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How Much Does YouTube Pay Per View? We Tested It!

Yes, YouTube pays per view—but that doesn’t mean that a million video views will make you rich. We’ll explain.

Colleen Christison November 14, 2023
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Ever wonder how much your average cat video generates on YouTube? Or maybe, whether or not you can pay your rent with your ukulele cover of Baby Shark? Before you quit your day job, you’ve got to answer the question, “How much does YouTube pay per view?”

Get ready because we’ve taken it upon ourselves to answer whether or not monetizing your YouTube channel is worth it. And make sure you read till the end — we’re outlining eight creative ways to make cash off YouTube.

Bonus: Download the free 30-day plan to grow your YouTube following fast, a daily workbook of challenges that will help you kickstart your Youtube channel growth and track your success. Get real results after one month.

Does YouTube pay per view?

Yes, YouTube pays per view. But YouTube does not pay per video view — instead, they pay per ad view.

That means the real question isn’t “How much money per view on YouTube,” but rather, “How much money per YouTube ad view can I make?”

To understand how YouTube pay-per-view works, you first need to know the difference between video views and ad views.

Video views: Video views are the amount of views your video gets.

Ad views: Ad views are the amount of views ads on your video get.

YouTube pays you for the amount of ad views your video gets. If your video has a million views but no advertising on it, you won’t be making any money. If your video has a million views but only 10,000 ad views, you’ll be making money only on the 10,000 ad views.

YouTube makes money off the advertising space, so they will pay based on how much exposure your video generates for that advertising space. Make sense?

How do you become eligible for ad revenue on YouTube?

You can become eligible for YouTube income by joining the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). The YPP is how you can get YouTube money-per-view put into your pocket.

Be sure to get your YouTube account verified, too.

What you need to join the YPP

To join the YPP, you must:

  1. Be compliant with the YouTube channel monetization policies.
  2. Live in a country/region where the YouTube Partner Program is available.
  3. Follow YouTube’s Community Guidelines because strikes on your channel will disqualify you.
  4. Turn on 2-Step Verification for your Google Account.
  5. Have advanced features access on YouTube.
  6. Either set up or have an active AdSense account you can link to your channel.

How to become eligible for the YPP

You can become eligible to start making money from the YPP through both YouTube Shorts and long-form videos (or a mix) in either one of two ways.

  1. Gain 1,000 subscribers with 4,000 valid public watch hours in the last 12 months, or
  2. Gain 1,000 subscribers with 10 million valid public Shorts views in the last 90 days.

If you’re ready to apply, we walk you through the YPP application process in this post.

How does YouTube determine ad revenue for creators?

Exactly how much money per view on YouTube you can make is tough to nail down.

YouTube says, “There are no guarantees under the YouTube partner agreement about how much or whether you’ll be paid. Earnings are generated based on a share of advertising revenue from viewers watching your video.”

There are no guarantees on how much YouTubers make. But some factors will affect your rates and some parameters YouTube follows for your revenue share, categorized by module.

The factors affecting rates include:

  • Watch-through rate. If a viewer watches less than 30 seconds of the ad, it won’t count as a view.
  • Location. YouTube’s CPM (cost per thousand impressions) varies per region. If you’re in, say, Norway, you’ll likely get paid more than if you’re in, say, the United States.
  • Industry. YouTube’s CPM varies by industry. You could get paid more if you’re making content for the stock market than the pet industry, for example.
  • Available ad formats. Different ad types tend to net better views and different CPMs.
  • Competition. If advertisers are competing with each other, the bidding process for YouTube ads is going to be higher, resulting in a higher CPM.

As for your revenue share by category, you can check up on your revenue share agreements in your YouTube Studio Settings under Agreements. You can select which modules you would like to be a part of within the YouTube Studio. Each module has different revenue share rates.

Commerce Produce Module

With the Commerce Produce Module, YouTube will pay you 70% of net revenues from channel memberships, Super Chat, Super Stickers, and Super Thanks.

Watch Page Monetization Module

By turning on Watch Page Ads, YouTube will pay you 55% of net revenues from ads displayed or streamed on your public videos on the content Watch Page. This also applies when your public videos are streamed in the YouTube Video Player on other sites or apps.

Shorts Monetization Module

If you opt into Shorts Feed Ads, YouTube will pay you 45% of the revenue allocated to you based on your share of views from the Creator Pool allocation. FYI, YouTube allocates a portion of the revenue collected from Shorts to its Creator Pool and another portion to music licensing costs.

