Curious about the number of subscribers it takes to make money on YouTube?
YouTubers generate revenue in a number of different ways with ads being the
In this post, we cover how YouTubers make money before discussing how many
subscribers (and other factors) it takes to generate revenue.
How do creators make money from YouTube?
While ads are the most obvious answer to this question, YouTubers make money in a variety of different ways.
Affiliate marketing, sponsorships, channel memberships and third-party subscriptions are all common methods.
To generate revenue from YouTube ads, you need to join the YouTube Partner Program. YouTube requires members to have at least 1,000 subscribers, 4,000 watch hours and no active community strikes against your YouTube account.
Once accepted, you’ll start generating revenue when viewers watch and click on ads that play during your YouTube videos.
Smaller and larger video creators alike can use methods like affiliate marketing, branded merch and subscriptions.
For affiliate marketing, all you need to do is join affiliate programs for products your viewers are likely to buy, then promote those products in your videos and leave your affiliate link in each video description.
You’ll receive a commission whenever a viewer clicks on your affiliate link and completes a purchase.
Branded merch, such as t-shirts and hoodies, is another common revenue strategy for YouTubers. Plus, it’s one you can use even if you don’t qualify for the YouTube Partner Program, yet.
Most YouTube channels use print-on-demand services like Printful, Printify, and Teespring.
Subscriptions enable you to generate monthly revenue directly from your subscribers in exchange for extra content. Most YouTubers use Patreon and Twitch, but you can also use YouTube’s proprietary channel memberships or one of these alternatives.
Finally, sponsorships let you receive lump sum payouts from brands in exchange for creating dedicated videos for their products or including their products in your videos.
There are a few other ways YouTubers make money, but these are the most common.
How much money can you make from YouTube?
This is a difficult question to answer since the amount you’re able to generate from YouTube varies greatly and depends on a number of different factors.
Yes, the number of subscribers you have can give you an indication of how much money you’re able to make from YouTube. After all, the more subscribers you have, the more people you’ll be able to promote new videos to.
However, what really pays the bills is watch time and the number of people who actually watch your videos.
Unfortunately, having a higher number of subscribers does not necessarily correlate to a higher number of views as most viewers find videos through the YouTube algorithm.
That is, through the YouTube search bar and recommendations.
As for watch time, most YouTubers report receiving higher AdSense payouts for videos that are 10 minutes or more, even when shorter videos receive more views. This is because advertisers pay for watch time.
But that still leaves the question, how much money can you make off of YouTube?
Here are answers from two different YouTube creators.
The first is Ali Abdaal, who runs a successful YouTube channel in the education niche. These are performance metrics for his top five videos after his first viral video, 10 million views and 3 million subscribers.
- 9 Passive Income Ideas
- Views: 9.8 million
- Length: 30:01
- Watch Time (Hours): 1.1 million
- Revenue: $191,258.16
- How to Invest for Beginners
- Views: 5.2 million
- Length: 29:09
- Watch Time: 766,300
- Revenue: $87,200.08
- How to Build a Website in 2022
- Views: 866,300
- Length: 22:01
- Watch Time: 86,500
- Revenue: $42,132.72
- How I Type Really Fast
- Views: 8.2 million
- Length: 15:33
- Watch Time: 487,400
- Revenue: $25,143.17
- How I Take Notes On My iPad Pro in Medical School
- Views: 5.9 million
- Length: 13:56
- Watch Time: 393,100
- Revenue: $24,479.80
You can see just how difficult it is to predict how much money you can make from YouTube based on these metrics alone, especially when you look at Video 1 and Video 4.
They have a similar number of views, but Video 1 generated almost eight times the amount of ad revenue that Video 4 generated.
And here are a few metrics from a smaller creator with under 20,000 subscribers.
During Alexis Eldredge’s first month of monetization, she made $552.71 from 101,000 views and 9,200 watch time hours.
During her first six months of monetization, her channel generated $3,667.03 in ad revenue from 495,800 views and 54,300 watch time hours.
Related Reading: How Much Money Do YouTubers Make? (Real Data).
How many subscribers do you need to make money on YouTube?
Because YouTube has specific requirements for the partner program, we know how many subscribers you need to start making money on YouTube.
You need 1,000 subscribers to start generating ad revenue on YouTube. YouTube will not allow you to turn on monetization if you do not have a minimum of 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch time hours.
However, based on Ali and Alexis’ performance metrics, you will likely not earn enough to replace your day job’s income at this point.
That didn’t happen until a year into monetization for Ali and two years after he started uploading videos regularly.
Figuring out how many subscribers you need to make money on YouTube becomes much harder when you consider other monetization strategies, such as channel memberships and sponsorship deals.
