Is YouTube Profitable? Uncovering the Harsh Truth

Is YouTube Profitable? Uncovering the Harsh Truth
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Is YouTube profitable? This should be the question you should ask first before deciding to go and quit your day job. This is because not everyone will have a YouTube success story. Yes, we are all familiar with some of the biggest YouTube celebrities who are now living the high life, but that does not mean that it will be the same story for you.

We might be bursting your bubble here, but, of course, you also have to be realistic. If you really want to use this platform to make good money, then you can absolutely do so. Then again, you have to ask: will it turn to profit easily? That is precisely what we are going to talk about in this article.

Is YouTube Profitable?

In general, yes, making videos and uploading them on YouTube is profitable. It is profitable in a sense that once you become a YouTube partner, you can really start earning money off of your videos. However, the thing is, what you earn for every thousand views is not that much.

Put that into the perspective of someone who is just starting out, then you will see that for the first two years or so, the money is slow.

Even if you have a set number of subscribers, it is not assured that these numbers will turn into views. Keep in mind that what counts once you get monetized are the first one thousand views for every video. Realistically speaking, before you get to the point where you have an average view count of 200,000 to 500,000 people, it might be five years after you’ve started. If you are lucky, you get to have an already successful channel to promote you.

There are definitely a lot of factors that affect the profitability of YouTube, but the best thing about it is the fact that you get to decide what the outcome would be. This is in the sense of what videos you produce. If you are really devoted to a certain niche, then there will be no problems in terms of content—it is just a matter of finding viewers who are also interested in that niche.

Yes, It Is Profitable

The biggest YouTubers are proof enough that YouTube is profitable. With the likes of Ray William Johnson, Pewdiepie, Jenna Marbles, Jeffree Star, Shane Dawson, and many others, one can really see that YouTube can actually be your full-time job.

These YouTube stars earn as much as a million for at least three videos. There are even some that can earn that amount in just one upload. In terms of just relying on YouTube ad revenue, it is profitable if you have at least a million subscribers. But what really makes it a good business are the sponsored videos and brand partnerships.

We all know that these YouTubers are influencers, and therefore, can help brands to boost a certain product and service. Definitely, brands will reach out to these people and ask for a specific product or service to be featured in a video in exchange for money.

Not only that, but you can also do affiliate marketing. Once you have a loyal pool of subscribers who will buy the same things that you like, you can just give them a link of which their purchase will have a certain percentage credited to you. Another tactic is by using Patreon for subscribers to donate to your channel so that they can get exclusive content.

More than that, YouTube has now evolved to be more engaging to your audience. A YouTuber can now do live streams where there is Superchat. Of course, for some custom emojis to be used in order to really display your support for that YouTuber, you have to buy these.

There is also Youtube Red, which is a subscription service that provides you more access to videos from that certain creator. These videos are not available for viewing if you simply subscribe for free; you need to pay for the service.

No, It Is Not Profitable

As we have discussed earlier, YouTube is not profitable if you are just starting out. You will start by having all of your videos completely demonetized. It is until you become a YouTube partner where you can start to earn from your videos.

In order for this to happen, you would need to put in a lot of work, time, and money. That is for you to at least have a subscriber and viewer count that can maintain at least 10,000 views for every video or for you to have consistent revenue.

This goes to show that before you get anything off of your channel, you should also invest in a lot of money. There are now a lot of people who want to cash in on that YouTube fame that you have a lot of competition for viewers and subscribers. At the same time, even if you do get to the right view count, it is not assured that you will be able to maintain that for a long time.

Another big issue with this is the fact that YouTube changed its ad revenue standards. Previously, ads will continuously run on your videos no matter what the content is. Now, advertisers have a lot of say whether they want to run their ad in your videos or not. This means that even if your videos are monetized, there will be instances where there will be no ads at all, which is clearly money loss.


So, is YouTube profitable? The answer is yes, but it comes with a price. Quitting your day job to start a YouTube channel is definitely tricky as it is no longer friendly for beginner YouTubers. What you can do is to set up your channel first and make sure that it gets the right amount of average views before you consider making YouTube a business.

On the other hand, if you really want to get into it, then just treat it as a hobby first. In this way, you will not get stressed on how little you earn off of it. Then again, if your outright concern is to cash in as much money as you can from the get-go, then YouTube is not for you.

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