I’ve had a few requests from readers/viewers to clarify YouTube’s evolving Partnership program, and help “up and coming” YouTube creators understand how to make money via video. As always, I’d caution YouTube video creators to keep realistic expectations on earnings– right now there are hundreds of YouTubers earning six-figure income from YouTube. But the majority are earning small amounts, and the driver is daily/monthly views.
Below is some information about the evolving YouTube Partnership, and 9 additional ways to make money via video.
A YouTuber can expect to make anywhere from 50 cents to $5 on every 1,000 views. So a channel getting 1,000 views per month can maybe cover a cup of coffee. The bigger YouTubers like RayWilliamJohnson are making anywhere from $500K to $4 million a year (SocialBlade), and I’d guess it’s around $2 million. It’s a steep pyramid, folks.
So here are the ways to become a YouTube Partner, where you’re eligible for “revenue sharing” on your videos. Ads appear before and around your videos, and Google shares a percent (roughly 40% of what advertisers pay for those ads).
Sign up to become a Partner on YouTube. Unlike previous years, most are granted Partnership (including my dog, FreddieNalts). In truth, this isn’t a full Partnership as we previously knew it. You’ll make a smaller amount of money because the ads are not exactly premium. YouTube has effectively changed the name of “monetize your videos” to Partner.
If you’re getting tens of thousands of views per month, you could approach an Online Video Studio (OVS) to come a full-fledged Partner with advanced branding. You’ll need to share a percent of your earnings with the studio, but you’ll get some help resolving issues, and potentially some help building an audience. This type of Partnership also allows creators to customize their channel page and put a small icon over the videos that appear on “watch page.” This used to be available directly via YouTube, but YouTube is increasingly encouraging intermediaries to handle this process… remember Google doesn’t like to deal with people. It’s a technology firm, and isn’t resourced to provide personal attention to millions of YouTube creators. So becoming a full Partner can be accomplished broadly in two ways. First, you can sign with an “Online Video Studio” (OVS). In that post about web studios, I neglected to mention The Collective, which has helped a couple YouTubers (Fred, Annoying Orange) cross over to television.
Finally for smaller YouTubers, there’s another option I discovered via Jason Urgo last night. Urgo/SocialBlade is helping smaller YouTubers (maybe 1,000 views per month) you can apply to become a Partner via Maker’s RPM Networks. The result is similar to option #2 but the bar is lower.
Don’t think of YouTube ad revenue as your only source of income for video creation. Here are 9 other options for making money via online video:
Create Commercials. If you’re talented and have high production capabilities (but don’t have an audience), you might join Poptent and create videos and commercials for brands… you’re not guaranteed to be compensated, but if a brand selects your video, you can make $5 or $10K.
BYOS. If you have a large audience, you can pursue your own sponsor (bring your own sponsor- BYOS). Just call a company and see if they’ll pay for a custom video or some product placement. These are easier to get if you’re in a web studio/OVS.
Get Free Loot. Call a company and see if they’ll send you free loot in exchange for your mentioning them. It’s not easy to find the right person, but I’ve been surprised how receptive companies are. They often have programs to reach online influencers, and if you have a decent audience… that includes you.
Sell Your Stuff. This DailyFinance reminds us that artists can sell their stuff via video. Got something on eBay? You could mention it in a video, and see if you can get the video SEO-optimized so it might appear via a Google search.
Sell your videos if you think there’s a market for them. Learn more here. I believe you need a Partners account to do this, and I wouldn’t count on this tool. Most people don’t purchase amateur video content, unless you count porn or Louis CK. I suppose there’s some “how to” video that’s worth buying, but I don’t see this as being lucrative.
Drive to Website: you can try driving traffic off YouTube onto a website that allows you to sell loads of additional advertisements/sponsorships. It’s difficult to get people to follow a link of YouTube, and I’d estimate low single-digit numbers (depending on the reason). But Smosh’s “Smosh Pit” is a nice example of how YouTubers have created adjunct websites where additional monetization is possible.
Affiliate Links: If you’re really cheesy, you can try making videos an inserting affiliate links into the description. I’ve never seemed to make anything notable via affiliate links on my blog and in a few links from a video.
Merchandise: CafePress and other sites allow you to create your own branded merchandise and sell it to viewers. I think I’ve sold max. a dozen things on CafePress, but I haven’t put much effort into it.
Get Rich Quick: Try one of the bullshit “get rich quick” schemes. Good luck.
I love the Old Spice campaign, but it’s going to cause some serious road kills in 2011. Why?
