They're not your usual celebrities or movie actors , but on Youtube they're superstars with millions of subscribers and millions in monthly income — all from clicks and views.
There’s a lot of money to be made on Youtube. And you don’t even have to be a big movie or TV star.
Just ask Edgar Dumali, a gamer from Koronadal, South Cotabato. In just three short years after creating his own channel, Choox TV, he was able to build his dream house — a multi-million Peso two-story modern mansion. And, if estimates are accurate, he still has plenty of moolah left in his bank account. After all, his earnings from Youtube are pegged at somewhere between P765,000 and P12.25 million per month.
You read that right. Per month.
Edgar isn’t the only YouTuber who has seen the same “Dream Home” dream coming true. There’s millennial couple Jayzam Manabat and Camille Trinidad, more popularly known as JaMill, and the recently departed vlogger and radio personality Lloyd Cadena. All three moved into their new cribs earlier this year — JaMill after four years on YouTube, Lloyd after a full decade. JaMill’s estimated monthly earnings run up P10.33 million while Lloyd’s run north of P8 million.
You don’t have to be a movie star to start making millions per month but you do have to be very entertaining to keep viewers glued to your channel.
And then there’s Jeremy Sancebuche, who is just waiting to move in to his recently bought residence. He was able to make the purchase in less than a year since making his breakthrough on YouTube in late 2019 with a dance challenge video that went viral. His net worth? Pegged at P14 million, an amount that represents earnings from the platform alone. It excludes the millions in talent fees he has received from the string of brand endorsements and tie-ups he has taken on.
Not familiar with Jeremy? His screen name would probably ring a bell: Mimiyuuuh.
YouTube is such a cash cow. It literally pays. How much depends on two things: the amount of time viewers spend watching videos on a channel, and how much YouTube gets from each ad that runs within a video.
The latter is the bigger source of income. It’s not unlike the commercials that run on TV from which broadcast networks get most of their revenues. But on YouTube the channel owner, or content creator, gets only a slice of the ad cost pie, not the full cake. But that’s okay. Considering how very little most videos cost to produce, any income is almost pure income.
But not every content gets ads. In the first place, not every content creator earns some income. To start getting monetized a YouTube channel needs at least 1,000 subscribers and 40,000 hours of watch time within 12 months.
In the Philippines, many have been able to cross the monetization threshold. In fact, according to this Google report, over 1,750 channels have more than 100,000 subscribers.
What about millions of subscribers? Each one on this list of the Top 10 Highest-Paid Pinoy YouTubers has them, including Edgar Dumali (4.5 million) and JaMill (11 million). Ranz Kyle, who’s No. 2 to Tulfo’s 13.7 million subscribers, has 12.5 million subscribers, followed by GMA Public Affairs (11.6 million), Niana Guerrero (11.4 million) and JaMill.
The same list tells us that Pinoy YouTube viewers are big on entertainment. All but public affairs host Raffy Tulfo who occupy the top spot are vloggers serving up lifestyle-type content. “My Day” coverage, fun home moments, food trips, travelogues, shopping sprees, music-powered videos, challenges, pranks, skits, conversations, etc.
But that’s not all the type of content that local audiences are consuming on the platform. Information-oriented pieces have also been making big strides lately. In fact, time spent watching knowledge videos increased over 90 percent since last year, while that for strategy game videos and fitness videos more than tripled.
Overall, watch time in the Philippines grew over 50 percent from June 2019. No doubt the lockdown has contributed a lot to that. And it will only be a boon to all content creators on the platform including the so-called “small time” YouTubers who have just a few thousand subscribers.
It’s no coincidence that all but one (Tulfo) of the top earning Pinoy YouTubers are under 30 years old. A big majority of the viewers come from the same demographics. In the 12-month period starting June 2019, YouTube reached over 40 million users aged 18 and above in the Philippines, with more than half coming from the 18-34 age range.
This is a tough audience to both court and keep. And with the amount of competition that’s out there in the YouTube universe, the more committed content creators know that for their channels to survive and thrive they must keep their subscribers constantly engaged while trying to reach out to potential new ones at the same time.
It’s not as easy as it sounds. It involves considerable effort, if not outright “work,” especially for content creators who don’t have the sheer force of personality like Mimiyuuuh’s or Lloyd Cadena’s to carry everything off. It means keeping tab on what works and what does not (they differ from creator to creator), being constantly abreast of what’s hot, catching trends from their early stages, making sure each piece of content is fresh and offers something new of value to viewers.
Aesthetics and production values are also key ingredients, Most importantly, it requires knowing how the YouTube algorithm works and, more to the point, how to make content that the algorithm will favor. This literally can spell the difference between getting 50 views and 5,000 views — and the corresponding income.
For new YouTubers it means a lot of trials and errors and patience before finding their niche and getting noticed enough to start earning. YouTube success rarely comes overnight, and even if it does it demands consistency and discipline to sustain it especially for those looking at it as a viable high-paying career.
And it can be.
It actually is.
Just ask Edgar, JaMill, and Mimiyuuuh.