fbpx
Categories
DEEP DIVE ARTICLE HOW TO MAKE MONEY ONLINE YOUTUBE

Do All YouTubers Make Money?

Though it’s becoming less of a thing as YouTube and other video platforms become evermore pervasive in our lives, there is a weird psychological aspect to seeing someone on screen.

Almost certainly left over from the not-too-distant days when broadcast television was the only way to get video content and being on TV in any significant capacity almost inherently meant you were famous, we have a tendency to “celebritise” (yes, I made that word up) our favourite YouTubers.

And, if someone is a celebrity, they’re probably making plenty of money, right?

Of course, while the likes of James Charles and DanTDM are making a small fortune and can be considered to be celebrities by most reasonable standards, the truth is that the overwhelming majority of YouTubers—even the ones that make their living from YouTubing—are living considerably more modest lives than your average A list celebrity.

So, when asking the question, “do all YouTubers make money?” – we can confidently and absolutely say no, no they do not. Many YouTubers make nothing at all from their YouTubing exploits. Making money on YouTube depends on niche, consistency and the ability to monetize properly. If you can convert views into clicks and sales you can do very well.

But it is the grey area between no money and filthy rich that is the most interesting, and that’s what we’re going to take a look at today.

YouTubers Who Make No Money

Before we get to that more interesting area, let’s take a look at the people who don’t earn money from their YouTube channels.

As implied above, we are generally more savvy to the fact that literally anyone can become a content creator, and no matter how exciting and lavish something looks on YouTube, there is a good chance they are filming in a studio flat in between shifts tending bar. There’s nothing wrong with bar tending, of course, but it’s not something people who don’t need the money typically choose to do for fun.

The first thing to consider is that changes to YouTube’s monetisation policies not so long ago made it so that many YouTubers can’t monetise their channel.

For YouTubers who have less than a thousand subscribers or fewer than four thousand hours combined watch time, or any of the other criteria, monetising their content through the YouTube Partner Programme is not an option.

They could monetise their content in other ways, of course, but a channel that doesn’t meet the criteria for the YouTube Partner Programme will often be too small to make any significant income from other means.

There are exceptions to this rule, of course; some YouTubers may make content in niches that YouTube will not allow to be monetised, but still have a big enough following to make money in other ways, such as selling merch, but for the most part, people who can’t monetise their YouTube content are probably not making any money from their channel.

Of course, there is a whole separate discussion to have over whether making money should be considered important. While life is rarely ideal, the ideal scenario would be that the YouTuber makes videos they want to make regardless of whether they are getting paid, and any revenue can then be treated as a nice bonus, and if things progress to the point where you can earn your living from the channel, event better! That being said, we know life is not ideal, and YouTube is a regular job for many people, rather than the dream career it can sometimes look like to outsiders.

How the Other Half Lives

Much like society, the very successful make up a tiny fraction of the total number of YouTubers out there.

The exact amount that any given view is worth varies quite significantly depending on the type of content and things like how long the video is, but as a rough guide, YouTubers can expect to earn between $3 and $5 per thousand views of monetised content. Using the aforementioned DanTDM as an example, Dan consistently gets 2-3 million views a day. Using these numbers and sticking to the conservative end of the scale, we can estimate that Dan makes around $6,000 per day from the YouTube Partner Programme alone. And that doesn’t factor in things like merchandise sales, sponsored videos, super chat money, and anything else he might be doing that earns revenue.

And if that makes you feel a little jealous, Dan ranked approximately 50th (at the time of writing) in terms of video views across the whole platform, meaning there at least 49 YouTubers out there probably making a lot more money!

The reason we’ve included this envy-inducing section is to illustrate just how big the numbers we are dealing with can get. Even with YouTube’s notoriously low rates of pay and unreliable nature when it comes to changing their terms of service, there are YouTubers out there who can easily break a quarter of a million dollars in one month on ad revenue alone. They are by far the minority, but when it comes to YouTubers who get millions of views a day, it’s probably harder for them to not make money.

The Grey Area

So now we come to that interesting middle ground between the people who make nothing and the people who make more money than they know what to do with.

