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How Much Money Do You Make on YouTube with 1 Million Subscribers?

Last Updated on October 23, 2023 by Richard Hall

In the vast universe of YouTube, with approximately 113.9 million channels in 2022, a mere 35,000 exceptional creators managed to surpass the 1 million subscriber mark by 2023, making up only 4.4% of the platform’s 2.6 billion active users. This achievement has been partly driven by the past decade’s surge in aspiring YouTubers, enticed by seemingly fantastical ‘rags-to-riches’ narratives.

The promise of immense profitability, reflected by glittering views and subscriber numbers, lures many to the platform. However, behind the prestigious silver play button, reserved for those with 1 million subscribers, lies an elusive question: How much money do you make on YouTube with 1 million subscribers?

Understanding YouTube Monetization

While YouTube monetization strategies may seem simple – more subscribers equals more earnings, the reality is more complex and tied to factors like content guidelines, viewer engagement, and CPM rates. We’ll explore these elements and delve into YouTube Partner Program earnings, AdSense revenue, and income avenues from sponsored content, affiliate marketing on Youtube, merchandise sales, and YouTube Premium revenue share.

This article aims to demystify the YouTube ‘millionaire’ myth, emphasizing the necessity of hard work, creativity, and strategic monetization. By doing so, we hope to guide future YouTubers in understanding the potential returns and efforts required for such success. So, let’s examine the question: how much can a YouTube channel with 1 million subscribers truly earn?

YouTube Partner Program and Its Requirements

The YouTube Partner Program (YPP) provides creators with extended access to the platform’s resources and features, as well as the opportunity to generate revenue through multiple income streams.

To qualify for the YPP, content creators must meet the following requirements:

  • Adhere to all of YouTube’s policies and guidelines.
  • Live in a country or region where the YPP is available.
  • Have more than 4,000 valid public watch hours in the last 12 months.
  • Have more than 1,000 subscribers.
  • Have a linked AdSense account.

After fulfilling these requirements and gaining approval, creators can start earning from their content through ad revenue or by using other monetization features. However, meeting these prerequisites does not guarantee entry into the program. YouTube evaluates each application to confirm alignment with its policies and guidelines.

Understanding CPM

CPM, or Cost Per Mille, is the amount advertisers pay for one thousand views or clicks of an ad. This metric is vital to understanding income generation through platforms like YouTube.

CPM rates vary based on factors such as viewer location, audience demographics, content quality, and time of year, with spikes during festive seasons like Christmas. According to, YouTube CPM is also affected by advertiser bids, ad length, and content type, with more competitive niches having higher CPM rates.

Primary Earnings: Ad Revenue

YouTube creators’ earnings are not solely based on subscriber counts; ad revenue plays a significant role, with varying amounts depending on multiple factors. Let’s explore how views convert to income and the variables involved.

From Views to Earnings

Contrary to common belief, a channel’s earnings on YouTube don’t directly correlate with its subscriber count. Ad earnings, primarily dependent on video views rather than subscribers, form a significant part of a YouTube creator’s revenue. Therefore, more video views lead to increased ad display opportunities, thereby potentially driving higher earnings.

However, not all views translate into earnings. Specific criteria determine if a view is monetizable. For example, an ad must be watched fully or to a ‘countable’ point, as determined by YouTube’s algorithms, to potentially earn revenue.

Factors Affecting Ad Revenue

Ad revenue on YouTube varies based on several key factors.

  • Type of Ads: There are different ad types available on YouTube, including display ads, overlay ads, skippable video ads, and non-skippable video ads. The type of ad displayed can significantly impact potential earnings.
  • Viewer Demographics: Advertisers often target specific demographics, so the income generated may be higher for channels with an audience that matches advertiser preferred demographics.
  • Video Length: The potential for ad display and, consequently, income, increases with longer videos. Nonetheless, viewer engagement and CPM rates are crucial factors.
  • Seasonality: High advertiser activity during times like the holiday season can lead to elevated CPMs and a rise in ad revenue.

Understanding these variables assists creators in strategizing their content and maximizing potential ad revenue. It’s noteworthy that significant ad revenue requires carefully crafted content that appeals to your audience, intelligent ad placement, and an ongoing learning mindset to fully utilize the potential of YouTube’s algorithms.

Secondary Revenue Streams for YouTube Creators

Ad revenue is a major income source for YouTube creators, but it’s not the only one. Creators can diversify their income with several other monetization methods.

1. Sponsored Content

Partnering with brands to create sponsored content on Youtube can be a lucrative source of income for creators. However, creators must always remember to disclose these partnerships to their audience as per Federal Trade Commission guidelines.

