Monthly Archives: August 2016

How YouTube Views Are Monetized

Many artists and bands think that they’ll automatically make money when their videos are viewed on YouTube, but that’s far from the case. In the last part of my series on streaming royalties and an excerpt from my new How YouTube views are monetizedMusic 4.1 Internet Music Guidebook, you’ll see all of the variables that go into how YouTube views are monetized.

“First of all understand that just because your video is being viewed doesn’t mean that you’re getting paid. Your channel must first be signed up with Google Adsense (who supplies the adverts), then set for monetization, then the monetize option for each video must be selected. It’s only at that point that your videos can begin to be monetized

View Variables

There’s more to it than that though, as with everything involving digital music. The commercial on the pre-roll must be watched all the way through or else it doesn’t count towards monetization. If there’s a banner ad across the bottom of the video, it must be viewed for at least 31 seconds before it counts as a monetized view.

There’s also the fact that YouTube doesn’t sell ads on all of your views. Then some views on mobile devices just don’t register unless the viewer uses an official YouTube app.

Another major factor is the advertiser and the type of ad that’s placed on your video. If your audience happens to like expensive cars, jewelry or clothing, then an advertiser would probably be willing to pay a higher ad rate, which means that each video view would earn more money.

Yet another variable is the time of year the video is viewed, as many advertisers pay more for the holiday season than in January, for instance.

And then there’s the type of ad that’s used on the video or channel. This can vary from a skippable video ad that runs before your video begins (a “pre-roll”), to a transparent overlay add that takes up the bottom portion of your video, to a display ad featured to the right of your video and more. Each pays at a different rate.

That’s why there’s a wide range of payouts that can go anywhere from around $2.50 to $9.00 per thousand views. That means that a monetized video with 1 million views may generate anywhere from $2,500 to $9,000. YouTube takes a 45% cut however, which then puts the income to the copyright holder to between $1,375 and $4,950.

A generally accepted average of what to expect from a million video views is around $1,750, or $0.00175 per view after the split with YouTube, although its also common to see payouts as low as $0.011, or $1,100 per million views.

Don’t forget that if you’re signed to a record label, that this is what the label takes in, and you’re paid at your label royalty rate (15 to 22% of the net amount) minus any recoupable deductions. No wonder why you’re not seeing any YouTube money.”

You can read more from my Music 4.1 Internet Music Guidebook and my other books on the excerpt section of

Engineer Ed Cherney On Episode #120 Of My Latest Inner Circle Podcast

Ed CherneyEd Cherney has become one of the legends of the audio end of the music business, having won 3 Grammys, an Emmy award, 5 TEC awards and been inducted into the TEC hall of fame.

His client list is a who’s who of great artists that include Bonnie Riatt, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Elton John, Bob Seeger, Sting, and even Spinal Tap, among many more.

Ed’s interview on Episode #120 of my Inner Circle Podcast may be one of the best ever on the show, as Ed tells stories about his struggle as a journeyman engineer before breaking through, the big lesson of his career that came from Ry Cooder, and working with The Rolling Stones and Quincy Jones. A very enjoyable listen!

In the intro I’ll discuss the implication of the quickly falling CD market, and how a new study with a lost Amazonian tribe has lead researchers to believe that the music and tones that we like may be more learned than biologically embedded in us.

You can listen to it at, or via iTunesStitcher, Mixcloud or Google Play.

1 Percent Of YouTube Channels Get 93 Percent Of The Views

Youtube - 1% get 93% of viewsThe numbers in total are staggering. To date, there are roughly 2 billion total videos on YouTube that have been watched a total of 39 trillion times, totaling 196 trillion minutes (or 400 million years) of time spent, according to Bernstein Research. What might be most interesting is that out of billions of videos, viewership tends to be intensely concentrated on the top 1% of YouTube channels, and they’ve accounted for 93% of all the platform’s views since its inception.

That means that nearly 3 trillion views went to everyone else, and that’s still a huge number, just in case you’re worrying about getting run over by top creators. Remember that a trillion is 1,000 billion, and a billion is 1,000 millions, which puts that figure a little more into perspective. In other words, there are still plenty of views to go around when it comes to artists and bands.

While Facebook looks like it’s threatening YouTube for the video crown, most analysts are still betting on the later to come out on top. The reason? It’s all about the advertising, and YouTube is far superior in how it handles the pre-roll ads, giving advertisers more bang for their buck, especially when it comes to the top 1% creators.

And don’t forget, although it may be small, YouTube does pay at least a small royalty, and since the company is under fire from a variety of music-related associations and labels, it’s more than likely that revenue is going to rise in the future.

That said, you probably won’t ever get rich on YouTube alone unless you manage to crack that top 1%, but if you keep the purpose of being on the platform in perspective (it’s all about distribution and exposure of your music and your brand), then the money becomes a secondary issue. While you can’t take your eyes off the money and expect to stay in business, the music, and the passion for it, always comes first.