A great way to be entertained and kill some time is watching videos on Youtube. The video you are watching may have an ad before it; but you dont have to pay for the video. In other words, how do YouTube creators make money off their videos?

Several creators have turned YouTube into a full time job. There are several big stars in a multitude of genres. PewDiePie and Ninja are the biggest video game streamers on the platform. There are creators like Jeffrey Star and KathleenLights who have channels dedicated to reviewing makeup. Channels like Epic Meal Time and How to Cook That do all sorts of food related videos. Life style vloggers like Casey Neistat and the Paul Brothers record their lives day to day.

Lastly, we can’t forget our favorite tech reviewers like Linus Tech Tips, JayzTwoCentz, Bitwit, MKBHD, and many more.  All of these people started making videos as hobby but were successful in turning their channels into full time jobs or businesses. 

Linus Sebastian of the Linus Media Group has almost two dozen employees working for him, KathleenLights has her own nail polish line and works with other makeup companies, Casey Neistat is working on a business that will bring other YouTubers together.

Google AdSense

Google AdSense allows content creators to get a share of the revenue generated from the ads that display in front or during their videos. Advertisers bid on these ad slots, paying more for ads that cannot be skipped and less for skip ads that can. The creator must have over 4000 hours watched per year and over 1000 subscribers to qualify for this type of revenue. The creator also must certify that their videos are not offensive. 

Brand Deals

Sponsor can have product placements or direct messages that are put into each video.  Sponsors can negotiate with the creator directly, and the creator keeps all the revenue.  There are some difficulties with this form of revenue as they have to be managed, some deals are per video or bonus based (through clicks and views.

Affiliate Links

Creators who feature specific products can include a link in their video descriptions.  If a viewer clicks on the link and purchases something, the company will give the creator a kick back for sending traffic to their site.


A viewer can give money directly to the creator in different ways.  Youtube has a membership program, or other sites like Patreon will allow direct payment to the creator. The viewer can get rewards like hangouts, early access or exclusive content.


If the creator has a big enough following selling clothing, stickers, and other items can be a big source of revenue. 

Finally, YouTube has started producing its own movies and TV shows that creators can be featured in.  VidCon is a huge convention for creators and viewers to meet and exchange ideas.

All of these require a strong viewer base.  The creators are not paid for subscribers, but are paid by the views each video gets. Creators can also sell their services, hold classes, or sell the things they create in their videos.  So, in reality, as long as the creator has a great idea that makes people want to watch they have tremendous opportunity to make money.\

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