This is a pretty hot and interesting topic, so I’ll try to make an objective and well referenced answer.
First, you need to know that YouTubers get paid by Adsense and not YouTube. YouTube is monetized by Adsense.
Adsense basically generated to Google billions of dollars (most of Google’s income), it is possibly Google’s most valuable asset. Adsense is one hell phenomenal product of artificial intelligence, cannot be cheated and has a complex way of generating ads and paying the publisher or content producer using a CPM formula.
There’s no precise answer, because your earnings will depend on a number of factors.
Youtube is CPM based:
Cost(CPM), also called cost ‰ and cost per thousand (CPT) (in Latin mille means thousand) stands for cost per 1,000 Impressions.
CPM networks pays for every 1,000 YouTube ad impressions you get.
If a CPM is $1 then it means that they’re paying you $1 for every 1,000 advertisement impressions you generate.
CPM could be $0.1 or $10, it all depends on the niche you’re using (video games, music videos, educational, comedy, etc…).
YouTube’s CPM isto be on average 7.6$, that means you get paid 7.6$ for each 1,000 views.
Let’s do the math in case and calculate the average scenario of 1$ CPM:
1,000 views 1.0$
10,000 views 10.0$
100,000 views 100.0$
1,000,000 views 1000.0$
10,000,000 views 10,000.0$
100,000,000 views 100,000.0$
1,000,000,000 views 1,000,000.0$
Let’s do the math in case you’re lucky and you got a 7.0$ CPM:
1,000 views 7.0$
10,000 views 70.0$
100,000 views 700.0$
1,000,000 views 7000.0$
10,000,000 views 70,000.0$
100,000,000 views 700,000.0$
1,000,000,000 views 7,000,000.0$
However, there are important points to consider:
-1- Not all videos will show advertisements. Views does not equal ad impressions. Adsense selectively shows moderate advertisements to each user, sometimes there are no advertisers at all.
-2- A huge number of users have ad-blocking extensions installed, that would disable the advertisement and the impression won’t be count (but that’s only on web browsers).
-3- Half of YouTube views come from mobile devices(). My guess is that most of them use the YouTube app where you can’t block advertisements.
Now, still skeptical? Hold on with me I’ll show you different real life examples:
Psy – Gangnam Style.
Probably the TOP player on YouTube, Back in 2013 when PSY had reached 1,000,000,000 views he made 7,900,000.0$, his CPM was 7.9$ which is great!
Disclaimer: Earned extra 1B views when this picture was produced. That makes it 9 billion views.
His net worth is being reported at being $20,000,000 (as of January, 2017). That makes his CPM not bad too.
The list is endless, YouTube graduated a lot of millionaires mostly making junk videos, look for yourself here:
which pulls off $23.4 million annually for playing with her children’s toys.
How much does Google make?
Not to mention that big winner here is Google, which gives 68% of the income to the publishers (Some people say that in the case of Adsense for YouTube, the percentage is 55%) and keeps 32% for itself. Back to Gangnam Style’s example, 7,900,000.0$ was made by PSY and 3,840,000$ was made by Google. And so on…
Do they have to pay a fee?
Hell, no! That’s the beauty of YouTube. Google will be able broadcast PBs (1 PB = 1,000TB) of videos a second and no one will pay for anything. (Thanks to the. Furthermore, Google drastically and constantly improved YouTube with their elegant HTML5 player, improved video compression and broadcasting and video hosting technologies.
Making money on YouTube is a real thing. YouTube reported that more than one million advertisers are using Google ad platform, YouTube has more than 1 BILLIONmonthly unique visitors, and over 6 billion hours of video are watched monthly.
Sure if you’re starting your channel in 2015-2016, it will be hard because there is a lot of competition and as you know nothing worth having comes easy; so if you really want to become a YouTube celebrity your channel needs to be special and presenting something original and new (no mimicry). With hard work and determination, it will pay out eventually.
Last note: For YouTube celebrities, they might find other ways to make money, like sponsorship of a particular product, selling fan material, signing a contract with a company, etc… There are endless ways of making money when you’re famous