How Much Money Can Artists Make from YouTube Videos?

How Much Money Can Artists Make from YouTube Videos?

YouTube has become an incredibly lucrative platform for artists to distribute music and make money. With over 2 billion monthly active users, YouTube provides a massive potential audience for artists to reach. But how much can artists make from YouTube? What are the key factors that determine YouTube music payouts? This comprehensive guide examines multiple revenue streams for artists on YouTube and provides accurate data on music video earnings.

Joining the YouTube Partner Program

The key to making money on YouTube is to join the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). As stated in the provided reference:

Once you hit 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours over one year, you can apply for the YouTube Partner Program.

Upon joining the YPP, ads will start being placed on your videos. Here are some critical points about YouTube ads:

  • Google controls ad placement and manages all revenue collection and payments
  • Multiple ad formats are possible, including skippable video ads, non-skippable video ads, display ads, and more
  • Ad revenue is shared with creators – typically, 55% goes to the creator

Artists should take the time to fully optimize their channel once they join the YPP to maximize their earnings potential. This includes adding channel art, custom thumbnails, playlists, community posts and more.

Calculating Potential YouTube Music Video Earnings

According to the reference, channels with over 100k subscribers can make from $330 to $7,400+ per 1,000 video views. However, earnings vary significantly based on audience size:

  • Nanochannels (500-5k subs): $315 per video
  • Microchannels (5-30k subs): $908 per video
  • Power channels (30-500k subs): $782 per video
  • Celebrity channels (500k+ subs): $3,857 per video

This data shows that having an engaged subscriber base is more critical than just total view counts regarding YouTube earnings.

Some additional factors that influence total YouTube music payouts include:

  • Watch time – longer videos and higher percentages watched lead to more ad impressions and revenue
  • Quality ratings – videos with higher ratings signal relevancy to more advertisers
  • Demographics – age, gender, geography and interests all factor into CPM rates
  • Ad formats – video ads and multiple mid-roll ads earn creators higher RPM

Let’s analyze some real-world examples of music video earnings across artists with different subscriber counts:

Example 1: Indie Artist (25k Subscribers)

An indie folk artist with 25,000 subscribers released a new music video with 200,000 views. Based on the micro-influencer average rate of $908 per video calculated above, the artist earned around $1,816 from this video.

However, earnings per 1,000 views were around $9.08. As the video continues generating views, total earnings will also keep increasing.

Example 2: Independent Rap Artist (750k Subscribers)

An independent rap artist with 750,000 subscribers released a music video 6 months ago. The video now has 3 million views. Based on the celebrity channel average rate of $3,857 per video, this artist likely earned around $11,571 for those 3 million views.

The estimated revenue per 1,000 views equals $3.86. This is over 4x higher than the indie artist example, showing the power of a more extensive engaged subscriber base.

Example 3: Global Pop Star (32 Million Subscribers)

A global pop star with 32 million YouTube subscribers recently released a big-budget music video. In 5 months, the stunning video generated 150 million views.

Based on industry estimates that music videos with over 100 million views can generate over $150,000 from YouTube, this artist likely earned between $150,000-$200,000 from one video.

The revenue per 1,000 views may only be around $1-1.50. But the massive view counts result in substantial potential earnings for global superstar artists.

Additional YouTube Monetization Options

Beyond advertising revenue shares, artists have a few additional options for monetizing their music on YouTube, including:

  • Fan Funding

YouTube allows creators to enable fan-funding campaigns, creating a tip jar for their channel. Fans can contribute money to support their favorite artists.

  • Merchandise Shelf

Through YouTube’s Merch Shelf program, artists with engaged followings can display branded merchandise shelves on their video pages. Additional merchandise display options are also possible.

  • Songwriter Royalties

Artists who write music collect songwriter royalties when their compositions are used in videos through YouTube’s agreements with performance rights organizations (PROs).

  • Affiliate & Sponsorship Deals

Famous artists commonly leverage their engaged fan bases to secure sponsorship deals and affiliate promotions for additional earnings.

While these revenue streams might be secondary compared to ad revenues, they collectively contribute to better monetization on YouTube.

Critical Factors for Making Money on YouTube

Based on this analysis, here are some of the most crucial factors for artists to earn significant money from YouTube:

  • Create captivating music videos: High-quality and exciting concepts lead to better engagement
  • Optimize video metadata: Titles, descriptions and tags impact discovery
  • Engage fans regularly: Improve subscriber and view growth through community interaction
  • Join the YouTube Partner Program: Essential for ads and revenue sharing
  • Analyze data frequently: Find opportunities for improving monetization efforts
  • Build a loyal fan base: Subscriber counts are critical for maximizing earnings


YouTube has incredible money-making potential for music artists – especially independent artists looking for more control over their careers. However, more than simply uploading music videos is required. Artists need to optimize their channels for fan growth and engagement strategically. By consistently releasing captivating content, interacting with fans and analyzing data, artists can steadily build their subscriber bases over time. This is crucial for amplifying monetization and earning significant income directly from fans on YouTube.

The above analysis shows that artists with hundreds of thousands or millions of subscribers can generate over $100k per year from YouTube music videos alone. That is an incredible supplemental revenue stream. By leveraging additional options like merchandise and sponsorships, artists have the potential to earn a sustainable living online, with YouTube at the core of their business.

Don't forget to share the post with your friends!

Share on facebook
Tweet on X
Share on Linkedin
Share on Whatsapp
Share on Email
Mandy B

Founder | Owner | CEO | Creative director | Writer

A dutch entrepreneur

Related Posts



10 Feb 2024

F1rstman is ready to start the new year with straight fire! ‘Billi Billi’ an undeniable




27 Jan 2024

Comedy is underrated as art form. But is is an art form and should have




27 Jan 2024

The entertainment industry is always on the lookout for fresh new talent. As we enter

Scroll to Top