FOR ANYONE WHO doesn’t work in the vast world of online videos, the idea of “YouTube stars” is baffling. What’s even more astounding is that so many of those YouTubers can make a living simply from viral videos. An entire career just based on posting funny things on the internet, where so many people do it for free? How does that work? How does someone make producing online videos their full-time job?
For the most part, the answers are straightforward. “Advertisers pay to have their ads shown in front of YouTube videos,” says Markiplier, who currently has 21 million subscribers for his gaming videos. “You get a share of that.” Determining that share, however, is a little more complex. “It’s like this: You have a fraction of an amount. There’s a bunch of factors outside of that, that have nothing to do with you, that affect whether that fraction is bigger or smaller,” adds Hannah Hart, whose longstanding channel has some 2.5 million subs. Beyond that there are merch deals, collaborations with brands, and other promotions YouTubers can use to bring in cash from their channels.
“I don’t think you get paid for subscribers [though],” says Rhett, one half of Rhett and Link, the team behind Good Mythical Morning—a fact that his cohost calls “sad.”
But that’s just one of the tricks of the trade revealed in this episode of Creator Support, wherein we asked a host of YouTubers questions that fans and aspiring viral video creators posted on Twitter. Want to know what kind of gear Hart uses or how Liza Koshy came up with her popular character Helga? It’s all in the video above. So, surprisingly, is the method with which Rhett and Link settle arguments. Short version: It involves something called “slapth”-ing. Don’t ask. Just watch.
This article first appeared in www.wired.com
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