Creating and running a YouTube channel is one of the most creative, challenging and rewarding projects you can undertake online these days. To understand just how much you’re able to earn, you’ll want to know how much YouTube pays per view.
For most creators, their YouTube channel is a hobby and a true labor of love. However, sometimes you hear of YouTube stars like MrBeast, who makes an estimated $3 to $5 million per month on YouTube ads alone, making you see the benefit to monetizing your channel.
Content monetization is a big topic for creators big and small. Luckily, YouTube has some great options to help you earn some additional revenue. Whether you’re just starting out on the platform or you’re planning to take your channel to the next level, you might wonder how much money per view you can expect to make and how resources like the YouTube Partner Program can get you there faster. We got you!
Here’s a quick guide on how to earn money on YouTube from ad views.
- Understanding monetization metrics
- What does YouTube pay based on?
- How much money do you get per view on YouTube?
- Factors that affect how much you make on YouTube (money per view)
- Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about earning money on YouTube
- Make money from your video content (without the cost or loss of control)
For other ways to leverage your growing YouTube channel, take a look at our previous article: 10 Ways You Can Make Money on YouTube.
Before we get too far, we need to get a basic foundation set. If you’re new to monetizing videos on YouTube, you might see some terms that are unfamiliar. We’re going to do a quick breakdown here on common monetization metrics and terms that will help you get through the rest of this article!
|Click through rate
How many people view an ad or listing versus actually click on it
|CTR = (# of Clicks / # of Views/Impressions) x 100
|Cost per mille
Cost per 1,000 impressions
|CPM = (Total cost / Total number of impressions) * 1,000
|Cost per click
Cost per person who clicked on the ad
|CPC = Total cost / Total number of clicks
|Cost per view
Cost per time the ad was viewed (note: this does not mean unique views!)
|CPV = Total cost / Total views
|Average ad session duration
How long users spend viewing your ad
|Average ad session duration = total duration of all ad sessions (in seconds) / number of ad sessions
The short answer to this question is: Yes, but not per video view. Instead, YouTube pays creators for ad views on their channels.
Here’s what that means.
The standard way to make money from your YouTube channel is to let YouTube run ads on your videos. To start, you need to join the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). You won’t be able to monetize without doing this!
The YouTube Partner Program verifies creators and provides access to monetization tools. This sifts out channels on YouTube that show copyrighted or low-quality content that wouldn’t be a good match for advertisers.
There are also a few minimum eligibility requirements to join the YPP:
- Commitment to adhere to the YouTube monetization policies
- Live in a region where YPP is available
- Have no strikes for violating YouTube’s community guidelines
- Get more than 4,000 public watch hours in the past 12 months
- Have more than 1,000 subscribers
- Create a Google AdSense account
Once your YouTube channel becomes eligible for the YouTube Partner Program, you can sign the partner agreement and connect your AdSense account. Your channel will then be reviewed by YouTube, which might take up to 30 days. In the meantime, learn how to make the best video content for YouTube to increase your conversions.
After your YouTube channel gets approved, you’ll be able to access and turn on monetization features in settings.
Note: Not all features might be available to you, either because you don’t yet have enough subscribers (e.g. merch shelf requires at least 10,000) or because YouTube moderators decided to place certain restrictions.
A common misconception is that YouTube pays based on video views. In reality, creators get paid when people watch YouTube ads (so per ad views). No ad views means no payments, regardless of how popular your video is.
When you’re in the YPP program, you get granular, per-video control over which content is monetized through ads. So you can turn off ads on videos that are not a good match for advertisers.
For every ad that runs on a specific channel, YouTube takes a 45% cut of what the advertiser pays for the placement. The creator gets the remaining 55%. Metrics like cost per mille (CPM) and cost per click (CPC) are also factored into payout consideration. See more about that in the next section!
Wouldn’t it be great if you could estimate the exact amount of ad revenue you’d make every time someone watched your video? Sadly, YouTube algorithms are more complicated than that, and you can only calculate YouTube money per view revenue in averages.
A good rule of thumb is that videos with enabled ads generally earn more money when more viewers are watching. However, the category your video and channel fall under, your niche, the quality and length of your content, and even your location also affect video monetization. For example, in 2024 the most profitable niches are digital marketing with a CPM of $12.52 and personal finance with a CPM of $12.
Why? Because AdSense is an auction-based advertising engine, and some keywords that advertisers bid on are worth more than others. We’ll touch more on this at the end of the article (or skip to it here).
Another factor in calculating revenue based on video views is just that some people don’t see any ads at all. Over 40% of users reportedly use ad blockers. While not all ad blockers work with YouTube, this is a growing trend that will continue to have an impact on creators’ earnings.
Additionally, there are over 80 million YouTube Premium users today who pay a monthly subscription fee and don’t see ads on YouTube videos at all. Instead, creators get paid based on how much YouTube Premium users are watching their videos.
So if you put all this together, how many views on YouTube do you need to make money?
Analyzing data from Google’s AdSense calculator as well as self-reported earnings from creators across industries, we can see that your potential ad revenue can be 6 times higher if your video is in a category with competitive keywords, and your viewers don’t use ad blockers to skip ads.
In general, your CPM (cost per thousand views) can range between $4 and $24 (depending on your region and industry). But remember that 1,000 video views are not the same as 1,000 ad views. A good rule of thumb is assuming that only half of your views across the board will be monetized. For example, somewhere around $5-7 per 1,000 views would be the average across all industries.
