Youtubers’ popularity just keeps on rising. In the past 10 years, the industry has developed in such a way that many famous Youtubers have quit their job and now make a living out of creating content for Youtube. It may seem surprising that this activity pays enough to be undertaken full-time. So let’s find out how much money Youtubers actually make.

It’s important to understand that the figures greatly vary, depending on a large number of different factors. The gap between Olga Kay and PewDiePie’s paychecks is quite significant, but they both manage to live on their Youtube success. Let’s first take a look at the main ways a Youtuber can make real money.

If your Youtube videos regularly attract more than 1,000 viewers, you can monetise your channel through advertisement. The advertisers will pay Youtube to be featured before popular videos. Famous Youtubers attract million of views and their popularity earns them advertisment money. It is estimated that they get 55% of what the advertisers originally pay. Youtube’s ad system is operated by AdSense. It defines a CPM (Cost Per Mille, which basically means Revenue Per Views) based on their source country, type of videos, number of viewers and most represented viewers’ country.  

A Youtuber with a large audience from the US or the UK will therefore earn a lot more than someone with less viewers based in a developing country.

PewDiePie, with his 53 million of subscribers, earns an average of $7.6 per 1000 views. Considering his channel now displays an astonishing 15,998,497,536 views, PewDiePie has earned around 121 millions since he started his videos in 2010.

Tough this is impressive, we need to remind ourselves that such cases are an exception. In comparison, Olga Kay, who has 800,000 subscribers and 67,259,230 total views, gets $5 per 1000 views. This means that since she started her channel in 2006, she has earned $335,000. Those numbers remain more than comfortable, but taxes and production costs need to be deduced. In a New York Times interview, Olga explained she had to hire an editor to improve the visual quality of her videos. Overall, being a Youtuber allows her to live comfortably but her income is nowhere near PewDiePie’s.

Most Youtubers with moderate success, like Vexxed who has 450,000 subscribers and 38,000,000 views, get $1.5 per 1000 views for an average income of $57,000 without taxes.

Another way Youtubers make money is through sponsored content. Once they have reached a large audience, they are contacted by brands who give them money in exchange for product promotion. If their videos lead to website clicks and purchases, the Youtubers get extra money. They are also likely to be paid more if the of number of views overtakes the expectations.

Youtubers also capitalise on their success to make more money. They monetise Instagram and Facebook posts for products endorsements and market their own products. Zoella, a Lifestyle British Youtuber, used her Youtube fame to release a series of 3 books which have gone on to become New York Times best sellers. PewDiePie released a mobile game app based on his experience as a Youtuber.