How Much Money Do They Make on YouTube: Exposed

Renetto: The roundest face since Karl Pilkington

Renetto. Paul Robinette. Remember him? He makes about $55 a day from YouTube, and I once stalked him and shaved my head to assume his persona. He’s one of the guys behind one of the most interesting video website stats and mobile applications you’re bound to love and forget. It’s called MyU2B. See– I had to look at the website just to get that stupid name right.

The good news? If you’re an OCD creator or media buyer, than this is (and you can quote the guy who wrote the book on YouTube) “the crack cocaine of video statistics.” The bad news? The name is so damned forgettable I want to punch Paul Robinett in his branding boob. Half the reason I’m writing this post is so I can find his website searching the many alternative names my brain has given MyU2B: u2be, myu2be, ub40, u2b4, my2be u2be u2bme, and finally “renetto, youtube, stats, website, with, stupid, name.”

MyU2B iPhone App kicks the ass of YouTube's default mobile viewer.

MyU2B is my indispensable iPhone YouTube viewing app because it’s incredibly easy to sort by my favorite creator’s (people, channels, accounts, profiles) most recent videos. This is a common but impossible task via the caveman-like primitive search functions on YouTube’s own mobile app, and I call that a “deal breaker” or “functional obsolescence” for any regular viewer. MyU2B tells me exactly how many videos my favorite person or channel has posted since I last checked them. It solved a problem most don’t yet know we have.

The app (free and $1.99) also allows me to “super subscribe” to select people (although I haven’t figured out how to delete people like the incorrect jaaaaaa). There are about 2-3 dozen people I don’t want to ever miss, and for that I prefer this app to using YouTube on a computer. On YouTube I’ve “oversubscribed” like many people, so I miss some fresh videos by my favorite peeps. It really sucks to not be current on some of my favorite creators or friends.

The MyU2B stats site, although new and somewhat buggy, is entirely different (yet shares the horrible name). It gives you some pretty decent estimates of how much money each channel/person makes on could make (per comments below) on YouTube, and even sorts estimated revenue by individual video. That’s badass, even if it’s assuming CPMs (revenue per view) that are impossibly inconsistent and volatile. It’s a cool tool just to track who’s getting views and comments… instead of the somewhat archaic method of tracking subscribers… like on VidStatsx. Vidstatsx is an equally crappy named but remarkably useful website, though the latter is a bit too focused on subscriptions (which is not nearly driver of daily views it once was). And tip from Zipster08, who I never miss (despite the mocked screen shot): allow MyU2B to load completely before searching for someone. (Zipster checks hourly). MyU2B doesn’t yet allow you to bookmark or link to a specific search string, but it does index more than 11,000 individual channels.

See below for an example… are they the potential estimates accurate? I don’t know. YouTube doesn’t give me reporting this precise, but I know for a fact that CPMs by individual videos for the same creator can vary from pennies to dollars — by individual video.

Since we YouTube Partners are all contractually obliged to conceal our revenue, it’s hard to know if it’s over or understating revenue/earnings. But feel free to comment (anonymously) if you want to share feedback on its precision! I’m glad it’s not accurate, because I don’t want people thinking about the money I earn from YouTube (it’s equally embarrassing whether it’s high, low or accurate).

MyU2Be (or whatever it's called) can easily track estimated earnings by creator and by video

Finally, let’s help these useful resources with their branding. Anything, including the word “pizzle,” would be better.

FREE “Cliff’s Notes” of My YouTube-Marketing Book

Beyond Viral: All the benefits of Ambien without side effects

So you’re too busy to buy a copy of my book (Beyond Viral), but maybe want a quick scan of the topics? Here are some of the key points addressed in each of the 18 chapters… these digital documents also identify the many experts who contributed to the book.

The cheat guide to Beyond Viral

From Daisy Whitney (This Week in Media), Mark Robertson (ReelSEO) and Ben Relles (Barely Political/Next New Netowkrs)… to  “YouTube Stars” like CharlesTrippy, VenetianPrincess, RhettandLink, ShayCarl, Mediocrefilms, and Daneboe/Annoying Orange. Thanks to all of you!

Here’s the Beyond Viral ( on Scribd and Slideshare.

