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Screen Shot 2013-05-12 at 3.38.58 PMYou can open your YouTube videos to monetization through ad royalties.

Those “skip ad in 10 secs” and the ones that play all the way through before you can view the video?
They’re earning revenue by the owners of the channel.

Mary DoodlesOne of my favourite YouTube art channels is Mary Doodles (recent Feature Friday Artist).

She’s growing an audience with regular time-lapse uploads every Monday plus a variety of creative mo-jo sparking challenges and tips. She’s got her store link right on her YouTube page and you can link directly from inside a YouTube video to any sales page on your own website! (providing it’s verifed).
 
 

2016 Update

Some of the YouTube Creators listed below are outdated and aren’t as spectacular as they were when I first wrote this article.

Check out the list below for the most popular art YouTubers on the site as of 2016:

There are tonnes more that have HUGE subscriber bases!! This is a random-ish sample of what’s available.

Where would you fit in the mix?

Consider YouTube the secondary cable network – with ALL the channels.

Seriously, my family is just as likely to choose to watch YouTube as they are to turn on Netflix or watch a torrent… just saying.
 
 

So… like, real money?

 

Pretty Penny
JD Hancock / Money Photos / CC BY

Kinda.

The royalties are in the ballpark of a fraction of a penny per view.

For example: 1 000 000 views per month (across ALL videos) = $3000 (if each view is worth 1/3 of a cent).
 
 
No one’s retiring on their YouTube earnings (except those that are).

There are some channel owners that have HUGE views per month. A couple of my favourite channels like ZeFrank and Simon’s Cat are busting out the millions of views a month.
 
 

 
 
Simon’s Cat has even gone international!!
 
 

 
 
Hahahahaha!! This never gets old… ahhhhh good times Ze Frank.

Good tiiiiiimes.

Hartbeat & Quierd (same chick, different channels) is racking up the views with humour… and just sheer VOLUME of uploads.
 
 

 
 
Look at Val’s most popular videos – all roaring past millions of views. They’ve been up for several years, but are still pulling in 22 000+ views a month. (and 377 videos in her library – holy CRAP, that’s a lot)
 
 

 
 
All of these YouTube creators are making good full-time income from the ad revenue on their YouTube videos.
 
 

Potential on all levels

Granted, most YouTube content providers aren’t earning large cash – but the potential is there to make some dollars and add to your revenue base.

The more videos you add that people want to watch, the more money you’ll make in ad revenues.

In order to pull in the eyeballs and get people subscribed to your channel, you want to offer content that’s valuable and interesting.

You could offer:

  • actual classes & skills
  • advice for collectors
  • hanging/lighting artwork
  • conservation/archival tips
  • matting, framing & varnishing
  • tools & materials associated with art & art making

 
 

Check out this video and channel that I just found:

BananaJamana is racking up the subscribers and views!! (WOW)

The key is to provide real value and give people a reason to watch your videos!

Remember to also link back to your subscribe button & directly to pages on your website.

YouTube can be a great promoter and driver of exposure for an artist in general and is worth a hard look to see if it’s a tool that will fit well in your marketing and promotion magic box.
 
 

P.S.

Oh yeah – I have a YouTube channel too.
Promo fail.
 
 

"Live creative."
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Use YouTube to recession proof your art biz by developing multiple revenue streams.