YouTube Partner Income Sporadic

While we’re precluded from revealing specifics about YouTube revenue, it’s now becoming more common for YouTube “partners” to know what others are making. While the CPM (cost per thousand views) once seemed to have settled, the creator income fluctuates wildly. As noted in this chart, the month of May took a nose dive for me– June was up slightly. July’s amount (due in days) will tell give us a sense of trends, and whether we’ll return to the peak of the first quarter when InVideo ads were flowing like wine at a wedding.

What’s interesting is that views/subscribers don’t appear to correlate with income very well. See TubeMogul stats (chart 2) for monthly views, but recognize that YouTube’s Partner revenue (paid via AdSense) lags by a month. Any statisticians in the houuuse?

It would appear to me that there are two variables a creator can’t control, and significantly alter  YouTube Partner earnings:

  1. Inventory. If YouTube isn’t selling InVideo ads (ads that surface on bottom of video after 20 seconds) in my videos, there will be almost no income. The income from text ads and banners is paltry even in volume. If that yellow line is in the video player I’m a happy camper. Otherwise I fear retiring a corporate mule. I am aware that this isn’t healthy, thank you. Keep in mind that my revenue is not necessarily suggestive of YouTube revenue or inventory — it could simply be that my specific videos weren’t targeted by advertisers in a certain period. I do see a day where the creator can help sell his/her own advertising revenue, but that’s a logistical challenge.
  2. Location of view. YouTube currently doesn’t flight InVideo ads except for videos viewed on YouTube.com. That means a sweet lil’ old blogger embedding my video and getting me hundreds and thousands of views is of no consequence yet to her or me. Yet. Yet!

A few lessons for those hoping to make a living via online video:

  1. Be realistic. It takes a long while for views to translate to income. Think of it as a bonus not salary.
  2. Don’t count on it as a primary income unless you’re one of the top most-viewed creators and your audience is attractive to advertisers. In that regard, it feels more like TV/movies. Hopefully the predictions of radical increase in online-video advertising will equalize this effect… making it more democratic.
  3. If you expect to live on YouTube, become a hot rock star or lower your cost of living.
  4. Expect fluctuation. While in theory you control your views, thse too are dependent on a variety of factors. And unless you start selling for YouTube, the total advertising revenue and inventory is out of your control. People kinda have to be travelling on Maine highways for your Maine hotels to have high occupancy. You can make sure your hotel is more attractive than the very busy Motel 6 across the street.
  5. Find other ways to earn money via online video. Don’t bother selling crap to people (to date, the Nalts DVDs and merchandise has accumulated less than my worse month on YouTube). Rather find ways to appropriately sponsor brands or companies, and pursue those deals on your own. Until I start popping up in keynotes at Advertising conferences, it’s going to be a while before advertisers come hunting for you.

But I’m working on waking the sleeping giants.

33 thoughts on “YouTube Partner Income Sporadic”

  1. I still don’t see a lot of in-video ads on your videos anymore Nalts. Maybe I’m losing it. I don’t know.

    Can you make a dvd with videos I specify? If you can…I’ll buy one. Promise.

    I’m sleepy…have a great day everyone! :o)

  2. Since few of my videos reach the 3,000 views threshhold for InVideo ads (and don’t get ‘blessed’ with InVideo advertising even when they do), I’m stuck making up to a nickel per video off the text ads. For now and ever more. That’s my hire. A nickel a video. Fire me, YouTube, so I can go back to something lucrative, like pitchin’ pennies in the gutter with my General Relief money.

    Hahaha! Think I’ll run over to the day labor hall (click) and talk CPMs with the winos.

  3. If all I was risking was my Partner status and its attendant chump change, I would, jan, but I don’t wanna get kicked off YouTube entirely. Too many unfinished projects. And I wouldn’t want to be disconnected from the #$%&@^ “community.” Wouldn’t know what to do with myself without that gurge (click).

    Hahaha. OhCurt was right. I AM a sour old bastard. I hope to while away the hours in hell playing Texas Hold’em with Bierce and Bukowski. We’ll have a good time, then, Dad.

  4. Maybe you would increase your partner income if you would make more videos. One or two a week just ain’t cutting it with me. Go back to whoring yourself every day. I miss you, if only to laugh hysterically at your uneven shoulders.

  5. Takes a few steps back and out of range…

    I can’t see YouTubes kicking you off entirely for being a youtube partner spoiler, is that in the contract?

