Over the years, YouTube has established itself as one of the best platforms to build a following, monetize your content, and launch a thriving business. Individuals and businesses can successfully make money from videos on YouTube, with some more successful than others.
Understanding how YouTube pays video creators and how others have become successful on the platform is a great starting point for forming a YouTube strategy. For example, earning ad revenue through the YouTube Partner Program is one of the most common ways video creators can monetize YouTube videos. The YouTube Partner Program can help you turn your hobby into a business if you are passionate about making videos.
But how much does YouTube pay through ad revenue? And how much do YouTubers make from their videos on the platform? If you’re looking for answers, you’ve come to the right place. This comprehensive guide helps you understand YouTube pay, how to earn ad revenue from videos, and how much video creators can make.
- Understanding YouTube ad revenue
- YouTube payment requirements
- Setting up YouTube payments
- How are YouTube payments structured?
- How much does YouTube pay per video view?
- Which factors influence how much money YouTubers make?
- Most popular YouTube video categories
- Other ways to make money on YouTube videos
- How much do YouTubers make?
- Create your own YouTube videos with ScreenPal
Understanding YouTube ad revenue
As a YouTuber, it is important to know how revenue is generated on the platform to make the most of your channel and to better understand how much money YouTube pays.
Advertising is the primary way in which YouTube creators generate revenue. For example, users who watch a video on YouTube may see one or more ads before, during, or after the video. These ads can take many forms, including skippable pre-roll ads, non-skippable mid-roll ads, and display ads on the side of the YouTube player or as a banner at the bottom of the screen.
YouTubers have the option to run ads on their videos or not. If a YouTuber does choose to run ads, they can select from a few different ad types, which will determine how much revenue they make from each view. But before monetizing your YouTube videos, you need to join the YouTube Partner Program and set up an AdSense account.
YouTube payment requirements
YouTube’s Partner Program lets you monetize your channel and earn income directly from YouTube through ads placed on your videos and other revenue options. There are a few requirements for joining the YouTube Partner Program, including:
- You must be at least 18 years old. If you’re under 18, you must have a valid parent or guardian consent form.
- You must get 1,000 subscribers with 4,000 valid public watch hours in the past 12 months or get 1,000 subscribers with 10 million valid public Shorts views in the past 90 days
- You must have an AdSense account linked to your YouTube channel.
- You must live in a country or region where the YouTube Partner Program is available.
- You must follow all of YouTube’s policies, including the community guidelines.
If you meet all the requirements, you can apply to the YouTube Partner Program by filling out the online form. In addition, you will be asked to provide basic information about yourself and your channel, and you will also be asked to agree to the YouTube Partner Program Terms.
Setting up YouTube payments
You will need to create a Google AdSense account to receive payments from YouTube for ad revenue or other YouTube monetization programs. Here’s a quick walkthrough on how to set up an AdSense account so you can monetize your YouTube videos!
- Head over to the AdSense website and sign up for an account.
- Provide and verify basic information about yourself and your website or YouTube channel.
- Link your AdSense account to your YouTube channel.
- Go to your YouTube channel settings and click on the “monetization” tab.
- Link your AdSense account and start generating revenue from your videos.
It’s important to note that you won’t receive payments from AdSense until you’ve reached the payment threshold for your currency. So don’t expect to see any money right away. But once you hit that revenue mark, you’ll start receiving payments every month!
How are YouTube payments structured?
People getting started on YouTube often assume that revenue is based on video views or subscribers, but that’s not the case. Instead, YouTube ad revenue is structured around a “cost-per-view” model, which means you get paid a certain amount for every ad watched on your channel. So even if you have many subscribers, you may not make as much money if your viewers don’t watch or click the ads.
The amount you get paid per ad view depends on several factors, including the type of ad, the length of the ad, the subject of the ad, and the country where the ad is being watched. In general, YouTube pays out 68% of its advertising revenue from advertisers to the content creators who host the videos on the site. YouTube takes the remaining 32%. YouTube will pay $0.68 to the content creator and keep $0.32 of the revenue.
How much does YouTube pay per video view?
Since YouTube’s payment structure is based on ad views and clicks, rather than video views, calculating how much YouTube would pay per viewer is tricky. It’s a common question video creators ask about when creating a YouTube channel, but revenue depends on numerous factors, including the type of ads, the location of the ads, the length of the ad, the subject of the ad, and more. Furthermore, different countries and regions have different ad rates that would influence the payouts.
However, generally speaking, the following is a broad overview of how much YouTube may pay for different levels of viewership:
- How much does YouTube pay per view? Approximately $0.01 to $0.03.
- How much does YouTube pay for 100,000 views? Roughly $1200 to $1800.
- How much does YouTube pay for 1 million views? Over $12,000.
Which factors influence how much money YouTubers make?
