How Much Do YouTubers Make Right Now? Bonus: Top 10 List 2018

YouTubers are modern media stars, especially extremely successful YouTubers like pewdiepie. The numbers of their clicks amount not to millions, but to billions of clicks and views for the most successful uploaders of video clips.  But how much do YouTubers make?

The really amazing thing about it is that a significant group of those who have risen to YouTube Olympus have done so without the backing of influential producers and sponsors, thank to the internet.

Before the advent of the digital age, coincidence and media producers determined who would be tomorrow‘s star. 

Of course this is still valid today, since television is still the most influential medium – at least in terms of the time that the average person spends in front of the screen. But the internet penetrates this area more and more, with internet-compatible TV sets playing an important part.

We may safely assume that with a progressive expansion of fiber optic technology and fast wireless connections, the medium of television will eventually be fully integrated into the data stream of the world wide web.

Thus YouTube & Co will play an even more prominent role. In theory, this means that there are still good opportunities to succeed with YouTube videos in the future. But the production of such elaborate streams is by no means as playful and amusing as it may seem, for example in pewdiepie‘s videos.

We‘ll throw some light on if and how the stars in video clip heaven deserve their success and what‘s in it for them.

how much do youtubers make

How much do youtubers make?

Making money on YouTube

Before we really go to the bone, first some facts about YouTube. The company was founded in 2005 by three former PayPal employees. 

Steve Chen, computer scientist, Chad Hurley, designer and Jawed Karim, another computer scientists.

The founders have two different stories in store about how the idea for YouTube popped up.

While Chen and Hurley claim that the idea came up after a dinner party where there had been videos recorded, with subsequent trouble in putting them online, Karim once stated that the idea came up when he was searching the web for videos of Janet Jackson's performance at the Superbowl and the tsunami in the Indian Ocean, and found these only with difficulty.

Anyway, the launch of the startup company was so promising that, nine months after it was set up, a $ 1 trillion venture capitalist stepped in and added another $ 8 million five months later.

During the same year, 2006, Google acquired the startup for $ 1.65 billion in shares of the search engine giant. This is a story that only the internet can write.

Founding a business and selling it for a billion within 18 months. Even the very first YouTubers made a real lot of money!

Can you do what pewdiepie can do?

Learning from successful YouTubers is certainly not the worst way to start making money on YouTube. Gothenburg-born Swede Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, aka pewdiepie, uploaded his first video in 2006, shortly after Google's acquisition of the portal.

His first YouTube channel was called pewdie, a composition of the noisy pew, pronounced pju, the sound of a ray gun, and the English word for „die“. Only 4 years later it became pewdiepie. Pronounced quickly in English, such as pjudipei, there‘s a great similarity to the English „bjutifull“ for wonderful. A popular, often used term in English, with a very positive image. This shows that the choice of name for your own channel deserves proper consideration.

Two years after the launch of the pewdiepei channel, the number of subscribers began to increase sharply. At the end of 2012, pewdiepie had over 2 million subscribers and was already nominated for King of the Web.

On December 8, 2016, the number of pewdiepei subscribers exceeded the 50 million mark (now > 60 million). Nobody did that before him. Four months ago, the channel reached, again a first ever worldwide, 10 billion video views.

What‘s behind the success story?

Where to start?

There are various factors to consider.

For one, the Swede Kjellberg speaks perfect English, not the slightly stilted Oxford English or one of the US dialects, but with a pleasant, slight Swedish accent very easy on the ear. Thus he serves the largest YouTube market, the English-speaking countries. The only 27-year-old young man has a very positive, friendly personality, and he prepares meticulously for his video appearances.

Next, in the development of the video formats one notices that pewdiepei is not resting on the laurels, but searching for and finding new formats and content.

Ultimately, this is also evident in the staging. While his very first video was just a monologue in front of the webcam held in the youth room of his parents‘ home, his current clips are dramaturgically well laid out.

Kjellberg alias pewdiepei is still learning and implementing new ideas. ​But he went to far with some ideas. In 2017 PewDiePie lost deals with YouTube and Disney after The Wall Street Journal reported anti-Semitic jokes in his videos. With about 61 million subscribers (March 2018) he is still the most successful YouTuber on this planet.

