How Many YouTube Subscribers Do You Need To Make Money In 2024?

Building a profitable YouTube channel takes time and effort but luckily there are multiple income avenues accessible long before you hit 1 million subscribers.

This in-depth guide covers it all:

  • Requirements to enable YouTube monetization
  • Estimated earnings based on your subscriber count
  • The landscape of top YouTuber incomes
  • Ideal strategies for gaining loyal viewers
  • Real case studies from channels big and small

Let’s start with the basics…

How YouTubers Actually Make Money

While Google AdSense is the most straight-forward way to monetize, plenty of other options exist:

  • Google AdSense – Display ads before, during, and after your YouTube videos. You earn a cut whenever viewers engage with the ads.
  • Sponsorships – Brands pay you lump sums to promote or review products. Often $10-$50 per 1,000 video views.
  • Merchandise – Selling branded apparel, mugs, phone cases and more through print-on-demand. 15-35% profit per item sold.
  • Affiliate Marketing – Earn commissions promoting other companies’ products and services.
  • Memberships – Charge subscribers $4.99-$19.99/month for exclusive content and perks like shoutouts.

The key benchmark? 1,000 YouTube subscribers.

That‘s the minimum to get accepted into the YouTube Partner Program and enable monetization features. But how much can you realistically earn at that stage?

What Income Can 1,000 Subscribers Bring?

Let‘s say your channel has:

  • 1,000 loyal subscribers
  • 5 new videos a month with an average of 1,000 views each
  • A decent average YouTube CPM rate of $7

With 5 videos at 1,000 views each, that‘s 5,000 monetized impressions monthly.

At $7 RPM, you‘d earn around $35 per month.

Not enough to quit the day job yet! Without more scale, focus on alternative income streams for now.

  • Affiliate commissions
  • Sponsorships
  • Merch once you have super fans

Speaking of scale, major YouTubers make some serious bank.

The Landscape of Top YouTuber Incomes

Let‘s analyze subscriber counts vs earnings for the highest paid stars:

MrBeast – 105 Million Subscribers

Jimmy Donaldson‘s stunts and giveaways brand him as YouTube‘s top earner for 2022 at $54 million. Adsense alone likely brings over $10 million per year. Sponsors pay huge sums when getting featured in videos averaging 200 million views per month!

PewDiePie – 111 Million Subscribers

Known for his gaming content and commentary, PewDiePie made $38 million last year. His non-sponsorship earnings allow him to stay fully independent – a rare feat with such massive scale.

Markiplier – 33 Million Subscribers

Another top gaming personality earning $28 million in 2022 primarily through YouTube ad revenue. Markiplier also cites his loyal fanbase sticking around for 9+ years as reason for his continued dominance.

While these top creators make fortunes from subscriber bases in the tens of millions, you can still build great income with far fewer fans.

Check out these next case studies…

Real Income Examples From YouTubers

Let‘s explore transparent income breakdowns at different subscriber counts:

75,000 Subscribers

ASSERT Health is a doctor-run channel posting videos about medicine, health, and hospital care. With 75k subscribers they earn around $4,500 per month.

CLICK for full income breakdown

Total Monthly Income: $4,500

  • YouTube Adsense: $2,100
  • Channel Memberships: $600
  • Sponsorships: $1,500
  • Merch Sales: $300

ASSERT prioritizes evergreen informational content that ranks high in search and recommendations. This earns consistent ad revenue even on older videos. Sponsors also love the prestige of partnering with medical experts!

250,000 Subscribers

Lindsay Marsh runs a full-time family vlogging channel. With nearly 250k subscribers, her monthly earnings average $7,000-9,000. Adsense contributes around 60% of that total.

CLICK for full income details

Total Monthly Income: $7,000 – $9,000

  • YouTube Adsense: $4,500
  • Affiliate Commissions: $1,200
  • Sponsors: $800 – $2,000
  • Merch Sales: $500

Her sponsored content rates are lower compared to other niches but she makes up for it with her authentic connection to viewers. Nearly 80% of traffic comes from YouTube suggested videos so her family-friendly content clearly resonates!

1.3 Million Subscribers

Devin Nash runs an educational gaming channel right around the 1 million subscriber mark. He generously discloses exact earnings.

In December 2022 alone he earned $46,764 primarily from 4 different income streams:

CLICK for detailed breakdown

Total Income in Dec 2022: $46,764

  • YouTube Adsense: $9,572
  • Facebook Video Ads: $8,394
  • Twitch Subscriptions: $13,657
  • YouTube Memberships: $15,141

Devin optimizes both his long-form evergreen tutorials along with short-form viral clips. He then leverages platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok to direct viewers back to monetized YouTube content.

Cross-promoting helps maximize his reach and earnings!

5 Million Subscribers

Jenna Marbles became one of the original YouTube mega-stars with her comedy sketches and commentary. At the peak of her popularity, she had over 19 million subscribers!

Public estimates pegged her yearly income from YouTube ads alone at $4-6 million during peak years.

While at smaller scales ad revenue is unlikely to fully replace another income stream, once you start gaining millions of subscribers it can mean big bucks!

Keys For Getting There

Sure subscriber count plays a role in potential YouTube earnings, but here are more important factors:

📈 Audience Retention & Engagement – Does your content captivate viewers? Do people binge multiple videos or click away halfway through? YouTube analytics show you exactly how your videos perform. Maximize watch time and keep people interested!

🎥 Quality & Consistency – Regularly releasing videos builds trust and authority with both subscribers and the YouTube algorithm. But don’t sacrifice production standards to post more often. Find your sustainable pace for releasing high quality content.

📊 Understanding Your Niche – Certain genres naturally attract more viewers while others have fierce competition. Carefully choose your niche then hone your channel‘s focus even further so you become known as a top expert around specific topics that you enjoy creating content around.

While 10,000 hours are required developing mastery of any skill, YouTube also offers one of the most direct creator-to-audience paths out there. If you can consistently improve your content while building genuine connections with your community, the subscriber and income growth will come over time!

Wrapping Up…

Let‘s review the key takeaways:

💰 The YouTube Partner Program requires 1,000 subscribers before you can start serving ads and earning revenue. But that earns pennies without more scale.

🎬 Alternative income streams like sponsorships bring in larger sums earlier on in your YouTube journey. Think quality over quantity with your viewership.

📈 Top creators make multi-millions per year once they surpass 10+ million subscribers. But you can build a great full-time income with much less – especially if combining YouTube ads with other monetization strategies.

I hope this lengthy guide empowers you to grow your influence and earnings on YouTube! Please share any other questions I can help address.

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