YouTube video ad revenue is determined by several factors, some of which are under the control of the video creator and others that are not. Before you start planning your video ad strategy, you must understand how YouTube video ad revenue works. The following are the top five factors that influence YouTube video ad revenue.
The first factor that influences YouTube video ad revenue is the length of your video. While there’s no minimum length requirement for videos, YouTube does state that videos must be at least 12 seconds long to be eligible for in-stream ads. But generally speaking, longer videos can generate more ad revenue because you have more opportunities to insert ads.
Video ad blockers
Ad blockers can have a significant impact on YouTube ad revenue. Ad blockers are programs that prevent ads from being displayed, and they are used by an estimated 615 million people worldwide. If a video is watched by someone with an ad blocker enabled, YouTube will not receive any ad revenue from that view.
Ad quality is based on several factors, including the video’s production values, the relevance of the ad to the video content, and the overall creativity of the ad. For example, advertisements that are well-produced, relevant, and creative are more likely to generate higher ad revenue than ads that are poorly made or irrelevant to the video content.
YouTube uses a pay-per-view pricing model for video ads, meaning that advertisers are charged only when viewers watch an ad. But even so, the number of views a video receives is directly correlated to the amount of ad revenue it generates. That’s because the more views a video has, the more opportunities for ads to be seen and clicked.
Another ad model that YouTube offers advertisers is a fee based on the number of times their ad is clicked, regardless of whether or not the viewer watches the ad all the way through. The more ad clicks your audience makes, the more revenue you earn.
Most popular YouTube video categories
The category of YouTube videos you make can impact the potential views and ad revenue you can receive, because some types of videos have a stronger viewership and number of searches following than others. In general, the top 10 most viewed YouTube video categories to make money in 2022 are:
- Gaming: If you’re a gamer, you can make money by creating videos of you playing your favorite games.
- Lifehacks: If you are creative and resourceful, you can share unique techniques to help manage time and daily activities in a more efficient way.
- Celebrity life: Stories and news that focus on someone famous or well-known, such as sports, musicians, actors, etc.
- News: Timely, relevant topics that are often focused on recent events or pop culture.
- Top [X] lists: A specific number, such as top 10, of the highest-ranking items for a given category. This can be a great option as a stand-alone category for video, or a format to increase content variety for YouTubers who create videos for other categories.
- Compilations of fails – A video collection of cool stunts or humorous fails, either compiled from others or your own creation (please do not risk your safety for a video!).
- Food: If you love to cook or eat, you can make money by creating videos about your favorite foods, their history, and reviews.
- Unboxing / reviews: Product unwrappings and openings. If you’re good at giving your opinions on products, this could be a great category.
- How-To: If you’re good at explanations, you can make videos explaining how to accomplish various tasks or use products.
- Pets: If you have a pet, you can make money by creating helpful videos about raising your pet, their diet and habits, hilarious things they do, and other relevant subjects.
If many people are interested in your category and searching for your types of videos, capturing more subscribers and views can be easier. It can also result in more videos and competition in that category. In addition, it’s important to create engaging, relevant content that can resonate with your audience and incorporate YouTube SEO best practices to help improve your video rankings.
Other ways to make money on YouTube videos
When making money from YouTube videos, ad revenue is the most obvious and direct path. And while ad revenue is a viable option, it’s not the only way to monetize your YouTube channel. Below, we describe other ways to make money from your YouTube videos — sponsorships, affiliate marketing, fan funding, and merchandise sale.
One way to make money from YouTube videos is through sponsorships. This is where businesses or individuals pay you to promote their products or services in your videos. You’ll need to reach out to businesses or individuals in the initial stages to secure a sponsorship. But once your YouTube channel becomes popular, businesses will approach you with sponsorship deals and requests.
Affiliate marketing involves links to products or services in your videos. You earn a commission if someone clicks on those links and makes a purchase. Affiliate marketing effectively monetizes videos related to clothing, electronic products, makeup, and more. Product review videos are ideal for affiliate marketing.
Fan funding is a form of monetization where your YouTube channel’s fans and viewers support you by making donations through platforms like Patreon or YouTube Channel Memberships. Fan funding can be a great way to make money if you have a particularly engaged and supportive audience. For example, you can set up a page on your website or YouTube channel where people can make donations.
Finally, you can make money from YouTube videos by selling merchandise. This can be anything from T-shirts and mugs to books and courses, and it’s a great way to capitalize on your brand. For example, you can set up a shop on your website or use a platform like Merch by Amazon. Selling merchandise is an effective way to expand your brand into celebrity status.
How much do YouTubers make?
How much YouTubers make on the platform depends on numerous factors, including the number of viewers, the sources of monetization, the length of videos, the region where the videos are watched, the types of ads used, and much more. Some top YouTubers, like MrBeast, make millions of dollars a year, while others only make a few thousand.
