Making money on the YouTube/Adsense Partnership program

Here’s an interesting question posed by a YouTube user named Kevin:

Hi Jay,

I saw that you are a member partner on YouTube. I am a Bible teacher at Christian High School and I was thinking about becoming a partner on YouTube to make some extra money. If you don’t mind me asking, what kind of compensation does Google//YouTube provide to you for that? Youtube is kind of vague as far as the compensation is concerned.

God bless your ministry!


I am supposed to not reveal my earnings as part of my YouTube contract. I will tell you this: I have 126 videos posted on YouTube and about 30,000 views per month for all videos. That’s based on 511,706 views since November of 2005. My goal is to increase this to 100,000 per month.

Google does not as of yet post detailed data on YouTube Adsense as they do for their other types of ads. So statistically speaking I am in the dark about impressions versus earnings.

But I can estimate based on views.

I also have a website of about 15,000 pages with Adsense. I make most of my Adsense money here at this site.

My current page views per month for this website are at about 250,000. So if you compare that with the 30,000 YouTube views per month it explains why I make a little more than ten percent of my total revenue from YouTube. The ratio is about even.

So this is to be expected even though I had hoped to do better with YouTube. I look at it as just another stream of revenue. Each video is like adding another page to my website — just a lot more work! I started on YouTube because I wanted an audience and thought I could drive more people to my site. I also was glad to find that this was free server space on which to park an unlimited amount of video which takes up a lot of server memory even in flash format. I started by posting videos and then embedding them in my blog and other places on my website.

Then the YouTube/Adsense partnership program came two years later. I just started receiving money from this a few months ago.

However, I believe it is a good idea for the future especially if you own copyrights to video or have permission to use them. Eventually we will see a shift toward Internet based TV. Google and YouTube are positioning themselves to be the brokers of both the advertising and the medium.

Here’s why it’s good to start with the partnership program now:

As you know, many of the videos on YouTube are illegal copyright violations. As the ad money starts to surge, there will be a strong push by the copyright owners to ban users who post illegal videos. Right now it is an annoyance, but then it will be thought of as stealing ad revenue. I think in fact that the Adsense strategy is a way to deal with the inevitable. There is big money in ad revenue on-line and YouTube wants to attract the major television producers as well as small time producers of video to their site. Eventually the illegal stuff will be weeded out. And consequently there will be a smaller offering of videos to watch. The simple rule of supply and demand spells an increase of income for the legal users.

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