    BTW didn’t you get the memo? You’re already in Hell ;)

  6. Oh yeah, and things could be worse. You could have a naked seven year old boy hanging off your neck and screaming “rock and roll is cool!! rock and roll is cool!!” With the odor of an unwiped ass. His, not mine.

  7. My chart looks about the same. Quite depressing, especially seeing my views don’t fluctuate as much as yours do per month. My views since December have basically flat lined at a healthy number.

  8. I am not a partner, never will be. I hope you guys do well on YT, but I wouldn’t count on it as steady income; while I believe in the YT concept, I don’t see it ever becoming steady income for the majority of its users.

    Sukatra: Rock and roll IS cool; what’s your problem?

    MDJ: Is that Pittsfield, MA? Looks like it. That’s not too far from where I live.

  9. yesterday I got a check from cafepress worth $347.85. Honest to god.

    now because of that, I better stop bitching about always getting rejected from the partner program, or I’ll punch myself.

  10. @15
    You live near Pittsfield, Marilyn? Now I understand a few things…
    @16
    Wow! How much did your parents have to buy, Reubnick?
    @17
    I beat my machine
    it’s a part of me
    it’s inside of me
    I’m stuck in this dream
    it’s changing me
    I am becoming
    the me that you know…
    the me that you know
    doesn’t come around much
    that part of me
    isn’t here anymore
    (Nine Inch Nails)
    @12
    (click)

  11. Reuby haven’t you learned anything from Nalts? Link your cafepress page! There’s going to be a test at the end of this blog.

    Now, with the piles of cash you made off your cafepress page, are you gonna buy us all lunch at Subway or are you gonna get a new and better camera? There’s only one right answer so think about the question very carefully.

  12. You live near Pittsfield, Marilyn? Now I understand a few things…

    What does that mean, exactly, marquis? I live in NY, but near the MA line. Pittsfield is about 30-40 miles from here. So is Saratoga Springs, where all the richy-rich crowd hang out in August. I can not wait until track season is over. At least the Giants left town.

    Where am I?

  13. Ooooh, now I know where Marilyn lives. I’m going to stalk her.

    and for the record, I have no problem with rock and roll. It’s the delivery system of the message that was bugging me. I’m REALLY really tired of smelling a little boy’s naked poopstained butt.

    And what’s up with that anyway? Why the hell won’t men wipe their poopy buttholes? Use baby wipes if you don’t like toilet paper. I do, and my butthole always smells fresh as a daisy. Well, fresh as a daisy stuck in poop, that is.

  14. I had a similar problem with one of my sons, sukatra. Basically, they don’t want to take the time necessary to make sure they are clean. In a few years, he’ll be taking 6 showers a day, especially if he has a girlfriend. :)

  15. I like reading these threads better than the stupid comments anymore. The freaks come out too often on YoUTube comments. BTW- naked seven year old boy hanging off your neck and screaming “rock and roll is cool!! rock and roll is cool!!” With the odor of an unwiped ass.”

    Tonight I came home melancholy and had to put out an Iran/Iraq conflict over a stupid DS game. They’re cute when they’re asleep. Unless they’re all piled on my side of the bed like a Haitian rescue boat.

  16. I’m curious about if you feel any pressure to alter your content in order to attract an advertiser- my assumption is that an advertiser can chose to sponsor a content creater over the ad program.

    I think that point number 5 hit ht enail on the head. All your egss in the Youtube basket just won’t cut it. Although I’m curious what Trippy would say about selling stuff (from what I saw his Viral Video series created over 40k in a week). Perhaps it’s more a question of how you promote the DVD’s rather than the idea that selling stuff online doesn’t work for video producers. It’d be interesting ot see what Felcia Day form the Guild has earned.

  17. I’m curious about if you feel any pressure to alter your content in order to attract an advertiser- my assumption is that an advertiser can chose to sponsor a content creater over the ad program.

    I think that point number 5 hit the nail on the head. All your egss in the Youtube basket just won’t cut it.

    Although I’m curious what Trippy would say about selling stuff (from what I saw his Viral Video series created over 40k in a week). Perhaps it’s more a question of how you promote the DVD’s rather than the idea that selling stuff online doesn’t work for video producers. It’d be interesting ot see what Felcia Day from the Guild has earned.

  18. If you’re not reading your youtube comments anymore then I’m not going to waste my funny there. That makes me sad.

  19. sukatra: I read my comments whenever I get one, you should watch ALL of my videos many times over and comment regularly. :)

    I should also not whore myself out in such an… obvious way, it makes me feel so… teenage- oh, wait.

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