(NEW YORK) — People getting rich from posting videos on YouTube isn’t news. It’s the rate at which it’s happening.
“We have thousands of people, now, making six-figure incomes,” says Bing Chen, head of YouTube’s Partner Program, which helps amateur video-makers become prosperous. “It’s enough for them to create a sustainable business.”
A year ago, Chen says, the number of people was just a few hundred. Income earned by YouTube partners, he says, has doubled every year for the past four years. And all kinds of people are cashing in — Pilates instructors, musicians, dog trainers, comedians, chefs and cosmeticians.
He cites as a prime example Michelle Phan, 25, whose videos instruct women how to shop for and use cosmetics. While Phan was still an art school student, Chen says, she began uploading videos as a hobby. Today, she has more than two million YouTube subscribers. Her videos have earned 624 million views.
Not only is Phan making money, she has become, says Chen, “a global brand — the premier destination for makeup tutorials.” Cosmetics company Lancome has hired her as its official “video makeup artist.”
YouTube’s partners make money several ways, says Chen. Once their following grows above a certain threshold (the number differs according to each partner, Chen says), they start to get a percentage of the revenue YouTube owner Google gets from selling ads to run beside the partner’s video.
Eric Letendre, The Amazing Dog Training Man, makes videos on such topics as “shedding” and “secrets of leash walking” that have earned 9.2 million views. He gets $300 to $500 a month, he says, from ads that Google sells. But he makes “a lot more” by using his YouTube channel to sell his books and services.
Blogilates, the channel for fitness- and Pilates-instructor Cassey Ho (16 million views), has an e-commerce feature through which she sells her own line of Pilates clothes and gym bags. The revenue she gets from Google’s ads, she says, varies depending on the number of views and the number of followers she attracts.
Is Ho making a six-figure income?
“Oh, absolutely,” Ho says. “Sometimes I can’t believe it!”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio