YouTube monetization in 2014 is becoming more competitive as an increasing number of users saturate the popular platform. Changes to the service include an increase in advertising revenue share for content creators, and as YouTube ad spending continues to increase popular content creators can expect to earn more from their videos.

So how does YouTube monetization in 2014 actually look?


The Advertising Break Down

In order to get money from advertising on YouTube, you need to become a YouTube partner. This isn’t too hard: you need to have an account in good standing with some videos. The higher your views and the better your viewing statistics, the better it looks on your end of things.

Once you’re a partner, you can have ads that run prior to your video, as well as banner ads that display during your ad. The 30-second video ads that introduce a partner’s YouTube clip can be skipped after five seconds. If a viewer skips the ad, the advertiser doesn’t pay and the partner doesn’t receive any revenue.

In general, most partners earn between $0.30 and $2.50 per 1000 impressions. Higher earners can bring in as much as $10 per 1000 views.

The highest earning channels top a million dollars in revenue per year, but they must receive hundreds of millions and even over a billion views to achieve those numbers.

The top 1000 partners average $23,000 per month, but these channels also receive averages of 900,000 monthly views – they’re the exception, not the rule. If you estimate a CPM of $2.50, it would take 1 million views to reach a $2,500/month income stream.

Big Bucks with Big Sponsors

Sponsorship deals can bring in some serious revenue…if you can get them.

YouTube channels that receive a high number of monthly views often receive sponsors who want to partake of their audience. These deals are a great way for high-profile channels to bring in income from large or small sponsors. Compensation varies greatly, and can range anywhere from the hundreds of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The most famous deals are those created by YouTube celebrities, but you don’t have to be Shayne Dawson to get a sponsorship deal. A niche channel with a niche audience can work out a deal with a relevant sponsor, and YouTube partnership isn’t even necessary.

Get Money from Paid Subscriptions

In 2013, YouTube added a paid subscription feature to its menu. Partners with over 10,000 subscribers can create a paid channel that requires a monthly or annual subscription fee. All paid channels start with a free trial, and may come with or without video ads.

Google About paid channels

Monthly subscription rates range from under a dollar to almost seven dollars. YouTube began the subscription service by offering 55% of that subscription fee to the channel owner. The math on this is easy: if your channel has 10,000 subscribers and 1 out of 10 agree to pay for a subscription, then 1,000 paid subscribers at $1 per month will bring in $550.

Is YouTube Monetization Sustainable?

YouTube drew heavy fire  from content creators who weren’t making enough money. According to the above blog post, “if you are a content company trying to build a ‘YouTube business,’ you are investing in your own demise.” While it’s clear that the top performers do quite well, there are over a million partners on YouTube, and only a tiny fraction earn enough to live off of.

For artists, musicians, performers, and other content creators, YouTube can be a great way to build an audience. And if the audience gets big enough, it may be possible to earn a livable income. Visit YTCalc.com to see what it would take to earn a sustainable income from YouTube advertising revenue.


Alternatives to YouTube

Patreon is a company that encourages artists (they dislike the term “content creator”) to build a fan base willing to collectively act as patrons. The company was formed as an alternative to YouTube advertising, and gives content creators a way to earn a sustainable wage directly from their customers.


More commonly, many other content creators, product creators, and businesses use YouTube as one marketing tool among many.

By creating promotional videos, using YouTube to promote products or services, linking to affiliate sites, connecting the channel to social media, and so forth, it’s possible to use YouTube simply as one more link in your monetization chain.

While YouTube advertising revenue may be a sustainable and primary source of income for the right person, it’s not necessarily the easiest or most appropriate monetization path to take.