Content Monetization and Entrepreneurship on YouTube

As society is increasingly connected to the web, YouTube is changing entertainment in ways we might not have thought was possible a couple years back. YouTube allows users to showcase their expertise about any topic for the world to see. For those interested in film, this means they can create short films to jump start their careers. Aspiring singers on the other hand, can sing covers of popular songs or even sing a piece they composed themselves in hopes of recognition. One famous example is Justin Bieber, who was discovered on YouTube and is now an international sensation. Women are also increasingly uploading videos regarding makeup and fashion to gain a large presence on the web.

Many of these “beauty gurus” are making money from their videos, with some even working on their YouTube channels as full-time jobs. There are several ways beauty gurus can make money:

1. Advertisements

2. Affiliate Companies (when you post links to products)

3. Partnering with companies

As discussed in the previous post, popular beauty gurus often are scouted by cosmetics and clothing companies to showcase their products. Gurus can also partner with YouTube to play ads in front of their videos as well as display banner ads near their videos. The appeal of making money and finding fame through videos has increased the number of people who upload on the site. One of the top beauty gurus on YouTube, Michelle Phan, began uploading videos several years ago as a hobby. Today, she has an estimated net worth over 3 million! However, Phan isn’t making money solely from YouTube videos. The guru is Lancome’s very first video makeup artist, meaning she creates tutorials using the company’s makeup. Later, she also collaborated with L’Oreal Cosmetics to launch her own make-up line, “EM by Michelle Phan.”

Phan also has co-founded a monthly subscription service called Ipsy, which sends a personalized selection of samples to subscribers every month. Back in 2012, Ipsy was so popular that it was able to get a $3.5 million round of funding.

Overall, Phan and other beauty vloggers is wisely leveraging her popularity to make money both in and out of YouTube. Whether it is merchandising, product placement, creating their own fashion/makeup collections, or using tactics listed above, these women are making a lot of money. YouTube has reported that  thousands of vloggers are making six figures each year. OpenSlate, which analyzes data from YouTube and other social media sources, created an infographic in October 2012 detailing exactly how much of an impact YouTube has on society and the economy.

The YouTube Top 1000 Channels Measured by OpenSlate

An important thing to note is that the average revenue for the top 1000 channels is $23,000 per month. In addition, over a million YouTubers run ads on their content and make money, which is more than the US television industry employs. OpenSlate’s data may be a bit outdated, but it is clear that YouTube has revolutionized the job market in positive ways.


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