It’s called a “sneak preview,” but I hope you’ll read it and consider picking up the actual book. There was no way I could have summarized it in 5-20 pages because the book has loads of examples and details.

Weirder Book Comments Anyone?

So the book site (BeyondViral) is pretty darned live for this weeks’ official release.

From now on, if you put your hands in this position you're stealing intellectual property.

Now c’mon WillVideoForFood “backrowers.” You’ve done majestically on Amazon’s ratings. Let’s show David M. Scott (he’s like the Fred of social media) how fun people respond to blogs. He and Steve Garfield helped get me into Wiley’s New Rules for Social Media, and he’s blogged about Beyond Viral. Who’s got some comment humor in him. Rumor has it even Sukatra’s got WVFF access from her phone.

Who wants to read thoughtful reactions to literature? I’m guessing David M. Scott has never experienced a mathematical correction from Alexis (apparently “exponential” is not what I think), a bowel joke from Nutcheese or a Reubnick quip. Jan’s probably got a funky political angle. Here’s hoping Marquisdejolie links back one of his bazaar videos, a term I’d use more often but for Maryln. What ya got Punchy, Zack, Coffin, JimmerSD? How about my sisters and bro? They visit. Really.

I got a few notes that the book is in stores, which tells me either:

  • This isn’t some elaborate prank on me, or a dream.
  • Or that I’m still dreaming

Wow. I blog in my dreams? That’s kinda lame.

Amazon sent me a gift certificate for free copies, but I think I’m going to use it to buy a remote-controlled airplane toy with a video camera instead.

Video & Your Smart Business Marketing Plan

Welcome WVFF Guest Blogger
Larry Kless

New Year 2010 Signpost2009 proved the power of video and social media can change the world.

We experience the Presidential Inauguration with millions of friends on Facebook. We read breaking news stories from citizen journalists on Twitter. We saw live as-it-happens video on YouTube hours before the stories reached our televisions and the standard reports by traditional news agencies were read.

More than any other year 2009 saw the rise of video as one of the most effective communication mediums in world history.

Virtually, every aspect of video is now included in business. From concept, scripting, storyboards, production, editing, encoding, storing, managing, distributing, syndicating, tracking, analyzing, etc… Content producers, media companies, small and medium-sized business all have the same opportunities to build their business and become online video publishers like any major corporation.

2009 also saw a shift in how we do business, from the personal to the virtual, in boardrooms, in our living rooms and especially,  from our mobile devices; which will soon do everything and anything we can imagine.

The stresses of the 2008 economy saw businesses cut their travel budgets, so it was no surprise that after more than 20 years videoconferencing found its resurgence as, “the next big thing” and video became the vehicle for our conversation.

TelePresence became a household word. Powered by Cisco TelePresence Solutions nonstop marketing efforts, IP video chat, WebConferencing, collaboration and live video streaming moved to the forefront as many businesses and media companies looked for ways to connect people and their team members to broaden consumer markets and publishing.

In 2010 I predict the most important area for video marketing and publishing will be the value video brings to the rate of return, ROI. Analytics will be big! It is how we measure and track performance, but it’s not going to be just about numbers, it’s going to be about engagement and reach.

Since “views” is what ultimately drives revenue we will see the emergence and demand for a standardization metric in both the industry and in business. We will also see an increase in social media metrics focused on search, discovery and optimization.

It is no longer enough for companies to deploy video solutions, business will need to engage in the communities where their audiences are through a variety of social networks. Conversation tools like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube will help marketers extend their reach and promote their brands.

Video is now part of the strategy within the ecosystem of marketing, and not just part of online marketing, but it must be part of everyone’s overall business plan.

Finally, in 2010 we will see more focus on high quality content, storytelling and a Smart Video Business Model (SVBM) will emerge to help foster that growth.

Read Larry’s WebBlog
Website: Online Video Publishing
Larry’s Vator News Channel
On Twitter @ LinkedIn

VidCon: Community & Online-Video Industry Morphs in July 2010 Event

This video shows Hank Green (with his lesser known 3rd Green brother) announcing VidCon, taking place July 9-11, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. Here’s the official VidCon website.

youtube gathering july 2010 la vidcon

For those of you familiar with the Vlogbrothers (John and Hank Green), I don’t need to tell you what an enormous connection they have with the vibrant and growing community of online-video. They’re funny, smart, and selfless; this week they’ll be orchestrating another “Project for Awesome,” where they encourage fellow video creators to make a video about a charity… to “reduce world suck.”

So it wasn’t surprising that they’ve attracted the “Who’s Who” of online video… literally the most-viewed and most-subscribed video creators of YouTube and beyond. Also- if you know Hank and John, you’ll know that the admission price is to cover costs, and proceeds are for charity. These guys aren’t interested in making money, but these events cost a lot to do well. So I’ve got little sympathy for those few dozen people who feel a price tag is “anti-community, man”- sing that tune to your waitress at IHOP, kids.

For you online-video industry people who are less familiar with the community side, I have one piece of advice. Attend. If I could only attend one conference this year, it would be this one.

There will be a series of professional tracks covering advertising, marketing and production. But of course you can see the “brains” of online video at any conference. This one you’ll see the brain and the heart. And you really don’t know online-video until you’ve seen the heart… watched the most-viewed amateurs interacting with the fans… seen the groundswell of enthusiasm about a medium that’s changing people’s lives… see the friendships among the talented people (and me).

The informal YouTube gatherings — like 7/7/7 — have brought hundreds and even thousands together in various cities, but this one’s actually organized and planned. So it’s likely to be a huge event. Book your hotel early, friends.

If you’re interested in speaking slots, panels or sponsorships (imagine how many videos your logo can show up on, and how many millions of times it will be seen), let Hank know or shoot me a note (I’m volunteering to help on the professional side). Much of that will be formalized by the end of January. In the mean time, follow VidCon on Twitter.

Drink Your Fat, Kiddies

Below is a somewhat terrifying video of a man drinking fat (source: Man Drinks Fat). It’s a product of NYC Health Department’s “Drinking Fat” campaign.

I spoke recently at a Google HealthThink event, and happened to immediately follow a presentation by the NYC Health Department’s Dr. Richard Daines (who presumably is behind this video). I had discovered his “soda versus milk” video, and decided to use that as a transition.

Daines started with some interesting stats, and used self-deprecating humor to drive home his point (eat and drink less sugar). Unfortunately, his presentation eventually spiraled into a sermon, and most of us felt condemned.

I think the crowd found some momentary relief from the awkward tension, when I opened by inviting them to help themselves to the unlimited supply of softdrinks and candy that Google was providing. I’m not sure I saw Daines laughing.

Nonetheless, this POV (not viral yet, per my previous post) drives home the message quite well. It’s just revolting enough to catch the attention of its target audience, even if it grosses out some parents in the process.

The Destruction of Television

WVFF Guest Blogger
Hank Green

There seem to be two camps on this debate. One half says that the internet is going to kill television, the other says that the internet is going to make television much better and even more profitable. It seems that we’ve learned nothing from centuries of media outlets becoming less relevant.

Radio didn’t kill the stage, television didn’t kill radio, and the internet didn’t kill newspapers. Old media doesn’t die, it just become less relevant. I learned that from Jon Webber, owner of and one of my favorite professors, before I even knew what YouTube was.

It’s amazing how well the TV industry has ignored the lessons of music and newspapers. The simple fact is, everyone now has access to the equipment and distribution channels that were so unattainable just five years ago.

What’s really going to hurt television is the creation of a long-tail in video content. People will be able to watch whatever they want whenever they want and just as newspapers found out, people will produce that long-tail content without training, without limits, and without compensation. The crazy thing is, people will watch.

The result, more videos will be watched than ever before, but less money will be made than ever before. People will tolerate fewer advertisements, content creators will build huge empires in the minds of their audiences while working within revenue streams that wouldn’t pay the catering budget of a TV show.

Television revenues are going to shrink massively, however, they will remain much larger than anything the internet has to offer. Yet, in the minds of consumers, the war will appear to been won by the internet and television will have been destroyed. We will re-define our relationships with video content, yes, but, television won’t disappear, it will just become less relevant.


