Shelby Church Shelby Church/YouTube
Shelby Church has 1.3 million subscribers on YouTube
The YouTube star Shelby Church, who has 1.3 million subscribers, revealed to Business Insider that she recently earned $15,000 from a YouTube video with 4.1 million views — the most she’s ever made from a single video in nine years as a creator.
And in a strange twist, the video’s subject is how much YouTube paid her for a previous video with 1 million views.
“For a long time, I just thought you weren’t allowed to say how much you made, so I didn’t want to,” Church said. “Once I realized you could make two or three times as much money if you made a video longer, I thought it would be helpful if other people knew that because it’s such a simple change.”
The impact of a viral video and how many ad breaks she uses
Church said this single video also helped the overall growth of her channel. Looking at the analytics, she said she gained 58,000 new subscribers from the video and saw a spike in views across her recently uploaded videos.
But the video didn’t gain traction overnight. Church said most of the views came weeks after she posted it and the video had only 68,000 views after the first day.
“I really thought the video would get 100,000 views, not 4 million,” she said. “Once I saw that it hit a million, it honestly scared me.” Church said the video hit about 1 million views a week after its posting. And overall, the response has been positive, she said.
“I was a little nervous people would be bitter about how much YouTubers make,” she said. “But I think it shows that YouTubers don’t always make a ton of money, and it really depends on what kind of videos you’re making.”
A YouTube creator can earn money through YouTube’s Partner Program if they have at least 1,000 subscribers and at least 4,000 watch hours on their channel in the past year. This program allows creators to monetize their channels with video ads placed by Google and also through subscriptions and channel memberships. These ads make a certain amount of money depending on factors like a video’s watch time, length, and viewer demographic.
Church generally makes her videos over 10 minutes long so that she can include more ads, she said. Her video with 4.1 million views had four ads: one preroll ad before the video starts, two ads in the middle, and one at the end of the video.
Church typically earns more of her revenue from sponsored posts than from AdSense on YouTube, she said. But August was the first month that she earned more from AdSense, which was thanks to the number of views she gained from the video.
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