When you’re thinking about becoming a YouTuber – or trying to figure out how to grow your channel – it’s often difficult to calculate your likely income.
Between different monetization strategies and YouTube’s variable ad income, it can be tricky to predict how many views you need to make a living.
In this article, we’ll take a look at a major benchmark: getting one million views on a video. And how much YouTube typically pays you for that milestone.
There are different factors that affect how much YouTube pays you for 1 million views, like your channel’s niche and overall viewer engagement.
We’ll give you the full run-down on all of these factors. Then, we’ll take a look at three case studies of videos that have reached 1,000,000 views – and how much their creators earned from them.
Precondition: You Need to Join the Partner Program
There is one basic thing you need to do before you can start getting paid by YouTube at all. You need to join the YouTube Partner Program.
Otherwise, you won’t earn a cent, even if one of your videos goes viral and gets several million views.
Plus, you need a linked Google AdSense account and live in a region where the Partner Program is available.
Only once you’ve checked all of these boxes and have signed up for the Program via YouTube Studio will you be able to start earning money off the platform.
How Much Does YouTube Pay You for 1 Million Views?
Once you’ve joined the Partner Program, there are two metrics to help you figure out how much money you’ll earn through advertisements via AdSense.
One is CPM, the other CPC.
CPM stands for Cost Per Mille (“mille” is just Latin for one thousand). It tells you how much money advertisers pay for 1,000 impressions. Usually, advertisers who place their ads at the beginning of a video will pay rates in CPM.
After YouTube’s share is deducted from CPM, you’re left with RPM – or Revenue Per Mille. That’s not the whole story, though. That’s because RPM also includes earnings from other monetization features that benefit creators more directly, such as Super Thanks.
CPC stands for Cost Per Click. This metric tells you how much advertises pay for each click on one of their ads. Advertisers typically pay via this model for the ads around the video, but not actually in it.
When projecting your YouTube revenue, it’s best to focus on CPM / RPM as a metric, as it is more predictable than CPC.
Typical CPC rates on the platform are around $0.50. On average, CPM rates range between $2 and $15, though for some videos they can be as low as $0.50 or as high as $43.
Based on CPM, the range for this video milestone stretches from $500 to $43,000, with an average of $7,600.
That’s a huge range.
So what are the factors that can help you narrow it down? Here’s the scoop.
What Factors Influence How Much YouTube Pays You for 1 Million Views?
In general, there are four main factors that determine how much YouTube pays you for 1 million views: your niche, your audience, your geographic location, and the length of your videos.
🎯 Your Niche
To begin with, your average ad income will depend partly on what your niche is.
For example, ad rates for channels that cover financial topics and entrepreneurship are higher than for channels that focus on fashion or cooking.
According to a review of over 50+ “What YouTube Paid Me” articles by Joseph Hogue – whose channel Let’s Talk Money we’ll take a closer look at below – ad rates for gaming channels can be as low as $2 CPM, while vlog and entrepreneurship channels hover around $5.
The reasons for this are fairly straightforward. Finance-related niches have much higher revenue potential for advertisers. And that makes them happy to pay more in YouTube’s auction-based ad allotment system.
📊 Your Audience Demographics
Another factor that determines how much money you’ll make of 1,000,000 views are the demographics of your audience.
Ultimately, your ad revenue is determined by which ads play on your videos. That, in turn, depends on viewers’ location, watch history, gender, Google search history, age range, and mobile ad usage.
Consequently, an audience with more disposable income whose spending habits and general interests in high-potential niches are evident from their search and watch history will earn you more per million views.
A third factor to consider when calculating your income is geography. You need to factor in your own geographic location, the language of your videos, and your target audience’s geographic location.
Generally, you’ll find the highest CPM rates in Western European, high-income countries. According to an unofficial survey, Norway and Germany offer the highest CPM potential, with rates of $43 and $39 respectively.
YouTubers in these places can produce content in local languages targeted at local audiences in high-income countries.
In contrast, a YouTuber in Cambodia producing content in Khmer, the local language, will see average CPM rates of $0.52.
German YouTubers enjoy some of the highest CPM values. As Bitcoin is in the financial niche, this YouTuber can expect a substantial CPM.
⏳ Video Length
Finally, another factor that influences how much 1 million views will earn you is the length of your video.