Find more of Hank’s wisdom on the web @

Tiger Wood’s Sponsors Scramble to Reposition Campaigns

Most Americans watch with intrigue about Tiger Woods and his sexual scandals (see this guy’s video claiming Tiger took him to Medieval Times, played with his golf balls and used his wood on him, or join the ratings of his women at Bleacher Reports). But me marketers are more interested in how Tiger Woods sponsors will handle their public affiliations with the philandering golfer.

Tiger is now, of course, the poster child for professional success at all costs. That fits quite well into business-consultant leader Accenture’s core positioning. But how will other brands adapt campaigns?

tiger woods women

Gatorade’s axed the Tiger “Focus” drink “before” the scandal (opting instead for a Lindsay Lohan “Purge” product line), other sponsors have pulled Tiger ads and remained silent about future plans.

Fortunately, thanks to WillVideoforFood, some of the planet’s most well-known and trusted brands need not suffer the humiliation of dropping Tiger when he’s down, or face the shame of affiliating with him during his, um, “discretions.”

For no cost, I’ve provided prominent Tiger Woods sponsors with some campaign slogans and adaptions that leverage this media sensation… turning lemons into lemon-ball vodka shots.

Tiger Woods hole

  • AT&T: “Better US Coverage Than Verizon or Tiger Woods’ Penis.”
  • Nike: “Just Do Her. And Her.”
  • Accenture: “We Know What it Takes to Pork a Tiger” (see existing ad, soon to replaced with footage of Tiger stumbling out of hotel rooms wearing only socks).
  • American Express: “Do you know me in the Biblical sense? Don’t tell my wife.” Also consider “Don’t Leave Home Without It, dark glasses, and a prepaid mobile phone.” Tiger may simply point to his crotch to punch the word “it.”
  • Gillete: “The Best a Man Can Get” campaign can pretty much stick with its campaign, and Tiger’s “the only thing that matters is today” line. He’ll be saying that a lot to his wife and family in coming months.

There are certainly well-meaning public relations and advertising professionals convening at this moment to determine how they’ll avoid getting mauled by Tiger’s scandal. And they’re reading consumer-generated media to get sentiment ratings and determine how this disaster is already effecting them.

Give those folks a break and toss them some ideas, huh?


Welcome WVFF Guest Blogger
David Meerman Scott, author, speaker, guru

Every day, I run across FEAR of marketing on the Web. We’ve got to work together to help people overcome this fear in 2010.

  • Fear comes from bosses who insist on calculating the ROI of the marketing based on sales leads and press clippings.
  • Fear comes from offline advertising and PR practitioners cautiously making the transition to Web platforms to generate attention.
  • Fear comes from those who insist on copying the competition.
  • Fear comes from people who think “online video is just for kids.”

What’s behind the fear? Let’s take a closer look and then debunk a few myths:

Many company executives and public relations people trace their worries about “new marketing” to their belief that “people will say bad things about our company” via social media.

This fear leads them to ignore blogs and online forums and to prohibit employees from participating in social media. In every discussion that I’ve had with employees who freely participate in social media, I’ve confirmed that this fear is significantly overblown. Let me repeat – everyone who has experience tells me this fear is overblown.

Sure, an occasional person might vent frustrations online, and now and then a dissatisfied customer might complain (unless you’re in the airline industry and then it might be more than a few).

But the benefit of this kind of communication is that you can monitor in real-time what’s being said and then respond appropriately. Employees, customers and other stakeholders are talking about your organization offline anyway, so unless you are participating online, you’ll never know what’s being said at all.

The beauty of the Web is that you benefit from instant access to conversations you could never participate in before. And frequently you can turn around impressions by commenting on a “negative” post.

When you wrote a first blog post, started shooting videos for YouTube, or begin to tweet it felt like you’re just a big dork, right? I certainly did. But like anything, experience brings mastery. Tell those who are fearful to just get going!

My daughter is learning how to drive. Yes, she gets honked at and may even get “the finger” as she gingerly tries to park in a crowded lot. But she’ll figure it out. Learning to drive takes time, but it is worth it because it beats the hell out of biking or walking in a Massachusetts winter.

