So, how much money is 1 billion views on YouTube worth? Well, first and foremost, it's important to highlight that on their own, views don't equal money. In fact, you get paid $0 for just a view.
The primary way YouTube content creators earn income is by monetizing their videos with ads.
With that in mind, in order to figure out how much money 1 billion views on YouTube means for the creator, there are actually several factors to consider.
However, generally speaking, a creator that is a member of the YouTube Partner Program can expect to earn anywhere between $0.24-$4 per 1000 views.
In theory, a good content creator might earn anywhere from $240k to $5 million based on 1 billion views on YouTube.
This income is based solely on potential ad revenue based on viewership. However, the reality is that there are a lot of other factors that influence how much you can make on YouTube.
Videos With Over 1 Billion Views on YouTube
In 2012, the first video to ever reach 1 billion views on YouTube (for better or for worse) was “Gangnam Style” by Psy. The viral sensation dethroned Justin Bieber's “Baby” which was the most viewed video at the time.
The hit single reportedly earned Psy somewhere close to $8 million dollars. Sounds good, right?
However, YouTube revenue can only account for a fraction of that amount. Some of the final figure was made through international downloads on Apple music, but most of that would have come from endorsements and commercials.
YouTube's Most Viewed Videos of All Time
The first video to ever break 10 billion views in YouTube history is a little well-known tune about a beloved baby shark. That's right. That one.
“Baby Shark Dance” was uploaded in 2016 and quickly became a viral sensation. Several years later, it still has some of the highest YouTube views of all time.
The explosive popularity of “Baby Shark Dance” was the start of a big boom in children's programming on YouTube.
As successful as children's songs have become on the platform, YouTube Music is easily the biggest draw for viewership. Popular music videos dominate the list of most viewed videos on YouTube.
“Hello” by Adele quickly made music news when it became the fastest YouTube video to reach a billion views at the time. However, in terms of total views, it has long been surpassed by “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee.
Other big tracks like “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran, “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift, “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth, and “Roar” by Katy Perry all boast more than 3 billion views worldwide.
So, How Much Did They Earn?
Tracking how much a YouTube video earns is next to impossible. There are different streams of YouTube revenue for the content creator to rely on.
In addition, the amount that each creator earns is dependent on varying factors like time of year, country of origin, etc.
If we go back to our previous estimate of $0.25-$4 per 1000 views, then a video that's racked up 3 billion views should boast a profit of somewhere between $750,000 and $12 million.
In reality, the amount of money attributed to YouTube revenue is probably somewhere in the middle.
Ad revenue has gone down since Psy made his mark with “Gangnam Style.” Additionally, it's worth noting that the big tracks are put out by the record label's YouTube channel rather than an individual content creator.
For that reason, the amount earned is divided up into several different pots. At the end of the day, the money that the actual artist sees from YouTube is likely to be significantly less.
4 Ways to Make Money on YouTube
So, how much money is 1 billion views on YouTube? Nothing. With that established, let's get into where YouTube revenue comes from.
The first step to becoming a YouTube star is applying to become a YouTube partner. Creators that are part of the partnership program have their channels regularly reviewed to ensure they are in line with all of YouTube's policies and guidelines.
In order to monetize your videos on YouTube, you must be at least 18 years of age or have a parent/guardian who can handle payments on your behalf. Here are ways videos earn money:
- Advertising. The number one way people earn money on YouTube is through ad revenue. In order to link your Google AdSense account with your YouTube channel, your content must be in line with YouTube's “advertising-friendly” policies.
- Channel Membership. Once you have at least a thousand subscribers, you can opt to offer a channel membership. Subscribers can gain access to members-only content and other perks by paying a small monthly fee.
- Super Chat and Super Stickers. This feature is only available in certain countries/regions. However, if available, you can gain a small boost to your income when you do live chats. Fans can engage with you directly and pay to have their chats highlighted on the live feed.
- Merchandise. If your channel has more than 10,000 subscribers, you become eligible for YouTube's “merch shelf.” This feature enables you to showcase official branded merchandise to your viewers.
- YouTube Premium. If you are part of the partner program and create content that premium users watch, YouTube will pay a percentage of the premium membership to you.
One way to determine how much money you can expect to make from one of your videos is by using a YouTube money calculator.
Tips For Increasing Your Profit on YouTube
According to Statista, the richest YouTube star in 2021 was Jimmy Donaldson, a.k.a. MrBeast.
While his videos garner somewhere in the range of 10 million views in a week, MrBeast doesn't rely solely on ads for his income. Find out more about Mr. Beast's net worth.
The content creator raked in upwards of $54 million in 2021 from a combination of ads, sponsored content, and brand deals.
Sponsored videos pay more based on the number of subscribers you have.
Basically, sponsorships and brand deals mean you collaborate with brands looking to promote themselves to your target audience.
Other creators like Ryan Kaji from Ryan's World use things like YouTube affiliate marketing to boost their income.
Check out this podcast with Eric Worral and find out how he makes $40k a month doing affiliate marketing on YouTube.
Even if your channel is just starting out, affiliate marketing is an easy way to start earning money with YouTube.
All you have to do is promote certain products and include affiliate links for viewers to click through.
If a viewer buys something through one of your affiliate links, you earn a percentage.
How long does it take to make money on YouTube? It depends on what methods of monetization you're using, but you can start earning on day one.
How to Earn More in Ad Revenue
AdSense is usually the easiest way for most creators to get started earning money with their videos. Unfortunately, it's also the most complicated in terms of calculating how much you stand to earn.
Google AdSense doesn't pay a fixed rate. The amount that you earn is based on varying factors.
- Demographics of viewership. Who is watching your videos and from where plays a big role in how much you make through AdSense. Advertisers want to market to specific audiences to maximize their return on investment. For that reason, videos in English tend to have better rates. Where your viewers are based, how old they are, etc. all contribute to what ads your videos are best placed to display. In turn, this contributes to how much you'll make per view.
- Niche. Certain niches are better suited to advertising and also attract a particular audience. Your YouTube channel will be considered for its overall niche. However, each video will also be specifically considered and the amount you make will vary from video to video.
- Viewer engagement. Advertisers pay based on a metric known as “cost-per-mile” (CPM). This is the equivalent to cost per 1000 views. For that reason, having more views and more subscribers can often mean you can expect greater ad revenue.
- Source of traffic. This one is often not thought about, but AdSense will also track where your traffic comes from. Viewers who come to your video through YouTube or Google search will attract better CPM rates than traffic from social media.
How much money is 1 billion views on YouTube really worth? It depends on the video's CPM and what methods of monetization you've put on the video. If you're running ads plus a merch shelf, for example, you'll likely earn more than if you were just running ads.
Views are an important factor that contributes to your potential ad revenue. But if you want to maximize profits, you should focus on building up your subscribers and taking advantage of other potential income streams in your video.