Liechtenstein-based YouTubers need more than 16 million Views to make a living off YouTube, found a recent study. Is it still a good idea?

You don’t like YouTube ads? Neither do I, but some people do: Those who earn money from it. YouTube has meanwhile become a business model for many, especially affiliates who earn their income through commissions. That said, making a living off YouTube is more difficult than many people think.

A few fancy videos and catchy titles won’t cut it. That’s just the entry ticket, and that alone might already be difficult enough. Scripting, recording, cutting, and publishing videos is time-consuming, and getting another video out there every other day can soon become a mammoth task. But that’s not even enough. Becoming an “influencer” on YouTube means someone has to watch your content. And not just someone, but lots of people!

Only 4 percent make a living

YouTube pays Influencers for Views. To participate in the YouTube Partner program, it first needs to be available in the respective country. Also, any account with less than 1,000 subscribers is excluded from monetarization.

Based on Views, only four percent of YouTube influencers can actually make a living off YouTube, found a study by Reboot Online. Reboot has defined YouTubers who make “a living” as those who earn the average national income through their View-Payments. Obviously, the higher the cost of living, the more money YouTubers have to earn to make a living. That’s one of the reasons why Liechtenstein-based YouTubers have a hard time.

Liechtenstein, having the highest average income in Europe, is ranked on top. A Liechtenstein-based YouTuber needs 16,692,251 views to reach an annual income of 58,644 Euros. That’s quite a lot of views. A German-based Influencer “only” needs about 9 million views to make a living. Granted, the average national income is significantly lower.

It’s not impossible to get 17 million Views on YouTube, but it’s not easy. And getting that many Views usually takes years of unpaid work in building up a successful channel. You really need to love what you do if you get into that game. YouTube is not an overnight money machine. The other message of that study is that it’s much easier to make a living as a YouTuber in countries with lower costs of living.

What the study forgot

Before completely dismissing YouTubing in Liechtenstein and moving to Bali instead, keep in mind that the Reboot study only looked at Views. There are much more income sources for YouTubers, in particular affiliate commissions and other marketing fees. Now that’s where Liechtenstein might be a much better place than Bali. Right in the center of Europe, you can easily connect with all sorts of businesses and communities to promote your work.

Still, the numbers impressively show that YouTube is not easy money. If you have the dedication for a certain topic, if you like recording videos on are general in love with the idea to become a YouTuber, go for it. If you are primarily money motivated, think twice!

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