The YouTube Partner Program updated in 2018, changing the minimum watch hours and subscribers threshold for channels to be considered for monetization in the program.
However, it is not views alone that determine how much money you make. The amount of time that a visitor spends watching your ads also counts.
To help clear the confusion, we’ll be taking you through a look at the minimum requirements in views and subscribers, while showing you what YouTuber’s can expect to earn as well.
YouTube Partner Program Minimums
The YouTube Partner Program has a minimum eligibility requirement of 4,000 watch hours annually, and 1,000 channel subscriptions. If you fall within this criterion and your video content complies with YouTube Community guidelines, then you can apply for monetization. Once monetized, revenues pay on a cost per click (CPC) or cost per 1,000 views (CPM).
Only once a viewer has watched 30 seconds of an ad, or clicked on a CPC ad, is the revenue due to you as a YouTuber. Short videos require half the length of the ad to be watched before monetization for the view is paid. As you can see, the direct amount of views that you accrue does not determine your earnings.
Your YouTube ad revenue is paid to your AdSense account which can then be cashed to your bank account or paid by other means such as wire transfer or check. Only once you reach the minimum payment threshold of $100 can you cash out your earnings. Some channels earn this in minutes while thousands of YouTubers have never come close. It all depends on your channel.
Moderate Success on YouTube
Once you’ve hit anywhere around 20,000 subscribers, you can consider your video moderately successful. Video production costs can run quite high and you may end up spending all your income on production and marketing. Moderate success can be classified as anything under one million subscribers.
Smaller channels (those in their early stages) often seek assistance from crowdfunding sites such as Patreon. With the average Patreon donation tallying $7 and just 5% being kept as Patreon’s commission, this is a great way to supplement your YouTube income. As a channel grows towards the 50,000-subscriber mark, it is time to begin focusing on deliberate keywords which attract a higher CPC or CPM.
High Subscriber Counts
As your channel begins to expand its reach, do not be surprised to find that even at 1 million subscribers, you’re still not rock-solid. Your channel will always take work and the bigger your channel, the more content you need. The highest-earning YouTubers earn between $10 million and $22 million per year, with this total excluding sponsorships.
YouTubers should continue to expand their reach and consider adding brandable merchandise and other products to their audiences. There is an infinite number of ways to monetize a large YouTube audience of faithful subscribers. In 2018, one deal sealed YouTube star PewDiePie $450,000 in a sponsored payment. Never underestimate the value of paid partnerships.
Launching a Successful Channel
During the early stages of launching a channel, you are trying to build a reputation rather than earn an income online. You can choose to pick a laser targeted niche with a limited amount of die-hard fans if you’re looking for instant interest but this is not necessarily the best long-term course of action. How you monetize depends largely upon the audience that you hope to attract. Successful niches include:
- Top Lists
- Inspirational / Motivational Content
- Funny Videos
- Food Reviews
- Consumer Electronics Reviews
- Guides & How-to’s
Some marketers describe the ideal niche to target as one which is “evergreen.” Evergreen niches are those where the content doesn’t expire due to age. Excellent examples are health tips, productivity hacks, lifehacks, and other lists involving static information which doesn’t change over time. In these verticals, competition is typically high but if you get a foothold you’re set for a long time.
The Importance of Views to Affiliate Marketing
If you are planning to monetize via affiliate programs ranging from product commissions to cost per action programs, then view count is very important to you. Brand spokespeople and product reviews will still want to grow their subscriber count but promoting a single video extensively can be extremely lucrative. All affiliate marketers rely on reaching a high sales total meaning that the video launched is funneling traffic towards a single earning funnel.
In this case, it is often more important to a marketer to drive raw traffic to a single campaign rather than foster a lasting relationship with a fixed audience of loyal subscribers. YouTube has many paid advertising campaigns which affiliate marketers can use side-by-side with their own advertising efforts. The right combination of targeted ads can skyrocket views to a specific video and in turn, guarantee a massive jump in sales or subscriptions for a product which is known to be in demand.
CPC and View Count
Advertisers using a cost per click model are more interested in getting a definite interest in their product or service than getting their brand seen. Such advertisers conventionally use a CPC advertising model and will need more specific videos to host their ads.
A specific type of channel with a very specific type of fan will be of far more use to CPC advertising than a channel which hosts lots of videos with lots of views, for example, funnies, or viral videos.
A high view count for a CPC advertiser will not run as high as one using a CPM model. Each click normally translates to the viewer following through on an action leading them to a sale or subscription. Nonetheless, both advertising models can be targeted by YouTubers depending on the type of videos which you like making and the demographic which is most interested in your content.
Views are Always Important
There is no definite answer to the number of views that you need to make money on YouTube but the more views you have the more money you stand a chance at making. Some YouTubers actively inform their audiences that they rely on advertising revenue which works well to keep their viewers watching right through the ads.
Most, however, only push for high averages. How you handle your audience will largely depend on what type of videos you’re making but one thing is for sure, you always want as many views and as many subscribers as you can get.