How much money YouTube pays creators for a single video depends on a number of factors, but the number of views it gets is a big one.
Creators with 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours are eligible to have their videos monetized with ads by joining YouTube's Partner Program. These ads are filtered by Google, and how much money a creator earns depends on the video's watch time, length, video type, and viewer demographics - among other factors.
There are also things creators can avoid to try and boost earnings.
Some videos that contain swearing or copyrighted music are flagged by YouTube and demonetized, earning hardly any money for the creator (or none at all). One of YouTube's biggest stars, David Dobrik, said in an interview that he earned about $2,000 a month from YouTube directly, despite his weekly videos gaining an average 10 million views. He earns most of his money through brand sponsorships instead, like his partnership with SeatGeek.
Here's how much money YouTube paid creators for a video with 100,000, 1 million, and 150 million views, according to top YouTube creators.
This article has been updated to reflect new YouTuber earnings.
1 million views - between $3,400 and $40,000 (6 creators)
A video with 1 million YouTube views doesn't always make the same amount of money and can vary considerably depending on the creator.
Insider spoke with six YouTube influencers with very different channels — SemideCoco, Jade Darmawangsa, Marina Mogilko, Kevin David, Austen Alexander, and Shelby Church — on how much they earned from videos with over 1 million views (and below 1.5 million views).
Paul Kousky films videos about Nerf guns for YouTube and has 14 million subscribers.
He told Insider that he earns a majority of his revenue through ads on his YouTube channel, PDK Films.
Kousky's highest-earning video is one he posted in February 2018 titled "Nerf War: Tank Battle," which went viral worldwide six months later, he said.
By the time the video had hit 150 million views (it continues to rack up views), he earned $97,000 in AdSense revenue, according to screenshots of his creator dashboard viewed by Insider in December 2019.
When Kousky first uploaded the video, he said it had about 50% US viewers, which is his target demographic. After it went viral, the US audience dropped and was about 5% as of December.
On average, the view duration for this video was around four to five minutes. That put the video at about a 45% average watch time, which is considered high for YouTube. This is an important metric because a high view duration lets YouTube's automated algorithm know that a video is performing well, and that can help a video get picked up and recommended to viewers.