How to make the most of the YouTube Partner Program
The most effective way to increase the amount of revenue your YouTube channel generates from ads is by uploading longer videos.
You can see proof of this based on the performance metrics Ali shared from his top five highest-earning videos.
His highest-earning videos are 30 minutes long whereas his lowest-earning videos barely went over the recommended 10-minute mark.
You can also experiment by inserting more mid-roll ads in longer videos. These are ads that play during videos as opposed to the ones that already play at the beginning and end of every video.
YouTube chooses spots for mid-roll ads automatically, but you can add them manually yourself.
Inserting them manually even helps you minimize the way ads interrupt videos for viewers.
Also, take these basic facts about ad performance into consideration:
- More watch time = more ad revenue.
- More views = more watch time.
Therefore, once you start producing longer videos, to get more ad revenue, you need to increase the number of views your channel receives.
Experiment by uploading more often so your subscribers have more videos to rack up watch time on, but be cautious.
You never want to prioritize quantity over quality, so only increase your video output if you can continue to deliver the same level of quality as you do in your current upload schedule.
If you don’t include a simple reminder to viewers to “subscribe and turn on notifications” in your videos, try including one.
It may seem simple, but a simple call to action is sometimes all it takes to get viewers moving. Plus, more subscribers means more potential new viewers for every video you release.
And don’t discount notifications. When viewers turn these on and they have the YouTube app installed on their phones, they’ll receive notifications whenever you release new videos.
Here are a few more tips for increasing the number of views your videos receive:
- Collaborate with other YouTubers.
- Create videos for current events in your niche.
- Create shortened, cropped versions of your videos, and upload them to Instagram, TikTok and Facebook.
- Research your competition to see which popular topics they haven’t covered, yet, as well as topics they didn’t cover well.
- Use video cards to promote related videos.
- Enable embedding so third parties can insert your videos on their own websites.
YouTube subscriber count needed for other monetization strategies
All you need is one active viewer to make money from affiliate marketing, channel memberships or merch, so let’s talk about a harder monetization strategy to achieve: brand sponsorships.
The truth is, it doesn’t really matter how many YouTube subscribers you have. Brands want to know how many eyes you can get their products in front of, so they’re more interested in how many views you receive per video.
Some sponsorship deals only include free products to use in your videos. This can be good for a number of reasons. For example, it can help fund product reviews you weren’t able to make before.
However, most figures floating around the web cite sponsorship rates between $10 and $50 per 1,000 views (CPM).
You can negotiate for a higher CPM if the brand’s product is a direct match for your niche. For example, if the product is a small kitchen appliance and you’re a food YouTuber versus a lifestyle YouTuber.
So, to sum up, you need at least 1,000 subscribers to generate ad revenue on YouTube, but you can start making money well before that by increasing your viewership and engagement rates.
FAQs on YouTube subscribers
How much does a YouTuber with 1 million subscribers make?
There is no set number as ad revenue is dependent on how many views and watch time hours you receive, not how many subscribers you have.
Once you’ve been accepted into YouTube’s partner program, worry more about receiving more views and engagement rates per YouTube video and less about hitting a specific subscriber count.
How many YouTube views does it take to make $100?
Based on the top five highest-earning videos of Ali Abdaal’s YouTube channel, YouTubers earn an average of $0.18 per watch time hour.
Therefore, it takes about 556 watch time hours to generate $100 in ad revenue.
Google AdSense pays for the number of ad views your videos generate, not the number of views you receive.
Because of this, watch time hours have a much bigger impact on how much you’re able to earn money from YouTube ads than views do.
All it takes is one active viewer to get started with certain monetization channels such as affiliate marketing.
YouTube ads is one of the best ways to make money from the platform but you’ll need 1,000 subscribers to get started.
So, that should be your goal. To help you, leverage all the promotional methods that we’ve discussed above and keep at it. It takes time to build an audience on YouTube but it’s well worth doing.
Want to read more? Check out other articles from this series:
- How Many TikTok Followers Do You Need To Make Money?
- How Many Instagram Followers Do You Need To Make Money?
- How Do Influencers Make Money? The Complete Guide
Alternatively, you may find these articles useful:
- 13 Ways To Make Money From A Website (And How To Get Started)
- 19 Proven YouTube Channel Ideas You Can Use (+ Examples)
- 50+ Best Side Hustle Ideas: Legit Ways To Earn Extra Money
- How To Make Money On YouTube: 12 Proven Tactics
- How To Make Money On Instagram: 9 Ways To Profit
- 16 Proven YouTube Video Ideas To Boost Your Channel
- 7 Proven Ways To Monetize Your YouTube Videos