How Much do YouTubers Make? – A YouTuber’s Pocket Guide [Calculator]

There are still plenty of skeptical people in this world who do not believe that it is possible to make money on the Internet. In reality, there are numerous success stories of people who have made their fortune online. YouTube is just one of many ways you can become an Internet sensation, and if you are lucky an Internet millionaire.

The below provides a guide to How Much YouTubers actually Make:

  • In 2022, the typical compensation for YouTube content creators in the United States was approximately $1,154 per week, which equates to $4,616 per month.
  • Content creators receive approximately 55% of the revenue generated on their channels, which means that for every $100 an advertiser spends, Google pays $55 to the creator.
  • On average, a YouTuber earns around $0.18 for each view, which amounts to $18 for every 1,000 views.

In this post we discussed how people make money on YouTube. However, just how much do they make? Well here's a Youtube Earnings Estimator you can give a spin - to find out how much Youtubers make exactly, read on;

Daily Video Views
Drag the slider to calculate potential earnings
20,000 Views/Day
Average Engagement Rate
Views per Month
Views per Year
Estimated Daily Earnings
$28.50 - $47.50
Estimated Monthly Earnings
$855 - $1,425
Projected Yearly Earnings
$10,403 - $17,338

Also, try the Tool Below to see a YouTube Channel's Analytics

YouTube Channel Analytics
Loaded caption
Subscribers Total
camera Video total
calendar Most recent video
0d ago
Last 90 days progress
subscribers Subscribers growth
rate Avg engagements per video
likes Reactions
comment Comments
Subscribers Growth Chart
Estimated earnings
money Estim. earnings per video
View full report
  • Additional info in full report:
  • Audience age and gender
  • Demography and language insights
  • Content analytics
  • + other metrics
Over 1,000 subscribers only

Of course, for thousands of YouTubers, the answer is “nothing,” or “very little.” However, there are many YouTubers who make a comfortable living off their video channels. Moreover, of course, there is a small elite group who make an extraordinary income from the videos they create and post online as you can see from this infographic.

When it comes to earning a YouTube income success breeds success. You will find that the hardest dollar to earn is your first. The more subscribers you have, the more people will click on your ads. The more people click on your ads, the more you make a name for yourself, the higher the likelihood of brands offering you sponsorship or merchandise deals. The better known your channel becomes, the greater your chance of joining a multi-channel network. It is like being on a giant upwards-climbing spiral.

youtube's top earners how much youtubers make

How Much can YouTubers Make?

What Can You Earn In Your Channel’s Early Days?

You are unlikely to be earning anything as you place your first video on YouTube. You are a video fledgling, and certainly a long way from being considered an influencer. However, everyone has to start at the bottom. Even PewDiePie was an unknown uploading his first video in 2010. He is now so famous that people make videos interviewing PewDiePie’s early subscribers, about whether they feel famous. Back at the beginning, he was still making niche videos in Swedish.

In theory, you can sign up for an Adsense account and enable your channel for monetization from the moment you create a YouTube channel. However, in practice, you are unlikely to make any real money until you have built up traffic to your site - and by that, I mean genuine traffic from people who watch your videos, not by taking the shortcut method of paying for views.

Although there are some adverts that are CPM (cost per thousand views), many are CPC (cost per click). For you to earn anything from a CPC ad, you need a viewer to click on the ad. In reality, only a small percentage of your viewers will click on the ads surrounding your videos. Even the CPM ads in the video itself require more than just a cursory glance. For it to be counted for payment, a viewer must watch them for at least 30 seconds (or half the ad for a very short video). Think how many people skip past the ad at the start of a video, thus wiping out any chance of payment to the channel. If viewers do click on or view your ads for long enough to earn income, you share any advertising revenue with YouTube. You will only get paid once your AdSense account reaches $100.

In your channel’s early days you are building up a reputation rather than an income.

One area you might start to make money with a relatively small number of subscribers is if you pick a popular topic and participate in affiliate marketing. For instance, if your videos review a popular type of product, and you link to an affiliate sales page for that product you may begin to earn money that way.

