Video Essentials

Nalts Offers Video Newbies Tips on Earning a Living on YouTube

There’s more competition on YouTube, but there are also more opportunities.

“YouTube’s growing up — very quickly,” said video pioneer Kevin “Nalts” Nalty in a panel discussion called “Making a Living on YouTube” at the recent Streaming Media East conference in New York City. The challenge is to keep up with YouTube, he said, to adapt; to not just see where the video space is now, but where it’s going to be.

The panel covered a variety of topics that go into treating YouTube as a business, such as audience development.

“You can’t afford to promote your content online, because you won’t make it back yet, and that’s kind of the advantage we had as early movers is that we didn’t have any cost, so it wasn’t important how much we’d earn back,” said Nalts. By developing a large and enthusiastic audience, video creators can save on marketing and promoting their works.

Nalts also explained how YouTube ad revenue works, and how little creators can expect.

“It’s important to note that the dollars you get for YouTube are not paid from YouTube. You get a percentage of the ad revenue, and it’s chump change. I mean, we’re talking a couple bucks per thousand views is what I’ve seen,” said Nalts. “And anybody that’s been around online advertising knows that that’s pretty low for the type of ad.”

Revenue should grow as ad dollars continue to move to online video.

“We know that that’s changing quickly as the projections for shift of online spend from television dollars. We’re seeing the dollars significantly shift, if you look long term. So what does that mean? It means the competition will increase and brands are getting very, very interested. But paid is just one way in. There’s also earned and sponsored,” said Nalts. He went on to explain to the audience that getting sponsorship increased the odds of a video going viral greatly.

For more from Kevin Nalty and the other panelists watch the full video below.


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  1. thanks for the press, and the not unflattering photo of me (first online)

    Posted by nalts | August 22, 2012, 4:04 pm
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