Are you curious how YouTubers actually get paid for the ads they run on their videos?
The truth is, there are several different types of ads that channels can run, and not all of them are paid the same way.
One of the most intriguing ads however are the ones that play before or during videos, with the option to skip them. You may find yourself wondering – if you stick around and watch the whole ad (rather than clicking the skip button), will the creator be paid more?
In this article, I’ll cover the quick answers, plus further details you may be interested to know. I’ll also share some better ways to support your favorite creators, or make more money if you are the one posting videos yourself!
Do Creators Get Paid More If You Watch The Entire Ad?
The amount a YouTuber gets paid depends heavily on the type of ad that’s being run.
If you are shown a skippable ad that’s at least 30 seconds or longer, the creator will indeed get paid more money if you choose not to skip the ad, and end up watching it all the way through to the end.
However, on ads longer than 30 seconds, it may not be necessary to watch the full thing for them to get paid more money. This is a good thing, because some ads can be quite long – several hours long, believe it or not!
Instead, payment may be based on hitting certain thresholds – such as watching 30% of the ad, for example.
Keep in mind that YouTubers certainly don’t expect you to sit through long ads, and the amount of money they’ll make from you doing so is still quite small.
Instead, if you really want to support your favorite creators, there are better ways to do so, which I’ll cover a little bit later.
First, let’s look over the different types of ads in more detail, and what actually has to happen for creators to make money from them.
Types Of YouTube Ads, And How Creators Make Money From Them
There are several different types of ads that may either run inside or alongside the videos you watch on YouTube.
Let’s take a quick look at how they differ from each other!
Skippable In-Stream Ads
So far, we’ve only talked about skippable in-stream ads.
Skippable ads require you to watch at least 5 seconds of the video, and the skip button will only appear for ads that are 30 seconds or longer.
Thankfully, YouTubers still get paid, even for the 5 second ads that you choose to skip, as long as the advertiser is using a ‘pay per view’ (sometimes referred to as CPM) model. That being said, some advertisers have their campaigns set up so they are only charged based on an interaction – which may include clicking on the ad, or watching the video for a certain period of time (such as 30 seconds or longer.)
This is part of the reason why watching the full 30 seconds – or even the full ad, can result in more money for creators!
Unskippable Video Ads
Unlike skippable ads, unskippable ads always use the CPM model.
This means that as long as you watch the full ad, the creator will get paid the full amount.
Therefore, the only thing the creator has to worry about is making sure that you don’t click away from the video before the ad is over.
Like skippable ads, unskippable ads can appear either before the video (which are called ‘pre-roll ads’), or during the video itself.
If you are a creator, consider placing ads during engaging or exciting parts of your video rather than in-between segments or chapters, as this will encourage people to stick around and continue watching more of the video.
Placing ads during sections that feel like natural conclusions will encourage users to click away, which will result in fewer ads being watched all the way through!
Banner ads don’t appear within the video itself, rather they appear on the page next to the video.
On desktop, this may be on the right-hand side. On mobile, this may be below the video player.
In the example picture above, you can see two banner ads placed above the suggested videos, that would normally appear on the right-hand side of the video player page.
Unlike video ads that play within the video, banner ads don’t pay any money when they are viewed.
Instead, creators will only make money when these ads are actually clicked on by one of their viewers!
Finally, we have overlay ads.
These are small ads that may appear at the bottom of the video player, and ‘overlay’ on top of the video a bit.
Usually, these consist of text and maybe one small image. They are some of the least common ads you’re likely to notice, and not all YouTubers will have them on their channels.
Like banner ads, overlay ads only pay out if they’re actually clicked on. After all, there’s nothing for the viewer to actually watch, and many users ‘tune out’ overlay ads entirely – not even realizing that they’re there!
So, it makes sense that the advertiser only pays when their ad is actually noticed and interacted with.
Want To Help? Support Your Favorite Creators In Other Ways!
Although we often think of ad revenue as the most popular way for creators to make money on YouTube, it’s actually one of the least effective options!
This is because ads pay an incredibly low amount – as little as $2 per 1,000 views, in some cases. This effectively makes each view worth as little as 0.2 cents.
Therefore, if you really want to help out your favorite creator, there are plenty of better ways to do it!
For example, if they have a Patreon, consider signing up to it. Even subscribing at a $2 tier could pay the same amount as 1,000 views on their videos – quite a big difference!
Or, if they are promoting any products in their video’s description, consider buying through their link. This is called ‘affiliate marketing’, and the creator will typically earn a percentage of the sale if you go on to buy through their link.
Finally, if the creator offers merch – such as shirts, mugs, or other merchandise, consider picking some of them up! The margins on these goods are often quite high, and popular creators often make more from merch sales than they do from advertising entirely – even if just a small percentage of their audience actually ends up buying anything.
Of course, if you don’t have any money to spare, you can always help by spreading the word.
Every creator wants to grow their audience, and it’s possible you can attract a new superfan that does end up spending money with them – indirectly helping them grow their YouTube business.
This may also help them with the YouTube algorithm, which will push their videos out to more and more people on its own!
YouTubers can earn more money when you watch the entire ad – but this only applies to unskippable ads, that last longer than 30 seconds.
Unskippable ads will pay out as long as you view them in their entirety, while banner / overlay ads only pay the creator when you actually click on them.
If you want to support your favorite YouTuber, consider joining their Patreon, buying products through their affiliate links, or shopping their line of merch. Ultimately, this will have a much higher impact on the money they make, and goes a long way towards helping them grow their business on YouTube.
Got any other questions? Ask them via the form below!
Wishing you the best,
– James McAllister