The YouTubers we are talking about here can be a mixed bunch. We might be talking about YouTubers who have a substantial following but make the kinds of videos that YouTube refuses to monetise.

We might be talking about people whose channel has grown enough to be approved for the YouTube Partner Programme but is still relatively small and not making a great deal of revenue.

This swath of YouTube covers everything from people who spend large portions of their week making YouTube content and make very little money, to people who spend a few hours a week streaming off-the-cuff content and make thousands.

And, of course, the many YouTubers whose time-to-earnings ratio is comparable to a regular job.

Understanding Revenue and Motive

When trying to wrap your head around this topic, it is important to remember that YouTubers do what they do for a variety of reasons.

Some people have no interest in money, and only do the bare minimum of monetisation on their channel. Some people do absolutely everything they can to monetise their content and end up making a respectable income from a relatively small number of views.

It is also important to remember that revenue is far from a simple, clean system that looks the same for every YouTuber. For one thing, even the ad revenue earned through the YouTube Partner Programme can vary dramatically between YouTubers. Not only are some ads worth more than others, but the watch time can play a huge role. Consider a two-minute video; YouTube might put an ad at the start of that video, earning the YouTuber a cool $2 per thousand views. Now let’s say a different YouTuber in the same niche puts up a video that is ten minutes long, has two ad placements and gets the same amount of views; that YouTuber will be making $4 for their thousand views. Same amount of views, twice as much revenue.

Of course, this example assumes that both videos are watched all the way through and all the ads are seen, but the fact that we need to clarify that fact illustrates another way in which revenue calculation on YouTube is a messy business.

Then, of course, there are the many and varied ways that YouTube content could be monetised. Someone who seems to be getting relatively low viewing figures on their YouTube channel could be making a comfortable living from their content over on Patreon.

We tend to think of viewing figures through the YouTube revenue lens, which is to say, we assume you need at least 50,000-100,000 subscribers before you can have any hope of making decent money. The truth is you can do it with a lot less if that audience is dedicated and invested in your channel. If a YouTuber had 5,000 subscribers and 5% of those subscribers are happy to send the

YouTuber $10 a month in YouTube memberships, Patreon subscriptions, or something similar, that YouTuber could easily live off the money they make, even if they are getting viewing figures in the hundreds, rather than tens of thousands. Conversely, a YouTuber making all of their earnings through the YouTube Partner Programme would have be getting at least 800,000 views a month to make the same amount of money.

Final Thoughts

Do all YouTubers make money? Certainly not. At least, not from YouTube. But there are so many factors that go into how much money YouTubers make that it is almost impossible to make an accurate guess based only what you can see from the outside.

They could be a relatively unknown YouTuber with a dedicated following who makes plenty of money in memberships, or they could be a well-known YouTuber who gets millions of views, but their content is in a poorly-paying niche, constantly has videos demonetised, and pays agent fees.

The truth is, unless a channel has no subscribers or millions of subscribers, the only way to be sure is to ask, but you probably won’t get an answer.

Categories
DEEP DIVE ARTICLE TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

Are VTubers Fake?

The answer to the question of are VTubers fake really depends on what you consider “real”.

We would hope that most people understand that a cutesy anime girl who plays video games is not real in the sense that, to our knowledge at least, anime girls don’t exist in the real world.

On the other hand, it is entirely possible that there is a real girl who really plays video games behind that virtual YouTube account. So, yes, it depends on what you mean when you say “real”.

Unfortunately, this also muddies the waters somewhat, since there are so many different ways to run a virtual YouTube channel and so many different types of virtual YouTuber. It would be near-impossible to make a definitive statement about all virtual YouTubers, so, in this post, we’re going to highlight a few different types of virtual YouTuber, discuss what being fake in that context might mean, as well as ways you might spot a fake virtual YouTuber where applicable.

We will also talk about whether a given virtual YouTuber being fake should be a problem.

Are VTubers Fake? – VTubers are virtual avatars or personas for online influencers who may not want to show their real identity. Some are powered by real people and some are controlled by businesses. So, are they fake as human beings – Yes. Are they fake as digital intellectual property – No.

