When Cory Williams graduated from high school in 1999, he began messing around with a camcorder and recorded him and his friends doing crazy stunts and pranks.
These amateur videos were intended to entertain his friends, who were “Simple Minded People,” and so “SMP Films” was born.
“Honestly, I didn’t give a sh-t about YouTube,” Williams told us. “YouTube was just some random website just like Vidilife.”
Eventually, Williams realised that his YouTube videos were starting to get more views than his MySpace videos so he started to focus more of his efforts on his YouTube channel. In 2007, the change in direction paid off as SMP Films became one of YouTube’s first partners in revenue sharing.
In the midst of its growth, SMP Films has given Cory Williams a six-figure annual income over the past three years based around sponsorships, licensing fees, and his YouTube partnership.
While he emphasises the extreme inconsistencies of the CPM given by YouTube month-to-month, Williams reveals to us that at one point he made around $300 for every 100,000 views.
“But that was like a good month,” Cory points out. “Sometimes it goes lower I think and sometimes it’s been higher.”
To put it in simpler terms, Williams made $3,000 for every one million video views throughout that “good month.” With three ads (banner, overlay, and pre-roll) per non-embedded video, each ad placement yielded an average of $1,000 per one million views – for an effective CPM of $3 per video view.
In our chat with Cory Williams, the SMP Films founder tells us how his amateur DVDs evolved into a corporation and how a big YouTube star like himself can make a living with his videos.
Part 1: Making Money On YouTube
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