1 Million YouTube Views: How Much YouTube Pays for this Milestone

1 Million YouTube Views: How Much YouTube Pays for this Milestone

Theo J. Bressett

Updated 29/03/2024


Every video marketer knows that YouTube views are vital to their success. Many YouTubers make 1 million YouTube views on each video their goal. Are 1 million YouTube views really worth what you think they are? So, how much do YouTubers make? Let’s look at YouTube’s pay structure, and examine monetization options. Read to the end for money making tips from YouTube’s top earners!

How much YouTube pays you directly

YouTube’s biggest payment factor is the cost per impression, or CPI. CPI is the rate YouTube pays for every thousand views of the ads they attach to your videos. Note that this is after YouTube has already taken its share of the amount paid by advertisers to have their ads posted on your video.

While YouTube does not publish its CPI rates, online marketing firm Penna Powers estimates their current CPI to range from as low as $.5 to as high as $10. Let’s assume that all 1 million viewers on a particular video also watch the ads before it. We can conservatively assume that your CPI is at the average range of $2 (as estimated by Hank Green). You could expect each video to earn:

Views x CPI
1 million views x ($2/1000 views)

Now factor in the ‘Skip ad’ button and ad blockers. Penna Powers estimates an average of only 15% of viewers actually watch ads without skipping. 15% of 1 million viewers would be 150,000 viewers:

150,000 views x $2/1000 views

$300 is definitely way below the initial $2000 you thought you’d earn for 1 million YouTube views.

Remember that CPI rates vary from $.5 to $10. YouTube uses a complex algorithm to determine the quality of your views. They assign your rate depending on these factors:

  • The type of audience viewing your video
  • The ads themselves
  • The price of the ads
  • Audience retention and engagement

Even if you get a great rate you could still earn well below $2000. The best YouTube marketers will tell you that views are important, but don’t expect to earn a fortune from your YouTube views alone.

How does YouTube pay you?

YouTube itself doesn’t actually pay you. The money comes from Adsense, a separate company owned by Google. They used to send you a fun, and slightly romantic, cheque. Most people are now paid via direct deposit on the 21st of each month. Some countries have other options for getting paid by YouTube:

  • Western Union
  • Wire transfer
  • SEPA

Here is a real YouTube user showing you how YouTube pays you:

You even see one of the fabled Google cheques!

How much do YouTubers make from other income sources

Hitting 1 million, or only 100,000, YouTube views will open up many income opportunities. Alternative income sources can dwarf what you make from YouTube. Advertisers are always looking for successful YouTubers with an audience!

Instead of placing ads on videos with no real assurance they will actually be watched, some marketers go directly to YouTube creators like you to advertise their products in your videos. There is no way for the viewers to skip the ad with the product in the video. Let’s look at 3 ways this works.

1. Sponsored YouTube videos

Epic Meal Time’s bacon sponsor is a perfect example of a YouTube sponsorship. They feature their sponsor, Hormel Bacon, in their videos frequently. They also give them the first link in their description:

How much these deals will bring you will vary greatly depending on what you and the marketer agree upon. Rosianna Halse Rojas said in an interview that the more lucrative deals pay $4,000 – $20,000 for a single deal. The best part is that YouTube does not get a cut of this.

2. Affiliate Marketing on YouTube

Another popular means of generating income from YouTube is through affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing on YouTube involves directing viewers to affiliated videos and websites. The YouTuber is paid by the affiliate from the traffic and sales generated.

This particular method is surprisingly lucrative. Even with a low conversion rate of 0.05% of traffic and just a $10 commission, a million views could potentially bring as much as $5000. Do note that commission rates can vary greatly from client to client. Carefully weigh the pros and cons of various affiliate offers.

Directing your viewers to click the affiliate links isn’t easy. You have to promote them in some way without annoying your audience. This is where your choice of affiliates is crucial. You want affiliates that are closely related to your videos to gain the interest of your audience. Zoella, a makeup channel, puts her very relevant affiliate links in her description:

Affiliate links are one of the most popular means of monetizing your videos outside of YouTube AdSense. Carefully choose the right affiliates to make money from to keep your viewers from feeling advertised to.

