channels, focusing on vlogs, challenges and high-profile events.
- Unspeakable: Focused on Minecraft and gaming content, Unspeakable has attracted a vast audience and generated considerable income.
- Rhett and Link: The comedic duo behind Good Mythical Morning has built a loyal following and earned substantial revenue through various monetization strategies.
- Like Nastya: As one of the most famous child YouTubers, Like Nastya has earned millions through her family-friendly content.
What are the best practices for maximizing earnings on YouTube?
By following best practices, content creators can maximize their earning potential on the platform. Some key strategies include:
Creating quality content
Producing high-quality, engaging and shareable content is crucial for attracting viewers, sponsors and advertisers, leading to increased earnings.
Building a large subscriber base
A more extensive subscriber base increases the likelihood of securing sponsorships and monetizing through various revenue streams, translating to higher income.
Collaborations and influencer marketing
Partnering with other creators or engaging in influencer marketing can help expand a YouTuber’s audience, opening up new income opportunities.
Utilizing multiple revenue streams
Diversifying income sources ensures financial stability, even during fluctuating ad revenue or changes in monetization policies.
Consistency and dedication
Maintaining a consistent upload schedule and dedication to content creation can foster audience loyalty and growth, ultimately contributing to increased earnings.
What do aspiring creators need to know about YouTube earnings?
In 2023, the potential for earnings on YouTube remains vast for dedicated and strategic content creators.
By understanding the factors affecting earnings, studying the success of top YouTubers and implementing best practices, aspiring creators can maximize their income and achieve financial success on the platform.
Diversifying revenue streams, producing quality content and engaging with the audience is essential to a successful YouTube career. Becoming a successful YouTuber requires perseverance, innovation and adaptability to the ever-evolving digital landscape.