I recently read a report released by Cisco, which indicates that in 2022 82% of all Internet traffic came from video streaming and downloads.
This stat makes YouTube the world’s most valuable video platform. This isn’t anything new since YouTube reached the 1 billion users threshold years ago.
Currently, the platform has 2.6 billion active users, more than TikTok, Twitch and Vimeo combined.
These numbers suggest that YouTube’s monetization potential has only increased since the start of the decade.
Still, how much one billion views on YouTube is worth is up for debate because the value of a single view depends on a variety of factors video creators cannot control.
Some say that a video can make around $5 million by the time it reaches a billion views. In contrast, others claim that the lifetime earnings of a video with billion hits don’t exceed $250,000.
In this guide, I’ll talk about all the factors that affect the worth of a YouTube video view and help you guesstimate how much you can earn from a video with a billion views.
Understanding the YouTube’s Monetization Model
The first myth I feel compelled to debunk is that video creators earn money from YouTube.
They don’t. This has never been the case, and the worth of a video with one billion views is zero unless the video contains ads or uses other monetization models.
In 2007, a few years after its launch, YouTube partnered with Google to create its monetization program. It enabled creators to feature ads in their videos and earn a commission from each view.
So, the ad revenue comes from the Google AdSense network or YouTube ad sales.
The second option enables creators to offer diverse inventory to brands directly, which they cannot do through the AdSense network.
Most YouTubers also participate in affiliate programs, offer channel memberships, and sell the products they make to increase the revenue their videos generate.
Hence, you must consider how much money a YouTube video makes through other monetization methods when estimating the worth of a billion views.
YouTube Partner Program Eligibility Requirements
Ad revenue isn’t the only monetization method YouTube offers.
The platform’s other monetization features are:
- Merchandise sales at the channel’s store
- Premium revenue model
- Channel memberships
- Highlighted messages in the video’s comment section or chat streams
A channel must meet the following eligibility criteria to unlock YouTube’s monetization features:
- Adhere to YouTube’s monetization policy
- Reach 4,000 watch hours in the last year
- Amass more than 1,000 subscribers
- Have an active AdSense account connected to the YouTube channel
You cannot monetize videos you publish before meeting these requirements.
Hence, you won’t earn anything from the views your videos gather before joining the platform’s Partner Program.
The application process is straightforward, and you can even set up a reminder in the Creator Studio that will notify you when the channel is eligible to apply for the YPP.
Another thing I’d like to underscore is that YouTube retains the right to reject an application if the channel violated its community guidelines in the past or contains unoriginal video content.
The platform usually needs around a month to review and approve a channel.
How Does AdSense Work?
Ad networks serve as a bridge between publishers and advertisers.
So, joining the YPP allows advertisers to place ads in the videos you publish on your channel.
It’s important to note that YouTube creators cannot use AdSense alternatives, which limits their ad revenues.
AdSense pays notoriously low fees to publishers. YouTube video creators receive 68% of the click’s value, while Google keeps the rest.
Advertisers within this network bid on ad inventory and usually pay between $0,01 and $0.30 per view.
Videos about digital advertising or making money online are more likely to attract high-paying advertisers than lifestyle or cooking videos.
That said, on average, YouTubers earn around $0.18 per ad view or $18 per thousand views.
Factors Limiting the Worth of Video with a Billion Views
Aside from the rate advertisers pay for the right to feature ads in your YouTube videos, several other factors affect how much money you can make from a billion views.
YouTube offers Premium subscription plans to its users that don’t want to see ads while watching videos. Currently, more than 80 million users have one of the Premium plans.
So, it’s almost sure that some of the video’s viewers will never see the ads you included.
Let’s look at more factors that could affect a video’s ad revenue:
1. Ad Blockers
It’s hard to know precisely how many of your channel’s visitors have ad blockers installed in their browsers that enable them to see video content without ads. However, data indicates that more than 25.8% of Internet users in the US block online ads, and that number is expected to increase in the next few years.
2. Engagement rate
This metric is vital for skippable in-stream ads. A viewer must spend at least thirty seconds watching an ad before the platform recognizes the activity as a view.
3. Video’s duration
A 5-minute video with 1 billion views will generate less ad revenue than a 20-minute video with the same number of views. A YouTube video can contain an ad per minute, but high ad frequency will likely force the viewer to stop watching. Longer videos allow creators to spread ads evenly, and consequently, viewers are less likely to skip them or abandon the video.
