- YouTubers can monetize their videos with ads when they have 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours.
- Google places ads and pays creators based on factors like watch time and viewer demographic.
- Four creators with 1 to 2 million subscribers shared how much they made from ads.
For many YouTubers, breaking the 1 million subscriber mark can really make them feel they’ve made it. And it often means they’re earning a full-time living from the platform.
To start earning money from YouTube, creators must have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the past year on their long-form videos. Starting early 2023, creators who have 1,000 subscribers and 10 million views on short-form videos over the previous 90 days will also become eligible.
Once they reach that threshold, they can apply for the Partner Program. Creators who are part of the Partner Program can monetize their videos with Google-placed ads.
The CPM rate (the cost advertisers pay per thousand YouTube ad views) varies from channel to channel (and video to video), and some top YouTubers also have ad-placement strategies to maximize their earnings.
One key to earning more money from a particular video is placing ads before viewers typically “drop off” from the video. Viewers often drop off if an intro is too long or the creator stays for a long time on one subject, industry experts have told Insider.
Direct ad revenue from Google isn’t the only form of income for the majority of digital stars — most of them earn money a variety of income streams, like brand sponsorships, merchandise sales, or affiliate marketing.
And with a difficult economic situation, creators are trying hard to diversify their businesses, in order to be prepared in case of a recession.
But for now, ad revenue from Google seems to be a stable income source for many creators.
Insider has spoken with dozens of YouTube creators about how much each of them earned from the platform. Four YouTube creators we spoke with had between 1 million and 2 million subscribers. They shared insights on financial topics, like their average CPMs, what they’d made per month, and the most they’d earned from a single video.
Here’s a breakdown of what they said. The creators are listed from the least to the most subscribers: