Monday, May 15, 2017

How YouTube works...

There is no doubt that I got really lucky with the bucket.  Kind of ironic that getting a video to go viral was on my bucket list when I started concentration on my YouTube channel at the beginning of the year.  My 15 minutes of YouTube fame for this shot is just about over now and the media frenzy is fading fast - but I was able to score a little over a thousand bucks in ad revenue for my effort as well as a deal with GoPro worth another thousand (FYI - I didn't get the drone deal I was looking for from them because they are in such high demand right now but they sweetened the deal with $500 cash + a GoPro Hero 5 Black + a Karma Grip).  The reason that YouTube is such a tough nut to crack when it comes to making money is that it takes A LOT OF VIEWS to earn much of anything.  The payout rate at my level of subscribers and popularity is only about twenty five cents per 1,000 monetized views - top channels can make as much as $4 per 1,000 monetized views.  It is also very tricky how YouTube decides what views get counted.  Up until this viral hit, I had only earned about 40 bucks total from all the 27 other videos I have posted so far this year.  To put it in perspective, my channel would need to consistently get about 2,500,000 monetized views per month just to cover my health insurance premium.

19 comments:

Margery Bills said...

Having a drone would be special. I wonder how much a drone starts at price wise. Some of the realtors have them out where you are as well as the border Rangers.

rj said...

I think the key to Youtube is to make videos many times a week. There are plumbers and hvac guys who simply film their work and home projects and put something out every day. They use a running commentary and get subscribers to view each day. It could be good motivation to get some projects done like the container and airstream housing. Both would drive up views. Maybe add a high-efficiency heat/cool mini-split run by solar and advanced technology batteries.

John Wells said...

Thanks - but I know very well how YouTube works. I have enough motivation as is and 2 videos a week is enough for me.

John Wells said...

Eventually I will get a drone and there are a couple of really good ones that are under $1000, but unless I really find a need for it - I will wait til some company just gives me one. The thing is...how much aerial footage can you shoot before it just starts to get boring. And when I get back to flying my paramotor, I can get the same kinds of shots anyway. When I didn't cut the deal for one from GoPro, I told the producer that their better offer was OK because I was just going to sell their drone anyway. The GoPro Karma drone is still pretty flawed for its' price point.

Sam Finn said...

Just out of curiosity I've been trying to figure out this "viral" thing too.
What's the formula?
Below are two chanels I've noticed that draw millions of viewers:
PRIMITIVE TECHNOLOGY
CASEY NEISTAT
Two opposite approaches. The first is more content oriented,
the second relies heavy on production.
And now there's the bucket which relys more on ...?
This might take a while. ;-)

L Bean said...

"Insurance premium.." made me laugh!

L Bean said...

(Thanks for the hip pocket class on Youtube)

Unknown said...

that is interesting i was expecting at least $1 for 1000 (so $5000 in total :)). I got video with 25000 views and it has earned around $25 over time. Assuming you had most views from US?

Larry G said...

Well.. I don't think it was luck alone that got your video success.. You do have a creative streak .. probably linked to your earlier career!

But even creative people don't have success at every effort - but as long as you know you
do have a creative talent.. and nurture it ... (but don't get full of yourself).. you may well have some more killer videos in you.

it's creativity of your video that got you the majority of views.. word of mouth.. "here look at this COOL video!" keep on chugging.. and glad you got insurance..

John Wells said...

L Bean...I am perfectly serious about using YouTube to ultimately cover my health insurance costs. Health insurance is by far my largest expense each month.
Unknown...currently I seem to be making only about 25 cents per view but that is just an estimate from YouTube. When I get my first check from Google Adsense next month I will know for sure and will report back.
Sam Finn...I have seen both those channels and they are very different. Neistat is an accomplished filmmaker who is very prolific and slick with almost 800 videos on his main channel with over 1.6 billion views. Primitive Technology is a funky niche with only 26 videos but over 280 million views. Had I really concentrated on exploiting YouTube when I first came out here almost 10 years ago - I would probably be the king of off-grid YouTubers by now. When I first started out and it was all new to me, I was quite the media whore for a couple of years. But that really doesn't interest me anymore. For now I am just enjoying the challenge of the experiment - exploring different film making techniques and shooting short videos that interest me. If other people like them...great - and it is an interesting way to generate a little passive income.
As far as the magic formula goes...? One of the few channels I subscribe to recently posted this video that has an interesting take on the subject. https://youtu.be/B8bwdHDZDqo

John Wells said...

Larry G...Thanks. I have to work hard to avoid being tempted to repeat my own formula - although I do have plenty of "critter videos" on the list. A friend of mine asked me how "the tower" is doing since I posted it. I told him it is just plugging along although with almost 6,000 new subscribers now, all my videos are getting more views. Before "the bucket" only a couple of my videos this year had gone over 1,000 views. "the tower" already has 1,800 views in just two days. I bet I could have scored another viral hit if I had sent a bunny in a bucket up with the crane. ; )

Sam Finn said...

John ... I think you've got a good handle on this video thing ... enjoy your work and be open to an "art attack".

Unknown said...

your short videos remind me of another guy who is enjoying life in short sketches :) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHnK83dqyPvFo6GX0rCwn8A

Claude Smith said...

Do a new video where you take a sip yourself. It'll go viral all over again.

L Bean said...

Hahahahhaaa!

L Bean said...

Or sent a bunny down, in "The Hole, Part Deux"

L Bean said...

I understand. The comedy is that, 30 years ago that sentence could have ended with ".... a Ferrari." These days, it's "health insurance". Sigh.

Margery Bills said...

Thank you so much Sam. I have been watching the Neistat videos and the other one too. I enjoy them - was up 'til midnight last night watching them.

Sam Finn said...

Margery ... Here's a couple more channels you might enjoy binge watching:

Debrajoy

Kirsten Dirksen