To start making money on YouTube, you need to become a YouTube Partner. To qualify, you need to consistently add content, build a subscriber base and drive a large volume of traffic. If you do not already, good luck.
While actual partner revenue statistics are kept private, you can roughly estimate that content creators are only making $1 per every thousand views on YouTube. At best, Rebecca Black has made $90,000 on “Friday” (not bad, but you can never expect to drive 90 million views to your videos – and you usually have overhead costs to cover like production gear and talent). But even that $1 per thousand estimate is high and often unrealistic depending on which adds are associated with your content, how often your visitors click on them, and how viral your content is.
The short answer is that your prime source of revenue will NOT come from YouTube itself. Major online video players are getting clever with product integrations, partnerships, freemium models, and much more to help print the bacon. Our entire new media division currently lives on front-end agreements with large brands.
Plan to make money with online video? Get creative.