If your video is at least 8 minutes long, YouTube lets you insert ads in the middle of your video. This boosts your overall earnings, especially if you insert them at strategic points in your content.
You’ll find examples of this in the Case Study videos below.
Let’s get more concrete. Here are three channel case studies that can help you get a better idea of how much YouTube pays for 1 million views in 2022. Time to dive in!
Dog World - 15 Poodle Mix Breeds That Will Melt Your Heart
Awww! And: This video earned nearly $10,000 per million viewers.
We’ll start off with Mick Staudinger’s channel Dog World. His video “15 Poodle Mix Breeds That Will Melt Your Heart” has earned over 1.7 million views since it was originally published in July 2020.
Overall, the revenue since then tallies in at $16,504.33. That’s $9,708 per 1,000,000 views.
Let’s Talk Money - The 10 Best Side Hustle Ideas and 7 Monthly Dividend Stocks That Will Pay Your Rent
Financial topics tend to be more lucrative. This one earned nearly $18,000 per million views.
Next up, we have Joseph Hogue’s finance-oriented channel Let’s Talk Money. Since its launch in 2017, it has generated over 31.7 million views all in all. The channel’s overall ad revenue is $480,763. At about $15 per thousand view, it’s at the higher end of the average CPM range.
Two of Joseph’s videos are particularly successful – “The 10 Best Side Hustle Ideas” and “7 Monthly Dividend Stocks That Will Pay Your Rent”.
The former, first published in September 2018, now has 1.3 million views and has earned $23,173. That’s $17,825 per million views. The latter, which premiered in April 2021 and has 1.2 million views has earned $29,511. That converts to $24,592 per million views.
Why did this one earn $24,500 per million viewers? Perhaps because audiences with enough disposable income to buy stocks attract higher-paying advertisers.
Clubhouse Convos - Dolly Parton 9 to 5 (Live 2019 Performance from 50 year anniversary)
Finally, there’s Brian Penny’s channel Clubhouse Convos, which specializes in behind-the-scenes videos and on-set interviews of Hollywood movies. The most popular video on this channel is a Dolly Parton performance of 9 to 5 from her 50th anniversary show at the Grand Ol Opry, which first went online in November 2019 and now has 1.3 million views.
Videos that rely on other creators’ – or businesses’ – content will naturally earn less for the uploader, as they’ll be sharing any revenue. Despite 1.3 million views, it netted Brian Penny less than $1,000 in total.
Clubhouse Convos’ case is an interesting one, as the channel has to share its revenue with the artist, the Opry, and NBC Universal/Comcast according to the automated Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) system.
Consequently, the return on this video is at the lower end of the spectrum, at $961.83, or $739 per million views.
The Bottom Line
Overall, predicting how much YouTube pays you for 1,000,000 views is tricky. There’s some major variation depending on your geographic location, audience demographics, video length, and overall niche.
On average, though, you can expect to earn around $7,600 for a million views on original content, though the number can be significantly larger in high-income countries and niches such as finance and entrepreneurship.
At the end of the day, these insights can give aspiring YouTubers valuable information – about how to choose their niche and how to structure their content for maximum revenue potential.
Lastly, many thanks to the three YouTubers who shared their experience with us!
Joseph Hogue graduated from Iowa State University after serving in the Marine Corps. He holds a master’s degree in business and the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. He worked in corporate finance and real estate before starting a career in investment analysis at a venture capital research firm. Since leaving the corporate world, he’s grown his community on YouTube (Let’s Talk Money) and the blog My Stock Market Basics.
Brian Penny is a former operations manager and business analyst at Bank of America turned whistleblower and freelance journalist. His work is featured in Forbes, Cracked, HuffPost, High Times, and more.
On average, you can earn $2,000 to $15,000 per million views on YouTube. The exact number depends on factors like your content niche, video length, and geographic location.
You can expect to earn $2 to $15 per 1,000 views on YouTube, depending on your channel’s niche, geographic location, and video length. The average CPM (cost per mille) is $7.60.
To start earning ad income from YouTube, you need to sign up for the platform’s Partner Program. To qualify, you need to adhere to YouTube’s community and monetization guidelines, have an AdSense account, and have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 public watch hours in the last 12 months. You’ll also need to be in a location where the Program is available.