Youtube partners program was once a very exclusive club. Youtube would hand pick video creators who were producing lots of original content or were getting lots of views. They would create an agreement to share advertising revenue with the partners, and for some content creators this has became very profitable. Youtube ‘stars’ like Philip DeFranco, Ray William Johnson, and Shay Carl are reported to earn several hundred thousand dollars a year.
In the past few months Youtube opened the gates and let anyone become partners. Of course they are not going to give you the same advertising cut as their ‘star’ partners, but there is an opportunity to make some money. The process is fairly simple, just upload your video, sign up, and begin to monetize. But the big question is, how much can you actually earn? “David After Dentist” the famous viral video with over 100 million views is reported to have generated $100,000 for its creator. But the $1 per 1,000 views seems to be a common report for the best earning partners, there are reports of as low as only a few pennies per 1,000 views for other partners. There is no hard information given by Youtube to show how or why partnership rates change.
So the big question we are left with is, ‘should I become a partner’? Now if you are a content creator and just spent a large amount of money to produce your branded video, you might have the urge to monetize it with a partnership. You might hope that your commercial will basically pay for itself by slapping another commercial in front of it. Well, I would say you should be cautious about what you decide to monetize. Adding a commercial before your branded video will lower the amount of views your video will receive since some viewers won’t wait through the pre-roll commercial. Youtube partnerships seem to work great with truly viral videos like “David After Dentist” or for content creators who put out a lot of content. If you are producing videos everyday and you have a large subscriber base, then there might be money to be made with a partnership program. For the majority of content creators who only create limited amount of content, then partnerships probably won’t be very profitable.