How Much Do YouTube Stars Earn?

Playing How YouTubers Make Money With Their Vlogs

The woman who opened fire at YouTube’s headquarters Tuesday was in a rage over her videos being censored, which she claimed was costing her ad revenue.

“If you go and check my videos, you see that my new videos hardly get views and that my old videos that used to get many views stopped getting views, so this is because I’m being filtered," Nasim Aghdam, 39, said in a video posted prior to the shooting.  

Over the last decade, it's become a vlogger's dream to be among the video-sharing site's "rich and famous." 

Highest-paid YouTube stars include Pewdiepie, who brings in $12 million a year playing video games, and Lilly Singh, who rakes in $10 million for her comedic commentary.  

The top-earning YouTube personality is 26-year-old British gamer Daniel Middleton, who made a staggering $16.5 million last year.

For users like Aghdam, it seemed simple enough to record videos, post them online and make a fortune. She said she had 10,000 followers, which seems like a lot, but not in YouTube's eyes. 

So how realistic is it to make a living off your video clips? 

Every minute, more than 400 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube and equates to 65 years of video a day.

In addition, the site has 1.5 billion monthly users, so trying to stand out is nearly impossible.

Even if someone does reach the top 3.5 percent of the platform’s most-viewed channels, or at least 1 million views per month, it's only worth about $12,000-$16,000 in advertising revenue. 

"It is incredibly difficult for someone with a YouTube channel to turn a profit right now,” social media expert Kristen Ruby told Inside Edition. “You have to have really great content, really great ads, really great partners, sponsored partners and YouTube to really like what you are doing and making sure it is not flat."

She added: "I don’t know if YouTube is creating a false hope for entrepreneurs as much as entrepreneurs creating false hope for themselves. All of these things take a lot of work to do it and get started and I think that you just can’t put up a channel and expect to make $10 million."

What appeared to agitate Agdham the most was when she says the tech giant age-restricted her ab workout video as part of its recent crackdown on demonetizing content categorized as inappropriate and "ad-unfriendly.” 

"At the end of the day, YouTube has the final say when they want to deem something inappropriate," Ruby said. 

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