For a rough idea of how much Youtubers make use the earnings estimator below and import the user's Youtube channel

Youtube Money Calculator

Estimated Total Earnings by Channel

Import YouTube User (Channel URL)
Number of total Subscribers
Number of Total Video Views
Total estimated earnings
Average Earnings per Video

Estimated Total Earnings by Video

Enter YouTube Video URL
Number of Total Video Views
Estimated Video earnings

Of course some niches are easier than others to make money in, so if you are hoping to one day live off your channel’s proceeds it would probably help if you created your channel on a topic that interests people. Probably the most successful niche is gaming. Let’s face it, gaming is a huge industry in itself, and many gamers have reasonable levels of discretionary income to spend. Other successful niches include:

  • Gaming
  • Funny Videos and Random Videos
  • Music Videos
  • Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR)
  • Educational Content
  • Life Hacks
  • Personal Finance
  • Lifestyle
  • Fashion and Try On Hauls
  • Software Reviews
  • Making Money Online
  • Tech, Cars, and Gadgets
  • Makeup Tutorials
  • Fitness and Bodybuilding
  • Home Improvement
  • Cooking

Moderately Successful Channels

With enough perseverance, not to mention on-camera talent, you should eventually pull yourself out of YouTube’s graveyard of poor performers. You should by this point be receiving some AdSense revenue every month, with affiliate marketing income too if you have chosen to go down that track.

However, at this stage, you are still mainly producing videos for love, with some other source of income paying your daily survival bills. By now you could be considered a minor influencer in your particular niche.

Once you have something like 20,000 subscribers, you might think about asking for crowdfunding assistance through a site like Patreon. The average Patreon contributor donates $6, with Patreon keeping varies from 5% to 12% depending on the plan you pick. There is an additional payment processing fee of 2.9% + $0.30 for donations over $3. 5% + $0.10 for donations of $3 or less.. It must be remembered, however, that if you are uploading videos on a regular basis, you are likely to receive recurring payments from your Patreon supporters. One example is The Comedy Button who currently has 1350 patrons paying them $4K - $9K per month. This is a YouTube channel that has around 21,600 subscribers.

Once these channels begin to recognize success, they should be looking to do more with their AdWords, for instance deliberately chasing phrases with a relatively high cost per click (CPC). If they are a review channel, for instance, you could focus on reviewing products that attract ads with a higher CPC.

By now they could be famous enough for smaller brands to be asking the channel to endorse their products. Yet, these channels are still small, by YouTube’s standards, so income earned from sponsorship and product placement will still not be enough for the channel holders to live off.

Indeed, as Gaby Dunn writes about on Fusion, the middle years of a YouTube channel’s life are often the most difficult. The channel owners often need to work full time creating video content, but people only see them as mildly influential, and the channels certainly aren’t generating a full-time income. Dunn operates a channel with a friend, Just Between Us. You would think that would be enough to ensure financial survival. Yet, Dunn says that “despite this success, we’re just barely scraping by…but it’s not enough to live, and its influx is unpredictable. Our channel exists in that YouTube no-man’s-land: Brands think we’re too small to sponsor, but fans think we’re too big for donations. ”

Of course, it depends on who your audience is. One issue faced by quite a few YouTubers is that their supporters are naturally anti-establishment, anti-capitalist, and anti the idea that their YouTube heroes might be selling themselves out. Other types of channels, such as the review channels, the gaming channels, and of course anything business-related have it easier. Their fans expect these channels to make money, so don’t resist helping them out.

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Success Begins at 1,000,000

Once a YouTube channel’s subscriber-count reaches the millions, life becomes easier for the owners. These channels are beginning to find fame and begin to become recognized as being influential in their niche.

1,000,000 subscribers sounds quite a few, but these channels are still not in elite company. There are now approximately 25,000 to 30,000 channels in the 1,000,000 + club. Some of these are official channels for offline superstars, particularly official music channels for the likes of Justin Bieber and Rihanna, but quite a few are simply everyday people who have built themselves a YouTube following.

Once you have a following of this size, you have the traffic to earn good money.

Google pays out 68% of their AdSense revenue, so for every $100 an advertiser pays, Google pays $68 to the publisher. The actual rates an advertiser pays varies, usually between $0.10 to $0.30 per view, but averages out at $0.18 per view. Around 15% of viewers on average watch the requisite 30 seconds of a video ad to count for payment. This means that for 1,000 views, 150 people are likely to watch an ad. At $0.18 per view, Google will charge the advertiser $27, keeping 32% ($9) themselves. The YouTube channel will receive $18 per 1,000 views.

Obviously, it is important for a channel to keep coming up with new videos, at least one to two videos per week. If a channel were able to get its entire fanbase of 1,000,000 to watch two new videos per week it would receive each week: $18 x 1,000 x 2 = $36,000 per week from AdSense alone.

Clearly, by this level a channel is also likely to have sponsorship opportunities, endorsements, and product placements. Many of these YouTube stars will also be well enough known that they can merchandise products to their fanbase, Any review-type channels of this size will often make good money with affiliate marketing, even if they are only tied in with Amazon, and their comparatively low 1 - 20% advertising payment rates to affiliates.

The YouTube Superheroes

Then there are the true stars of YouTube, some of whom receive a stellar income from their activities on the social network.

