Considering a career in YouTube live streaming? Learn how much you can expect to earn from each stream based on your view count and overall following.
Already a YouTube monetization pro? Use our Table of Contents below to skip to the section you're interested in.
Table of Contents:
YouTube recently lowered the eligibility requirements for the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) in select countries to the following:
3,000 watch hours in the past 12 months OR 3 million Shorts views in the last 90 days
However, these lowered requirements don't allow video monetization. You'll gain access to the YouTube Partner Program and its tools, but will still need to meet the original requirements before you can actually monetize your content.
To start monetizing your content, you'll need to meet the following requirements:
4,000 hours of public watch time accrued within the last 12 months
10 million valid public Shorts views in the last 90 days.
To earn revenue through a live stream on YouTube, there are two primary methods:
For the purposes of this guide, we won't take into consideration outside sources like channel memberships, sponsorships, brand deals, merch, and Patreon - however these are still valid and popular ways for creators to earn revenue and often make up the bulk of their income.
How YouTube Ad Revenue Works
Regardless of your monetization status, YouTube inserts advertising into your content - however once you're part of the YPP you can earn money from these ads, including in any upcoming live streams.
Types of video ads include:
display and overlay ads
non skippable ads
Ads can also appear at different points in your content. This includes:
pre roll ads
mid roll ads
YouTube follows the CPM (Cost Per Mille) model when it comes to determining how much you can earn from these ads. You can learn more about the CPM model and earning potential in our YouTube earning guide here.
What Is YouTube Super Chat?
Super Chat (and Super Stickers) allow your viewers to purchase live chat messages that stand out and can be pinned to the top of the chat feed. This allows creators to earn revenue from streaming while building engagement levels.
Here's how to enable Super Chat:
Enabling Super Chat Via Desktop
Visit YouTube Studio. From the left, click Earn.'
Click the Supers tab (this will only appear if you are eligible).
Click Get Started. Follow the prompts.
You should now be able to toggle on/off the following:
- Super Chat
- Super Stickers
Enabling Super Chat Via Mobile
Open the YouTube Studio app.
Tap Earn at the bottom of the screen.
Tap Supers > Turn On (if you don't see it, tap Get Started in the Supers section)
Follow the on-screen prompts.
So how much can you actually earn from streaming on YouTube? YouTube creators can expect to generate approximately $18 USD per 1000 ad views, but after YouTube takes their 45% cut the average revenue received by the creator is approximately $9.90 USD per 1000 ad views.
A few things to keep in mind:
- An ad view is only counted if the ad played at least halfway through.
- Creators receive, on average, 55% of the revenue generated by ads.
- The average view earning is $0.018
- During peak viewing hours the average view earning can increase to $0.030
Factors That Affect YouTube Earnings
Keep in mind that the chart above is made up of estimates based on the most commonly available data. Your earnings may vary based on a variety of factors, including:
Viewer engagement & retention
Stream time & frequency of streams
Niche & content type
Want to make the most of your YouTube earnings outside of adsense accounts and the constraints of the YouTube algorithm?
Here are a few additional ways to earn revenue through live streaming on YouTube:
Create and sell merch
Create content for Patreon
Sponsorships & brand deals
Creating a career out of making YouTube content takes a lot of work - but it isn't impossible! The majority of high earning YouTubers earn most of their revenue from these additional methods listed above, rather than through ads or Super Chat, since they often grant creators with more control over.
Can small channels without YPP monetize their live streams?
If you're just starting out and haven't yet qualified for the YouTube Partner Program, you can still monetize your live stream content using one or more of the alternative methods listed here.
How can I ensure my live stream is advertiser-friendly?
Making sure that you're following YouTube's Community Guidelines is the best way to keep things advertiser-friendly. This includes avoiding profane language, adult themes and content, and maintaining an overall positive and welcoming space for viewers of all backgrounds.
What are the risks of copyright strikes during live streams?
Livestreaming is subject to the same copyright policies as any other form of content on YouTube. This means playing unlicensed music during a stream or showing clips of copyrighted video content can result in a copyright strike.
Can I combine live streaming with regular video uploads for better earnings?
Yes, of course! In fact, it's always a good idea to diversify your content types on YouTube and any other platform.
One method is to post different types of video content at different frequencies.
For example, you could post YouTube Shorts daily, regular YouTube videos weekly, and live streams once a month.
How does viewer location affect my live streaming revenue?
Yes, audience location and demographics affect YouTube earnings based on the needs of the advertiser. If the ads on your video are for goods and services in a country that the bulk of your audience doesn't live in (and therefore is not interested in) you won't earn as much.