How Do People on YouTube Make Money With Their Channels?

by Gregory Hamel ; Updated September 26, 2017

YouTube is one of the most popular websites on the Internet that allows users to submit and share their own home videos with millions of viewers across the world. Many YouTube users post videos for fun and do not receive compensation, but there are several ways to potentially earn income with a YouTube channel.

YouTube Partners

One way that YouTube users earn money with their channels is through the YouTube partner program. Users with very popular channels that produce high-quality content on a regular basis may be contacted by YouTube to join the partner program. YouTube partners share a portion of the revenue generated from advertisements that appear in conjunction with their videos. The New York Times reports that popular YouTube producers can make $15,000 or more a month in revenues from the partner program.

Partnership on Individual Videos

Gaining enough popularity to become a YouTube partner can take years of effort, and many YouTube producers will never achieve full partner status. YouTube does, however, offer partnerships for individual viral videos. For instance, if you are not a regular YouTube content provider, but you happen to film something interesting or funny on YouTube that ends up getting tens of thousands or millions of views, YouTube might contact you and allow you to gain ad revenue based on that single popular video.

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External Websites

Another way YouTube producers generate income is by using their YouTube channels to promote their own external websites. An external website can contain more original video content or information pages with advertisements that generate revenue. A website can also serve as a means to sell products. For example, a popular YouTube produce could sell T-shirts on his website featuring his YouTube channel's logo and advertise the shirts in the videos he creates.


A YouTube channel can potentially generate income for users in many other ways. For example, a YouTube a private company might contact a YouTube producer to make videos to promote its products or services. Some YouTube videos contain links that allow viewers to quickly purchase songs they hear on YouTube from iTunes.

About the Author

Gregory Hamel has been a writer since September 2008 and has also authored three novels. He has a Bachelor of Arts in economics from St. Olaf College. Hamel maintains a blog focused on massive open online courses and computer programming.

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