2. Affiliate Marketing

Creators can promote a product or service and provide an affiliate marketing link. If viewers use this link to make a purchase, the creator earns a percentage of the sale.

3. Super Chat and Memberships Earnings

An exciting feature, Super Chat, allows viewers to pay to pin their comments on live chats during a creator’s livestream. Similarly, Super Stickers allows viewers to buy and send fun, animated images during live chats.

Creators can also offer their audience access to exclusive perks such as emotes, badges, and more through channel memberships for a monthly fee.

4. Merchandise Sales for YouTubers

Creators can showcase their official merchandise directly on their YouTube channel, with merchandise sales forming an additional stream of income.

5. YouTube Premium Revenue Share

Creators can earn a part of the revenue from YouTube’s Premium subscription fees. The amount each creator receives is dependent on how much watch time their content receives from YouTube Premium subscribers.

Influencing Factors and Considerations for YouTube Earnings

YouTube offers creators a substantial platform for monetization, but understanding the earnings’ influencing factors is vital. With this knowledge, creators can optimize their content and make informed decisions to maximize revenue.

Video Genre

The genre of a video plays a crucial role in attracting advertisers and, ultimately, earnings. Certain niches are more attractive to advertisers and command higher CPMs.

For example, niches like finance, technology, or beauty tend to generate higher ad revenue due to increased advertiser interest. It’s crucial for creators to recognize the market dynamics within their chosen niche and strategize their content accordingly.

Audience Engagement

Audience engagement significantly impacts YouTube earnings beyond just views and subscribers. High engagement levels, represented by likes, comments, and shares, indicate that a video is valuable, enhancing its recommendation potential and, consequently, its ad revenue potential.

Advertiser-Friendly Content

Producing advertiser-friendly content notably influences video earnings. Videos complying with YouTube’s Advertiser-Friendly Content Guidelines generally attract more ads, enhancing income potential. However, content infringing these guidelines may face demonetization or limited ads.

Deductions to Consider

Creators must also take into account deductions when evaluating their YouTube earnings. Some deductions include:

  • YouTube’s Cut: YouTube typically takes a 45% cut of ad revenue generated by creators.
  • Taxes: Creators are responsible for paying taxes on their YouTube earnings, and the amount may vary depending on an individual’s location, income, and local tax regulations.
  • Production Costs: Producing high-quality content often requires investments in equipment, software, and potentially hiring professionals, all of which are costs that reduce net earnings.

Real-Life Case Studies

YouTube has seen an astronomical transformation from a video-sharing platform to a revenue-generating behemoth. Numerous individuals have turned their passions into profitable businesses through content creation on YouTube such as:

1. A 31-Year-Old’s Journey to $105,000 Per Month


This 31-year-old woman started her YouTube channel as a side hustle while working a full-time job at Amazon. She created personal finance content and in six months, saw her income skyrocket thanks to one viral video. By May 2022, her earnings from digital product sales and YouTube ad revenue were substantial enough for her to quit her Amazon job and focus on her side hustle. Between December 2022 and March 2023, she was making an average of $105,000 a month in passive income.

In addition to her YouTube content days, she also dedicated time for partnership content and media engagements, all while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Her impressive earnings are a testament not just to YouTube’s potential but to the power of high-quality content and a well-rounded business strategy.

2. The Richest YouTubers

These YouTube stars expanded their platforms beyond video creation to create diversified income streams. We see channels ranging from vlogging, gaming, to kids’ content making it to the top of the list.

What’s common between them all is the understanding that relying purely on YouTube ad revenue is far from the only, and often not the most lucrative, path. They engage in sponsorships, merchandise sales, viewer donations and an array of other revenue streams. This diversification is integral to their success.


Factors like content quality, audience demographics, and CPM rates significantly influence the earnings of a YouTube channel with 1 million subscribers. Beyond just ad revenue, YouTube provides numerous monetization opportunities including sponsored content, affiliate marketing, merchandise sales, and YouTube Premium revenue share. However, becoming a successful YouTuber requires strategic monetization, producing engaging content that adheres to YouTube’s guidelines, and consistent hard work.

Aspiring YouTubers should not solely rely on one avenue of income and instead aim to diversify their revenue streams to maximize their YouTube earnings. Focusing on content quality, understanding the factors that influence revenue generation, and exploring additional monetization methods will ensure a more stable and fulfilling YouTube career. It’s important to remain adaptive and innovative, as the YouTube landscape continues to evolve rapidly.

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