YouTube, the giant video search engine is the second largest search engine after Google. With over 1 Billion active users, it becomes the second most active platform after Facebook.
People of all ages are using YouTube daily to watch entertaining videos or to learn something new.
With the many famous YouTube starts and their popular channels, people often wonder:
How these YouTube stars make money on YouTube?
Who are the highest paid Youtubers?
And How much are they earning?
Forbes Magazine has done a great job answering the last two questions by publishing a list of the highest paid YouTube Stars with verified earnings since 2015.
As per Forbes 2015 published list, the top 10 richest YouTube starts earned a combined total of $54.5M in 2015, $70.5M in 2016 and $127M in 2017.
The least amount each YouTube star earned in 2017 was not less than $10M.
Looking at the single earning for each Youtuber and the combined earnings of the top 10 YouTube stars double in just two years show us the great potential of making money on YouTube.
These numbers are not an expectation or based on speculation. As per Forbes those are verified & reported earnings based on YouTube analytics and Forbes interviews with channel agents and producers.
How YouTube Stars Make Money on YouTube:
The main question which Forbes didn’t clearly answer is how these YouTube Stars make money on YouTube? How do they get money out of their channel?
Below is the main 3 ways YouTube stars and any channel own can monetize their channel:
- YouTube Partner Program (YouTube Ads):
This is the most obvious way to make money on YouTube, the platform owned by Google display ads on videos and Google shares a percentage of the revenue to channel owner based on cost per impression CPM.
CPM is calculated for every 1000 views that your videos get, and in order for ads to display on your videos, you must join YouTube partner program.
Since January 2018 Google announced that for a channel to qualify for video monetization through YouTube partner program they will need a minimum of 4,000 watch hours and 1,000 Subscribers in the past 12 months.
If your channel drops the 4,000 watch hours after being qualified, YouTube will not stop ads on your videos unless your YouTube channel is inactive for 6 months.
As part of the signup process, you will need a Google AdSense account. Your YouTube advertising earnings will be calculated and reported in your AdSense account.
YouTube average cost per impression CPM depends on many factors including the below:
- Video content.
- The view location.
- The target audience.
- Other factors.
CPM can vary from channel to another and can vary in time for the same channel. It is possible to know your exact CPM for your channel by checking your YouTube analytics tool.
It’s expected that CPM average at $1.8 per 1000 views. A YouTube channel that has 1M monthly views is expected to earn $1,800 per month on average.
If you know the monthly views of any of the YouTube starts channels, it will become very easy to expect what they are earning.
For Example, if a channel is receiving 200M monthly views, assuming a $2 CPM, The Channel will be earning $400K per month.
- Brand Sponsorship
As the YouTube channel grows and becomes more popular, brands and advertisers will reach out to YouTube stars directly to over them a sponsorship deal.
The real money is not in YouTube ads, the real money comes from sponsorship deals; as brands will often pay you a higher cost per 1000 views than they are paying Google. The best part is that you will keep the full amount to yourself vs getting a share of the earnings from Google.
A good example of Youtubers who monetize their channel through sponsored deals is Felix Kjellberg owner of PewDiePie channel.
- Merchandise and selling your own product.
Another important way to monetize your channel is to promote brands products or to sell your own products. A good example of Youtubers who use this method is Dude Perfect.
They started an online store to sell all kind of branded products like caps, t-shirts, socks and many others.
How To Create a Video for YouTube
There are many ways to create or shoot your video before uploading it to YouTube, the most famous ways are below:
- Record your own videos using Camera & Mic. Use a video editing software to edit your video before upload it to YouTube.
- Use PC screen capture software to record what you are doing on your PC.
- Use online video makers which generally use and transform multimedia into a video. You can transform text, images, presentation to Video.
- Use online video Animation Makers. Check this post on Top Video Animation Makers.
YouTube For Bloggers:
As a blogger, you might be asking yourself, what’s in it for me? read through and you will discover how YouTube can help you too.
YouTube is the top search engine for videos and the second search engine in general after Google.
The youngest population have found a new way of discovering and learning information other than reading blog posts like old guys like us. Today they head to YouTube to learn about new things they are interested in.
What Does that mean for you as a blogger? It means that YouTube is not only a money-making machine but it is also a traffic mine for those who are looking for massive traffic and increased brand awareness.
To summarize, below are the things you will gain from YouTube as a blogger:
- Increase traffic to your blog.
- earn extra money online.
- Increase your brand awareness.
I am not saying that you should move completely to YouTube. Instead, I am recommending that you should find a way to integrate YouTube into your content marketing plan.
Below are few ways you can integrate YouTube into your content marketing plan:
- Create a video format of your old blog posts and publish them on YouTube.
- Have small part of your blog post as a Video where you explain important points.
- Create an overview video which explains your post briefly.
Don’t forget to publish your video to YouTube and to include it in your post at the same time.
[icon_box icon=”icon-arrow-down” icon_position=”top” align=”center”] Exactly how I am doing here in the video below
Top 10 Forbes highest Paid Youtubers – Video
Top 10 Forbes highest Paid Youtubers – Infographic
Top 10 Forbes highest Paid Youtubers – list
Here is a list of the top 10 paid YouTube stars as per Forbes Magazine for 2017:
This interesting list includes 4 Professional Gamers, 2 Brothers, and a Kid! Can you believe it?
