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.

“If You Don’t Quit, You Can’t Fail” -NickyNik

We Gotta Get Buscemi,” a film by YouTube legacy NickyNik, will be debuted June 4, 2010, at the Dances With Films festival. NickyNik’s trailer is the first video he’s posted since the days before YouTube had high definition or Spotlighted videos. You youngsters may recall those days where names like Boeheem, Emalina and Renetto drew mouths agape like the name LonelyGirl15 would years later.

Congratulations, NickyNik, who I met at YouTube’s NYC 777 event and who also appeared in “I Want My Three Minutes Back.” You, sir, are the definition of unyielding persistence (see also NickyNik2). You may remember a script floating around called “The Dead Man.”

The cast includes LisaNova, Renetto, Jason Acuna (Wee Man), and Danny Trejo. Not sure if Charles Trippy made it, but I thank him for help getting me some part… I can’t remember if I dropped the ball, or NickyNik gave up on me. In fact I can’t remember the part or the script, but I do recall a person wearing a hot dog outfit. I was hoping for that part because… hey who doesn’t want to wear a hotdog outfit?

Still, what a motley crew, wouldn’t you say?

Former Top YouTuber Leads Vlogging Revolution

Vloggerheads launchesFor months, YouTube Cewebrity Paul Robinette (Renetto) has been posting video blogs (vlogs) about his discontent on YouTube. He has criticized the site for how it handles the small but vocal video community, and has stirred up drama with the grace of an Olympic gymnist.

In the past few weeks, Robinette quietly launched Vloggerheads.com with 250 plus fellow vloggers. I previously reported that he was launching RenettoTube (see site), but apparently he had some help from branding experts.

The site, which was created using ning, is by invite only (info@renetto.com), and has already banned at least one controversial YouTube poet. The site has rules of ettiquette and is working to keep out unsavory “haters,” “trolls” and “pedophiles.” Fortunately that crowd has its own site (utubedrama.com). And don’t pretend you don’t surf for your name there weekly.

Renetto, who shaved my head years ago when I desperately wanted to be him, once topped the charts of YouTube but has fallen down the top 100 even faster than Nalts (which is rather sad given that I “jumped the shark” more than a year ago).

Renetto is loved and hated, but often the subject of discussion (see outtake clip that spoofs Renetto from a video I shot this week with YouTube Whore MrSafety). He’s best-known for his Mentos parody (nearly 10 million views) and was quoted regularly in the early media coverage of YouTube. In late 2006, Robinette rallied in support of YouTube-challenger Live Video, then changed his mind and brought about McCarthy-like challenge to those who abandoned YouTube (and took great pride in helping unravel LiveVideo). See NY Post article for more.

Vloggerheads is being listed as a “placeholder” site with larger goals. However it’s already attracting some of the YouTubers who don’t have top rankings but are staples among the inner circle of a vibrant community. My “poster child” of the online-video community (Nutcheese) is already addicted and that’s slown down her visits to Stumble! by 26%.

With just 800 videos to date and no apparent revenue model, Vloggerheads won’t soon be a threat to YouTube. But it’s an alternative virtual city where “hard core” community members are gathering, debating, communing and creating drama…

A smaller pond for those feeling lost in an increasingly commercialized YouTube?

Here’s my social commentary on vlogging. I wasn’t too sarcastic was I?

P.S. A reporter from Wired.com contacted Paul and said she heard about him from Nalts’ blog. That’s the power I have in media. Like TechCrunch I can make or break a company. Arington eat my pie hole you viralvideovillain promoter.

Top YouTube Creator Spinning Off New Video-Community Site (working title RenettoTube.com)

Renetto’s new YouTube siteOne of the most popular YouTube creators, “Renetto,” has been discussing a revolution, and aspirations to create a new website for unmet online-video community. The new site, a homage to Paul Robinette’s self absorption, is aptly titled “RenettoTube.” I announced the new site in this video from last weekend (see launch video). Oh- and I created the fake site as a joke that was lost on many.

Renetto recently created a video where he’s reacting to the more than 180 comments appearing on RenettoTube. For the record, my only fake entry was from MrSafety.

So it’s a joke, but based on reality. If Renetto does get a bunch of creators to participate in an online video site “by the people and for the people,” what are the opportunities and risks? I’d like to hear from you, dear reader. I’ll start the process, though…

Opportunities

  • Smaller entity can better meet needs of the smaller subset of YouTube that is primarily participating because of the joy of community.
  • If he attracts a lot of big creators, it will be hard to ignore.
  • The new site could, in theory, keep lean and more focused.

Risks

  • It’s very hard to monetize user-generated content. Renetto will need strong partnerships with online-media buyers, who are still struggling to get their clients to post ads around what they perceive as a risky collection of content.
  • Will viewers migrate? It’s a big challenge to get YouTubers to another site. We saw the mess of LiveVideo’s attempt to develop a YouTube clone, and maybe a little more reluctant to migrate.
  • The battle against YouTube (with air cover from Google) is not trivial. Renetto and his companions will need to differentiate, focus and outsmart the 100 pound gorilla.

Renetto, many know, is an entrepreneur and inventor with good relationships with other creators. So it’s worth watching closely. Stay tuned as more news develops.