3. YouTube star’s merchandise websites

Some of the most popular YouTube content providers also make additional income by selling merchandise. This is usually done by those who have made their names big enough on YouTube that subscribers would be more than willing to purchase goods from them.

Philip DeFranco has his own successful merchandise website called For Human Peoples:

He pushes his fans to visit the site in his videos, and his fans respond.

Getting those 1 million YouTube views

Not all YouTube content creators aspire to that ‘magical’ 1 million views milestone for the direct income it brings. Those advertising their businesses on the site see that mark as an indicator that their marketing strategy is working to attract even more potential customers. Here are three ways to get those 1 million views.

1. Buying ads on YouTube

We have already talked about YouTube ads in the context of the YouTubers who get paid for showing it. Let’s look at those who paid for ads so that you can better understand how to make money from them. Here are the types of ads:

  • In slate: Which appears in the “suggested videos” section at the end of a video.
  • Search-ads: That appear above search results (much like in Google)
  • In display: This ad that appears in the suggested video list shown beside the current video.
  • In stream: An ad that plays before another video.

In stream ads are the most popular. They are the ones that are most likely to be watched, even if the viewer ends up skipping it a few seconds later. YouTube also offers a few non-skippable ads. As for the other types, they require the viewers to click on them to play.

How much it costs advertisers depends mainly on the audience targeting for the ad. Narrowing your audience costs more, generally speaking. According to Penna Powers, rates average $.10 – $.30 per view. YouTube charges when the ad is viewed for longer than 30 seconds. Ads shorter than 30 seconds are considered viewed when watched in their entirety.

Going back to the 1 million ad views, using the median ad rate of $.20, advertisers pay $200 for every million views from ads. While that cost might seem small, remember that advertisers don’t just create one video. Burger King showed us this:

They did at least half a dozen to have a better shot at capturing the interest of their target audience. Their actual cost for the YouTube ad campaign is significantly larger because of this.

Another way to purchase ad space on YouTube is to strike a deal with other content creators to direct their subscribers to watch your videos. Think of it as a way to do YouTube collaborations, they still work!

2. External marketing

One of the best things about the growth of social media in recent years is that it opens up a new platform for marketing your videos and attracting viewers. All you need to do is share a link to the video on your social media and your followers will be more than happy to watch and share it, greatly increasing the views.

New video is up on my channel!!! Behind the scenes shooting my Battle Cammy Cosplay!! Photos by @altovenue!

— Holly Wolf @ Toronto (@HollytWolf) March 22, 2017

Marketing your videos on social media is not without any cost. A few examples include:

  • You need to have a solid following on these sites, which will take considerable time on your part.
  • If you don’t have time to do it yourself, hiring a social media manager can cost $300 – $2000/month for a basic package. Experts can start at $5,000/month.

There are two other important external marketing considerations to get paid from YouTube:

  • Proper search engine optimization to get your YouTube videos better Google rankings.
  • Buying ad spaces on other websites to embed your YouTube videos in.

These have their own varied costs that you have to take into account.

3. Buying 1 million YouTube views

There are good reasons to buy 1 million views. As mentioned earlier, the number of views on a video serves as a means of attracting more viewers. YouTube’s users are much more likely to watch videos which appear to be popular. No one cares how the view count got so high.

This is why people use our 1 million YouTube views service. The truly daring? They go for our 5 million views service to make their videos, and products, go viral. Each view is another step higher in people’s positive reaction to your video.

When buying views, the numbers should match well with other figures in the video’s statistics. A video with 1 million views, but only having a thousand or fewer subscribers, is likely to arouse the suspicion of your audience and YouTube. If you need more help feel free to use our:

  • YouTube Subscribers Service if your numbers are low.
  • YouTube Likes, Dislikes, and Shares service if you need some help with those numbers.

Our services will help you amass more views using a variety of tactics, all of which have been proven over the many years that we have been providing them. You don’t need to struggle with any of your channel’s numbers anymore.

