Make Money Online with YouTube


Google owned YouTube is rolling out a partner program that will allow you to make money off the videos you upload to YouTube. Partners are independent video creators and media companies who are looking for online distribution and who meet YouTube’s qualifications. Becoming a partner gives you the ability to share in ad revenue from your YouTube videos.

Why Is YouTube Doing This?

The question many webmasters will have is why is YouTube doing this? Why not just place ads on all the videos that users have uploaded and keep all the advertising money? The answer is, they can’t. YouTube is hiding behind the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) to protect themselves from claims of copyright violations. In order to hide behind the act, YouTube cannot make money off the videos uploaded by its user base. If they do, copyright holders can go after YouTube for the income (plus damages) those videos made instead of just telling YouTube to remove the videos.

To get around the DMCA requirements that no money be made off user videos, YouTube set up a partner program with some of the major labels and networks. They provide their videos to YouTube and share the ad revenue. Since the labels and networks are the copyright holders, there are no violation issues to deal with. This is why you won’t see any advertising (except for YouTube house ads) on my YouTube videos but you’ll see ads on videos by Ask the Builder.

Now YouTube is offering this partner program to everyone who qualifies.

What Are The Requirements?

Before you can apply for the YouTube Partner Program, your must meet all the following requirements.

  • You create original videos suitable for online streaming.
  • You own the copyrights and distribution rights for all audio and video content that you upload — no exceptions.
  • You regularly upload videos that are viewed by thousands of YouTube users.
  • You live in the United States or Canada.

The “You own the copyrights” is, of course, the most important part of the requirements. If your YouTube account is filled with copyrighted materials, don’t expect YouTube to approve you. That new Sanyo digital camcorder I got is going to really come in handy now!

55 thoughts on “Make Money Online with YouTube”

  1. WebCosmo says:

    Thanks for the info. Sharing the revenue also creates more popularity. YouTube knows their way on this.

    1. It’s actually a bit interesting that they’re doing it at all. Revenue sharing video sites have been around since the day after YouTube was created. YouTube’s had such a dominant position that they’ve never had to share revenue. I wonder if they’re feeling threatened by the other sites, or it’s simply a measure to ensure that they’re never threatened.

      1. I’d say smart move on their part especially considering they’re on the verge of rolling out HD videos.

        1. Indeed, a very very smart move, well at least they are not paying all those lawyers for nothing ๐Ÿ˜‰

      2. Zac Johnson says:

        I would say it’s more of a matter that YouTube wants/needs legitimate new content. They can’t place ads on videos that infringing on copyright, which is mostly what YouTube is made up of. Bringing in new partners gives them exclusive new content, without lawyers down their necks.

  2. Daniel Rizzo says:

    Owww f**k…
    Brasilians have no chance to make money online….

    1. Maybe not yet…I’m sure they’ll be rolling out the international version soon…

      1. Michael Talk says:

        Australia has no luck too! ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

        1. go make your own! ๐Ÿ‘ฟ ๐Ÿ‘ฟ ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

    2. PinoyTech says:

      Hehe. A lot of people aren’t getting because of that.

  3. says:

    There is a huge potential for video ad marketing here. And it won’t require that the video producer create high-quality videos. The one snag is getting those releases from any folks you put into the video. Also, no commercial music.

  4. bloggernoob says:

    doesn’t metacafe already do this?

    1. ad and revver…
      i think even crackle

      but youtube traffic is just amazing!

    2. Etienne Teo says:

      metacafe kicked off with the director revenue and youtube had actually already started the revenue sharing but to a limited numbers, now it is open to all.

    3. Yes, and so do several other good video sites that rely on “user-generated” content. Bottom line, Google is finally feeling the pinch from it all, and has thusly decided that, in order to compete in the longterm, they absolutely must offer some sort of revenue-sharing option.

      It’s a good move for sure, but all I have to say is SHAME on Google for taking so long to do so! ๐Ÿ‘ฟ Personally, I’m getting more and more fed up with Google. With some of their recent implementations, like the new Blogger commenting system, for example (which SUCKS royally!), it seems that they’ve forgotten what their slogan actually is…”Don’t be evil.”

      I’m definitely all for the revenue-sharing model, for any and all user-generated content. But it’s quite sad that Google is so late in the coming. They could have been a leader with it, but instead, they chose to wait until they saw their money numbers dropping. Cudos to Revver and MetaCafe and the others for really rewarding the content creators! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

      Shine on,

  5. Mike Smith says:

    Hi John,

    You misspelled YouTube “who meet YouTueโ€™s qualifications” Thought you might want to know (just read your ebook and seen you talk about readers letting bloggers know about misspellings ๐Ÿ™‚ )

    Also, Its going to be interesting to see how Youtube battles spammers and people uploading fake videos to make the money. Somehow, some way, someone is going to figure out a way to beat the system.

    bloggernoob, theres a few places that do this already. Youtube will be the biggest one though because of how large they are.

  6. Fascinating. Unique and interesting content on Youtube is hard to come by though.

  7. sports blog says:

    I’d be interested to see how much they’re sharing, I’d think that it isn’t much.