Types of Virtual YouTuber

In this section, we are not going to be focusing on the types of virtual YouTuber in the sense of how they look or how they are created, as we have done in other posts.

Instead, we are going to look at the kind of virtual personality that is presented, and we will give you an example or two for you to compare notes with.

For each type, we will explore the ways in which they could be fake, as well as ways you might spot this fakeness.

The Camera-Shy Virtual YouTuber

This type of virtual YouTuber is typically someone who doesn’t want to be on camera for one reason or another but has opted to put a virtual avatar in their place to give you something to look at.

The thing that distinguishes this kind of virtual YouTuber from a character virtual YouTuber is that they are not presenting themselves as something other than what they are.

Whether they are giving commentary, tutorials, or anything else, they will be presenting the channel as themselves; they are just doing it with some visual aids to make things more interesting.

From a conceptual standpoint, there is no difference between this kind of YouTuber and a YouTuber who does not have an on-screen presence at all, such as someone who gives commentary over video clips.

The digital avatar is just a means to assist the YouTuber in not being on camera. They may want to avoid being on camera because they are camera-shy, they may have privacy concerns about showing their face, they could even be concerned about a backlash from the content they make and want to keep their identity separate from their YouTube account.

How Might This Kind of Virtual YouTuber be Fake?

To answer this question, we’re going to give you two examples of this kind of YouTuber.

The first is Code Bullet, who makes entertaining videos around the things he gets up with AI. He presents the videos as himself but has an animated on-screen avatar to be his visual presence.

We do not believe there is any way for a channel like this to be fake in any sense that matters.

Code Bullet could lie about his real name, for example, but that would be utterly irrelevant to the content he is making. He could also lie in his videos, perhaps by cooking the results of his AI experiments, and that would be a reason to not watch his content, but it would not be the kind of lie that had anything to do with his digital avatar since he could do that as a regular YouTuber as well. He would be fake, but not a fake virtual YouTuber specifically.

Our second example is It’sAGundam, a commentary channel that covers a variety of topics from Internet drama to strange human-interest stories and more. This YouTuber will often put a digital avatar on-screen to act as the presenter of the content, though, like CodeBullet, they are not acting as a character, but as themselves.

However, like CodeBullet, It’sAGundam cannot really be fake in any meaningful way. They are not claiming to be anything in particular so they can’t lie about it. And, while they could lie about their stories, it would once again not be unique to the fact that they are a virtual YouTuber.

Spotting the Fakery

Since there is no meaningful way to be fake on the virtual side of things for this kind of YouTuber, there is no trick to spotting the fakery.

Things like being dishonest in the content tends to have a way of coming out in time, but the only way you could spot that would be to independently verify what you are saying, such as doing your own research and fact-checking.

What Are Virtual Influencers?

The Character Virtual YouTuber

These YouTubers present themselves as real characters, meaning that the channel is run as though the digital avatar on-screen is a real person in much the same way that Kermit the Frog does not break character and reference the fact that he is a puppet.

There is a concern among some that this kind of avatar could be fake in the sense of not being human; that the account is actually a very clever AI. Of course, AIs are not that good… yet. This kind of YouTube channel could not be convincingly run by an AI without giving away its true nature. There is also the reverse version of this where virtual YouTubers that present themselves as an AI have their legitimacy questioned.

For example, AI Angel, a virtual YouTuber who claims to be an AI bot, has had apparently serious conversations about her and whether she is really a bot. As we mentioned, AI bots are not on this level yet. But more importantly, the people who consider her not being a real AI fake, or worry that other virtual YouTubers really are AIs, represent a minority.

Where more of the concerns of fakery lie is in the gender of the person behind the digital mask, though it shouldn’t. Many people seem to be put off by the idea that a virtual YouTuber who is female is being run by a male behind the scenes. In this sense, it is certainly possible for them to be fake, though we would question the importance of that. As a natural consequence of the overwhelming majority of virtual YouTubers being women, the gender of the person running the account tends to be the biggest concern.

