How Many YouTube Subscribers Are Needed to Make Money?

Sep 10, 2020


YouTube provides content creators with the opportunity to make money through their content. This is one of the main reasons why many people start creating videos. Of course, making money when you first start is difficult- it helps to have an audience. But how many YouTube subscribers are needed to make money? Do you even need subscribers?

YouTube subscribers don't typically translate directly into money. They are, however, an indication of how many people enjoy your content. So, technically, the more subscribers you have, the more money you can make. With this said, there are plenty of channels that have a small subscriber base that makes more money than channels with a large subscriber base.

People believe that earning money through AdSense is the only option on YouTube. With the new monetization requirements set a few years ago, people are now looking for ways to gain 1000 subscribers as quickly as possible. As you'll learn in this article, AdSense isn't your only option, and subscribers aren't as important as you might think for making money.

Making Money Posting YouTube Videos


It's no secret that part of the appeal of YouTube is being able to make a lot of money. Whenever you see articles about content creators on YouTube, what do they usually talk about? They usually talk about how much money the creator is making. But is making money posting YouTube videos possible? Also, is AdSense the only option?

There are a lot of different options available for making money on YouTube. Such options include:

  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Google AdSense
  • Brand Deals

All of these options are great options for creators looking to monetize their content. Ideally, you should have at least 2 of the above 4 options present when trying to monetize your content for added security. After all, as we all now know, AdSense income can disappear overnight if advertisers decide to stop spending their money on ads.

Let's dive a little deeper into these 4 monetization methods:

Affiliate Marketing

I believe affiliate marketing is the best monetization method available. There are many reasons for this, but the 2 main reasons are the amount of money that can be made and the low requirements needed. That's right, unlike other monetization methods, there are no subscriber requirements for affiliate marketing.

You make money through affiliate marketing whenever someone purchases an item or service through your affiliate link. Often, you get paid 20% to 30% of the sale price for digital products, and for physical products, you get paid between 2% and 7% of the sale price depending on the item sold.

The biggest benefit of this monetization method is the fact that you don't need to have a specific number of subscribers or views to make money. All you need to do is get people to click on your affiliate link and purchase the product- that's it. Thus, your goal isn't to get as many views or subscribers on your videos, it's to get as many link clicks.

Google AdSense

Google AdSense is typically the go-to method for monetization on YouTube. Get views, get paid, right? While I still recommend placing ads on your videos, depending on AdSense to make money in today's climate is a bad decision. At any moment, advertisers could cut their advertising budget and your income could disappear.

Another thing to be aware of when it comes to AdSense is the fact that you won't be able to access this monetization option until you meet the requirements set by YouTube in 2018. As many creators come to learn, reaching the set requirements can take a long time, so starting a YouTube channel just to monetize with AdSense is a terrible idea.

I will say, certain niches have very high CPM rates, making AdSense a great monetization option. Finance, business, and marketing niches typically have great CPM rates. However, general niches like vlogging and gaming will usually have lower CPM rates, so keep this in mind if you one day want to be able to make a decent amount of money through AdSense.

Brand Deals

Brand deals are typically only able to be accessed by creators with an audience of significant size. If you watch any videos from large channels, you've probably seen a brand deal at some point. While brand deals are awesome, as they get you in contact with large companies, they do require a sizeable audience to access.


Sponsorships are similar to brand deals because they typically take place between a creator and a company. However, the way that a creator is paid is different than in brand deals. Sponsorships typically come equipped with a discount code for viewers to use when purchasing an item. Also, sponsorships sometimes feature a flat fee payment each month.

Can You Make Money on YouTube Without Subscribers


With all kinds of different monetization methods available, can you make money on YouTube without subscribers? At the end of the day, you definitely can. Affiliate marketing, for example, has no subscriber requirements and can be done right from 0 subscribers. However, just because there are no requirements, it doesn't mean money is guaranteed.

Unfortunately, many people have made making money on YouTube seem like an easy process. While it isn't the most difficult thing in the world, making money on YouTube does require hard work, patience, and skills. Due to this, the promises of "fast" money are almost always false.

Quite honestly, I'd recommend that your main goal on YouTube not be to make money. I know, the media loves to highlight the fact that some creators make a lot of money on the platform. However, it's in your best interest not to focus on making money, as this focus almost always causes creators to lose motivation when they don't make money quickly.


Making money on YouTube is entirely possible, even without a massive audience. However, it's important to recognize that it isn't as easy as people might make it seem. How many YouTube subscribers are needed to make money? None, technically- YouTubers aren't paid for subscribers. However, having an audience does help.

Focus on creating high-quality content and the money will follow. Do not make it your primary goal to make money on YouTube, as it will cause you to lose motivation and quit. Again, it is possible to make money through a variety of different ways on YouTube, but all of them require hard work, patience, and skills.

Daniel James
Hi there! I’m Daniel, the founder, and CEO of Tubefluence. I help businesses and influencers utilize the power of YouTube marketing to grow an audience and generate leads.
TubeRanker offers the ultimate toolset for Creators & Marketers to optimize their videos against the YouTube algorithm and rank higher in YouTube & Google searches and recommendation engines.
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