It’s also important to point out that these calculations are done per video, so scaling up your video posting schedule is a good way to make more money.
As your channel grows, your ad revenue won’t necessarily scale linearly with it. Some people won’t be as engaged in ad content. Many users will only watch short clips of your videos or stop watching altogether once they see an ad. So it’s reasonable to assume that your CPM for video views would go down to somewhere between $1.2 and $8, or $120 to $800 per 100,000 views.
Getting a million views on a YouTube video is every creator’s dream but it’s very hard to do. Once you reach that milestone, you don’t just create videos as a hobby anymore. Instead, you can call yourself an actual influencer and monetize your audience in many ways aside from running ads on your channel! Start focusing on influencer marketing (i.e. sponsorships), channel memberships, selling online courses, or live streams with donations. Many of these other approaches have a higher earning potential than ads and they have more flexibility as well.
As far as ad revenue goes, it’s unlikely that your CPM would fall below $1.2 once your channel is this big and influential. You can expect to make up to $6 per 1,000 views. This means that your estimated earnings would be $1,200 to $6,000 for every million views on the videos you post.
That said, when you start consistently going over a million views per video, you will likely be making enough money to turn your YouTube channel into a full-time career.
We mentioned above that your ad revenue on YouTube is controlled by the AdSense platform. Here’s a few things that you can change about your channel that may affect how much revenue you’re bringing in per view.
Channel category or video topics
Category has a significant impact on ad revenue, according to marketing strategist and online marketer Latasha James, who hosts over 118k subscribers on YouTube.
“I started my YouTube journey as a makeup creator, and while I got decent views on several videos, my revenue never compared to what I make now as a creator in the entrepreneurship category. Because my audience is looking for a specific solution to a problem that can actually make them more money, they’re more willing to invest in a higher ticket product or service than someone who’s just looking to be entertained.”
LATASHA JAMES, MARKETING STRATEGIST & ONLINE EDUCATOR
On Google, keywords like “local dentist” can cost up to $100 per click because it’s very generic and many local clinics will be fighting for the top spot on the broad term. If your video is related to something that advertisers are ready to have a bidding war over, you’ll get higher CPM and more revenue as a result.
There are three things to keep in mind if you’re trying to optimize your YouTube channel category for higher revenue:
- Who is your audience? What are their demographics and purchasing power?
- What is your niche and how unique are your videos?
- How competitive is the advertising market around what your videos are about?
Type of ads used
Another factor that will affect how much money you make per video is the type of ads you allow on your channel. See the different ad formats here:
- Skippable ads (after 5 seconds)
- Non-skippable ads (15-20 seconds in length)
- Bumper ads (up to 6 seconds at the beginning of the video)
- Overlay ads (text banner only)
- Back-to-back ads (for videos longer than 5 minutes)
You can control which of these ads are displayed and where they are placed (pre-, mid- or post- video) via AdSense. Since these settings affect engagement levels, they will also result in different CPM payouts.
Thinking of gaming the YouTube ads? You’re not alone. YouTube is the second most popular website in the world right now, attracting billions of people every month — so it’s very tempting to look for ways to make your content more advertiser-friendly.
But YouTube is a very complex and ever-evolving platform, with advanced algorithms that demonetize content that doesn’t give its viewers what they want.
The best strategy we can suggest is creating the most authentic and engaging content you can. That way you’ll organically get more views over time and the YouTube algorithms will turn to your favor.
Strategically placing your ad breaks
Latasha James suggests that another way to maximize ad revenue is to strategically place ad breaks throughout your video.
For example, if you were doing a home renovation video, you could place an ad right before you show off the final reveal. Because you’ve built up anticipation, your audience is more likely to sit through an ad — just make sure that you don’t overdo it. Placing too many ads in your videos can come across as spammy and make your viewers click away.
Google AdSense is the tool that tracks how many views your ads are getting, which determines your payout. It also allows you to determine which videos get certain types of ads so that your audience has a catered experience on your channel.
The main ways to monetize through Youtube include:
- Selling channel memberships
- YouTube shopping
- Video subscriptions (such as PPV or SVOD)
- Super chats and super stickers
See more about Youtube’s monetization options here.
One of the eligibility factors when applying to the YouTube Partner Program is the region where you live. Here is a list of all eligible countries that you could live in and create content from.
Growing your YouTube channel is no easy feat. You’ll need to do some market research in your niche, create relevant content, and then build a marketing plan for promoting your new videos. Then, continually test which content is earning the highest engagement and try to earn more of it. See here for more tips on how to grow your YouTube channel.
You’re only going to get paid if a user watches the full ad, so ad session duration is a useful metric to see where users may be dropping off. If you find your audience isn’t engaging with a certain type of ad or on a certain video, it’s a good idea to test an alternative option. As well, it’s important to make sure your own video content is interesting enough to make enduring the ad worthwhile for the user!
YouTube pays creators on a monthly basis, usually between the 21st and 26th of each month. To be paid out, you must have earned a minimum of $100 in your account. If you haven’t met the threshold in one month, the earnings will roll over to the next month and continue to do so until you have met the threshold.
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This article was originally published May 2022, and was updated May 2023 and December 2023 with additional resources for YouTubers.