If you’re passionate about video games, YouTube monetization has probably crossed your mind. After all, some of the top YouTube gamers make great money doing what they love.
The world-famous gamer PewDiePie makes millions of dollars playing games like Techno Kitten Adventure. And all he does is play video games, shoot the breeze with his viewers, and upload the videos to YouTube…
So where does all his money come from?
Monetizing Video Games on YouTube
PewDiePie’s videos attract millions of views, which means lots and lots of people click on the pre-roll ads that show up early on in his videos.
And that’s the most straightforward way to make money as a YouTube video gamer…
You know those ads that show up right before you watch a video? When you click on one of these ads, YouTube and the video creator split the revenue.
So when you have millions of viewers, you can make lots and lots of money. The more viewers you have, the more people will click on these ads, and the more advertisers are willing to pay for your ad space – so each click will generate more income.
First Things First: Verify Your Channel
Pre-roll ads sound like a great way to make money, and they certainly can be.
But before you can get to the number of viewers you need to earn that kind of cash, you need to verify your channel.
Verifying your YouTube channel opens up a few doors and tools you’ll need to succeed on YouTube, such as the ability to upload videos longer than 15 minutes, upload hangouts on air, appeal content ID disputes, and so on.
Taking It to the Next Level: The YouTube Partner Program
Once you level-up your account and meet certain criteria, you’ll be able to earn money from ads when you join the YouTube Partner Program.
Some of the main criteria for joining:
- The YouTube Partner Program needs to exist in your country – it’s not available everywhere.
- Your content must be original.
- It must be advertiser-friendly.
- You need to look over YouTube’s copyright education materials.
So does video game content infringe on copyright?
In short: that’s up to the video game makers.
While YouTube obviously cares about copyright, what matters most to YouTube is money. So YouTube won’t voluntarily take down content unless someone asks.
Certain YouTubers have been forced to take down videos and remove video game material. The Angry Joe Show, for instance, had to deal with unhappy video game companies and remove some of his content.
There’s no way to be certain that your videos won’t be hit by takedown notices.
But as long as you’re posting content that’s not offensive and that helps video game companies promote their games, you should be okay.
Other Partner Programs
A Multi-Channel Network (MCN) is a network of channels composed of user-created content.
Think of MCNs as virtual TV networks. When an MCN finds content they like, they’ll promote that person. Maker Studios and Fullscreen, for instance, manage YouTube channels and offer benefits such as:
- Product merchandising
- Tech support
- Better revenue-sharing options
Chances are, you want to make money playing video games. That probably sounds better than marketing, selling, creating a business, and so on.
But a thing or two can be learned from some top video game makers.
The aforementioned Angry Joe Show, for instance, has additional revenue streams:
- He has his own website devoted entirely to his video game channel
- He has a “donate” button, allowing fans to donate to support his show
- There’s an Angry Joe Show line of T-shirts
- Angry Joe has organized his own gaming community, which charges a monthly subscription fee
- He strikes deals with sponsors
- And Angry Joe has extended his marketing and monetization efforts beyond YouTube, to other social media networks, such as Twitter, Twitch, Facebook, and so on
Now, as mentioned the Angry Joe Show has its detractors. Some aren’t huge fans of his work. But everyone who wants to monetize video games can certainly learn a thing or two from his marketing strategies.
While it’s certainly possible to make lots of money exclusively from pre-roll ads, it’s highly unlikely you’ll earn as much as PewDiePie.
Consider that 15% of YouTube is devoted to video gaming channels. Of those channels, how many are generating enough income to live off of?
Probably not many.
So if you really want to do what you love, you might need to do a bit more to supplement your income stream. Consider building your own website, following, and community.
And do some research into other money-making strategies, such as:
It’s definitely possible to make money on YouTube as a video gamer. You just need a bit of luck, a bit of persistence, the right monetization strategy, and a bit of passion.