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How much money YouTube pays for 1 million views, according to an ASMR creator

  • SemideCoco is a Toronto-based YouTube creator with over 150,000 subscribers who makes ASMR videos.
  • Creators like Semide can join the YouTube Partner Program, which allows them to earn money by placing ads within a video.
  • Semide spoke with Business Insider and shared how much money a video with about 1 million views has earned her.
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This is the latest installment of Business Insider's YouTube money logs, where creators break down how much they earn.

On YouTube, a million views brings creators more than just attention: it often comes with a solid paycheck.   

Semide (who goes by SemideCoco online, and does not use her last name for privacy reasons) is a Toronto-based creator and naturopathic medical student. She creates ASMR videos on YouTube, a content category that has surged in popularity over the last few years as the soothing videos have become at-home remedies for stress, anxiety, and insomnia. 

In a recent interview with Business Insider, Semide explained how she grew her channel this year and how she earns money as an ASMR creator.

Creators like Semide are able to start earning money from ad revenue through YouTube's Partner Program and can qualify once they have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the last year. The creators then earn a share of the revenue from Google-placed ads on their videos.

Today, her YouTube channel has over 150,000 subscribers and two of her videos have over 1 million views, with several just below. Typically, these videos will earn between $2,500 to $4,000 in ad revenue (also referred to as AdSense revenue), Semide told Business Insider.

One of Semide's most popular YouTube videos, "[ASMR] Real Person Scalp Check & Massage + Chinese Acupoint Neck, Shoulder & Upper Back Massage," had about 1.1 million views as of December. She uploaded the video in June 2020. So far, the video has earned about $3,470 in estimated revenue, according to a screenshot of Semide's AdSense dashboard viewed by Business Insider.

How much a creator makes from 1 million views can vary wildly based on factors like a video's watch time and viewer demographic. Generally, business-focused videos tend to get higher pay rates than lifestyle videos, for instance.

Business Insider spoke with five other YouTube creators who broke down how much money videos with about 1 million views had made them, and their answers from $3,600 to $40,000.

For ASMR videos, ad revenue poses a few obstacles

ASMR creators face challenges in making money from Google-placed ads.

Many creators strategically place ads within their videos in the beginning, middle, and end to optimize revenue. But ASMR YouTube creators don't have that flexibility, Semide said. No one wants to be interrupted by a loud ad in the middle of their sleep-inducing trance.

"So, we do place ads on our videos, but only in the beginning," she said. "Never in the middle and never at the end, which reduces the revenue potential."

But while there are fewer spots where ASMR creators can place ads, there are also unique perks for their revenue potential, such as long watch times and repeat viewers. 

"The great thing is with ASMR, if people really like a video, they're going to keep wanting to come back to it," she said. They may also fall asleep to the content, she said, watching through the entire 30- to 90-minute video. 

"The longer they watch the video, the more revenue you get," Semide added.

Read Business Insider's full interview with Semide

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