How much YouTube pays you for 1 million views

Let’s start by looking at those who could be considered as the core of YouTube’s content creators:

  • Justin Bieber
  • PewDiePie (Felix Kjellberg)
  • Lilly Singh (Superwoman)
  • Smosh
  • Philip DeFranco

These are some of the most popular YouTube stars. They were catapulted to fame by homemade videos that regularly hit the 1 million view mark. This success lead to considerable fortune outside of YouTube. They signed lucrative deals, recorded albums, did TV shows, appeared in movies, and toured the world. Product endorsements also poured in, letting them amass millions of dollars.

Bieber’s current earnings are a whopping $56 million. All of that at no starting cost, since he made his initial videos with no budget. The original video was taken down a long time ago, but this is the YouTube video which gave Bieber his big break:

However, there are those YouTube personalities who do consider the costs. Let’s start looking at the costs associated with getting 1 million views.

An example of a YouTuber who reached 1 million views

YouTube comedian Olga Kay revealed that she spends around $500 – $700 a week on filming and editing her comedy skits. She currently has just under a million subscribers that bring her around $100,000 – $300,000 gross earnings annually. That is not her ‘take-home’ pay though:

  • YouTube takes around 45% of those earnings
  • The IRS gets their cut
  • Production costs must also be taken into account

At the end of the day, she ends up with around $21,000 net income from her videos. That take-home pay is considerably less than the average personal income for many Americans her age, which is around $25,000-$31,000.

This has caused Kay to branch out to her own business. She has worked with brands such as:

    • Ford
    • Google
    • Nintendo

She is working closely with Shopify on her brand of socks, part of her own business venture.

How much do YouTubers make from deals like this? It comes down to the individual YouTuber, and their marketing prowess. Olga’s use of her YouTube fame to promote her other business is where we move from the concerns of individual YouTube personalities to that of businesses putting up their own videos. Unlike the former, where views are the major income generator, the latter sees YouTube as one giant commercial.

YouTube and ROI

The most important aspect for businesses on any platform is the return on investment, or ROI. Basically, it’s a look at how much they get out of something monetarily based on how much they spend on it.

The most often cited example of YouTube’s ability to increase ROI is that of blender manufacturer Blendtec, creator of the “Will It Blend” video series. If you don’t know the series, here is a look at the content they created to make money on YouTube:

During the early run of the campaign Blendtec CEO Tom Dickson, who also stars in the videos, claimed in an interview with Inc that:

“Since “Will It Blend?” started, we’ve had explosive sales growth of 700 percent of our home products. It’s been a home run since the day we launched.”

This is a fantastic increase for any brand, let alone a product like blenders! YouTube has vastly improved Blendtech’s ROI from online marketing. This is another example of the fact that it’s not how much YouTube pays you directly, it’s about monetizing your audience. If you want to learn how to get paid on YouTube, look at this example of creating engaging content centred around a product.

How much do YouTubers make from 1 million views

The true worth of 1 million YouTube views lies not in the number itself, but in how it is used. This is because how much YouTube pays you can be dwarfed by how much people will pay to reach your audience. By effectively harnessing the perceived social proof of that audience, YouTubers will be able to open more income opportunities.

Keep in mind that YouTube is itself just one tool for making money online. To make the most out of all your opportunities provided by those 1 million views, you have to also effectively combine these with:

      1. Sponsored videos
      2. Affiliate marketing
      3. Merchandise websites

For the last word on making money on YouTube, YouTube’s wealthiest user, PewDiePie, discusses his situation honestly:

He has certainly learned how to get paid on YouTube! While he does make more money than anyone else, there’s lots you can learn from him in order to make money on YouTube.

Theo J. Bressett

Written By: Theo J. Bressett

Digital Marketing Specialist

Theo J. Bressett - the professional from the digital marketing niche. The University of Connecticut gave him the Bachelor of arts in the Communication sciences. He worked as the PPC specialist, and for the last five years, Theo has dealt with SEO. Now his daily activity is writing. He collaborates with different websites and creates content on marketing topics. Theo proceeds to be Digital Marketing Specialist, but remotely.


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