How Youtubers are making money playing games

Youtube was once a channel that mainly consisted of ‘vlogs’, simple video journals of an individuals life. Much has changed in the last 9 years with Youtube becoming one of the biggest websites around and is the go to place to watch pretty much anything you can think of. The past few years has seen the rise of game commentary and user created content featuring game playing and humor. This can range from anything from talking about games, game reviews, talking over games, game montages…the list is endless. Some of the guys at the very top of the youtube game hierarchy are making some serious money. But how? And exactly how much? Can anyone make money money playing games ?

To answer the last question the answer is a resounding no. The amount of people who have enough of a following to make an income which can be considered the equivalent to or above the average wage is very slim. For every PewDiePie there are a million wannabes desperately trying to emulate his success. For those out of the loop, PewDiePie is a hero to many teenagers around the world. According to his ‘About’ section on Youtube he just plays games and likes to make people laugh. Well, that sentiment has earned him over 21,000,000 subscribers and his monthly views on his videos are around 300,000,000. According to SocialBlade his estimated monthly earnings range from between $95,000 up to a staggering $950,000.

Yes, he really does make money for doing things like this.
Yes, he really does make money for doing things like this.

So how does he make this money? Most people who have over a certain number of followers are members with FullScreen which is a service designed to monetize traffic with advertisements. In fact, advertising is pretty much the only sustainable way of making money on youtube if you’re a gamer. That is of course unless you find some brilliant affiliate marketing system you can incorporate in some way. For every click on the adverts on their video they earn. Everytime you accidentally click on an advert someone is earning and everytime you buy something after clicking an advert the chances are multiple people are earning (sorry for stating the obvious). So before you set out on your wonderful voyage of getting a capture card, recording your clips and making the most wonderfully intelligent video you could ever imaginez! just be aware it will not earn you a bean.

There is also going down the route of getting a partnership, I know Machinima offers this type of service. You promote them and bow down to their every command and they will give you a starter amount of around $2.50 per 1000 views! This of course is dependent on whether you get accepted in the first place and is also dependent on views and subscribers. This route could be the most profitable for would be professionals and is specifically aimed at gamers.

Machinima equals big moneys! (Apparently)
Machinima equals big moneys! (Apparently)

To earn any amount of money I would suggest aiming for at least 25,000 subscribers. One of the ways gamers who have around this many views make money is via sponsorship. Basically what happens is those with a certain amount of popularity (popularity is key if you haven’t already guessed) can approach companies for free products in return for them being mentioned in their videos or played with. A lot of amateur Call Of Duty players go down this route, in fact go on to twitter and find a company related to gaming products and watch them beg, it’s quite entertaining. Obviously there is no real money in sponsorship but you can get some free goodies which is always good!

My recommendation for any would be Youtubers is to not expect anything, you could be the next big thing but the odds are massively stacked against you. The market is a big one but it’s also massively overcrowded with too many videos cluttering up Youtube in general. Be unique, have a unique selling point and Youtube stardom and profits could be yours. Film yourself playing Call of Duty with a bland narrative and you’ll find yourself frustrated, out of pocket (equipment needed is expensive) and you’ll be forever lost in the myriad of similar videos out there already.


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