In the spirit of transparency, I'm sharing some stats around my medium sized YouTube channel and how it helped me start a semi-successful business. In my opinion, this pattern of YouTubers using their distribution to build companies will become increasingly common, so I hope this is a helpful data point!
I run a channel designed to help software engineers grow their career. I started 2022 with 26K subscribers and ended with 71K. Here's a graph of my subscribers vs revenue each year (I started 3 years ago):
Some highlights from 2022:
- I made $9,020 with a CPM of $12.91 and RPM of $3.60
- I had 2.6M views across all my videos
- My best month was November, when I made $100+/day for several weeks
- My worst month was July, when I made < $10/day.
YouTube has been instrumental in growing a community/mentorship business I started in the middle of 2022, Taro. The vast majority of paying customers initially discovered us through YouTube, and this income stream is how I'm able to make a livable income ($100K+ booked in 4 months).
I also attribute the audience (and our ability to get feedback quickly) as one of the main reasons we got into Y Combinator.
For those of you thinking about something similar, here's why I'm bullish on YouTube as the basis for many consumer products:
- You don't need to spend (waste?) time vetting sponsors and haggling over terms.
- You can build a much deeper relationship with your audience if you bring them off YouTube.
- Depending on your audience, their willingness to pay can be very high if you deliver a unique product.
This idea of creators becoming brands was actually discussed in a recent episode of the All-In podcast by David Friedberg. I included a clip at 7:43 in this video:
Let me know if you have any questions!