How Much Does It Cost to Start a YouTube Channel in 2023

Apr 14, 2023


Want to know how much it costs to start a YouTube channel? There’s no better time to start a YouTube channel than today. 

With the latest advancements in technology and massive amounts of information available on how to build and grow a YouTube channel, anyone can get started without having to buy the best video equipment and software.

In this article, you will learn

Why you should start a YouTube channel
What you need to start a YouTube channel
How much it costs to start a YouTube channel
How to make money on YouTube

Read on if you want to learn how much it really costs to start a YouTube channel.

Why Start a YouTube Channel?

Of all the ventures you could be starting, why should you start a YouTube channel? 

There are several reasons why individuals and businesses should consider starting a YouTube channel:

  • YouTube is the largest video platform in the world. With millions of daily users, the odds are much higher that you’d be able to build a following and gain views than on any other video sharing platform. 
  • YouTube’s monetization features. YouTube offers two main monetization features for creators, this includes ads and paid membership communities. Thanks to paid membership communities, creators can earn an income from their YouTube followers even with a small subscriber base.
  • The ideal place to build a community. YouTube’s unique set of content formats and features such as Shorts, YouTube Live, community posts, paid memberships, and regular video content makes it one of the best places to build an online community.
  • Another marketing channel for brands. Brands can use YouTube to create video content to educate existing customers and to attract new customers to their products or services.
  • Potential for long-term income. One of the main reasons why someone might want to start a YouTube channel is for the idea of building a source of long-term, recurring income. YouTubers can earn money from their videos as long as they meet YouTube’s content policies even after several years since they were published.

What Do You Need to Start a YouTube Channel?

Let’s move on to a discussion of all the things you need to get started on YouTube, thereafter we will share how much it costs to start a YouTube channel. 

YouTube Channel [Free]

Obviously, the first thing you need to get going on YouTube is your own channel. Creating your own YouTube channel is really straightforward and can be done in a matter of seconds. 

In fact, anyone with a YouTube account can create a channel. Simply sign into YouTube using your Google account details, click on your profile picture in the top right, and then click on “Create a channel”.

how to create a youtube channel

Stable Internet Connection [$36 per month]

The next thing you need to start a YouTube channel is a stable internet connection. This is especially important if you plan on hosting live streams or broadcasts. 

A fast and stable internet connection will also make the video upload process easier and hassle-free. 

Obviously, there’s no definite cost with regard to your internet connection since it will depend on your plan and region. 

According to Forbes, the average cost of internet in the United States is around $36 per month.

how much internet costs

However, if you already have an internet connection at home, which you already probably have, then you won’t need to add this to your calculation of how much it costs to start a YouTube channel. 

Camera [$0 to $150]

When it comes to starting a YouTube channel, the first thing most people think of is buying a specialized camera. 

This is not necessary since you can use your phone’s video camera to get started. As you progress and start earning money from your YouTube channel you can think of buying a video camera for your recordings. 

Of course, you won’t be able to start a YouTube channel without a camera. Luckily, there is a wide range of cameras that you can choose from when starting your channel. 

From using your phone to buying a brand new camera that’s designed especially for recording video content, you’ll be surprised at how many options you can choose from. 

Selecting the right camera for recording your YouTube content can be a tedious and time-consuming process. Additionally, your budget will also have an impact on the camera that you choose. 

If you don’t wish to use your phone’s camera for your YouTube content, then you can get a decent camera starting at around $149 for a Sony Cyber-Shot camera. 

camera for youtube

Microphone [$50]

You might not have thought that you need a microphone to start your YouTube channel, but actually, it’s quite essential. 

You can still get away without investing in a proper camera by just using your phone, but you definitely need to invest in a microphone. 

Without a microphone, your video’s audio will be low-quality. For instance, if you’re recording content outdoors without a microphone, your audio will likely contain wind or additional noises that you don’t want viewers to hear. 

At the end of the day, you can still watch a video with low-quality visuals, however, the same is not true for audio. 

If a video’s audio quality is bad, viewers will very quickly close your video and look for a better alternative. Bad audio will make it extremely difficult to grow your YouTube channel. 

And you can’t rely on your phone or camera’s audio quality, since those devices are usually not capable of recording high-quality audio files. 

Luckily, microphones aren’t expensive and you can get a good-quality mic for a relatively affordable cost. 

As we’ve mentioned in another one of our blog articles, one of the best starter microphones for YouTubers is the Samson Technologies Q2U Recording and Podcasting set. 

Starting at just $50, it’s the ideal YouTube starter microphone. 


Lighting [$165]

While not essential, lighting can make your YouTube videos look even better. 