Spotting the Fakery

If a virtual YouTuber were really an AI, it would be obvious. Stilted conversation, awkward turning of phrases, and generally not-human-like behaviour. If the virtual YouTuber were playing a character of a different sex (or race or age) and has kept their identity private, there wouldn’t necessarily be a way of finding out. You could listen closely to their voice, but that is an unreliable method as many people can speak convincingly in other voices, and vocal effects are becoming more effective at convincingly changing a voice naturally.

Agency Avatars

One way in which you could consider a virtual YouTuber fake is that there are many of them—especially among the top virtual YouTubers—that are not run by individuals as such but owned by agencies. One of the bigger examples of these agencies Hololive, though there are a lot of them and the number is growing.

There tends to be a desire for community on YouTube, and many viewers prefer their YouTubers to be individuals who they can support, rather than faceless corporations who run a virtual YouTuber production line. In truth, the setup is a little closer to a talent agency than a manufactured pop band. In any case, you can usually find out relatively easily if a virtual YouTuber is part of such an arrangement since the agency will often list the virtual YouTuber on their website.

Are VTubers Fake?

Always Assume Catfish

Catfishing, for those unfamiliar, is an Internet term used to describe the act of luring someone into an interaction under the pretence of romantic or sexual activity while presenting yourself as something other than you are. There are many ways in which this can happen, but one of the most common examples that springs to mind (if not the most common examples to happen) is that of a middle-aged man pretending to be an attractive young woman and chatting up other men online.

Now, the dynamic with a virtual YouTuber is different, of course; it is not a private, one-on-one interaction. But it helps to keep hold of the thought that any virtual being can—and often will—not be what they seem.

For the most part, this should not be a problem for your enjoyment of the content. If the cutesy anime girl example we gave at the top was run by a middle-aged woman who was not as attractive (in your opinion) as you imagined, it should not take anything away from your love of the channel; the character was always fictional, regardless of who was behind the mask.

So why, you may be asking, are we saying this? Remembering that literally anyone could be behind the digital mask can help to keep you in the right frame of mind to avoid disappointment from the reality of a channel, and prevent you from building something up in your mind that potentially isn’t there. Unless you have good reason to believe otherwise, it is better to assume everything about the virtual YouTuber is fictional.

Should Being “Fake” Matter?

Once again, it is what you mean by fake that determines the answer to this question. After all, we all know that lycra-clad heroes with superpowers don’t exist in the real world, and yet Marvel continues to rake in the money with their movies and comic books. The fact that you know a thing is fake does not necessarily mean it has to ruin your enjoyment of that thing. Rather than fake, think of it as fictional.

You know that the cutesy anime girl is not really an anime girl, but you can enjoy the fictional character in the same way you can enjoy a James Bond movie, or your favourite zombie-based TV show.

Of course, there are other ways to be fake that do affect whether or not you can enjoy the content being produced. For example, a talking head channel that comments on political matters and tends to be quite controversial. If it turned out that the person behind that account did not hold the views they put out and was perhaps just saying controversial things for the views, it would be a huge turn off for many. People don’t mind—in fact, they even enjoy—being lied to when it comes to fictional characters, but they tend to have a deep revulsion to fakeness and hypocrisy in the real world.

Of course, neither of these examples are unique to virtual YouTubers. A regular flesh-and-bone YouTuber is just as capable of being a hypocrite on-camera as a virtual one, just as they are capable of acting a character. Some of the biggest names in entertainment, such as Sacha Baron Cohen and Stephen Colbert, rose to prominence through playing characters on-screen as though they were real people. Ultimately, it is the newness and, frankly, the strangeness of virtual YouTubers that makes people think twice. Once you get over that mental hurdle, many of these questions answer themselves.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, we’ve shown that the question of whether or not a virtual YouTuber is “fake” is not really a useful one. Even if you have established some ways in which you could consider a virtual YouTuber to be fake, none of them has a significant impact on whether you would watch the channel or not, and the types of fakery that are significant enough to put you off of a channel are rarely specific to virtual YouTubers, but apply to YouTubers in general.

Ultimately, if you enjoy the content a channel puts out, and it is genuine, there is no reason to worry about whether a virtual YouTuber is really a person, really AI, the same age/race/gender as their handler, or anything else superficial that could be called fake.

