7 February 2020

Research pick: Making money on Youtube - "How do YouTubers make money? A lesson learned from the most subscribed YouTuber channels"

How do “Youtubers” make money? This is an important question for the modern aged posed in the latest issue of the International Journal Business Information Systems. Bo Han of the College of Business at Texas A&M University-Commerce, in Commerce, Texas, USA, offers an answer.
There might be several ways for someone who uploads video content to the site Youtube. Advertising revenue and the marketing of products, services, and digital resources are a couple. However, under the company’s current guidelines only Youtubers with more than a threshold number of subscribers will earn advertising revenues from advertisements displayed alongside or within their content and channel.

“YouTube has been a critical social media site for users to share their self-made videos such as ‘vlogs’, amateur performances, parodies, and funny ‘fail’ videos with the public,” Han explains; there are more than one billion active users and some 400 hours worth of content is uploaded every minute generating billions of video views every day.

Han’s analysis of the most popular Youtubers suggests that annual revenues are in line with the number of views received on a given channel, the after-view comment rate, and the attitude of viewers. Revenues tend to slide for older Youtubers, suggesting it is very much a youth phenomenon.
Han has some advice for those hoping to earn a living as a Youtuber:

“We expect our findings can inform entrepreneurial YouTubers that their monetisation model is strongly dependent on both their impact breadth and how well they utilise the acquired resources,” he says. “The traditional marketing strategy is critical (e.g., more views leading to more revenues), but it is also important for YouTubers to utilise the social media features offered by YouTube to deepen their impacts on the audience, in order to achieve the expected monetisation success.”

Han, B. (2020) ‘How do YouTubers make money? A lesson learned from the most subscribed YouTuber channels‘, Int. J. Business Information Systems, Vol. 33, No. 1, pp.132-143.

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