Being A YouTube Star Doesn't Pay (Obviously)


So you’ve worked hard and created a video viewed by 2 million people on YouTube (GOOG). Here’s your reward: A $1,600 check — part of the $1 miillion YouTube says it has paid to video-producing “partners” in the last four months. 

YouTube’s partner program pays about 100 video producers — both independent (like Yuri Baranovsky, the creator of Break a Leg and the recipient of that $1,600) and professional (like Universal Music Group). Today, in an announcement about the expansion of the partner program to Japan, Australia and Ireland, the company also disclosed that it’s paid out a million dollars since it expanded the program in December.

The folks over at NewTeeVee have calculated what that $1 million means:

Break a Leg’s Yuri Baranovsky said he’d collected $1,600 for more than 2 million views on YouTube. So if that means $800 for a million views (which it doesn’t exactly, but just to get an idea), user partners have been responsible for 1.25 billion paid views so far.

As South Park and others have noted being an online video star is fun. But it doesn’t pay.

See Also: Economics Of Online Video: Net $5 CPM – Keep Day Job

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