Can you become rich with 1 million views? Does 1 view equal 1 dollar? How does YouTube calculate how much to pay its creators?
Find out everything — and more — in this post.
How Much Does YouTube Pay You for 1 Million Views?
After analyzing 16 different YouTubers, we’ve found that, on average, they earned $5,752 per million views. The average RPM (revenue per mille views) was $5.75. But there is more to it.
For example, YouTubers with an English-speaking audience earned on average a lot more than others. They average around $6500 while channels from other languages earned $816 on average. This is because of how ad revenue works, which we will explain below.
But first, here’s all the data:
|Shelby Church||Tech and Lifestyle||US||$1650||$1.65|
|Reyes The Entrepreneur||Business||US||$3360||$3.36|
|Graham Stephan||Credit Cards||US||$5800||$5.8|
|Vanessa Lau||Social Media Marketing||US||$3680||$3.68|
|Jeven Dovey||Photography and Filmmaking||US||$5120||$5.12|
|Matt Brighton||Make Money||UK||$12860||$12.86|
Some Important Notes
- RPM means Revenue Per Mille, which is how much money they earned for each thousand views.
- Shelby Church was earning around $1,650 and once she switched to videos that were 10 minutes long and played 2 ads during the video, revenue went up to around $4,000 per million views.
- As you can see on the table, audiences located in developing countries pay much less per view.
- AutoVlog’s video was really short (about 5 minutes long), and thus only showed 1 ad. He has other videos that get over $4 RPM.
- Coco Lili earned $460 with a video that was shorter than 5 minutes, and $2126 with another over 10 minutes long. Videos that are shorter than 10 minutes earn a LOT less because of the limited number of ads you can show in them.
- Even though Jessica Os is from Ghana, she makes her videos in English and has a big English-speaking audience. That’s why her RPM is good.
- Notice that not only language but also the particular topic of each video influences a lot the final revenue. For example, a video about business can earn 100x more than a video about how to pose for photographies.
Why Does it Vary So Much Between YouTube Channels?
This is due to something called CPM.
In case you don’t know what YouTube CPM is, it’s the cost per thousand ad impressions on YouTube.
See, people get paid on YouTube thanks to the ads that are played on and around their videos.
In other words, CPM it’s the amount of money advertisers pay to YouTube — which then, around half of it gets paid to the YouTuber — every time their ads are shown 1,000 times.
CPM literally stands for “cost per mile,” though some users have, in the past, mistaken this for “cost per million.”
Some YouTubers have a higher CPM than others because their audiences are more expensive to reach for advertisers.
So your CPM may be dramatically different from that of other vloggers, even if you have similar types of content.
Some countries have a much higher rate for CPM than others.
And a lot of it is related to each country’s GDP per capita.
If, for example, you target developing countries with your videos, you’ll find that you have a much lower CPM than if you target, for example, Sweden, the Netherlands, or France.
If you’re targeting English-speaking viewers, your views are most likely to come from English-speaking areas like the United States, Canada, Australia, and the UK, so it’s important to consider that when calculating your average potential CPM.
Time of year
The fight for advertising space is ongoing. Advertisers pay top dollars for the best spots, helping to ensure that their ads are seen by the best viewers.
During some times of the year, advertisers will pay higher premiums for the same advertising space.
The holidays often generate a significant increase in ad revenue because there’s a lot of competition to show ads.
How attractive your audience is to advertisers
And I don’t mean how cute they are, but how valuable they are to businesses.
Let’s face it, a typical gamer doesn’t spend as much as a baby boomer that needs insurance for the entire family (including the gamer).
This automatically means that if your audience is full of baby boomers, you’ll earn a LOT more from the ads shown in your videos than if it was made of young gamers.
Video topic, keywords, and content
Not only does the quality of your video matter, but the topic also. As with quality, content matters.
Some types of content attract specific types of advertisements.
For example, most advertisers won’t place ads for adult products, including alcohol, in front of videos intended for children.
Other types of content may be more likely to attract specific advertisers who believe that your content fits with their industry.
Ways to Earn More Money on YouTube
So if you want to calculate how much you would YouTube pay you, try to compare to one of the YouTubers above that is in a niche similar to yours.
Now, even if you don’t think you’ll make a lot of money, remember that ad monetization is the weakest way of making money on YouTube.
There are many strategies you can use to increase your YouTube earnings–many of them strategies that can generate a more consistent, predictable income stream.
1. Affiliate marketing.
Many brands will pay you to recommend their products–and you’ll get paid, not just based on the number of people that you successfully recommend to their site, but on a percentage of their purchases.
Amazon offers an affiliate marketing program, as do many of the brands that you use every day.
If you’re reviewing products or talking about making purchases of any type anyway, affiliate marketing is a great way to boost your income without substantially increase in your effort.
In many cases, you’ll include links to those products at the bottom of your videos or within them anyway to make it possible for your subscribers to easily find those products.
Instead of a regular link, you just add your affiliate link.
It costs your subscribers nothing extra. It doesn’t change the appearance of the link. It just generates more revenue for you.
Most affiliate marketers do disclose their affiliation with the company when they choose to highlight that company’s goods as part of their videos.
Your subscribers may also be more likely to make a purchase directly through your link, rather than coming back to make that purchase later, if they know that you’ll receive some revenue for it.
2. Sponsored videos.
You’re creating videos anyway–and as your channel grows, so does your following.
In many cases, big brands in industries related to your videos will take note of that and pay you to create specific videos.
Sometimes, they may want you to specifically review one of their products.
Some will simply send you the specific product to review: a great way to start building your position as an influencer.
Some YouTubers have even gotten free cars and gas for an entire year just to show the car in a video once a month.
Others will simply pay you for a review.
And other sponsors will want you to simply mention them in your videos and talk about them for a minute or so.
How much you can make through this strategy will depend heavily on the industry you focus on, the brands that are interested in hiring you and how popular your videos are.
As your success increases, the easier it will be to find new sponsors and the more you’ll get paid.
3. Selling your own products.
There are plenty of opportunities out there to sell products associated with your videos.
As your following grows and you attract more subscribers, you might want to sell fan merchandise: t-shirts, stuffed animals, and other products that will appeal to your subscribers.
Produce artwork? Sell digital and physical copies in your online store.
Show how to accomplish something handy or crafty? Consider selling the products you’ve put together or written patterns and instructions.
Digital patterns often sell for reasonable prices, and an automated delivery system means you can generate more income without substantial effort on your part.
Take advantage of your YouTube channel as the platform it is.
Use it to get more sales and let people know what you have to offer.
The larger your following and the bigger your online store, the more you stand to make from your business.
But my favorite type of product to sell is an online course.
You just have to do what you already know, but this time make your content deeper and create a series of videos that help people fix a specific problem:
Divide it into modules, and host it on a place like Teachable.com.
Then, just tell people that is available for purchase and that’s it!
Building an income on YouTube is a process.
Unless you’re very lucky, you probably can’t quit your day job and jump straight into making the kind of money online that you would make in a traditional job.
You can, however, continue to build your brand and your followers, gradually generating more money through your YouTube channel.
As you continue to produce exceptional content that your viewers can count on, you’ll find that you can generate a more consistent, reliable income.
Before you know it, you’ll be the one making your own video about how much you earned from 1 million views on YouTube–as well as a household name that many of your viewers enjoy making part of their everyday lives.
Will has been a full-time content creator since 2014. He’s an audio, video, and tech hobbyist dedicated to reviewing products and giving you the best tips he knows to grow your audience.