Do you ever wonder how much it’s actually worth to a creator, when you subscribe to their channel on YouTube?
The truth is, there are channels making full-time livings out there with less than 1,000 total subscribers.
So, how much do creators make per subscriber on YouTube, and what determines the value?
In this article, I’ll cover everything that you need to know!
How Much Is A Subscriber Worth On YouTube?
It’s important to understand that YouTubers do not get paid per subscriber. Rather, through YouTube’s Partner Program, creators paid based on monetized views on their videos, regardless of the size of the subscriber base.
While there are certainly factors that determine how much certain types of creators make, subscribers aren’t actually the most important factor!
Instead, the type of audience, the number of views, and the other ways that the YouTuber monetizes their channel affect their average earnings per subscriber.
This is why you have some creators with hundreds of thousands of subscribers barely scraping by, and creators in certain markets that make several times what a normal job would make, even with less than 1,000 subscribers to their channel.
To better understand why the value of a subscriber can vary so much, I’ve put together a list of some of the various factors that can determine a subscriber’s value.
Whether you’re looking to boost the value of your own subscribers or you’re deciding what niche to get into as a creator, understanding these factors can help you make a decision. Or, if you’re just a viewer, it can help you determine your own monetary value to creators!
The Various Factors That Affect Earnings / Subscriber
Although no two subscribers are equal, we have a pretty good understanding on what tends to lead to a higher value per subscriber, and what doesn’t.
By understanding these various factors, you can reasonably predict how valuable a creator’s audience is relative to others on the platform!
This is one of the biggest factors, especially when it comes to making money through ads or sponsorships.
Videos on certain topics are more valuable to advertisers than others, which affects the rates that they’re willing to pay to place ads on the videos.
For example, creators making videos about business or finance can earn very high RPMs – or revenue per 1,000 views, because a lot of this audience has money to spend, and is willing to spend it.
Meanwhile, on gaming videos for example, a large percentage of the audience will be children or teenagers with no disposable income to spend. Additionally, these viewers are generally watching for entertainment, and are less likely to take action on an advertisement.
Niche alone can result in a 10x difference in ad RPMs, with gaming often ending up at less than $2 per 1,000 views, and finance often being over $20 per 1,000 views.
So, subscribers in more lucrative markets are worth more, since each monetized view will generate more income for the creator.
Demographics are often tied heavily into the niche, since it’s often the niche that determines the audience that the videos will attract.
When I say demographics, I mean information such as a subscriber’s location, as well as their age bracket.
The purchasing power across countries varies drastically. In the U.S, the average household income is around $50,000 a year. In some countries, even earning 10x less than that would still be a good salary.
Because a lot of the world can’t afford to shop online as easily as people in richer countries can, these countries are worth less to advertisers.
Generally speaking, the higher percentage of a creator’s audience from an advertiser’s ‘Tier 1’ countries – such as the U.S, U.K, Canada and Australia, the more money the channel will make per subscriber, on average.
Age also plays a factor. As mentioned earlier, if a YouTuber’s audience is mostly made up of viewers that are too young to have money to spare, their audience will be worth less than an audience with more money to spend.
3. Average Number Of Videos Watched
As mentioned earlier, subscribers themselves don’t have any inherent value to creators, until they take further action after subscribing.
The most obvious – and the simplest action a subscriber can take, is watching another one of that creator’s videos.
So, it goes without saying – the more videos a subscriber watches, the more they’re worth to a creator.
Of course, this metric can vary wildly. There are plenty of creators out there that are able to get most of their subscriber base to watch every single video that they put out.
Meanwhile, there are plenty of YouTubers with enormous numbers of subscribers – hundreds of thousands, but they barely manage to get a few thousand views per video.
This is why it’s so important to focus on building your relationship with your existing audience, rather than just constantly chasing a higher subscriber count. If your subscribers aren’t actually watching your videos, there’s little value in them even subscribing in the first place.
4. Other Ways Creators Monetize
From the outside, many people see a creator with a smaller audience, and believe they must not be very successful on YouTube. However, views alone don’t paint a full picture!
It’s possible that the creator is monetizing through other methods that are far more profitable than ad revenue alone.
For example, sponsorships often pay an RPM of around $15, where as they may only be making a $2-5 RPM with ads.
Or, the creator is promoting products as an affiliate, which can earn them hefty commissions each time that they buy.
Many larger creators earn far more through courses, merch sales and Patreon subscriptions than they ever do through ads – and the comparison is not even close.
So, don’t judge a creator at face value. If they have other more effective ways to monetize, their subscribers are worth a lot more, since the potential earnings are much higher!
5. The Creator’s Call-To-Actions
Finally, one of the most significant factors is in the creator’s hands – it’s the call-to-actions that they use in their video!
Depending on the creator’s business model, they will have drastically different goals for their videos.
Some people are focused solely on becoming a ‘YouTuber’, growing their audience to be as large as possible, regardless of how much money they’re actually making. These people typically will center the end of their videos around getting you to subscribe, and watch another one of their videos – since this will boost their performance in the algorithm.
Creators focused around selling courses for example will operate drastically different. Instead, they may ask you to visit a sales page, or sign up for their email newsletter.
Since email marketing is one of the most effective marketing channels in existence, this can easily be worth 100x more to them than a regular subscriber would.
However, the important thing to note here is the subscribers to income ratio.
Because the course seller in this example isn’t asking for subscribers, and is probably producing informational content that is not very exciting to subscribe to anyway, they may be making substantially more money despite having a low number of subscribers, and even a low number of views on their videos.
Think about it this way – a course sale for $100 makes the same amount as 50,000 views in a low-RPM niche.
Kind of puts things in perspective, right?
Want To Make More Per Subscriber? Check This Out!
As you can see, it’s possible for subscribers to be worth quite a lot, or almost nothing at all!
Thankfully however, most of these factors are within the creator’s control, and there’s a lot you can do to make more money per subscriber even without changing the content of your videos.
One of the most effective ways to do this is by building up a monetization system that goes far beyond just simple ads or sponsorships.
For example, by building an email list, you can ensure that your important messages are actually pushed out to everyone that signs up, rather than relying on the algorithm (which let’s be honest, doesn’t actually push content out to everyone that’s subscribed to us.)
By joining my VIP club, you will gain access to all of my marketing and business courses, which can help you build a strategy that makes you far more from each member of your audience.
YouTube does not pay people per subscriber. However, different groups of subscribers are worth more to creators than others.
By tailoring your content and your strategy to attract more valuable audiences, it’s possible to make far more from your YouTube channel, even without a large audience.
I hope that this article has given you some ideas. If you have any other questions about YouTube, please ask them below and I’ll be happy to help.
Wishing you the best,
– James McAllister