I’ve been a Youtube partner for years. Do you know how much I made in my best month?

Youtube partnership stats

The BME stats of my Youtube Channel for historical footage only.

$138.11, with 304k views and 614k minutes watched.

I don’t know what kind of person you are. I’ve got 40 years old friends who still live with their parents and make just temporary jobs. Probably for them $138.11 is great, but if you want to make real business $138.11 must be what you earn in one hour not in one month. Otherwise, you spend your days feeling unsafe, and believe me it’s not a good feeling. That’s what teenagers and dreamers can’t understand.

I’ve got 2 sons and I don’t have time to hope for a better world, I have to create a project that can make my life better.

I’m quite sure you know that some Youtuber have far more than 304k views just for saying:


watching his webcam. Being like them is like starting from the playground and becoming and NBA star.

So you can’t think at them while building your business. What I’m trying to say is that you won’t make real money with YouTube partnership revenues, so you may wonder:

Why that title?

I’m going to tell you soon, but first another information.

Vimeo player is better than YouTube’s:

  1. Playback quality is higher
  2. There’s no junk in their collection

The reason why a microstock producer needs the YouTube partnership is visibility, and (I’m quite sorry to say it…) YouTube gives a lot more views for your videos than Vimeo, although stock footage buyers are a niche and Vimeo has a certain appeal among them.

I’ve created my own film archive. I sell footage directly to customers via my website footageforpro.com. The business model is different than that used by microstock agencies. I don’t sell single clips but footage compilations divided by cities and years, like this set in New York in 1967 (please compare YouTube and Vimeo player):

I don’t care if someone who won’t buy footage online watches one of my videos, but until now I’ve been usually contacted by
Real buyers who want to spend their money on my footage, after they watch my videos on YouTube, not on Vimeo.

Vimeo stats for january 2018

My January 2018 stats on Vimeo. Most of the plays comes from embedded videos on this website and on stockfootage.it

For a stock footage producer having YouTube partnership is crucial only because being a YouTube partner and monetizing videos with advertising gives a special place in the SERP, both of YouTube and Google.

If you write:

  • New York 1967

on Google there are 532,000,000 results.

Guess who is first!

Google SERP for the query "New York 1967"

I’ve tried to search in different countries Google:

  • USA
  • Italy
  • Switzerland

my video was always first. The query is

  • New York 1967

some of my competitors are:

  • american newspapers
  • american television channels
  • writers

but… from the basement of a house in the Countryside (that’s the intro of my italian podcast…) I won the battle and YouTube has become a powerful and free tool to find customers who want to buy my historical footage.

It’s not just about being first in the SERP. YouTube partnership gives you privileges that are able to increase the chance to be chosen by visitors.

Have you ever wondered why there is often a naked woman in the preview of videos created by the most famous YouTubers?

Simply because they have always been granted the chance to upload a custom thumbnail, and some kind of preview frame is able to generate more views. Until early 2016 YouTube partners were the only ones who could do that, now things have changed:

  • You need to have a verified account to change the preview image of your YouTube videos, otherwise you can only choose between three frames randomly chosen from the site.

If you produce a lot of stock footage shot in big cities, you can easily understand the big difference that a thumbnail makes. Have a look:
I write Paris stock footage in the search string of YouTube:Youtube search string

In the first 10 results, I find these two videos:

A video on Youtube

A video on Youtube

Which one are you going to watch?

I guess the first one. There’s a big difference between the Eiffel Tower at night and the image of an ordinary street with traffic. Your video is competing with hundreds of other videos, and the preview image is the only argument you have before the visitor chose the video he wants to play.

Daniele Carrer in 2013

In 2013, I lost my job and started thinking about becoming a full time microstock producer. It was February, which is the worst period of the year to shoot, so I spent those first months changing the previews of my clips in my collections of Pond5 and Shutterstock, as I never changed them before. I was not sure I was doing the right thing, because when you don’t produce something you have the feeling you’re losing your time, which is an incredibly bad sensation. After a couple of months, my sales widely repaid those days I spent in front of my computer to choose the best thumbnails. In other words:

There are a lot of tedious jobs related to the production of stock images and stock footage, but often those tedious jobs pay, although maybe not right away.

Getting YouTube partnership and creating compilations of your videos based on subjects (a city, a job, a situation, etc.) is definitely not nice as getting around Barcelona with a camera around your neck, but it is one of the strategies you have to use to repay tickets and hotels for your next trip.

The money I get every month thanks to direct sales of archival footage of my collection are not boring. Without having YouTube partnership and understanding SEO I wouldn’t get any customer. Unfortunately I’m not a fashion photographer who can make money with a phone call or going to parties. I’m a business man and using YouTube partnership to find customers is an important step of my strategy.

Daniele Carrer