    1. Actually, it can be quite a bit. Once your video meets certain criteria, MetaCafe pays out $5 for every 1,000 views. Using the same rates for YouTube, the “Evolution of Dance” guy could have made over $330,000 from that video.

      1. Drools. $330k of passive income. That’s beautiful.

      2. i bet youtube could get easily bankrupt then with all these millions of videos :mrgreen:

        1. Etienne Teo says:

          Will it go bankrupt? I doubt so. I am sure they have many factors considered before even introducing this sharing revenue program. T

        2. They won’t go bankrupt at all. They’ll make even more money. The videos now have advertising in them, from which Google collects a good amount. They share some of that advertising revenue with the video creators. It’s a revenue-sharing model, from which Google will only more make money. No loss at all. Only gains.

          Shine on,

  8. I already signed up for that program quite a while ago…, metacafe and revver are offering something similar for quite a while.

    Cool Green Gadgets

    1. Yup, I think YouTube is at least 1 year behind but it’d probably take off right away huh?

      1. Zac Johnson says:

        Once people start making money and releasing earnings, it will probably explode. I’m sure once the numbers are released, the media will take it a step further in letting everyone know.

  9. James Wilcox says:

    This is great for people like Darren Rowse from ProBlogger but not so great for the smaller blogs that use video in some cases. Since ProBlogger has a huge readership he stands to benefit greatly from the shared revenue.

    1. I don’t think bloggers will make much, if any, money from this program. 4 months ago, Shoemoney put up a video entitled “Make Money Online” and linked to it from his blog…it’s only gotten 8,000 views, which is next to nothing on YouTube. Heck, a 2girls1cup reaction video will get 10,000 views in a week!

      1. Online video is viral. There’s no limit to the amount of money you can make from an uploaded video, plain and simple.

        Shine on,

    2. Yea. Good point. Now all John Chow’s videos of his meals might make him some extra cash ๐Ÿ˜‰ hahaha

    3. Etienne Teo says:

      I disagree, smaller blogs which can produce excellent video sources are great in promoting their sites.

  10. Hmm. Pretty interesting. ๐Ÿ™‚ I wonder how much people are going to be able to make from this.

  11. Interesting stuff as always John.
    I’ve been inspired by your blog and have decided to make my own.

  12. AskTheBuilder, there’s a guy that make a ginormus amount of money with Adsense, like $70k a month, and now he’s going to add another revenue stream, wow!

    1. Besides all of the viral stuff that’s either shocking or funny, I think that’s the true potential of videos…the “how to” kinds of things. A “video blogger” who’s just speaking into a camera doesn’t do anything for me…can’t stand it, actually. But if you’re trying to teach someone how to do something, whether it’s using software or building a deck, video will help you immeasurably.

    2. Zac Johnson says:

      AskTheBuilder is going to cash in like mad. His site is already super high quality. Once the revshare is setup and people start embedding his videos elsewhere, he can sell out for millions.

  13. Jose says:

    Is there any site that has the current rate per video/views for the partner program?

  14. Shams says:

    Do you have any idea John how much is YT’s revenue monthly??

    1. Zac Johnson says:

      An older article, but they were projecting YouTube at around $7.5 million a month in revenue. Take into consideration how much it had still grown over the past year, and new ad placements in play.

  15. Can anyone explain what’s the difference between Youtube ads and Revver? Or are they essentially using the same ad model.

  16. I have a huge problem with one of those qualifications. I don’t own the copyrights to the videos I upload. If everyone followed that rule there would be no good videos on YouTube. Look at TV show and movie clips for example, and music videos… all uploaded by regular members.

    1. And those people are going to continue to upload the copyrighted music videos and movie clips…but they’re not going to be able to make money off of it.

    2. Zac Johnson says:

      This is why YouTube is offering a revenue path. For YouTube to stay successful, they need new exclusive content that isn’t going to get legal action taken against them.

  17. PinoyTech says:

    Too bad I don’t live in the US or Canada. Maybe there’ll be an opening next time in Asia.

    1. i am sure they will open this to the rest of the world pretty soon..
      i think youtube is one of the most international websites around, so this would really make sense.

    2. Etienne Teo says:

      Asian users always do not have a chance to maxmize their earnings since many programs relied on US publishers

  18. Contest Beat says:

    Nice info, not for me though. Some people are gonna make a lot of money though

  19. I am wondering if anyone can clearly describe the difference between a “standard” and “guru” YouTube account to me.

  20. “You live in the United States or Canada.”
    I Hate Google, WHY? This sucks!

  21. Maher Sa;eh says:

    Great John! Everyday i can see a new way to make money online ๐Ÿ˜›

  22. hts says:

    @Fredrik: indeed, this is an unfortunate fact – and not only with utube, but with lots of other services. However, you might cheer up at the thought that they`ll probably expand the areas they offer this service to other countries as well. Patience is a virtue, my friend ๐Ÿ˜‰

  23. Steve! says:

    That’s not a bad idea. I would definitely sign up for that. Although, I’m not a video junkie, so i don’t upload 1000’s of vids.

  24. I think i’ll just stick to Revver. When I was actively using them it wasn’t too hard to get some alright revenue.
    ~ Dave

  25. hayalbahcesi says:

    Great John, but I donโ€™t live in the US or Canada ๐Ÿ™

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