How Much Do YouTube Celebrities Make?

Ever wonder how much money do the popular people on YouTube make? I do too. I want to know if it is possible to make a living off video blogging on YouTube.

YouTube has a traffic rank of #3 on Alexa (as of writing) with over 100 million video views per day. It is without a doubt that YouTube is the largest user-published video network out there. With that many traffic, it is only logical for people to think about making money from publishing videos.

YouTube allows users to reach audiences not only in their country but in all countries around the world. It allows you or anyone to make and publish music, movies, comedy sketches, etc. The opportunities are abundant and the possibilities are endless.

Traditionally, if you want to produce music, you would need to find a record company to sign you up. Today, with YouTube, you can cut off the middle-person. Simply create an account on YouTube and upload your music videos to the largest user-published video network and reach millions of people. The same story goes for movie makers, comedians, dancers, etc.

Many people have taken advantage of this opportunity on YouTube. Some of the famous people are LisaNova, Kevjumba, Miaarose, theresident, Happyslip, Amber Lee Ettinger (Obama Girl), SupaDupaFlyGirl, lonelygirl15 (Jessica Rose), and many more. These people are very popular on YouTube and produce new content on a regular basis. So how much do they make? Well, since they don’t publish their earnings, I can only guess.

To figure out how much each person makes or is worth, I will use the the subscribers and channel views as indicators to calculate their earnings power and multiple the number of subscribers and channel views by a factor of 5 cents and 1 cent, respectively. Here is the hypothetical formula:

Annual Earnings Power = (# of Subscribers x $0.05) + (# of Channel Views x $.01)

Subscribers: 148,989
Channel Views: 9,367,879

Lisa Nova is famous for making comedy sketches and parodies. She is one of the first YouTube celebrities that I have clicked to subscribe. I remember that she started off with only a handful of videos. Now she has published over 100 videos and the list is growing! I would think that with her large audience base, she would be making the big bucks. However, that does not seem to be the case. In her recently published video, “LisaNova’s Non-Corporately Sponsored Holiday Contest!!!,” she mentions that although some YouTubers are making tons of money, she is not one of them. She is an independent entity as the title of her recent video suggests, and she supports people to make independent videos.

Annual Earnings Power = (148,989 Subscribers x $0.05) + (9,367,879 Channel Views x $.01)
LisaNova’s Annual Earnings Power = $101,128

Subscribers: 371,106
Channel Views: 12,001,138

Kevin aka Kevjumba is famous for talking about his life as an Asian American and the stereotypes that he has to deal with. One of the famous videos he posted is a stare contest against Jessica Alba (to which she responded). Kevjumba’s channel is ranked #3 for the most subscribed channels of all times in the world.

Annual Earnings Power = (371,106 Subscribers x $0.05) + (12,001,138 Channel Views x $.01)
Kevjumba’s Annual Earnings Power = $138,567

Style: Singer-Songwriter
Joined: December 29, 2006
Last Sign In: 8 hours ago
Videos Watched: 2,321
Subscribers: 163,904
Channel Views: 11,146,877

Miaarose is a singer and a song writer. She writes her own lyrics and publishes her music on YouTube. When I first saw her on YouTube, she only had a few videos. Now she has published 33 videos on YouTube.

Annual Earnings Power = (163,904 Subscribers x $0.05) + (11,146,877 Channel Views x $.01)
Miaarose’s Annual Earnings Power = $119,664

Beat: Current Events
Subscribers: 18,170
Channel Views: 749,185

Lori aka The Resident makes videos based on current events. Many of the recent videos relate to the presidential election and the economy. She goes out on the streets and interviews people to get their opinions as well.

Annual Earnings Power = (18,170 Subscribers x $0.05) + (749,185 Channel Views x $.01)
Theresident Annual Earnings Power = $8,400 (seems a little low)

Style: Comedy
Subscribers: 248,219
Channel Views: 8,358,814

Christine aka HappySlip is known for making comedy videos. In her videos she also takes on multiple roles, playing not only as herself, but also as the mom, dad, uncle, aunt, friend, etc. This versatility in acting reminds me of actors like John Leguizamo and Mike Myers.

Annual Earnings Power = (248,219 Subscribers x $0.05) + (8,358,814 Channel Views x $.01)
HappySlip’s Annual Earnings Power = $95,999

Subscribers: 98,584
Channel Views: 5,016,618

Amber Lee Ettinger aka Obama Girl is famous for her video titled, “I Got a Crush…On Obama,” which has more than 12 million hits. She also makes other videos related to politics.

Annual Earnings Power = (98,584 Subscribers x $0.05) + (5,016,618 Channel Views x $.01)
Barelypolitical’s Annual Earnings Power = $55,095

Having traffic is the key to making money in YouTube. The more people viewing your videos, the more opportunities you will have to monetize on them. As you can see, the YouTube celebrities usually have high volume views in their channels.

The hypothetical formula is only a guess. It does not reflect the actual earnings of the YouTube people. Most people on YouTube do not discuss or comment on their earnings.

Do you publish videos and make money on YouTube? What type of videos and how much do you earn?

Note: The subscribers and channel views are recorded as of 12/21/2008.