The New York Times recently posted an article about “how to cash in” on your viral YouTube video.
The centerpiece video of the article is one that became a huge hit this month called “Lily’s Disneyland Surprise!” which currently sits at over 5 million views and represents the exact ingredients of viral YouTube sensations: it depicts a girl reacting cutely to an early birthday surprise, but she (and the rest of us) don’t know that the book-bag full of goodies is only the start, and the reaction that follows is what makes YouTube the go-to site for emotional response.
YouTube partners are, by contract, forbidden from sharing how much they earn from their video. But, maybe The New York Times found people who were willing to do so anyway, or that ban is not in effect for these people, or YouTube makes so much money from these videos that they don’t want to lose the business, or some other reason.
The “David After Dentist” video has apparently made a little over $100,000 from YouTube ads.
“David After Dentist” has a little over 100 million views.
That means, per 1000 views, the video has made a dollar. That’s a fraction of a penny per view, for partners.
Remember, these people become partners when YouTube discovers that a video is going viral and they ask the creators if they want to share the revenue.
The easiest way to see how much a viral video has earned, using this formula, is to simply remove the last three numbers from the total amount of views. So, 100 million becomes 100,000.