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January 19, 2018 05:30 pm | Updated 11:08 pm IST
Widening horizons: At least 50% of new users on YouTube will come from rural areas, says Ajay Vidyasagar of Google.
Over 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and five million videos are watched every day. With such a captive audience, it’s no surprise that the Google-owned platform has been an advertiser favourite since they incorporated ads in 2007.
Since April 2017, channels needed 10,000 lifetime views to be eligible for monetisation. But as of Wednesday, the requirements for both new channels and existing ones have been increased: they will need 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time within the past 12 months. These numbers aren’t easy to reach, especially for the smaller or niche content creators. Reports claim that tens of thousands of channels will be affected by these changes.
So if you’re a budding vlogger, or want to increase your channel’s reach, and are wondering how to get these money-making numbers, six top Indian YouTubers talk about their experiences with monetisation and what it takes to run a successful channel on the back of monetisation.
Shruti Arjun Anand (Beauty)
Start a new channel only if you believe in it and have a plan to conceptualise at least your next 10 to 20 videos. It’s always easy to create something awesome once, but to keep creating something new every week is really important. Focus on building new, different content that sets you apart from the rest.
There’s not much initial investment involved — in my case, all I needed was a bunch of makeup and hairstyling tools and a camera that was already available with me. However, as you start growing, you’ll need to buy gear, editing softwares and products for your videos.
There is absolutely no loss of control over content due to monetisation because it’s your call to decide which brand you would like to work with. YouTube does provide an option to control ads based on sensitive categories.
Ranveer Allahbadia (Beer Biceps – Fitness)
When you begin monetising, the money you earn will be minimal. The goal is to grow your channel and your view count to a point where every month, you're bringing in a LOT of views. After a year or two of running the channel, you'll reach a point where you earn a substantial 'salary' from YouTube every month. For the first six months to almost a year into the process, I didn’t earn much through youtube views. Now, I earn enough to buy myself a Tata Nano every month.
Cost of quality
Initially I'd record on my smartphone. But I realised that I needed to get serious about video and audio quality for the kind of audience I was trying to attract. I bought myself a Canon 700D, a basic DSLR camera for about Rs 36,000 and a mic for about Rs 5,000. And keep making videos: even if you put up 10 flops for a hit, it’s about consistency and constantly adding value to your audience's lives!
YouTube monetisation isn’t a very complicated process. But plugging products in your videos (through brand deals) is a whole other ballgame. Be very careful about the products you recommend because your fanbase trusts you 100%. With great power comes great responsibility.
Ashish Chanchlani (Entertainment)
More than money
YouTube paying us through ads is the primary method we creators earn. The payouts vary from time to time, there is no fixed amount that you earn yearly or monthly, mine is in the range of ₹1.5 to 2 lakhs monthly. But branding is what I consider a big way to earn through videos.
To attract an audience, give them a good five to six minutes of entertainment that will make them share it with others. Once you grow, you will start earning. Also focus on your scripting, for it is the foundation of your work. And don’t forget to enjoy the whole process. It took two unsuccessful years for me to reach this third successful year.
When I started out, I was very bad with choosing thumbnails — you don’t realise their role in getting viewers to click on the video. I also didn’t know the importance of giving good, smooth endings. I corrected these mistakes, and found out how it all mattered a lot.
Sejal Kumar (Lifestyle)
There are three ways of making money on YouTube. The first is of course ad revenue, the second is through partnerships and collaborations with brands by creating content for a campaign that the brand is running. The third is through affiliate links that a YouTuber can place in the info box of his or her videos through which a percentage of the sales of the product linked can be earned.
Ups and downs
Monetising gives financial stability and added investment in future content, which in turn improves the quality of the channel as a whole. The first step, however, would be to go through all the material on the support website as early and as thoroughly as possible and connect your AdSense account to your YouTube channel. I took nearly three months to the do same and my payments were delayed for a long time due to that error.
Nisha Madhulika (Food)
To start monetising, you need to produce videos that are your original content. My advise to new YouTubers: find your talent then let yourself loose. An audience takes time to build. The first six months will be difficult but if you are consistent and you deserve it then success will come.
Google does not ask you to product any specific kind of videos. The only limitation is they don't monetise videos that have content that’s qualified as abusive. I think that’s fair because advertisers are averse to showing their ads on content of this sort. You too can refuse to run any ad that you don’t like. You can use the Google Adsense setup to make that work.
Ranjit Kumar (Geeky Ranjit – Technology)
Then and now
When I started, there was no concept of monetisation on videos, but I started posting as I wanted to share my passion and knowledge. Now, smartphones have become so powerful that you technically don’t need a dedicated camera and can create acceptable videos with them. But if you want to create professional videos, you might have to invest in dedicated camera lens and audio gear, and even soundproof your studio.
In my field, I do review tech products so many times I do have to purchase them as every company does not send review units, so yeah, this is an expenditure.
Profit and loss
I can’t get into the details of my earnings; I can say that I was making losses for the first three years. Now I’m a lot wiser about the expenditure and I am carefully investing some of the profit I made into improved production, a new office and I’m planning to expand the channel. I would say, expect at least two years before you look at the balance sheet. Be a YouTuber only if you’re passionate about what you post; if it’s only about money, you are bound to give up.
Traffic for content:
You can’t expect to produce just one video and if that goes big, stay quiet. You have to keep producing quality content on consistent basis to build a sustainable audience, traffic and your brand. It has been seven years since I started my channel; I still produce one video a day. If I take a break for a few days, I notice the immediate drop in traffic numbers. It’s not as easy as everyone thinks, but if you enjoy what you are doing you don’t feel it’s work.
The Hindu Weekend / internet
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