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How Much YouTubers Get Paid for Millions of Views

by Matt Lillywhite, Seattle24x7 contributor

Analyzing the earnings of popular content creators

Over 2.3 billion people worldwide use YouTube per month, according to data published by Global Media Insight. And every single day, people watch more than a billion hours of video on the platform.

As YouTube grows in viewership, more creators are earning six-figure incomes from the platform. For example, Meet Kevin, a YouTuber with over 1.7 million subscribers, earned over $200k in a month solely from ad revenue, per CNBC.

If you know how to beat the algorithm, making videos on YouTube can be financially lucrative for content creators. So, what follows is an analysis of ad revenue earned from videos with more than one million views.

Example One: How I Bought A Tesla For $78 Per Month.

In April 2019, Graham Stephan uploaded a video that discussed strategies he implemented to reduce the cost of a Tesla Model 3. By taking advantage of various tax rebates and write-offs, he was able to purchase a brand new Tesla for just $78 per month.

Within the first 28 days of Graham posting that video, it received over 3 million views and $25,000 in ad revenue. The video also enabled Graham to gain more than 14k new subscribers within the first 28 days.

As you might expect, the YouTube algorithm kept recommending Graham’s video to more and more people. And within the first five months of posting the video, it generated over $49,000 in total ad revenue — enough to pay for the Tesla in its entirety.

Example Two: Millionaire Tries The Investing $100 Challenge.

When Mark Tilbury publicly released the analytics of his video that gained over two million views, many people (including myself) were stunned. He was paid $32 per 1,000 views from YouTube. For context, many popular content creators on YouTube are paid less than $10 per 1,000 views.

Since Mark’s video received over 2.3 million views, he earned $76,000 from one video in the first few months. He also received more than 100k new subscribers due to the sheer popularity of that video.

Here Are Several Factors That Determine How Much YouTube Pays For Each Video

How long is the video?

If a video is several minutes long, it’s much easier to place adverts throughout the video — without losing the viewer’s interest. And obviously, you can make a lot more ad revenue per video if they contain several ads.

Is the content family-friendly?

As a general rule of thumb, most advertisers on YouTube want to avoid being associated with controversial content creators. So, if there is swearing or explicit content in a video, it will be deemed less suitable for advertisers. And thus, creators who upload content that isn’t family-friendly will typically earn less money.

What niche are you in?

If an advertiser is willing to spend more money to reach a targeted demographic, the content creator will often receive a higher amount per thousand views.

For example, personal finance YouTubers often earn a high amount of money per thousand views because their audience is generally people with a high net worth looking to invest or spend large amounts of money. So, banks, credit companies, and other financial services are willing to spend more money on ads to reach that targeted demographic.

How MrBeast Grew His YouTube Channel To 88 Million Subscribers

MrBeast is one of the smartest YouTubers in the world.

It’s not a coincidence that he has 88 million subscribers on YouTube. Every single video is strategically crafted to be crazy, entertaining, and keep the audience engaged until the end.

MrBeast Uses Clever Editing Strategies To Boost Audience Retention

Audience retention is an extremely important metric that helps the algorithm decide whether a video should go viral (or not). If more people stay until the end, the algorithm will think it’s an engaging video and thus promote it to a wider audience.

MrBeast often uses short, snappy shots to ensure the viewer doesn’t get bored by the camera staying in one place. In combination, he also uses a variety of camera angles and sound effects to maintain the audience’s attention.

As an example, watch the first 30 seconds of this video:

MrBeast Doesn’t Waste Precious Seconds Explaining The Concept Of Each Video

Instead, he dives right in.

If you watch a lot of YouTube videos, you’ll know that many content creators spend too much time explaining the concept of their video during the introduction. As a result, they quickly lose the viewer’s interest because the video isn’t engaging.

MrBeast does the opposite.

During the first 30 seconds of his videos, MrBeast explains what’s happening in an engaging manner. The rest of the video is exactly what the viewer clicked to see.

Honestly, it’s not surprising that MrBeast is popular because he doesn’t waste his audience’s time.

MrBeast Makes Irresistible Thumbnails That Entice Viewers To Click

Let’s be honest… a lot of thumbnails on YouTube suck. Right? It’s why viewers click one video over another while scrolling through the homepage.

It doesn’t matter if a YouTube video has the most beautiful editing and storyline on the internet. If the thumbnail sucks, it won’t go viral because nobody is going to click on it.

It’s as simple as that.

That’s why I think MrBeast is a fascinating case study if you want to beat the YouTube algorithm. Almost every single one of his thumbnails entices the viewer to click and watch each video. Plus, MrBeast’s clever use of photo editing makes his uploads easy to spot while scrolling through YouTube.

Here are several examples:

MrBeast’s Titles Are Also Pretty Damn Great

Similar to attractive thumbnails, an enticing title is necessary to go viral on YouTube. Otherwise, many people won’t click a video because they won’t find it interesting.

With a lot of MrBeast’s uploads, simplicity is the key. Even a 7-year old could look at the title and thumbnail of his video and immediately understand the concept.

Here are some of his most popular videos on YouTube:

As you can see, MrBeast purposely packages all of his videos in a way that’s family-friendly and easy for everyone to understand. As a result, MrBeast’s videos can be enjoyed by a wide range of people, making it relatively easy for him to go viral on YouTube.

A Recap Of Strategies MrBeast Used To Grow His YouTube Channel To 88 Million Subscribers:

  1. Boost audience retention by using clever editing tactics.
  2. Don’t waste time explaining the video during a long introduction.
  3. Create irresistible titles and thumbnails that compel viewers to click on each video.

Seattle24x7 Contributor Matt Lillywhite grew up in the UK but currently has a Canadian twang to go with his native British accent.