Categories
BUSINESS TIPS DEEP DIVE ARTICLE MARKETING NEWS TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

YouTube Is Quietly Boosting Short Videos As It Preps Its TikTok Rival For US Release — And Some Creators Are Seeing Big Audience Growth

  • YouTube is testing a new TikTok-like feature that allows creators to upload short vertical videos, called Shorts.
  • Ahead of its full release, some creators say they are seeing huge audience growth by posting short videos.
  • But for now, videos that appear in YouTube’s Shorts section don’t earn creators any money.

TikTok is top of mind for all the major social-media platforms.

Following TikTok competitors from Instagram (Reels) and Snapchat (Spotlight), YouTube is slowly rolling out its own rival in the US called “Shorts.” And in preparation for the launch, creators say YouTube is quietly promoting short videos, spiking engagement and reach for some channels.

While the full Shorts feature hasn’t launched in the US yet, creators are still able to upload short vertical videos that mimic TikToks.

Similar to TikTok videos, Shorts are vertical videos that can be up to 60 seconds long. YouTube announced the feature in September, and has been testing it officially in India, where it has added a short-form video creation tool and camera to the YouTube app.

Beyond India, some elements have been implemented as a beta test to the YouTube app, like a carousel (“shelf”) of short videos that appears in a section on the homepage and under videos.

YouTube is currently experimenting with different ways to help users find and watch short videos, and the company is testing adding a Shorts entry point on the Explore tab, the company said.

As YouTube prepares for a full Shorts launch, creators said a key to getting short-form videos into the special section is to add “#Shorts” in the title or description, though sometimes videos are added even if they don’t have the tag. YouTube confirmed that creators don’t need to use the hashtag but that adding it would increase the chance that a video would be shown on the Shorts shelf.

Some creators whose videos have been picked up by the Shorts shelf have seen runaway success in viewership,. I have even made a deep dive blog post to explain every fine detail and FAQs about YouTube shorts.

Daniel LaBelle, a comedy creator with 1.6 million YouTube subscribers, launched his channel in April to repost the TikToks he was making after his wedding photography business dipped due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I posted for probably five or six months, built up 30,000 subscribers and then out of nowhere in November things exploded,” LaBelle said, adding that his channel went from 30,000 subscribers to over half a million within a month. “I think it was because of the Shorts, but I still don’t know for sure.”

Some of the short vertical YouTube videos LaBelle posted on a whim in the beginning of 2020 were being picked up by YouTube in November and added to the new Shorts feature, he said. LaBelle then noticed the view counts on those older videos begin to soar (his most viewed short has 23 million views).

“You can get a lot of attention on your channel by doing these short-form videos,” said Alex Sibila, a part-time YouTube creator with 4,800 subscribers. “Some of my Shorts are now my most viewed videos.”

Sibila is an electrical engineer and makes videos about electric vehicles and owning a Tesla. He uses the vertical video feature to share 30-second teasers that direct back to some of his full-length videos. His Shorts range from 20,000 to 50,000 views, which is more than the 1,000 to 5,000 average views his longer uploads attract.

Image result for tesla

“They are still shown on your channel as regular videos,” Sibila said of his short videos. “Then if you are on mobile they have the Short shelf, and that is where you get a lot of views. If videos are pushed out to the Short shelf then they are getting shown to a lot of people and that’s what is going to make them viral.”

As the battle for short-form video heats up, YouTube will compete against TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat to be seen as a platform where creators can make money, reach new audiences, and build a sustainable business. Snapchat’s Spotlight and TikTok have each set up programs dedicated to paying creators on an ongoing basis.

Read more: Snapchat is minting overnight millionaires with its TikTok competitor but creators worry the gold rush will end soon

The biggest question YouTube creators have about the Shorts feature is whether it will earn them significant amounts of money.

Creators generally earn money on YouTube from the ads placed in their videos through YouTube’s Partner Program. How much money a creator earns from AdSense depends on the video’s watch time, length, video type, and viewer demographics, among other factors. YouTube also keeps 45% of the ad revenue, with the creator keeping the rest.