Below, we offer a rough approximation of how much YouTubers can make at different levels — beginner YouTubers, moderately successful YouTubers, and highly successful YouTubers:
Beginners: How much do YouTubers make with around 25k subscribers? If you have around 25k subscribers who watch most of your videos regularly, with around 15,000 views per day and a 25% engagement rate, you can earn approximately $350 to $600 per month.
Moderately Successful: How much do YouTubers make with around 50k subscribers? If you have around 50k subscribers who watch most of your videos regularly, with around 35,000 views per day and a 25% engagement rate, you can make approximately $800 to $1,400 per month.
Highly Successful: How much do YouTubers make with around 1 million subscribers? If you have around 1 million subscribers who watch most of your videos regularly, with around 150,000 views per day and a 50% engagement rate, you can make over $8,000 per month.
The figures mentioned above are based on a rough calculation. As previously mentioned, your ad revenue isn’t determined by your subscribers or video views but by ad views and engagement. Furthermore, the number of subscribers doesn’t necessarily indicate how many views your videos receive regularly. However, the above figures don’t even consider the region where the ads are being shown and all other important factors.
Furthermore, even as a rough approximation, these figures only reflect ad revenue. But as your YouTube channel grows and you amass more followers and subscribers, ad revenue eventually becomes a small percentage of your income sources — sponsorships, affiliate marketing, and merch sales usually take over. As such, you can expect to make even more from your YouTube videos than the numbers listed above.
When maximizing your ad revenue, the value of engaged viewers can’t be overstated. The more your subscribers view videos, view ads, and click on ads, the more revenue you generate. As such, you must cultivate an engaged and loyal following willing to engage with your ads (and not skip them) to help you grow your online presence.
Top 10 paid YouTubers in 2024
You can get ideas and inspiration on creating a high-revenue YouTube channel by looking at some of the highest-paid YouTubers and the types of videos they create. For example, MrBeast, real name Jimmy Donaldson, was one of the highest-paid YouTubers in 2024. He is known for his videos, where he estimates the net worth of other content creators and does various stunts and challenges.
So how much money does MrBeast have? MrBeast’s net worth is estimated to be around $54 million as of 2021. He makes most of his money from his YouTube channels, brand sponsorships, and his line of merchandise, which includes hoodies, t-shirts, and hats like many other top-paid YouTubers. MrBeast also launched MrBeast Burger, an American virtual restaurant, in 2020. He also has over 238 million subscribers as of 2024.
Here are ten of the highest-paid YouTubers as examples of successful ways to monetize YouTube videos:
Category: Lifestyle/ Gaming
Subscribers: 109 million
Earnings: $54 million
#2. Jake Paul
Category: Lifestyle/ Boxing
Subscribers: 20.3 million
Earnings: $45 million
Subscribers: 33.9 million
Earnings: $35 million
Category: Gaming/ Lifestyle
Subscribers: 14.6 million
Earnings: $28.5 million
#5. Like Nastya
Subscribers: 101 million
Earnings: $28 million
#6. Ryan’s World
Subscribers: 33.6 million
Earnings: $28 million
#7. Dude Perfect
Subscribers: 58.3 million
Earnings: $20 million
#8. Rhett & Link
Subscribers: 4.98 million
Earnings: $20 million
#9. Logan Paul
Category: Lifestyle/ Boxing
Subscribers: 23.6 million
Earnings: $18 million
Subscribers: 13.4 million
Earnings: $16 million
Create your own YouTube videos with ScreenPal
YouTube offers numerous avenues for generating income from your videos. The most direct way to monetize your YouTube channel is through AdSense, but you can also generate revenue through sponsorships, merch sales, affiliate linking, fan funding, and other sources. While it’s difficult to estimate exactly how much you can earn from YouTube ad revenue due to all the various factors that impact revenue, it’s fair to say that the sky’s the limit. But you must produce excellent content.
ScreenPal is a free-to-use video editing software that offers the features of advanced, premium tools but without the hefty price tag. It’s a user-friendly platform ideal for beginners and professionals alike, allowing you to create high-quality videos that can help you generate revenue. The video editor allows you to trim and cut videos, add transitions and overlays, add sound effects and royalty-free background music, speed up and slow down any section of your video, add a freeze frame effect, and even use stock footage from ScreenPal’s extensive stock library.
Once you’ve created your video, you can upload it directly to YouTube. You don’t need to download the video to your computer and then re-upload it to YouTube. Instead, you can host your videos on ScreenPal’s cloud and upload them to YouTube directly, saving considerable time, energy, and hard drive space! In addition to YouTube, you can also upload the videos (or snippets of the video) to Facebook, Google Drive, Vimeo, and other platforms.
If you’re prepared to start earning through YouTube videos, ScreenPal’s YouTube video editor is a great tool.
Edit and share professional-looking videos for YouTube with ScreenPal’s easy-to-use free video editor.