By turning on Watch Page Ads, YouTube will pay you 55% of net revenues from ads displayed or streamed on your public videos on the content Watch Page. This also applies when your public videos are streamed in the YouTube Video Player on other
sites or apps.

Shorts Monetization Module

If you opt into Shorts Feed Ads, YouTube will pay you 45% of the revenue allocated to you based on your share of views from the Creator Pool allocation.

FYI, YouTube allocates a portion of the revenue collected from Shorts to its Creator Pool and another portion to music licensing costs.

How much does YouTube pay per view?

The range for how much you can make of YouTube’s pay-per-view program varies, as we mentioned above.

You can actually calculate your potential website earning average based on industry and region using the Google AdSense Calculator. While this is different from your YouTube channel, you can use it to get a better sense of what others in your region and industry are doing.

Most sources on the internet agree the average YouTuber in the US earns around $.01 to .03 per view, which is roughly $10-30 per 1,000 views.

We’re assuming this metric was calculated using payment per ad view, so we’ve used it to create this table of averages.

YouTube revenue by ad views
YouTube revenue per 10K views$100 - 300
YouTube revenue per 100K views$1,000 - 3,000
YouTube revenue per 500K views$5,000 - 15,000
YouTube revenue per million views$10,000 - 30,000

However! This number is a generalization and can vary greatly depending on the factors listed above. And it’s not clear if this magic number, touted throughout many articles, is specifically about ad views or video views.

If it’s referring to video views, then the actual earnings for every 1,000 would be closer to $5-7.

In case the magic number refers to video views (and the actual earnings per 1,000 views are closer to $5-7), here’s what that looks like:

YouTube revenue by video views
YouTube revenue per 10K views$50 - 70
YouTube revenue per 100K views$500 - 700
YouTube revenue per 500K views$2,500 - 3,500
YouTube revenue per million views$5,000 - 7,000

These numbers don’t include other ways video views can earn creators money, like endorsements or partnerships.

Now, to put these even further into perspective, we’ve found interviews with YouTubers like Kaz Sawyer (2.7 million subscribers), Reni Odetoyinbo (19k subscribers), and Joshua Mayo (260k subscribers).

Sawyer posts stunts and challenge videos and makes $1.61 RPM. That’s about $1,610 per million views.

Odetoyinbo posts about career development, financial literacy, and lifestyle on her channel and has an RPM of $10.59. That’s $10,590 per million views.

Mayo posts about investing and budgeting and has an RPM of $29.30. That’s $29,300 per million views.

How much we made on YouTube [Experiment]

As die-hard digital scientists, we knew we had to test monetizing YouTube ourselves.

Paige Cooper, our resident YouTube strategist and captain of Hootsuite Labs, conducted a quick experiment. The experiment involved all of our YouTube Shorts and four Watch Page videos.

Cooper says if you want to make money on YouTube, you need to create long-form content.

“What surprised me as a channel owner who usually never runs ads (it’s an honor just to have someone click play!) is that it’s pretty clear that YouTube rewards creators who make videos that are 10 minutes plus,” says Cooper.

“It’s a challenge to make a video that’s interesting for 30 seconds or 3 minutes, let alone 10, but if you want to make money on YouTube, the most crucial skill is being compelling for 10 minutes.”

She also mentions that if your main goal is to monetize YouTube’s pay-per-view program, then Shorts may not be your best bet unless you’re going viral. “I was surprised at how little money our Shorts made in a week. 4 cents! For Shorts, it seems like viral hits are key.”

Shorts Results

Shorts Results
Views18,400
Revenue.04
CPM.002

Watch Page Results

60-second Reel in Story
Run time4:50
Views9,565
Impressions1,561
Ad TypeDisplay Ads
Revenue$1.99
CPM$1.27
RPM (Revenue Per Mille)$0.10
LinkedIn Hashtags
Run time10:00
Views311
Impressions51
Ad TypeNon-skippable (no midroll)
Revenue$0.39
CPM$7.73
RPM$1.38
Facebook Business Page
Run time10:00
Views1,432
Impressions145
Ad TypeSkippable (no midroll)
Revenue$10.27
CPM$70.82
RPM$4.20
N/A
Run timeN/A
ViewsViews incorporated in other ads above*
Impressions63
Ad TypeBumper Ads
Revenue$0.49
CPM$7.76

*Bumper ad views being wrapped up in the other video views made it difficult to track views and as a result RPM separately

Totals

Totals
Total Revenue$13.14
Total Views11,308
Total Impressions (Ad Views)1,820

What did we learn from our mini experiment?

Cooper’s advice to new content creators is to pick a niche topic you can monologue on.