LaBelle’s short-form videos earn money when they are viewed in the subscriptions section of YouTube, where ads will play before the video. But if the videos are viewed in the Shorts section of the YouTube app, they don’t earn money because videos on the Shorts shelf don’t get ads or generate subscription revenue right now, the company confirmed.

Still, LaBelle said he is making more money off his short videos on YouTube than he is on TikTok, where he has 14 million followers.

“I am at a point where I am trying to prioritize YouTube as much as I can,” he said. “It’s been a fantastic income source as well, just being on YouTube and working with the AdSense program.”

But creators don’t know how Shorts will change when YouTube officially rolls out the feature in the US.

“YouTube just kind of threw this onto us without any warning or introduction,” said Rob Wilson, a content strategist at the YouTube analytics and growth platform vidIQ. “It still feels to me like a beta test that could change radically.”

But for now, creators are figuring out their own strategies and trying to get the most out of the feature, and the extra boost provided by the platform.

 

Sibila plans to post two under-60-second videos a week to share on Instagram Reels, TikTok, and YouTube.

“Trying to get people to click on those longer videos and check out my channel is tough sometimes, especially as a smaller creator,” Sibila said. “Now that I’ve started posting more Shorts, I’ve found that they can be incredibly viral and they are very shareable.”

“It’s super exciting,” said Kevin Parry, a stop-motion animator and visual effects artist. “The struggle for me has always been to make one piece of content and have it work on every platform. With most platforms now pushing shorter formats, I can make one piece of animation, or one behind-the-scenes clip and post it everywhere now.”

Categories
DEEP DIVE ARTICLE MINDFULNESS YOUTUBE

Why Do YouTubers Quit?

The dream of being a professional YouTuber is undeniably appealing. Making content for a living, working to your own schedule, doing what you love. So why, then, do so many people give up on that dream?

This is something that does not just affect those who have tried and failed to achieve the dream.

Some YouTubers achieve immense success and then, seemingly without warning, give it all up. Others seem to be on the cusp of that dream—having achieved constant growth for some time—and then just… stop.

For those of you starting out on the road to YouTube greatness, it can be something of a mystery why these people would do this, but there are perfectly good reasons behind it all (and some bad reasons), and we’re going to take a look at those reasons today. So, why do YouTubers quit?

Let’s see.

Do YouTubers Still Get Paid for Old Videos?

Burnout

Probably one of the leading causes of YouTubers quitting is burnout. One of the reasons it is so common is because it does not discriminate between successful and unsuccessful YouTubers; it is equally possible to get burnout with a few months and twenty followers under your belt as it is if you’ve been YouTubing for years and have hundreds of thousands of followers.

Burnout can come about due to a lot of reasons, but the broad scope of the problem is doing too much of something. For a long time YouTuber, this might be because they have been making the same kind of content for extended periods, and it is getting harder and harder to find the motivation to do it. On the other hand, a YouTuber who has not been doing it for that long might get burnout because they have pushed themselves too far; trying to get more content out than they have the time to reasonably make.

In both cases, it is possible to combat feelings of burnout if you take proactive steps. Things like trying to vary your content where possible. Granted, you probably have a niche and your audience expects a certain kind of content from you, but explore that niche fully, and try different things. It is easier if you do this from early on in your channel’s history, but it is never too late to start.

Remember, losing some of your audience because they don’t like a new direction is better than losing all of your audience because you don’t make videos any more!

Getting burned out because you are doing too much, and it is wearing on you can only be handled by managing your time more effectively. Most YouTubers get started while attending school or working a full time job, some might also have children to care for.

Trying to produce daily—or even weekly—videos around these obligations can be challenging to say the least. It is important to remember that many YouTube channels have succeeded with erratic upload schedules, or long intervals between videos.

Sure, your particular type of content might benefit from more regular uploads, but again, the damage from taking your time is almost certainly less than the damage from burning out and quitting!

Moving On

As strange as it often seems to those who are early on the path to YouTube success, not everybody wants this life. Some YouTubers learn this after achieving some of that success and realise it is not making them happy. Some go into the YouTube game knowing full well that they don’t intend to stick around. Other’s may merely be using YouTube as a promotional tool and have reached a point in life where they no longer have anything to promote.

