These two ends of a vast YouTube spectrum have clashed recently over two interesting and arguably related phenomena — both of which directly involve PewDiePie. The first is an ongoing battle that PewDiePie’s supporters have been waging in order to prevent his channel from being surpassed as the most popular one on YouTube. To keep this from happening, they’ve done everything from take out a Times Square billboard to reportedly hacking into 50,000 printers around the world in order to promote their “subscribe to PewDiePie” meme.
Don’t think watching someone play PS4 sounds like fun? Markiplier’s 22.4 million YouTube subscribers, with their 10 billion video views of his work, beg to differ. Indeed, Fischbach is one of five gamers on this year’s list. The top 10 YouTube stars earned an aggregate $180.5 million this past year, up 42% from 2017. It pays to play: Compared with other common YouTube categories, such as scripted comedy or elaborate pranks, gaming clips can be produced and edited quickly; some gamers post new footage daily. More posts mean more viewers, naturally—and more ad dollars. (The going rate for top online talent, Forbes estimates, is about $5 per thousand views.) 
For example if your YouTube Channel happens to provide valuable video content for a very specific audience.  Say the channel teaches business owner how to organize their finances, track their expenses and save money on taxes.  Any company who is trying to reach business owners would love to place their ads on that channel because you would both share the same demographic.  The people who view that channel are their potential customers.
In December 2011, YouTube launched a new version of the site interface, with the video channels displayed in a central column on the home page, similar to the news feeds of social networking sites.[54] At the same time, a new version of the YouTube logo was introduced with a darker shade of red, the first change in design since October 2006.[55] In May 2013, YouTube launched a pilot program for content providers to offer premium, subscription-based channels within the platform.[56][57] In February 2014, Susan Wojcicki was appointed CEO of YouTube.[58] In November 2014, YouTube announced a subscription service known as "Music Key", which bundled ad-free streaming of music content on YouTube with the existing Google Play Music service.[59]
Before you can start getting paid, you'll need to reach the payment threshold. This varies depending on your currency. In the US, the payment threshold is $100. This means you'll need to earn $100 before you can start collecting any money. If you've hit your payment threshold, you'll be paid around the 21st of every month. If you didn't meet the threshold, that money will be rolled over into next month's amount.
Advertising rates -- Online media in general has had major problems with ad revenue. Even though video ads pay better than banners or other text ads, advertisers only want to be charged for people who actually see the ads. The question of verifying the actual audience that saw an ad is a thorny one. Older media like print and television were hugely profitable in their heydays because they never had to show that the audiences they claimed were ever truly realized by advertisers.

In any case, if you have incontrovertible evidence that YouTube is actually unprofitable today, and why that is (i.e. is it because they’re just investing all that profit back into growth, or are their upkeep costs truly just on the order of multiple billions of dollars?), would love to see it and adjust this accordingly. Doesn’t really change any of the points made though.
For other YouTube creators, ad dollars only go so far, and a significant portion of revenue comes from sponsorships and “affiliate marketing” (when brands offer a commission on any sales or traffic that the creator’s content drives). Affiliates function pretty seamlessly through YouTube; anyone can include links to featured products in their video’s caption, and when audience members click through and buy them, that YouTube channel gets a small kickback. Many YouTubers prefer Amazon’s affiliate program, “Amazon associates,” although there are plenty more to choose from.
In October 2010, Hurley announced that he would be stepping down as chief executive officer of YouTube to take an advisory role, and that Salar Kamangar would take over as head of the company.[51] In April 2011, James Zern, a YouTube software engineer, revealed that 30% of videos accounted for 99% of views on the site.[52] In November 2011, the Google+ social networking site was integrated directly with YouTube and the Chrome web browser, allowing YouTube videos to be viewed from within the Google+ interface.[53]
In 2013, YouTube introduced an option for channels with at least a thousand subscribers to require a paid subscription in order for viewers to watch videos.[300][301] In April 2017, YouTube set an eligibility requirement of 10,000 lifetime views for a paid subscription.[302] On January 16, 2018, the eligibility requirement for monetization was changed to 4,000 hours of watchtime within the past 12 months and 1,000 subscribers.[302] The move was seen as an attempt to ensure that videos being monetized did not lead to controversy, but was criticized for penalizing smaller YouTube channels.[303]

Of course, YouTube is funded by advertisers. So it makes sense to pay attention to their wants and desires. But under the current model, brands’ reactions are often a placeholder for third party regulation. And at the moment – as content creators are sketching the line for appropriate content – it is often advertisers who have the final say about acceptability.

The men know this with quantitative precision. YouTube analytics show exactly when a video’s audience falls off. ChuChu and other companies like it—whatever their larger philosophy—can see exactly what holds a toddler’s attention, moment by moment, and what causes it to drift. If a video achieves a 60 percent average completion rate, ChuChu knows it has a hit. Using these data doesn’t let it “crack the algorithm”; everyone has access to a version of these numbers. Instead, Chandar uses the analytics to tune his and other creators’ intuition about what works.


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