YouTube is a global phenomenon that has taken the world by storm. It is the second-largest search engine in the world, serving millions of videos each day. For content creators, YouTube is more than just a video-sharing platform. It is a platform that enables them to build lucrative careers from their passions and creativity. However, some questions remain unanswered, such as how much money does YouTube make and how do creators earn from the platform.

Significance of the Topic to the Audience

The significance of this topic to the audience lies in understanding how much money they can make on the platform. For content creators, knowing how much YouTube makes and how they earn from the platform can help them monetize and optimize their content for better earnings. For viewers, understanding how YouTube makes money can provide insights into the kind of ads that they see on the platform and why certain content creators thrive while others struggle.

Thesis Statement

This article explores the various revenue streams that YouTube uses to generate income and how much the platform earns from each stream. We also compare YouTube’s earnings to other social media platforms, analyze the top YouTube earners, and critique YouTube’s monetization policies. Finally, we make future predictions about YouTube’s revenue streams in light of emerging trends.

Overview of YouTube’s Revenue Streams

YouTube generates revenue through several income streams, including ads, sponsorships, merchandise sales, YouTube Premium, and the YouTube Music app. Among these revenue streams, ads are the most common, and the bulk of YouTube’s earnings come from these ads.


Ads are the most common way YouTube makes money. Google AdSense manages all ads on YouTube. YouTube pays content creators a portion of the revenue earned from these ads. The amount a creator receives depends on several factors, including the number of views, type of ads, ad formats, watch time, and engagement rate, among others.


Sponsorships are another way YouTube content creators earn money. Companies pay content creators to promote their products or services to their audience. Sponsorships are particularly popular with creators who have large followings as they offer a lucrative passive income stream.

Merchandise sales

Merchandise sales are a popular income stream for YouTube content creators with large followings. Creators can sell branded merchandise, such as t-shirts, mugs, or phone cases, featuring their logos or slogans.

YouTube Premium

YouTube Premium is a subscription-based service that allows viewers to watch ad-free content. As part of the subscription billing, YouTube pays a portion of the fees to content creators whose videos are viewed by premium users.

YouTube Music and YouTube Kids

YouTube has officially expanded its market reach through YouTube Music and YouTube Kids. These platforms provide music streaming services and video content for children, respectively.

Insights into How Much YouTube Earns from Each Revenue Stream

Ads are the most common way YouTube generates revenue. Google AdSense pays content creators a percentage of the revenue from these ads. YouTube earns approximately $1 per 1000 views on ads in the US. In terms of sponsorships, the amount of money content creators make depends on the deal terms they have negotiated. For instance, PewDiePie, the highest-earning YouTuber in 2019, earns significant amounts from sponsorships. PewDiePie, also known as Felix Kjellberg, is reported to make over $1 million per month from the platform’s various income streams. Merchandise sales are also a lucrative income stream, with YouTube content creators earning a percentage of the products’ revenue sales. YouTube Premium splits the subscription fees with content creators, who get a portion of the revenue. Finally, YouTube Music and YouTube Kids are both recently launched platforms, and their earning potential is not yet fully known.

Comparison of YouTube’s Earnings to Other Platforms

Other social media platforms operate income streams similar to that of YouTube, such as ads and sponsorships. For social media platforms, such as Instagram, which specialize in pictures and short videos, sponsored posts are the main income stream. Facebook, another social media platform, earns most of its revenue from advertising, like YouTube. However, the Facebook advertising model is different in that advertisers bid for ad space. The more competition there is for ad space, the higher the ad fee is. Twitter’s primary income stream is also advertising. Twitter ads come in the form of sponsored tweets accounts or sponsored hashtags.

Insights into How YouTube Stacks Up Against Its Competition

YouTube launched a long time ago before any of its current competitors. Also, YouTube’s broad collection of video content means that it has variety in its earning potential. In terms of earnings, however, YouTube falls behind Facebook, which makes more than $84 billion from advertising revenue. YouTube makes approximately $19.77 billion from advertising revenue. Although Instagram has a lower market value than YouTube, Instagram surpasses YouTube in terms of growth rate. Between 2018 and 2019, YouTube’s valuation grew by 24.2%, whereas Instagram’s grew by 47.;3%.

