A Sri Lankan guide to earning money on YouTube: Part 2

How much money will I earn per 1,000 views on YouTube?

Morning folks! Hope your almost-work-week riddled with holidays was as unproductive as mine. In this week’s column, I tackle the fabled, age-old question of how many rupees you will pocket for getting 1,000 views on YouTube (YT).

Before I give a definite answer, let me tease your curious minds with factors that eventually lead to how much you earn.

Do bear with me; I beg you please do not throw water mixed with chilli powder at me…oops I meant coca-cola and lemonade!

· It’s not always just about views
Your YT revenue depends on many factors and not just the sheer number of views a video accumulates. While certain campaigns are impression-based (paying for the number of times an ad is seen by the audience), others are click-based (paying for the number of clicks the ad garners).

In this context, if all your audience does is skip advertisements and scroll past them, your revenue is negatively affected. Another caveat is the creativity and how engaging an ad is (which is beyond your control). If an advertisement is enticing enough for the viewer to click on, your payoff is inevitably more.

The video category and keywords impact the number of potential ads and the ad rates. Categories such as news receive low CPM (which stands for cost-per-mille, which means cost per 1,000 impressions) due to advertisers not wanting their products shown against politically sensitive or highly divisive topics.

Also, the keywords a YouTuber adds as part of the metadata when uploading a video to YT has a major impact on revenue. To deep-dive into keywords would require another column in itself; however we conduct regular training sessions for our creators at IdeaHell so that they maximise their potential revenue.

· Not all views are created equal

Okay, so wrap your head around this: YouTube ads are served from a centralised system called the GDN (Google Display Network). On the GDN, a potential advertiser bids for the campaign they are about to embark on.

For example, say Bank X has bid $ 100 for one million impressions from Sri Lanka, and in this same context, Bank Y has bid $ 200 for one million impressions from Sri Lanka. In this scenario, Bank Y’s campaign would receive priority viewership; however both campaigns would be served.

This is a very basic example of how bidding on the GDN works. Now picture this: In Sri Lanka there are 10 banks bidding for audiences on YouTube, however in Australia there are 100 banks bidding. In this scenario, a Sri Lankan view is not equal to an Australian view as the payoff for an Australian advertisement will inevitably be higher.

This is the case right now for Sri Lankan YouTubers; Sri Lankan views, though they make up the majority, have less of a percentage in your total earning when compared to, say the US or Europe and even Australia.

However, Sri Lankan revenue is increasing 20-fold YoY as more local advertisers move to YT for advertising, thereby increasing the competition and bidding market.

Tell me, da*n it! How much money do I get?

I hope you read the above points and did not jump to this part of the article after seeing this question, because if you did, this will not make any sense to you.

We currently manage over 200 YouTube channels, including the most subscribed, revenue earning channel in Sri Lanka. With all that background, this is my answer to the above question.

There have been times where we’ve earned Rs. 20,000 per 100,000 views and Rs. 2,000 per 100,000 views. Yes, the spectrum is that wide due to all of the above factors.

I hope this article helps you understand the potential revenue you could earn, so as to make planning or building your YT channel that much easier.
Jay out!


By Janeeth Rodrigo
Janeeth Rodrigo is the General Manager, Digital, of the Derana Media network. He is also the General Manager of IdeaHell, the first and only YouTube MCN and Creator Space in Sri Lanka.