Subs or Views – Making Money

Subs or Views – Making Money

Understanding how making money on YouTuber works can be difficult. The following provides an overview of what’s actually important in the process and what to expect.

Recommended Size: 500

This Tutorial is designed for NewTubers who have met a few prerequisites:

  • You have decided you want to dedicate a significant portion of your time to YouTube. You cannot reliably make significant money as a hobbyist YouTuber.
  • You are not a brand new channel, but a channel that has established bare minimum levels of interaction and engagement.
  • You have a healthy amount of organic viewership, not paid traffic.
  • You understand what an Average is, and understand the concept of 'outliers.'

With those said, let's jump in!

There are three primary ways to make money on YouTube:

  1. Sell a product
  2. Sell an audience
  3. Sell yourself

Let's define what these are:

Sell A Product:

Generally: Educational YouTube, New YouTubers

For most NewTubers, the product you are selling is your video itself. You are receiving advertiser dollars that your viewer must 'pay' before they can receive your video.

For some of you, you might have an actual product to sell--i.e. gym classes, artwork, your store, etc.

Others might legitimately lock their product behind a paywall, such as Vessel, SeeSo, Rumble, etc.

What Do You Need: Views.

Sell An Audience:

Generally: Entertainment YouTube, Tech/Lifestyle Vloggers

This is the most common type of 'selling' on YouTube, and the one most NewTubers hope to reach. You are selling access to your audience, whether through sponsorships, free products, etc.

You might be receiving products from FameBit, Keymailer, etc.

What Do You Need: Both.

Sell Yourself:

Generally: Any Larger YouTuber, Film/Study

This is typically reserved for YouTubers that are producing niche interest videos, such as animations, in-depth idea explorations, and the like.

You are typically relying on funding from Patreon or YouTube Fan Funding.

What Do You Need: Neither.


Subscriber count is meaningless in almost every case, especially as a standalone number. Views count much more, especially for Product and Audience selling. With regards to Ads, the more people who click your video the more ad revenue you make. When selling an actual product, the more people who click the more likely you are to convert.

With Audience, subscriber count is important to providing a base metric for 'potential' viewers, and view count is important for showing 'average actual' viewers. A healthy ratio will allow you to command a higher price.


For Yourself selling, these numbers are both less important. While you must selling your video as a Product for a time to build the backers, eventually you are producing content for those backers and not for the 'world.'

Ok, but how does this translate?

Good question, Theoretical Me.

Here are the assumptions:

  • A $3.00 CPM for $1.65 RPM
  • Average Age 27
  • Median Salary $51,000 Before Tax
  • 40% AdBlocker Rate
  • 20% Subscriber Engagement

For Users Selling Based On Ad Revenue:

51000 / 1.65 * 1000 = 30909091 30909091 * 1.67(adblock) = 51618182

So you will need 51,618,182 views to reach your median income.

How Many Subs Do I Need?

Good question, Theoretical Me.

The average subscriber view rate is 20%, with the rest being organic viewership, accounting for 10% of a videos viewership. That means 90% of your viewers should not be subscribers. This means you should have a sub count of 50% of the total viewership you want a video to see.

  • Monthly Video Average: 4,301,516 Views | 2,150,758 Subs
  • Weekly Video Average: 992,658 Views | 496,329 Subs
  • Every Two Day Video Average: 283,617 Views | 141,809 Subs
  • Daily Video Average: 141,809 Views | 70,905 Subs

For Users Selling Their Audience:

How do marketers decide how much to pay you for your audience?

  • "That's a Big Number. That's a Really Big Number. That's a Small Number."

From this, they were determine what category of spending you are in. 80,000 is the same as 90,000. 250,000 is the same as 350,000. 100 is the same as 900.

Typically speaking, you will see a breakdown like this:

  • Under 5000: You can ask for free products, and might receive $100 of 'in kind' sponsorship.
  • 10k-75k: You can ask for real money.
  • 100k+: You will be offered real money.

The fact is that it really is very fluid in this sales type.

How Much Real Money?

Good question, Theoretical Me.

The answer is: It varies depending on the profitability of the product, your previous sales performance, and the sales goals of your sponsor. A sponsor looking to improve brand identity in a market segment might pay you just to get people talking about or thinking about the brand. Someone looking for immediate sales might want 1-2% clickthrough conversion. A sponsor selling a Bugatti probably only needs 1 sale.

Someone with a rabid fanbase that is active and engaged will be able to sell that audience access for a similar price to someone significantly larger with less activity.

This ultimately relies on your sales acumen.

For Users Selling Themselves:

How much can you convince a fan to give you?

One fan. How much?

$5 a month? $1 a video? $1 a year?

  • $5 a month means 850 backers
  • $1 a video means 139 backers for daily videos, 280 for every other day, 980 for weekly, 4,250 for monthly.

So, it varies.

That's not very specific.

Good non-question, Theoretical Me.

Final Thought:

Yes, it is exceptionally variable because it all comes back to the question of "How much can you convince a fan to pay you to produce what you are currently producing for free?"


  • Patreon: Ask your fans to donate a monthly amount to support you
  • Juniper: Create merchandise to sell to your audience (10K Subs or Above, Must Contact Us To Get Set Up)
  • ICX: Get Sponsorships for your videos, or sell the rights to video clips