Analysis of Top YouTube Earners

YouTube’s top earners primarily comprise influencers who create engaging and high-quality content around their passions. These YouTubers often have a massive following on their channels, with some boasting millions of subscribers. The most successful YouTube creators are those who produce trendy, relatable content with a strong brand image that resonates with their audiences.

Factors That Contribute to a Successful YouTube Channel

Factors that contribute to a successful YouTube channel include regular content creation, targeting a specific niche, having an engaging brand, offering unique content, and having a strong social media presence. Videos that generate large numbers of views and engagements from subscribers are more likely to feature high on the search rankings, providing the channel with greater exposure.

Insights into How Much Money Top YouTube Earners Make

The top YouTube earners make considerable sums of money from several income streams. PewDiePie, for example, makes a significant amount from sponsorships, merchandises sales, affiliate marketing and YouTube ad revenue. Ryan Kaji, a YouTube star known for reviewing toys, made $26 million in 2019 on his channel ‘Ryan’s World.’ Additionally, MrBeast, known for his stunts and giveaway challenges, also makes a significant amount from sponsorships, ad revenue. Other top YouTubers, including Rhett and Link, Johnny Ward, and Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, also earn considerably from the platform’s various income streams.

Critique of YouTube’s Monetization Policies

YouTube’s monetization policies have often been criticized, particularly regarding how they affect content creators’ ability to make money on the platform. One of the primary challenges faced by YouTube creators is the platform’s stringent content rules that exclude inappropriate content from monetization. YouTube also reserves the right to limit advertising on particular videos or channels, ban channels for community guideline violations, or demonetize an entire channel.

Impact of These Policies on Creators’ Ability to Make Money on the Platform

YouTube’s stringent policies have made it challenging for content creators to make money on the platform. Channels that don’t meet the platform’s content rules, such as those with political or adult content, struggle to monetize their videos. YouTube’s policies on demonetizing or limiting advertising on channels deemed politically and racially sensitive also contribute to creators’ challenges. The platform also withholds ad revenue from videos or channels temporarily or permanently that violate its policies or guidelines.

Challenges Content Creators Face on the Platform

Content creators on YouTube also face several challenges, including competition from other creators, piracy, slow monetization processes, and low rates of pay. Additionally, YouTube has faced several criticisms from creators regarding its advertising policies, including the placement of ads next to potentially objectionable content and the lack of transparency regarding ad placements.

Future Predictions for YouTube’s Earnings

YouTube’s earnings potential is unlikely to decrease anytime soon, thanks to the growth of the video industry and the continued development of the platform’s revenue streams. YouTube is set to have higher growth in the coming years. The platform has ongoing research to explore additional income streams, including merchandise sales and subscription services. YouTube is also expanding its market reach with the launch of YouTube Premium and YouTube Music and investing in developing new revenue streams through original content. With the platform’s reach and user base plus the new income streams, YouTube’s earnings are set to increase over the next few years.

Insights into the Potential for Growth in YouTube’s Revenue

YouTube has potential for growth in its revenue, and this can be attributed mainly to its broad market reach, the continued increase in video consumption, more innovative advertising models, and new revenue streams. According to a market report by Statista, YouTube’s advertising revenue is projected to reach $30.06 billion by 2022.


In conclusion, YouTube is still a valuable platform in the social media space, and it has potential for significant growth in the future. The platform generates revenue through various income streams, including ads, sponsorships, merchandise sales, YouTube Premium, and the YouTube Music app. While YouTube’s competition provides stiff competition, the platform still holds a significant chunk of the video-sharing market. Therefore, carefully curating content that stays in line with YouTube’s policies is essential for creators who want to make money from this platform.

By Riddle Reviewer

Hi, I'm Riddle Reviewer. I curate fascinating insights across fields in this blog, hoping to illuminate and inspire. Join me on this journey of discovery as we explore the wonders of the world together.

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