How many subscribers do you need to make money on YouTube?

YouTube is the new television. With more than two billion users log in each month, YouTube is the world’s second most-visited website after Google. On average, five billion YouTube videos are watched every day. Users spend an average of 40 mins per YouTube session. The platform is an open space for creators, hobbyists, and even professionals to showcase their talents. 

YouTube thrives on making quality content. In fact, YouTube offers unique and exclusive monetization opportunities for creators who contribute a good deal to this platform. There are common people-turned celebrities who are earning six figures by doing just about anything that entertains their audience.

According to a Forbes report, Ryan Kaji, a nine-year-old toy reviewer, made a whopping $29.5 million with 12.2 billion views and 41.7 million subscribers. His YouTube channel- Ryan’s world- is one of the top 100 most-subscribed YouTube channels in the USA. The idea is plain simple. Honestly, many find it rather amusing as to how a video with such a simple concept amasses this huge following. 

There’s no secret to success on this platform- except for consistency, creativity and views. Who would have ever thought that toy review videos can make a million dollars per year? This is just a testimony to the sheer popularity and the potential YouTube offers in terms of monetization. Yet, not every creator on this platform can make millions of dollars.

As opposed to the popular belief, leaving the monetization avenue to YouTube’s algorithm wouldn’t promise good bucks. Sometimes even if a YouTube channel has a million followers, if there’s no proper business plan around it, making a thousand dollars would also be a daunting task.

So the key to making money on YouTube is to learn how to monetize their influence and plan their channel’s business strategy. Even a creator with 2k followers who collaborates with affiliates can earn a decent commission for every sale they make.  

How do people make money on YouTube? 

Generally, creators make money on YouTube by increasing their audience base and getting more likes, views, shares, and subscribers. Other than that, there are some popular methods through which people make money.

Affiliate links

Affiliate marketing is the most preferred and chosen way for creators, bloggers, and influencers to monetize their influence and follower base. If you feature a product in your video or review a product, you can post the affiliate link in your video description. Whenever a viewer clicks the link and purchases the product through the affiliate link, you receive a commission. 


Customized merchandise is always a big hit. Once you build your niche and get started with creating videos related to your selected niche, you can sell merchandise either of your own or by collaborating with any brand. You can drop the link in your video description and ask viewers to check your signature merchandise. The merchandise can be anything from fridge magnets to printed T-shirts.


If your YouTube channel has more than 1000 subscribers, brands are likely going to sponsor you for making videos on their products or services. However, for brands to approach you directly, your channel needs to have an active engagement rate and quality content. The higher the subscribers and subscriber engagement, the better chances to get noticed by brands. 


Your subscribers can donate money if you need monetary support for producing quality content. Many YouTube creators receive donations from their followers either through Patreon or through other channels. 

How many subscribers do you need to make money on YouTube?

YouTube Partner program is the most rewarding and revenue-generating stream for content creators to make money on YouTube. This is a unique channel where creators can integrate their Google AdSense account to YouTube and earn money whenever viewers see the ad. To be able to access the YouTube Partner Program and be eligible for monetization options, a YouTube channel needs to have a minimum of 1,000 subscribers and have more than 4,000 watch hours in the past 12 months.

You get paid whenever a viewer clicks on the ad featured or watches your video for at least 30 seconds or more. But for someone to watch your content for more than 30 seconds, you need to brainstorm a lot about creating engaging and user-loving content consistently.

Sometimes even when you have a subscriber count of more than 2000 or more, if people skip your video before 30 seconds, you can’t really make much money. So it all boils down to the fact that quality content rules your chances of making good money through this platform. 

Also, it is important to note that some ads pay per click and others pay per view.

But what are the odds that a viewer will watch or take an action on the ad played before your video starts? Although you hold no control over making someone watch the ad, you have the option to choose the kind of ads that appears with your videos. Make sure that the ads align with your target audience’s preferences.  If the ads cannot appeal to your target audience, it is highly unlikely that they stay on the video and watch the ad. 

How many subscribers do you need to make money on YouTube? To sum up, a subscriber count of 1000 increases your chance of making good money via YouTube. In the bigger picture, the odds of making good bucks and increasing your viewer-base will be more if you have more than 2000 subscribers. With more subscribers, you can even collaborate with bigger brands and get more visibility, which eventually helps you create a better online presence for yourself.  To measure your productivity, here are three metrics that help you plan your engagement strategy better. 

Likes to views Ratio

Creating a video and posting that online is one thing and knowing if it actually struck the chord right with your target audience is another thing. The likes to views ratio indicates how popular your videos are. 

Subscriber to viewer ratio

This is an important metric that helps you understand how engaging your videos are to your defined audience (existing subscribers). The subscriber to viewer ratio indicates what percentage of your subscribers are watching your content. Even if you have 10k subscribers, some videos might barely get 500 views while other videos amass a whopping 20k views at a go. On average, the subscriber to viewer ratio of 14% indicates that you are doing good. 

Comments to views ratio

Engagement is a key metric to assess how successfully a channel is running and growing. Comments to views ratio give you an idea about the kind of engagement your videos are getting. Four comments for 100 views is considered to be good comments to views ratio.

Wrapping up

The YouTube Partner Program is one of the many ways through which people make money. But how many subscribers do you need to make money on YouTube? It totally depends on the engagement you are getting. However, for basic monetization options, a minimum of 1000 subscribers are required.

If you wish to explore and make the best out of this platform, you definitely need a sustainable business model and strategies for the long-run. If you want to understand the business model of YouTube and strategize your plan accordingly, refer to this link

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