How much does pewdiepei make? 

This can‘t be answered with absolute accuracy, unless Kjellberg provides an excerpt from his bank account. That‘s not going to happen, because although he lives in England since 2013 and has to pay far less taxes than in his native Sweden, the publication of his income would be a disservice to himself for reasons one can imagine.

Just for the year 2014 it is known he earned about $ 7.5 million before taxes during this period. Reputable sources assume that pewdiepei made about 15 million US dollars in 2016. His total assets should amount to around 40 million US dollars.

Which conclusions can be drawn from this?

Rhetorical talent and good looks are success factors not to be underestimated on the web. In addition, it turns out that the most successful YouTube channels are all personal.

This gives them a unique selling proposition that can not be copied. That doesn‘t mean that before opting for a YouTube career one should consult a cosmetic surgeon.

Above all, pewdiepei serves the very large field of online game fans, one way or another the largest market on the web.

But even in niches one may find enough subscribers to help earning a good income.

Popular topics will always occupy the top positions in the ranking of the most successful channels.

How to make money on YouTube

Admittedly a complete guide to making money on YouTube would include a wealth of detail that would go beyond the scope of this article. But the basic concept can be reproduced in a short summary.

  • First, your own interests and the chosen target group should converge. Because the fun factor in the production of YouTube videos is important. Clips that are lackluster and visibly out to make money don‘t hit the target. Users sense the lack of motivation. There is a suitable niche for practically every topic serving as playground for hundreds of thousands or even millions of users. Even stamp collecting can be enriched with an exciting dramaturgy.
  • The equipment has to be good. YouTube viewers increasingly value good video and sound quality. Fortunately, webcam technology is getting better and better at ever more affordable prices. Nevertheless and in any case, an additional microphone should ensure good sound. With increasing success the equipment may be improved.
  • As already mentioned and shown by famous examples, personal presence in the videos is a decisive factor. Not everyone possesses the rhetorical ability and the charisma of ​the most successful YouTubers. Sometimes just a striking voice is enough. The personal audio background of the videos is important for another reason. Initially revenue is generated through Google Adsense, which requires a corresponding account with Google. The video is accompanied by music, which is often problematic due to copyrights, and in many cases leads to YouTube's blocking a „commercialisation“ - this means the insertion of advertisements will be denied. Anyone who finds himself unable to appear convincingly in the videos should look around among friends and relatives – maybe someone who has the makings of a YouTube star can be found. And many things can be better realized as a team, even if it consist of only two people,

How many YouTube videos should it be? 

To really reach more subscribers, it's important to regularly upload new content. Once a week is the minimum. ​Some successful YouTubers treat their fans daily to new material. But this requires a major effort!

In the end one should not forget to mention that for making money on YouTube one needs to take the other social media into account. A catchy name plus a face or logo that appears regularly on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram same as on YouTube.

And finally, a word for the wise: Stay away from political or religious issues. These usually make for YouTubers not money, but a lot of trouble.

But how much do YouTubers make? Top 10 2017

(source: forbes.com)

Conclusion on making money on YouTube

On the subject: „How much do YouTubers earn“ there are of course the above mentioned top ten. But like any other market economy, YouTube has some top earners, a well-paid middle class and a broad base not or not yet successful.

Whether success is just a little bit of luck or coincidence is in the eye of the beholder. In any case, getting started with YouTube is far more democratic than in other areas.

YouTube does not have a hiring manager who makes the hiring dependent on subjective criteria. The notorious nepotism is missing here.

The launch is made equally easy or better for all budding YouTube artists. The required equipment is often already part of the household and other equipment can be procured inexpensively.

Where many fail is with the will to succeed and the ability to persevere. This happens on YouTube just as in any other industry – things get better with increasing experience.

An apprentice usually has three to four years of training ahead of him. A budding YouTube entrepreneur should give himself this long, too.

No one makes millions overnight on YouTube, but chances are good for leading a self-determined life in the foreseeable future, away from daily 8 hours in the office and three weeks of vacation per year.

​How much do #YouTubers make? Bonus: Top 10 | via @DAYTRADINGz

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