You can still get away with using natural lighting, but this will limit your video recording hours to daylight hours only. 

Keep in mind that videos with bad lighting effects will make your content look unprofessional. 

Artificial lighting, however, will improve the perceived quality of your content, making it more appealing to watch, and potentially resulting in more subscribers and video views. 

Of course, if you’re producing content that is animated, then you won’t need any natural or artificial lighting. 

Now, there’s no need to get carried away here with expensive lighting. Like all the other items in this blog post, you don’t need to purchase the high-end options just to start a YouTube channel.

One piece of lighting equipment that all YouTubers need to get is a ring light, especially if you plan on producing a lot of indoor videos showing your face.  

A ring light is a circular light that reduces shadows and improves the overall lighting in your videos. 

You can get a good quality ring light for between $50 and $100, depending on the option that you choose. 

For YouTube content, we suggest using this Neewer 18-inch ring light, retailing for $99. 

ring light on amazon

Depending on your situation and where you will be recording your YouTube videos, you might also want to get your hands on a softbox. You can get a decent softbox lighting kit for around $66.

Editing Software [$12 per month]

Irrespective of what type of content you produce and publish, you will want to make use of some type of video editing software to make your videos even better. 

With video editing software you can add various visual effects to your content, including your video intro clips and animations. Video editing software can also be used to add sound effects to your videos. 

Your budget will also determine which video editing software you use. 

When you’re just starting out, you probably won’t know much about video editing. As a result, making use of proper video editing software such as Photoshop requires quite a bit of skill. 

Therefore, we recommend starting off with a more user-friendly video editing software such as Clipchamp or Veed. 


Both these tools have a free plan for you to test out their features, however, we recommend subscribing to one of their paid plans.

Clipchamp only has one paid plan which costs $11.99 per month, whereas Veed has got multiple pricing tiers, with the lowest cost option starting at $18 per month. 

YouTube Marketing Software [$19 per month]

You can’t simply produce and publish YouTube content without having a solid marketing plan or strategy. 

Before you even think of your next video idea, you need to do some research on a number of things, including:

  • Are people actually searching for content based on this topic?
  • What videos will you be competing against if you decide to create a video on this topic?
  • Why are the top 3 ranking videos performing so well? 
  • Can you replicate any of the elements from the top-performing videos?

This is where YouTube marketing software such as TubeRanker comes in handy. 

With TubeRanker, you can spy on your competitors’ YouTube channels, find search volume for YouTube keywords, generate video tags, descriptions, and titles, as well as track video rankings. 

Our basic plan starts at $19 per month which is ideal for creators just starting out.


Other Equipment

Of course, there are other things you can consider buying if you want to start a YouTube channel. 

This includes:

  • A YouTube video backdrop or a studio
  • A camera tripod
  • An animated video intro and/or outro
  • Design software for thumbnails
  • Stock music for background music

However, these items are only optional and you don’t necessarily need them to start a YouTube channel. 

How Much Does it Cost to Start a YouTube Channel?

Based on our calculations, it will cost approximately $430. This includes a digital camera, lighting, a microphone, video editing software, and YouTube marketing software. 

Of course, some of these costs such as your video editing software, marketing software, and internet subscription repeat on a monthly basis. 

This figure will vary from person to person. Our best advice is to aim to keep starting costs as low as possible. 

How to Make Money on YouTube

With all these things you have to think of getting in order to start a YouTube channel, you might be wondering how you’re going to make money on YouTube. 

After all, you have to make back the money you invested. 

Here are some of the best ways to make money on YouTube:

  • Through YouTube Ads. This is one of the simplest ways to make money on YouTube, the major drawback to this is that you need a lot of subscribers and viewers to generate any meaningful income from ads. 
  • Create a paid membership. YouTube now allows creators to create paid communities as another source of revenue. You can start generating income through a paid community irrespective of how many subscribers you have.
  • Affiliate marketing and sponsorships. Many successful YouTubers monetize their channels through affiliate marketing and paid sponsorships. This is a simple monetization method and doesn’t require thousands of subscribers for you to start earning commissions from a sale. 


The costs associated with starting a YouTube channel shouldn’t deter you from taking the plunge. 

Essentially, starting a YouTube channel is free, however, you will need to take some money and invest in a good microphone and editing software to get started. 

All the other pieces of equipment such as a new camera and lighting can be bought as you progress in your YouTube journey. 

Ruben Rogers
Ruben's background is in digital marketing, more specifically eCommerce and lead generation. He has a passion for all things tech-related, including SaaS startups, digital marketing and the Internet of Things.
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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