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From 0 to 5 Million Views on YouTube — How Much I Made

Breaking Down the Numbers — How Much Can Small Faceless YouTubers Really Make

Are you ready to hear the staggering truth about views and earnings on YouTube?

Too much? Maybe, but back to the point.

One of my faceless YouTube channels has recently crossed 5 million views in total. What are 5 million views worth on YouTube?

Let’s find out!

Before we begin

Just for reference, a while ago I calculated my Medium earnings per 1000 views. While those fluctuate a lot, I averaged them out to around $34 per 1000 views.

Assuming this number, I could have made a staggering 170K dollars on Medium with 5 million views.

5 million / 1000 x $34 = $170,000

Not on YouTube though.

The how

Let’s start by discussing the process.

To begin with, I operate two faceless YouTube channels. Surprisingly, this is a thriving and profitable niche on the platform, with some of the biggest channels belonging to this category.

If you’re not familiar with what a faceless channel is, I’ve written a post on the subject that you can check out here.

To the nitty gritty

Let’s get down to business — the actual figures.

Here is a screenshot of my comprehensive statistics since the inception of my channel in 2019.

Screenshot by author

It’s a measly $4900+ for 5.1 million views.

It’s no secret that YouTube can be a challenging platform to monetize. So, while close to $5000 may seem like a decent amount of money, especially for something that you love doing, it can be disappointing to realize that you are not getting the return on investment that you may have been expecting after a few years.

The question of why

The question on everyone’s mind is, why did I only make $5000 from 5 million views on YouTube?

Two things:

  1. The YouTube Partner Program has strict requirements for eligibility, including 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of watch time within 12 months. Achieving this can be a significant hurdle, and it took me approximately a year to meet these criteria.
  2. There is a significant fluctuation in pay rates on YouTube. Not all creators receive the same amount of money per 1000 views, and the rate depends on several factors, such as the type of content and its timing. Some niches, such as those related to making money on YouTube, are more advertiser-friendly and have pay higher rates per 1000 views, ranging from $15 to $50. In contrast, my niche, which is focused on entertainment, typically earns only $2–3 per 1000 views.

However, even with these factors considered, I still should have earned more from 5 million views, right?


The lost year

From the beginning in 2019, I had a few videos that performed well. Among them, one gained rapid traction and amassed nearly 1 million views on its own.

However, the vast majority of those views didn’t generate any earnings for me, because they came before I qualified for the partner program.

Although that particular video was a significant factor in meeting the program’s criteria, it’s disappointing that those 1 million views didn’t translate into substantial earnings.

The bottom line

YouTube remains a profitable platform for content creators. Even those who are camera-shy can find success with endless possibilities for revenue.

However, the entry requirements are quite challenging. Complaining about Medium’s criteria of 100 followers? Try gaining 1000 followers and 4000 views before receiving anything on YouTube.

Here’s something amusing: I earned more money on Medium in my first year than I did on YouTube in 4 years. After year 2, Medium generated $12K+, while YouTube failed to reach a third of that.

Does this mean Medium is more lucrative than YouTube? No.

However, Medium should be your first choice for blogging and writing online. Just as YouTube should be your first choice for video content. Yes, even before TikTok. But that’s another story for another day.

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