One of the most frequent manifestations of fear is that web marketing does not work “in our industry.” The proof people provide is that nobody else is doing it. I’ve heard “The new rules do not work for mutual fund managers or lawyers or dentists or politicians or Singapore based software companies or Canadian blood donation centers or Florida based real estate agents or churches or rock bands….” I’ve heard them all. I see the excuses of “this doesn’t apply to my market” and “people in my market do not use social media” literally every day.

Duh. Someone has to be a pioneer.

So my style and strategy in my books and speeches is to show examples from many different organizations. I also show examples from non-profits, the military, government agencies, doctors, rock bands, plus big companies, small companies, B2C, B2B and much more.

I am firmly convinced (and my audiences agree) that you can learn more from what a broad range of people are doing than from what other people just like you are doing. Let’s help people get over their fear by insisting that they not insist on copying the competitors. Instead, tell them to learn from a rock band or hospital.

Better yet, tell people who are fearful to learn from Nalts. He’s the master.

The long-anticipated second edition of David Meerman Scott’s book The New Rules of Marketing and PR releases in late December 2009. The first edition, a Business Week bestseller, is published in 24 languages.
Follow David’s Blog

Cable’s Fate as FCC Pushes for Internet-TV Access: Impact of Comcast/NBC

David Lazarus of the LA Times writes about the FCC’s role in shaping broadband enabled television (remember that computers are in 74% of homes, but televisions in 99%). In the wake of Comcast’s impending takeover of NBC Unviersal, Lazarus writes:

If federal regulators have their way, the next big thing on the tech horizon will be a brave new world of Internet-ready, work-with-any-network set-top boxes, offering consumers unprecedented multimedia options through their TVs, not just their computers. And if this plays out as the Federal Communications Commission envisions, the world as cable companies know it will radically change, making the potential synergies of the Comcast-NBC deal all but obsolete.

Mind you, I’m no fan of bloated “synergy” deals like AOL Time Warner, but that “all but obsolete” statement sounded to me like an incredible generalization. Given Comcast’s legitimate concerns about its sustainability as an intermediary between content and customers, it seems like Comcast’s ownership of a network would make it far from obsolete… regardless of an FCC move.

Comcast NBC Universal logo

Most of us who watch this space are more progressive about our technology, but I won’t soon forget a conversation I had with a Verizon employee who I asked to install a card into my TiVo. He was struggling with this process, and explained to me that almost all Verizon employees use Verizon’s horrible box. It’s partially because it’s easier and less expensive, but I’m willing to bet few know they have other options.

So if the cable-subscribing masses passively use the box Comcast provides, then Comcast can effectively advantage NBC content… giving it the premier stations and placement. Consider when you’re in a hotel, that before you can channel surf you’re forced invited to watch one of the $15 movie rentals (a price at which you could buy a DVD anywhere else). An analogy would be if YouTube owned two-dozen partner channels and gave them top billing on YouTube’s homepage and “related videos.”

Done right, vertical integration produces some advantages to the company and lower costs to the consumer (by eliminating the middle-man and reducing overlap between players in a supply chain)… think Walmart. Done wrong, it’s a price-gauging monopoly that abuses its power by, for instance, requiring a Comcast subscription to access NBC content (unlikely). The NY Times covers this scenario in an editorial. Indeed many attempts at synergy result in customers getting screwed and a remarkably unfocused company. I worked for a web-strategy group acquired by Qwest (the Denver-based telcom) and saw no advantage to a telcom owning a web-services group.

Back to the consumer and what he/she experiences… if Comcast installs a device that makes television-viewing and web-surfing easy, then it has a non-trivial advantage. It can run ads around television web-viewing so it capitalizes wherever  the consumer is going (free or paid). It can make Hulu a pain in the ass to watch. It also has the ability to prompt viewers to purchase on-demand NBC content or provide upsell offerings as subscriptions (with the click of a mouse).

Conclusion: Comcast/NBC strikes me as far more powerful than Vertizon or a stand-alone ISP/cable company. If you own the technology and content then you can profit from ads or upselling content. It’s kinda like the kid in the neighborhood that owns the only football. He’s probably going to get invited to each game, and the game is temporarily over if he decides to go home because he’s mad. Of course if he abuses this role, at some point the other kids will purchase their own football and tell that kid to piss off forever.