Whatever the reasons, there a lot of YouTubers who quit because they don’t want to do it any more.

This type of quitting is also common with people whose success on YouTube has opened doors for them that they never previously considered. For example, a person whose charismatic nature lands them a hosting role on a television show. In that case, the person in question might never have considered hosting a television show as a career path before, but now that they have the opportunity, they find that they prefer it to YouTube.

Though not technically quitting, another reason that a YouTuber may stop uploading is because the success they have achieved outside of the platform is leaving them little time to work on the channel.

The most common example of this is probably musicians who, after gaining immense popularity on YouTube, find themselves too busy touring and making music to work on new videos. In this case, they might never have intended to stop making videos, but circumstances have made it too difficult to make time.

Why Do YouTubers Quit?

A Project Has Run its Course

Not everybody enters the YouTube game with the intention of becoming a full time YouTuber for the foreseeable future. Sometimes, people enter the platform with a specific purpose, and when that purpose has been achieved, they leave.

An example of this could be a political channel that is pushing for a certain thing—a particular candidate’s election, or a certain policy to be enacted. If that goal is reached, they could shift gears and move on to something else, but it is not entirely uncommon for YouTubers in this form to just dust their hands off at a job well done and disappear back into the night.

A similar version of this—and one that could be termed similar to burnout—is a channel exploring all the possible content in their scope. This could be a tutorial channel which has covered everything there is to teach on the thing they are covering. Again, the channel could shift gears and move onto something new, but it is not uncommon for the YouTuber to just decide to close things up and move on to new things.

This, in and of itself, is another form of the project running its course. If a YouTuber simply feels satisfied with their channel, that they have done all they want to and have nothing left to add to that particular body of work, they might decide to stop making content for that channel. You might think this is burnout, but it is different.

In this case, the YouTuber is capable of making more content, does not feel frustrated or tired with their channel, but simply decides now is the right time to walk away.

Auto Draft 26

External Factors

The final reason we’re going to cover for why YouTubers quit is somewhat less voluntary. It sadly quite common for YouTube channels to end due to factors that are either beyond their control, or of their own making but ultimately against their will.

An example of the former would be a channel that goes under due to one of the many YouTube adpocalypses. Many YouTubers do it for the love of the thing, but if you were previously making enough money from your channel to be a full time YouTuber and a change in YouTube policy erases your income overnight, it can be understandably demoralising, and might well cause you to quit.

An example of the latter tends to be things like repeated copyright strikes or community violations leading to the channel being suspended. Though we wouldn’t go so far as to say this is fair 100% of the time, it is the case that the vast majority of channels that finish up this way had plenty of warning before they were taken down.

The important thing to remember about this is that, ultimately, it is YouTube’s platform, and whether you agree with their ideas of fair use of hateful language, etc., you have to follow them if you want to use that platform.

One final note on external factors; it is worth remembering that YouTubers have lives outside of the platform, just like the rest of us. Out in the real world, there are practically endless factors that could cause a YouTuber to stop making videos. They could have had a loss in the family and are no longer in the right mindset to make content. They could have landed a new job that prevents them from making online content. They could have been arrested for something.

They might even have died. It’s always good to take a moment and consider the possibility that things are going on in the YouTubers life that are keeping them away before getting angry at them for not uploading more videos.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, there are more reasons than we could ever list why someone might quit YouTube. We’ve done our best to break them down into broad categories, but humans are complicated, and that complexity is hard to pin down when talking about why someone might do something like this.

Still, the most common reason by far is that of YouTubers not achieving the success they had hoped to achieve as quickly as they wanted to. The only way to avoid that particular hurdle is to stick with it, and look for ways to get better. It is no guarantee of success, but quitting is a guarantee that you won’t succeed.

Categories
DEEP DIVE ARTICLE LISTS SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

14 Virtual YouTubers That Will Blow Your Mind

The growing trend of virtual YouTubers, or VTubers, is one that isn’t showing any signs of slowing down!

