For those that don’t know (or don’t have kids), Stampylonghead is the YouTube name for a former barman that creates videos of himself playing console games. That, in itself, doesn’t sound too incredible – what is quite incredible is that Stampy managed to earn enough through the YouTube monetisation programme that he could leave his bartending job and go full time.
What’s even more amazing is that he now has one of the most popular YouTube channels in the world, attracts several million video views a day, and almost certainly commands the kind of salary that most Premiership footballers would envy.
Surprisingly, though, the figures also indicate that making a living off YouTube is more difficult than a lot of people might initially think.
Average YouTube CPM
YouTube pays its video partners for every thousand ad views that their videos receive, and this CPM tends to vary according to the popularity of the channel and just how many views they are receiving. It would be fair to assume that those channels with the most views are the ones that are able to command some of the highest CPM rates, although it is ultimately down to advertisers and YouTube.
Because Stampy’s videos primarily attract children between the ages of 6 and 14, and surprisingly with a 60/40 split of girls and boys, his channel may not receive the highest CPM available.
Possible CPM For Stampy’s Videos
Estimates on a typical CPM vary wildly, and there are a number of factors that come into play, but said estimates tend to range from a low of $0.70 per thousand to a high of $7 per thousand, which is the equivalent of between around 40p and £4 for every thousand views. Not every video displays the pre-roll ads, although ads do appear elsewhere on the page, and some very simple testing (we clicked on a few dozen Stampy videos to see how often ads were displayed) only led to 3 in 10 videos showing ads.
Assuming that Stampy receives payment for pre-roll ads on 30% of his videos as well as additional Adsense type revenue from the other ads on the page, he is likely to be earning between 20p and £2 for every thousand video hits he receives.
According to tubefilter.com, Stampy, real name Joseph Garrett, received 152 million views in January 2014 alone and was the fourth most popular YouTube channel. Recent figures from SocialBlade.com suggest a slight increase for February. In October 2013, the number was less than 50m, and a year ago was only half a million. In the past 12 months, and using socialblade figures, his channel has received more than 600 million views – it would be fair to describe the rise as meteoric, but has it made Garrett any money?
Applying the CPM range above to Stampy’s annual video views since March 2013, he could have earned anywhere between £125,000 and £2.5m assuming that the videos were monetised over the whole period. If viewing figures remain at their current level, he would receive 1.8bn views over the space of a year and that equates to between £360,000 and £7.2m in earnings.
In terms of personal earnings, YouTube is only one way that Garrett could be monetising his new-found popularity. The official Stampy Facebook page has 100,000 followers with another 80,000 on Twitter. Branded merchandise sales, media payments, and any advertising partnerships will also inflate earnings further, so it’s safe to assume that the 23 year old former barman is making a comfortable wage.
Garrett himself is cagey about discussing the amounts he is making, but has conceded that it was enough to quit his job working behind a bar, and that it could make him a millionaire. Using the figures above, we would have to agree, and when you consider that the channel with the most views on YouTube is PewDiePie, another gaming channel with nearly twice as many views as Garrett’s channel, there may be more profits to come.
Overheads for Garrett consist of electricity to his TV and console, an annual Xbox subscription, and possible hardware replacements. While this may not total anything more than a few hundred pounds, the tax and national insurance returns, even for somebody that still lives with his parents, will be astronomical.
Even the lower end of these estimates is a significant annual salary for any individual, but considering Stampy has the fourth most video views on the whole of YouTube, we don’t think it’s all that much. If you consider that most companies that tend to fare well on YouTube will employ a number of staff, have considerably more overheads than Garrett, and potentially have to pay for more expensive video editing solutions, it is obvious that making a living from YouTube alone will be out of the grasp of most people and businesses.