Money, money, money – the earning power of online influencers

Photo credit: GotCredit (
Photo credit: GotCredit (

Money makes the world go ‘round.

The earning power of online influencers is one of the biggest questions that the general public wants to know about. Obviously, discussing money isn’t the most polite topic of conversation and many online influencers avoid the topic, claiming to not pay attention to the figures and focus on creating the best content they can. See here and here for examples. Yet if there is any mention of dollar signs in an interview, you’ll be sure to find it in the headline.

Forbes has recently released a list of ‘The World’s Highest Paid YouTube Stars 2015’. The top earning spot goes to Felix Kjellberg, more known by his online moniker ‘Pewdiepie’, having earned an estimated $12 million in the past year. As a full-time online content creator with 40 million subscribers, this is an incredible feat.

For the average YouTube uploader, the numbers depend on a few factors, with the level of sponsorships, advertising and merchandising all contributing to overall earnings. According to this article from the New York Times, a full-time YouTube content creator who uploads regularly and has significant viewing traction could earn roughly US$100,000 – US$130,000 per year. Geoffrey Reemer, Certified YouTube Audience Growth Expert, states that uploaders who rack up 5,000 views can earn about $15 per month from videos alone – mere pocket change, but it does add up.

From this research, it is clear that cultivating a brand as an online personality can have incredible monetary benefits for those who are truly committed. The average content creator earns significantly less, indicating that YouTube’s top earners have reached those heights as a result of passion, dedication and an incredible amount of hard work.

Have a look at a few infographics I came across while delving into the topic. There are definitely some interesting statistics about the earning power of YouTube. The following is from 2014:


Credit: Tim, DailyInfographic

This one is from a few years back and are by no means an accurate representation of YouTube content creators alone (they include Vevo music channels and similar brand channels), but still gives some context to the growth of this online phenomenon.

Credit: Sam Gutelle, Tubefilter

Does this information align with your thoughts about the earning power of online influencers? Anyone ready to become a YouTube content creator? Let me know!

Mariel x


2 thoughts on “Money, money, money – the earning power of online influencers

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