So, if you get a ton of views on YouTube, will they just give you the money...?

Or do you have to sign up in advance for it, etc.?

If you log 10M views, will they just say, “Looooozerrr hahahha!”

Or what?

Thanks for the SD on that!

I’m not aware of any YouTube payment program. How would they determine how much to pay you?

Some people do become famous thanks to YouTube (think Psy), but I don’t think they get paid by YouTube since they don’t really care how many views someone gets. They probably do care about the total number of eyeballs on YouTube, but that’s a different story.

Internet Dollars?

When do I get paid?

The figure I found is that they pay $0.0033 per view (ie one third of a cent). It’s not a lot but it can add up - a million views is worth $3300.

You have to be a YouTube Partner to collect. Unfortunately, I can’t answer the OP’s question about whether you can decide to become a Partner after your video has become a hit.

I’ve read that some people make a nice living creating unique youtube videos for their channel. I had wondered what they got paid per view. It’s no surprise that it takes a lot of views to make anything worthwhile.

I make my living off YouTube. Back when I started in 2010, you did have to be a YouTube partner to make money, but I’m pretty sure they’ve opened it up to anyone now.

And yes, you need quite a few views before you’ll make any money. Hell, I don’t think YouTube will even send you a check until you reach the threshold of $50 (or thereabouts).

So Red, let’s say you get to the $50 mark. Will you get a notification asking where to send the check? How does that work?

Does being a partner get you a higher rate or other benefits?

If so, how do you become a partner? Do you need to have a certain number of views before you’re allowed in the club?


  1. As a partner, I had to fill out the information beforehand, so they knew where to send it. I’m not sure how it works these days, but I suspect it’s something similar where they have your information already if you opted to monetize your videos.

  2. I don’t think the rates any different, but there are several benefits, like custom thumbnails, and live-streaming (though I think they just opened this up to others. I’m also able to monetize any video right way, whereas non-partners, to my understanding, have to go through an approval process.

  3. Correct, I think it was something like 50,000-100,000 views, 5,000ish subscribers, and a regular upload schedule. But again, this may have changed.

I haven’t had any big viral hits, but I’ve had a few videos become reasonably popular, and fairly early on YouTube would send me a mail asking “do you want to monetize this video?” Monetization requires an AdSense account (which is attached to your normal Google account). As best I can tell, they don’t pay you anything for past views, only future ones.

My long-term average return is $0.00065/view. This depends on the CTR, or Click-Through-Rate, which is the percent of people that click on an ad; and the CPC, or Cost-Per-Click, which is how much money you make on a click. I currently seem to be in the ballpark of 1.5% and $0.09 respectively (so I’m currently doing better than my average). Some types of videos probably have better returns than others.

I get payments about every $100, which is about once a year. I think you can request a payment early if you don’t think you’ll be getting any more views soon.

I can monetize right away and I’m not a partner. However, early on I did have to wait for a monetization request, so maybe I’m now in an intermediate state (i.e., not big enough to be a partner but still with a handful of monetized videos).

Well scratch that; it turns out I am a partner (with 787k views, 119 subscribers, and no regular upload schedule, so the requirements obviously aren’t too stringent).

Yeah, things have changed a lot since I partnered up. I don’t think they even call it a Partner Program anymore–it’s “featured” now or something.

OK, so I already have an Adsense account (long dormant as the blog I ran ads on is no more). I think I have about $30 of unpaid balance in there.

Say I upload a video of my cat falling off the roof (I don’t have a cat) and it becomes the next viral LOL must see. If my YouTube account is connected to my Adsense account then will I automatically start raking in the $$$ to cover vet’s bills?

Well, first you’ll be arrested for stealing a cat.

But the view count for Colophon’s Cat Burglary’ will be through the roof, paying for his legal bills.

Also, the Frogurt is cursed.

But you get your choice of toppings!

Thanks for your replies thus far! It doesn’t speak well of YouTube’s system that even people who are involved with it don’t seem to understand it very well. Seems kinda broken.

I reach a different conclusion - it works well enough that folks who use it regularly don’t need to know all the details.

You need to have flagged the video as monetized (and this needs to be accepted) in advance of the point when it goes viral and gets all the views, but yeah - you’ll start raking in the cash.

The exact amount of cash you’ll get is impossible to predict - it’s based on a number of variable factors - it’s a sort of exponential scale - Google is able to charge advertisers more (per view) for ads placed alongside more popular videos.

So if your video gets any views, it will start making pennies here and there - as the view rate increases, the revenue will increase more - and Google will put better ads against it - better ads often get more clicks - and clicks pay more than views - in short, a video that goes properly viral can make a ton of money.