How Much Does YouTube Pay?

If you’ve been producing content regularly on YouTube, you might be considering turning it into a source of income. You may have heard of major YouTube stars who’ve made millions - or perhaps of that one “friend of a friend” who makes six figures a year uploading videos. So you’ve decided to expand your regular content on YouTube and get in on the action. Maybe you’re even wondering how much YouTube pays per one million views, and you believe you can get there! While you may have a few naysayers, here is your chance to prove them wrong.

But how much does YouTube actually pay? As with most jobs, for a select few, YouTube is the path to making millions. For a larger number of people, it provides a decent living. For most creators on YouTube, making money requires hard work; but with the right amount of effort, you can make the platform pay off for you.

For YouTube content creators, there’s even more good news - Brave browser offers a direct source of income for YouTubers, whether you’ve got ten subscribers or a hundred. Brave allows users to tip some of their earned BAT (Basic Attention Token) to YouTube creators like you. If someone likes your video, they can reward you instantly with a tip. No fuzzy algorithm to calculate views and earnings - just a straight BAT deposit to your digital wallet.

In this article, we’ll look at how YouTube pays per view, and how much most YouTubers make.

How Do You Get Paid on YouTube?

Getting paid on YouTube isn’t a simple formula: there’s no straightforward “each click pays X” amount. Instead, content creators on YouTube typically rely on a number of income streams for each channel or brand, using methods from affiliate links to brand sponsorship to Brave tips to generate income. Each revenue stream pays differently, and the actual amounts paid will vary based on:

  • Video length
  • Ad quality
  • Number of clicks each ad receives
  • Ad Blockers

A bit confused? You’re not alone! Calculating an exact “pay rate” for YouTube is complicated, at best, but there are a couple of helpful tips to remember.

When it comes to ads, the factors that determine pay are views (of the ad) and clicks. The more views and clicks, the more money.

The trick is that ads aren’t calculated the same way. Some ads are paid on a Cost Per Mille (CPM) rate, generally calculated per 1000 views. Other ads pay with a Cost Per Click (CPC) rate.

It gets more complicated, though, as some ads count a “view” as watching a certain percentage of the ad, while others don’t pay until a viewer watches the entire ad. This generally depends on where the ad is located (e.g., in the video, at the beginning of the video, or as a banner on the landing page for the video).

This makes for a fairly confusing system, with no clear way to determine how much a particular video makes. And in most cases, the content creators don’t choose the ads - YouTube does. So a particularly well-done ad might garner more clicks than a similar ad, even on the same video.

Basic steps to getting paid on YouTube

With that said, let’s break down some of the basic steps to get paid from YouTube.

1. Sign up for the YouTube Partner Program

The YouTube Partner Program (YPP) is the first step towards getting paid by YouTube. With the YPP, creators are eligible to be paid for clicks on ads on their videos. But you have to qualify for the program first. That requires:

  • A minimum of 1,000 subscribers
  • An AdSense account
  • Reaching 4,000 watch hours in the past 12 months
  • Agreeing to the terms and conditions, and adhering to YouTube’s rules for content
  • Getting final approval from YouTube

2. Find a niche

Advertising is the primary source of income for most content creators. Advertising pays in two primary ways: when a viewer watches and clicks on an ad, or when an advertiser asks a content creator to promote their product directly. The last method is known as brand marketing, and we’ll deal with it in a bit.

For most creators, the money’s in the ads. But to get more views on the ads, and more clicks on the ads, you’ll generally need more views on your videos. That’s where the misconception comes in that it is the views that pay. It isn’t - it’s the ads - but it’s hard to get income from ads if you don’t have a lot of views.

3. Build a following

How do you get a lot of views? Building a following!

One of the top earners on YouTube is Ryan Kaji. He’s not a 23-year-old entrepreneur or a 39-year-old promotional speaker. He’s an 8-year-old kid. How does he make his money? Making videos for kids!

Ryan’s World is full of videos by a kid, for kids. He’s not trying to break into serious filmmaking or provocative think pieces. Ryan Kaji knows his niche - and he’s made millions from it.

Find your niche, whether it’s videos for kids like Ryan’s World or insanely complex trick shots like DudePerfect. Build a following around that niche, and increase your views and your ad clicks.

Posting regularly and creating videos and content that helps you stand out will also help increase your following. From there you can work on improving your videos with better editing, equipment, and more.

What do YouTubers actually make?

Calculating an average income per month for individual YouTubers is notoriously hard. YouTube doesn’t release pay statistics; neither does Google’s AdSense. There are some ways to estimate total earnings, as in the list below, but no real way to boil it down to a specific formula.

The top YouTube earners in 2019 were:

  1. Ryan Kaji - $26 million
  2. Dude Perfect - $20 million
  3. Anastasia Radzinskaya - $18 million
  4. Rhett and Link - $17.5 million
  5. Jeffree Star - $17 million
  6. Preston Arsement - $14 million
  7. PewDiePie - $13 million
  8. Markiplier - $13 million
  9. DanTDM - $12 million
  10. Vanoss Gaming - $11.5 million

It’s worth remembering that these are the top ten out of tens of thousands of content creators on YouTube. Most people won’t earn that kind of income.

Alternative methods for getting paid on YouTube

While ads are the main source of income for most YouTubers, even the big ones, there are a number of supplemental methods to make money on YouTube.

  • Brave The Brave browser’s goal is to rebalance the Internet economy. Users earn BAT for viewing ads, and earned BAT goes into their virtual wallet. Users can tip content creators on YouTube directly from that wallet, and even set up recurring tips for their favorite YouTubers.

  • Affiliate links Links which earn the creator a commission by promoting other products. Affiliate links make money for the creator as long as they’re live, providing a small but potentially steady source of revenue.

  • Brand sponsorships With enough subscribers and the right niche, content creators can attract attention from brands in that market. In a brand sponsorship, a brand pays a creator a one-time sum of money for sharing their product.

  • Patreon Patreon provides a paid subscription service for content creators, allowing them to grow a select group of people who pay them to gain exclusive content or special videos.

YouTube can be a lucrative career choice, particularly if you have a niche that sets you apart from other creators. The hardest part is gaining a consistent following, but once you begin to gain traction amongst viewers, you can be well on your way to making money for your videos.


How much does YouTube pay? It all depends on the creator’s followers, ads, and other revenue sources. The whole formula is a bit murky and opaque, but Brave cuts through the fog and gives users a simple, straightforward way to contribute to their favorite content creators.

For YouTubers, Brave provides a fantastic metric for analyzing the success of different videos. There’s no confusion about whether an ad was particularly good, thereby boosting the performance of a so-so video. Brave lets a creator see the tips generated by a particular video, seeing what viewers liked and adjusting their content accordingly.

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