Calculating the Approximate Worth of a 1 Billion Views on YouTube
The formula for calculating the worth of 1 billion video views on YouTube is simple, but to use it effectively, you must understand the concept of CPM (cost per mille) and RPM (revenue per mille)
These two metrics show you the cost per 1,000 ad impressions and how much you earn per 1,000 ad impressions. The CPM metric is only essential for advertisers, and you don’t need it to estimate the worth of a billion views.
As I already pointed out, YouTube video creators receive 68% of the view’s value or between $0.01 and $0.30 per view. These are average values, and some advertisers might offer better rates.
A video that gets $0.012 per ad view will generate $12 per mille, so by the time it reaches a billion views, you should earn $1.2 million.
As you already know, video views don’t always translate to ad views, so you can only use this formula to estimate a video’s ad revenue.
How Long Does it Take to Reach 1 Billion Views on YouTube?
The first YouTube video to ever reach 1 billion views was Psy’s Gangnam Style. The video was released on the platform in July 2012 and accomplished this feat in just 159 days.
Justin Bieber’s Baby became the second video to join YouTube’s billion-view club, but by 2015 ten more videos reached 1 billion hits.
The club currently features fewer than 500 videos, which makes this feat seem all the more impressive, considering YouTube hosts over 800 million videos.
The platform reached another critical milestone on January 13, 2022, when Pinkfong’s Baby Shark surpassed the 10-billion views mark. It is currently the most-viewed YouTube video, with 11.8 billion views.
The list of most-viewed videos on YouTube includes pop stars like Ed Sheeran, Luis Fonsi, and Tylor Swift.
Content creators don’t have the recognition these global stars do, which is why gathering a billion views can take a long time for most YouTubers.
Most Popular Types of Videos on YouTube
Volume and quality are the keys to success on YouTube.
What I am saying is that you can generate considerable ad revenue by uploading high-quality videos at regular intervals.
The posting schedule is just one segment of your content strategy that can help you attract subscribers and views.
It would help if you didn’t forget that SEO optimization improves a video’s visibility on the platform and helps boost its ad revenue.
Still, the niche you choose will determine how quickly you can start monetizing your channel’s content. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the most popular video categories on YouTube.
At the end of 2021, YouTube announced that all Minecraft channels on the platform gathered more than 1 trillion views. League of Legends, Roblox, Fortnite, and Grand Theft Auto V also attract vast audiences.
However, this is a highly competitive niche with millions of channels, and it will take a while to find your place within it.
2. Review videos
The best part of making review videos is that you don’t necessarily have to stick to one niche.
You get to choose the products you’re reviewing and have the freedom to work in as many niches as you like.
You’ll need more than one channel if you want to review different types of products. It won’t be easy to prevent the channel’s subscriber count from plummeting once you start mixing videos from different categories.
Making review videos is an excellent idea if you’re already a member of ClickBank, Amazon Associates, or other affiliate programs.
3. Cooking Videos
You can earn a substantial income from a YouTube cooking channel.
Millions of viewers watch videos from this category daily, making it perfect for creators starting their first YouTube channel. Unlocking the platform’s monetization features won’t take long.
How-to videos or tutorials play to the creator’s strengths by allowing them to display their knowledge and skills.
It is advised not to add many ads to tutorials. You’re risking interrupting a viewer too often, which might prompt them to look for a video with fewer ads.
Videos from this category often have more than a million views, which means you can earn over $100,000 from a single video.
Producing videos that contain bits of your everyday life can help you attract viewers quickly.
Popular vlogs have millions of viewers. Moreover, they’re easy to make since you don’t have to search for a perfect location or use professional video editing software.
The average duration of a vlog is around ten minutes which limits the number of ads you can include in each video.
Frequently Asked Questions about YouTube Videos with a Billion Views
Can I Get Kicked Out of the YouTube Partner Program?
YouTube reviews all channels in the YouTube Partner Program, and your channel can be removed from the program if it contains duplicate content or violates the platform’s guidelines.
Can YouTube Detect an Ad-Blocking Software?
YouTube doesn’t have the ad block detection feature. The platform doesn’t force users to disable ad-blocking software to view a video.
How Much Money Do YouTubers Make per Year?
On average, video creators earn $60,000 annually from the content they upload to their channels.
YouTube’s billion-view club is still exclusive even though its member list is getting longer daily.
Membership in this club remains out of reach for most video creators because they cannot compete with the star power of the world’s most famous musicians.
You’ll be a millionaire if any of your videos go viral and accumulate a billion views.
Reaching a million or even 100 million views is a more realistic goal since, up to date, less than 500 YouTube videos accumulated a billion views.
Predicting how much you might earn from video views is difficult at best, even though determining the RPM metric is easy.
That’s why I suggest focusing your energy on making more engaging content your subscribers love to watch instead of worrying about a single video’s view count.