“Now that I’ve been doing this for two years, if I were to make my own YouTube channel from scratch, I’d pick a niche that lets me dig into interesting topics that I can talk about at length without getting boring or repetitive. (Though if I was funny or extremely good-looking, the interestingness of the topic would matter less).”

If you are starting an account from zero, be sure to follow these top tips for starting a YouTube account from scratch.

She also reminds creators to do their SEO research! “No matter what the niche, doing SEO research and answering questions that people are regularly typing into Google or YouTube — and taking more than ten minutes to do it — is solid gold.”

How else can you make money on YouTube?

YouTube’s pay-per-view program doesn’t have to be your only source of revenue from the platform. Successful creators diversify their money-making avenues, and you can too!

Here are eight ways you can further monetize your YouTube channel:

Affiliate links

When you’re part of an affiliate network, you advertise a product or service to your audience and provide them with a link or code unique to you. When someone uses that link or code to make a purchase, you get a commission.

Many content creators share affiliate links in their YouTube captions and promote them within their videos. If it’s a product or service you already use and like, you might as well reach out to the supplier and try to make a buck off it.

Sponsored posts

Sponsored posts are when you use, demonstrate, unbox, or otherwise promote a product or service in your video. These are paid for by the brand being used and are a win-win-win for you, the sponsor, and your audience.

Below, you can see how Mr.Beast thanks and promotes Honey, a sponsor for his mystery unboxing video. This is a great example of a sponsored video with an affiliate link in the caption.

World's largest mystery box MrBeast YouTube video

Source: MrBeast on YouTube

Partnerships

Having an exclusive partnership with a brand means you’re loyal to them, and rewarded with continuous promotional deals.

Partnerships usually involve a set number of sponsored posts or brand mentions in exchange for a paid retainer. YouTube supports these relationships through BrandConnect, a self-serve platform connecting creators with brands.

Channel memberships

You can sell memberships to your channel, giving subscribers exclusive access to things like discounts, 1:1 live chats, and unreleased content.

Channel membership payments run through YouTube, so you’ll be paying a percentage to the platform.

Patronage through third-party apps

If you want to offer loyal fans subscription benefits but don’t want to do so through YouTube’s channel memberships, you can always use a third-party app like Patreon.

Apps like Patreon allow you to sell subscriptions in exchange for exclusive perks like never-before-seen video content.

Merchandise

Merchandising has long been a successful method of using your following to generate cash. Creators with well-developed brands can sell merch like t-shirts, hats, or fidget spinners.

YouTube makes it easy to sell merchandise through the Shopping module, but be warned: You’ll pay a percentage of your profits to YouTube.

MrBeast YouTube Store Merch clothing

Source: MrBeast Store on YouTube

Super Chat, Super Stickers, and Super Thanks

You can monetize your live videos and Premiers with Super Chat, Super Stickers, and Super Thanks.

With Super Chat, your audience can pay between $1 and 500 to get their message featured in your livestream chat. Super Stickers are similar, but instead of a message, it’s (obviously) a sticker that gets pinned to your chat stream.

Super Thanks, on the other hand, can be purchased on any of your videos. Once your viewers donate using Super Thanks, they receive the opportunity to post a colorful, featured comment in your comment section and a one-time animation.

Re-use your YouTube content on other platforms

You can repost your YouTube content on other platforms that you monetize. Shorts, especially, will do well on monetized platforms geared toward short-form videos, like TikTok.

It’s kind of an indirect way to make money off your YouTube channel, but if you’ve already done the work, you might as well try to get the most out of your content. Just be sure you’ve optimized your videos for the platform you’re publishing on.

FAQs about earning money on YouTube

How much does YouTube pay for 1,000 views?

It depends on how many people watch the advertisements on your video, your region, your industry, and your content. Other factors will affect your CPM (cost per mille) as well, but an oft-quoted industry average is between

How much does YouTube pay for 1 million views?

It depends on how many ad views your million-viewed video generated.

How do YouTube Premium users affect your revenue?

There are over 50 million YouTube Premium users on the platform who don’t have to see ads on videos at all. But don’t worry; this won’t affect your revenue. YPP creators get paid based on how often YouTube Premium members are watching your videos.

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By Colleen Christison

Colleen Christison is a freelance copywriter, copy editor, and brand communications specialist. She spent the first six years of her career in award-winning agencies like Major Tom, writing for social media and websites and developing branding campaigns. Following her agency career, Colleen built her own writing practice, working with brands like Mission Hill Winery, The Prevail Project, and AntiSocial Media.

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