Monetization on YouTube provides a way for channel managers to bring in revenue to a channel as part of meeting the company’s strategic business goals.
Benefits of monetizing on YouTube
With more than a billion users in 75+ languages, YouTube provides creators and advertisers opportunities to reach large-scale audiences. YouTube connects with one-third of global internet users and reaches more 18-49 year olds on mobile alone than any cable network in the United States. What’s more, individuals, media companies and brands alike can own channels and create content for YouTube.
High quality monetized content, engaged viewers, and high traffic help fuel the ecosystem with advertising dollars. Enabling monetization funds the channel owner and provides an opportunity for advertisers and brands to reach audiences with on demand relevant content.
Revenue streams for YouTube
YouTube offers several ways to make money on and off of YouTube, and in partnership with external third-party services. Channels can turn on monetization at any time, but revenue grows only after the channel builds a large, loyal, and engaged audience. Once a channel begins to monetize with ads, it can identify additional revenue streams based on its business strategy.
Advertising is the most common way channels earn money on YouTube. Once channels enable monetization, they may also start getting a proportion of revenue from YouTube Red, allocated by a percentage of watch time/views.
Additional ways to earn revenue on YouTube include:
- Enabling Super Chat on live streams (for eligible channels).
Channels also have the opportunity to earn revenue off-YouTube by:
- Selling merchandise through approved third-party retailers. Learn more.
- Crowdfunding with approved third-party crowdfunding sites. Learn more.
- Getting paid sponsorships. Learn more.
- Collaborating with brands to produce branded content. Learn more.
Note: Not all of these revenue streams are available in all countries. If you are being paid or compensated to create content, make sure you understand your disclosure requirements.
Enable a channel for monetization
Advertising revenue can be a significant source of income. Once a channel enables monetization and turns on ads for eligible videos, these videos may become a part of the inventory for advertisers to run their ads on. To get a channel set up for ads, review the following checklist:
- Step 1: Read and agree to the YouTube Partner Program terms. From your YouTube account, enable monetization for your channel and follow the onscreen instructions to accept the YouTube Partner Program terms. Note a channel must have 1k subscribers and 4k watch hours in the past 12 months in order to be eligible for the YouTube Partner Program. Once your channel has reached this threshold of 4k watch hours and 1k subscribers, we'll review your application to make sure your channel activity adheres to the YouTube Partner Program policies, YouTube Terms of Service, and our Community Guidelines. We'll let you know as soon as the process is complete.(Learn more.)
- Step 2: Sign up for AdSense to get paid for your monetized videos. You can create a new AdSense account or connect an existing one to your channel.
- Step 3: Set monetization preferences. Review the criteria for what videos you can monetize and the different ad formats. Then set what types of ads you want to run on your videos and automatically turn on monetization for all your existing and future videos.
- Continually monitor videos for advertiser-friendliness.
- Check the Video Manager to confirm that videos are monetized. Videos marked as “not advertiser-friendly” are still eligible to monetize through YouTube Red.
Tools to measure revenue for a channel
Once a YouTube channel begins monetizing, YouTube provides dedicated tools and reports to quantitatively assess performance and revenue growth on YouTube.
YouTube Analytics in Creator Studio is available for all channels and offers different reports that let a channel owner measure how an audience responds to videos. There are three types of reports: Watch time, Engagement, and Revenue. A channel manager can use this data to set benchmarks, analyze the success of various revenue streams, and forecast a revenue roadmap. Below is a summary of the revenue reports within YouTube Analytics:
- Revenue report gives you an overview of your estimated earnings for the channel’s different revenue streams—ads, YouTube Red, and Super Chat (if eligible)—across different videos, geographies, and dates. This data can also be overlaid with additional detailed metrics (using the compare metric feature) such as watch time, subscribers, and videos published to help you determine how each metric influences each revenue stream. Learn how to use the revenue report.
- Ad rates shows you a deep dive into how the different types of ads are performing. The data includes YouTube ad revenue, cost per mille (CPMs), and estimated monetized playbacks and you can use the compare metric to also see ad impressions. Learn how to use the Ad rates report and review basic definitions.
- Transaction revenue shows revenue from Super Chat purchases.
Note: These numbers are only estimates. Earnings data can take up to seven days to appear.
Note: The Ad rates report shows estimated earnings; the Revenue report shows net revenue (the amount you will be paid).
You can learn more about how to set benchmarks, understand your revenue, and identify opportunities to increase revenue.
Note: If you are an approved Content Owner with Content ID, additional reports in the Content Management System and Downloadable Reports can help manage your auditable revenue reporting at scale.