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Making money on YouTube – how hard is it?

Posted at 8:05 AM, Feb 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-05 23:37:41-05

A YouTube spokesperson said more creators are making a living on its platform than ever before.

Over the last year, channels earning five figures annually grew more than 50 percent, while channels earning six figures a year went up more than 40 percent.

According to Forbes, the top YouTube earners in 2018 hit the 20 million mark or higher.

Ryan Toysreview, where a boy opens up toys on camera, raked in $22 million. Internet entertainer, Jake Paul, brought in $21.5 million and Dude Perfect, a crew doing trick shots, made $20 million.

The End family, in southeast Wisconsin, cracked the code when it comes to being successful on YouTube. The kids in the family, ranging in ages three to 18, do trick shots like dice stacking and bottle flipping. They’ve been making videos and posting them for several years.

Their channel called, “That’s Amazing,” has more than a million subscribers.

The family didn’t want to give specifics on how much money they’ve made. For them, it’s been more about doing something you love and having fun.

“I honestly don't really look at how much money we make per day,” said 18-year-old Tommy End.

“This money has been a blessing and it's going to be a big part of paying their college tuition,” said their father, Jim End.

Brady Clegg, YouTube's Partner Monetization Manager explains that to make a living off YouTube, it's much more than uploading a viral video.

“You have to have 4,000 watch hours in the past year, and then 1,000 subscribers,” said Clegg.

Clegg explains only then can you apply for the YouTube Partner Program, where ad revenue comes into play.

“Every time you see an ad, the revenue comes to YouTube. We split that with the creator, with the creator getting most of it,” Clegg continued.

YouTube shared other ways creators can cash in:

* First, there’s Super Chat: Fans can choose to pay for a highlighted message during a live stream that stands out from the crowd to get even more of their favorite creator’s attention.

* There’s also channel memberships: Viewers can pay a monthly recurring fee of $4.99 to get unique badges, new emojis and access to unique custom perks offered by the channel, such as an exclusive live stream, extra videos, or shoutouts. Since launching in January, comedy creator Mike Falzone more than tripled his YouTube revenue using Channel Memberships. And traveling duo Simon and Martina have built a closer-knit community and revamped a miniseries exclusively for their members in more than 30 countries from Finland to the Philippines.

* And merchandise: Through a Teespring partnership, creators can design and sell their merchandise via a new merch shelf which appears beneath the player on YouTube. The creator of Lucas the Spider recently turned his hero character into a plushie, selling over 60,000 furry friends and generating over $1 million in profit in just 18 days.