1. Dan Middleton DanTDM ($16.5M)
Dan Middleton is a professional gamer. In his channel DanTDM, he presents and plays popular video games.
With over 19M subscribers and near 3,000 videos, he topped the Forbes list with a total of $16.5M. His top viewed video has over 41M views.
This channel currently has 12.9B combined views and an average of 6.4M daily views. This channel is making roughly $345.6K per monthly from YouTube ads.
2. Evan Fong VanossGaming ($15.5m)
Evan Fong is another professional gamer. In his channel VanossGaming, he presents and plays popular video games.
With nearly 23M subscribers and 800+ videos, he came second on Forbes list with a total of $15.5M. His top viewed video has over 44M views.
This channel currently has 9.4B combined views and an average of 4.3M daily views. This channel is making roughly $232.2K per monthly from YouTube ads.
3. Dude Perfect ($14m)
Dude Perfect is a group of 5 amazing guys and a panda shooting amazing trick shots videos.
With nearly 31M subscribers and near 200+ videos, they came third on Forbes list with a total of $14M. Their top viewed video has over 147M views
This channel has currently 5.4B combined views and an average of 6.5M daily views. This channel is making roughly $351K per monthly from YouTube ads.
4. Markiplier ($12.5M)
Mark Edward Fischbach is another professional gamer but with a comedian style.
With nearly 21M subscribers and over 4,000 videos, he came forth on Forbes list with a total of $12.5M. Mark was present in Forbes 2016 list in seventh place with $5.5M.
His top viewed video has over 67M views.
This channel currently has 9.5B combined views and an average of 4.7M daily views. This channel is making roughly $235.8K per monthly from YouTube ads.
5. Logan Paul ($12.5M)
Logan Paul started on Vine and then moved to YouTube. He is a video blogger.
With over 17.5M subscribers and over 500 videos, he came fifth on Forbes list with a total of $12.5M. His top viewed video has over 183M views.
This channel currently has 3.7B combined views and an average of 2.4M daily views. This channel is making roughly $129.6K per monthly from YouTube ads.
6. PewDiePie ($12M)
Felix Kjellberg is another professional gamer, he topped Forbes YouTube highest paid Youtubers for two years 2015 & 2016. He made $12M in 2015 & $15M in 2016.
His channel PewDiePie has over 63M subscribers and 3,500+ videos, he came six on Forbes list this year with a total of $12M. His top viewed video has over 82M views.
According to Forbes, he dropped to sixth place this year because some sponsors dropped his sponsorship deals because of racism in one of his videos.
This channel currently has 18B combined views and an average of 7.7M daily views. This channel is making roughly $415.8K per monthly from YouTube ads.
7. Jake Paul ($11.5M)
Jake Paul is like his brother Logan who is 5th on this list, he is a video blogger.
With over 15M subscribers and over 650 videos, he came seventh on Forbes list with a total of $11.5M. His top viewed video has over 197M views.
This channel currently has 4.4B combined views. Average daily views is not available.
8. Ryan ToysReview ($11M)
A 6 Years old kid with the help of his parents, he reviews toys on his channel. He does influence the toy industry and his viral videos can increase toys sales. His full name and location are not disclosed by his family.
With over 14M subscribers and over 1,000 videos, he came eighth on Forbes list with a total of $11M.
His top viewed video has over 1.3B views, making it the 59th of the most viewed videos on YouTube of all time.
You will be surprised to know that most of the videos making it on the list of top 100 most viewed videos on YouTube are mostly songs. So this kid is doing a wonderful job, influencing toys sales and making sure he will never have to work a day job ever!
This channel currently has 22.2B combined views and an average of 20.9M daily views. This channel is making roughly $1.13M per monthly from YouTube ads.
9. Smosh ($11M)
Ian Andrew Hecox & Daniel Anthony Padilla, the owners of Smosh YouTube channel, which is a sketch comedy Second channel.
With over 23M Subscribers and nearly a 1,000 videos, they are Ninth on Forbes list with $11M.
They were fourth in 2016 with total earnings of $7M, and second in 2015 with total earnings of $8.5M.
Smosh top viewed video has over 103M views.
This channel currently has 7.3B combined views and an average of 2.6M daily views. This channel is making roughly $140.4K per monthly from YouTube ads.
10. Lilly Singh ($10.5M)
Lilly Singh or as known by her YouTube channel the superwoman.
With nearly 14M Subscribers and 700+ videos, she came tenth in Forbes list for 2017.
She was third in 2016 with total earnings of $7.5M and eighth in 2015 with total earnings of $2.5M.
Lilly’s top viewed video has over 26M views.
This channel currently has 2.6B combined views and an average of 1.4M daily views. This channel is making roughly $75.6K per monthly from YouTube ads.
The Roughly earnings are calculated based on YouTube statistics for current average daily views and the assumption of CPM cost of $1.8 per 1000 view. These are our own calculation to estimate YouTube ads earning and not being verified by Forbes. Forbes verified earnings include earnings reported using all monetization methods including YouTube ads, sponsorship deals and promoting or selling own products.
I know that not everyone is destined to become a YouTube star and make millions of dollars yearly. However, YouTube opens doors for you to seek more fame, traffic, and probably more money.
If you have an idea for a great YouTube channel then it is now the best time to join YouTube and start your own channel. If you are a blogger then it really worth to spend some time to integrate YouTube into your daily content marketing plan.