It is impossible to source exact incomes on YouTube - there are too many variables and undisclosed figures. However, there are plenty of websites that provide a “best guess” of the incomes earned by the leading YouTube channels. Forbes published a list of the highest-paid YouTubers in 2022. The top ten channels managed to gross at least $2.5 million each in pre-tax earnings in the year ending June 1, 2015. Swede, Felix Kjellberg, better known as PewDiePie managed to gross $12 million in that financial year - not too bad an income for somebody who spends his days playing video games.

Forbes Top 10 Earning YouTube Stars of 2022 were:

  • MrBeast – $54 million
  • Jake Paul – $45 million
  • Markiplier – $38 million
  • Rhett & Link – $30 million
  • Unspeakable – $28.5 million
  • Like Nastya – $28 million
  • Ryan Kaji (Ryan’s World) – $27 million
  • Dude Perfect – $20 million
  • Logan Paul – $18 million
  • Preston – $16 million

In January 2016 Money Nation took out their financial calculators and estimated that PieDiePie was worth $78 million. He is an example of how you can build your income both directly from YouTube, and also the flow-ons as a result of your success there, over a series of years. According to Money Nation’s calculations his Net Worth has grown since he started his channel, as follows:

 2010 $7,141,192
 2011  $18,754,192
 2012  $30,674,480
 2013  $42,909,107
 2014 $55,466,728
 2015  $68,355,870
 2016  $89,751,704

You cannot ignore the importance of his merchandise earnings. MoneyNation estimates his merchandise earnings over the period to be $41 million to go with the estimated $112 million he earned directly from his YouTube channel. They also calculate PewDiePie’s annual salary to be approximately $14 million.

While PewDiePie is the exception rather than the norm, his financial success has to be a good omen for all YouTube content providers. His figures should be aspirational targets for anybody starting a YouTube channel. Yes, it is hard to make money on YouTube. Yes, you have to work consistently, not just making your videos, but promoting them too, building up a relation with your audience. However, PewDiePie has proven that you can become successful on YouTube. You can be both wealthy and a key influencer to your fanbase. You just need to survive those lean early times and those difficult middle years. Those who make it through can prosper very nicely indeed.

how much do youtubers make


Frequently Asked Questions

How much do YouTubers make?

In this article, we looked in detail at how much typical YouTubers make. Google pays out 68% of AdSense revenue, so for every $100 an advertiser pays, Google pays $68 to the publisher (YouTuber). The actual rates an advertiser pays varies, usually between $0.10 to $0.30 per view, but averages out at $0.18 per view. On average, a YouTube channel can receive $18 per 1,000 ad views, which equates to $3 - $5 per 1000 video views.

Who is the highest-paid YouTuber?

Some of the top YouTubers receive a staggering amount per video. And a recent trend has seen a surprising number of well-paid YouTubers aged less than 10. Eight-year-old Ryan of Ryan's World has earnings estimated to be $32 million from his channel. Another child, Nastya, makes more than $18 million from her channel. Another popular channel, Dude Perfect, who are five high school friends, has $50 million earnings. Although still extremely popular, PewDiePie has reportedly had a drop in YouTube earnings a few years back, his net worth is "just" $40 million.

Do YouTubers make money if you skip ads?

Skipping ads can have a hugely detrimental effect on a YouTuber's income. YouTube doesn't count skipped ads in their payment calculations. Advertisers only pay for ads that people watch. If the bulk of the viewers of your channel choose to skip ads, then this will have a significant impact on your income. YouTubers have to hope that the brands whose ads play on their channel make entertaining or compelling ads that encourage people to play them all the way through.

How much does a YouTuber make a year?

We have seen in this article that successful YouTubers can make a healthy income, but the amount they receive can vary greatly. On average, however, a YouTube channel can earn $18 per 1,000 ad views. This equates to $3 - $5 per 1000 video views. Your figures will depend on your daily video views and average engagement (CTR). As an example, if you have 20,000 views per day, and your average click-through rate is 50%, then your projected yearly earnings will be $10,403 - $17,338.

Can YouTube be a career?

Some people make an excellent career from posting their videos on YouTube. As we have shown in this article, the top YouTubers receive a very healthy income indeed. However, it isn't easy money. You have to devote considerable time, energy, and money into creating your channel and building up a sufficiently large and active community of viewers to make your channel financially viable. You need to consistently make videos and then market them over a long period.

Do YouTubers get paid for likes or views?

The bulk of YouTubers' income comes from payments they receive for ads on their channels. Payment for ads is based on the number of clicks on these ads. While this relates to views (the more people who view ads on your channel, the more people are likely to click on them), it has no direct connection to likes. YouTube ignores all those people who click on Skip Ad. Therefore, there is no direct correlation between YouTube payment and likes or views.