Wieden + Kennedy , the advertising agency behind Old Spice’s grand 2010 marketing campaign, turned actor Isaiah Mustafa into a household name. And they made it look easy, so now everyone’s going to want to “pull an Old Spice..” In fact I’ll have to write a new book called “Beyond Old Spice.” Caution ambitious agencies and brands… this was a major coordinated effort that involved significant media spending and crafty use of social media. It’s going to be imitated a lot in 2011 and poorly so.
You can’t imagine how weird it is to be reading about social-media marketing, and notice your video is the example.
I’m really big in Canada. I keep telling you that, and it’s like you don’t believe it. Nalts is to Canada as Jerry Lewis is to France. I’m the friggin Shanecarl Wheezyhiga of Canada.
Someone needs to put the computer down and leave Starbucks immediately, as he rapidly tumbles down the hill of unproductivity entering hour number 10. I feel the Via coursing through my veins. The irony is that I’m in the Starbucks at which I shot the exterior shot of the via sponsored video, but they wouldn’t let me tape in the store. I wonder if BP would let me tape in its lobby. Maybe the BP Canadian office.
Looking for a DIY (do it yourself) news site to show TSA (transportation security administration) “pat downs” that are TMI (two much information)? Well put down your acronyms, and get out your cameras…
People are uploading photos of car wrecks, notes for missing children, and (most importantly) videos about the latest TSA agent who looked at them funny (Parenthetically I saw a guy snapping a photo of his mom getting a perfectly appropriate TSA pat-down, and he was politely told to put the camera away… there’s some saucy Nancy-Grace like news).
The bad news: the “most viewed” videos or photos have been seen only a dozen times or so. It’s not popular, and akin to setting up your own VHS camera and showing your homemade “news report” to your friends.
The good news: it has a high perceptual value of importance and credibility despite the “not vetted by CNN news” disclaimer. It’s on CNN.com and listed as “breaking news.” So if it was produced well… it would be hard for someone to internalize the disclaimer.
How long before people start packaging up fake “product reviews” and using CNN to distribute them? I gather someone at CNN has the sad task of seeking and killing spam, but it seems like a spammer or infomercial’s playground… or at least a few Nancy Grace impersonators. I wonder if CNN would pull the content if someone took the “Nancy Grace model” just one step further and actually performed a live execution of the victim of the news report. Or at least a lynch mob.
Here’s my wife and I testing her iPhone (AT&T) against my Palm Pre (Verizon) to see which one could shoot and upload best to YouTube. Turns out my Palm Pre failed to post after an hour, so I had to do it manually. Her iPhone compressed the video, and had it live in minutes. Winner: iPhone.
Play them both at the same time for some interesting perspective…
Palm Pre (unclenalts). Slightly better quality, but never uploaded from phone… had to use laptop.
iPhone (wifeofnalts): Compressed and not as sharp, but it worked.
I fit nicely into #6 (before you co-workers with nudity).
Some of my Merck colleagues still believe I got fired. The truth is left on decent terms, as the relationship became uncomfortable for both employer and employee. Once my identity as YouTube fart guy was linked to Merck, it was awkward for both me and my employer.
Would they have grounds to fire me over my extracurricular activity? Of course not. In fact that would be against “freedom of speech” as I never mentioned Merck. But did I want to try climbing the latter of a conservative company where my internal brand was damaged?
Anyway, while I didn’t exactly quit nude, I love the Cracked.com piece and hope I’m remembered that way.
As many as 25% of the views of a video may come from people finishing a related video. This chart shows the percentage of views that come from various sources to my “The Best of Naked Vlogs.” This is not a representative example, but look at the percent of traffic that comes from “related video” (more than 50 percent). That means someone watched another nude vlogger and then saw mine show up as “related video” and stopped by. Or it means they saw one of the other nude vlogger videos that was posted as a response to mine (or vice versa).
So what’s this mean? Please don’t jam your tags with the same words of popular videos, because that used to game the system but frustrates people. YouTube/Google also has means for penalizing this trick if overused. But do try to make videos about things that are of high interest or topical, and you’ll get some help from relatives…
In other news — as you might have read — YouTube announced that it has paid out $1 million in cash to video creators that are part of its Partners program. Excerpt from NewTeeVee article…
YouTube said today it has paid out more than $1 million to its user partners through its partner program. The figure came as part of an announcement that YouTube is expanding the program to users in Japan, Australia and Ireland. YouTube doesn’t disclose how it splits its revenue, but we’ll make do with what scraps of numbers we have. The site currently lists 100 partners, though that also includes entities that we’d think would be designated as professional partners rather than “user partners,” such as Universal Music Group and CBS.
I participated in it (to help reduce world suck), but didn’t quite know about this whole Brotherhood 2.0 thing at the time. How? I’m a friggin’ Viral Video Genius, and I am just finding out about this!?