A natural result of this growth, there is much interest in virtual YouTubing as a potential inroad to becoming a YouTuber, not to mention an alternative path for experienced YouTubers.

If you want to know what virtual YouTubers are, you can check out this post, but one of the best ways to learn about a thing is to observe that thing.

To that end, we’ve put together a list some of the most notable virtual YouTubers on the platform today, complete with a bit of information about what kind of content they make and. For your convenience, we’ve split our picks into different sections so you can easily zero in on what you’re interested in.

So, without further preamble, let’s get into our virtual YouTuber list!

Anime Virtual YouTubers

Given that the virtual YouTuber phenomenon started in Japan with anime characters, and given that anime characters still make up the overwhelming majority of active virtual YouTubers, it feels only right to start here.

14 Virtual YouTubers That Will Blow Your Mind

Kizuna AI

What better virtual YouTuber to kick things off with than the one that started it all. Kizuna is widely regarded as the first virtual YouTuber. She has two channels and covers a variety of topics in a vlog-like format, as well as Let’s Play-style videos, despite being known for having particularly poor gaming skills.

Kizuna is more or less the blueprint for a character virtual YouTuber, remaining in character all of the time and running the channel as though Kizuna herself is the YouTuber. Kizuna’s success has led to her getting millions of subscribers, many of which find her mannerisms and quirks adorable. She’s not necessarily a child-friendly account due to the fact that she will occasionally curse in her frustrations at failing in some video game or another, but that’s all part of the charm.

14 Virtual YouTubers That Will Blow Your Mind 1

Mirai Akari

Within her first year of being on YouTube, Mirai had attracted over three hundred and fifty thousand subscribers to her account; a phenomenal effort any type of YouTuber. And, at the time of writing this post, she has more than doubled that figure. Like Kizuna, Mirai does a lot of streaming video games, though you will find that this is a common theme among virtual YouTubers, especially of the Japanese anime variety.

Her initial “backstory” was that she was an amnesiac-suffering time traveller, come back to 2018 to find human connection through her YouTube channel. Whether or not the interesting gimmick is a draw or not, her content seems to keep people coming back for more.

14 Virtual YouTubers That Will Blow Your Mind 2

Nekomiya Hinata

Like Mirai and Kizuna, Nekomiya is another game streamer, though we can further refine her audience a little because she has a keen interest in first-person shooter games, so don’t expect much in the way of Animal Crossing here. She’s not a fan of horror games, but that makes it all the entertaining when she plays them.

In the nearly two years since she started her YouTube channel, Nekomiya has amassed an impressive following of over half a million subscribers. She has a distinctive look with her bright pink hair, extremely long pigtails, and cat ears. That is actual cat ears, not a quirky headband with pretend cat ears. This is one of the more significant draws of virtual YouTubing; you can be whatever you want.

14 Virtual YouTubers That Will Blow Your Mind 3

Luna Kaguya

If you thought Mirai Akari getting three hundred and fifty thousand subscribers in under a year, wait until you see Luna’s record. This impressive VTuber managed to hit a million views per video in her first month. Needless to say, that’s quite an achievement.

Luna is the first virtual YouTuber on our list whose content does not focus on video game streams. Instead, Luna makes content of a more comedic nature that tend to come in bite size chunks—often under a few minutes in length. The humour involved is not always family-friendly, however, so don’t let that cutesy digital avatar fool you.

14 Virtual YouTubers That Will Blow Your Mind 4

Tokino Sora

Moving firmly back into the realm of game streamers, Tokino is a streamer who has a thing for rhythm games, so it should come as no surprise that she dances a lot, as well. One advantage of this is that her content is much more accessible to non-Japanese audiences. After all, you don’t need to know the Japanese language to watch a Japanese person (or digital avatar) dance to music.

By some of the standards set on YouTube, Tokino is quite normal in appearance; no animal parts or outlandish hair. Instead, Tokino presents herself as a regular anime girl with brown hair. However, she does dress like an air stewardess. We haven’t watched enough of her content to know why.

14 Virtual YouTubers That Will Blow Your Mind 5

Azuma Lim

Azuma can be a little love-or-hate for some people. She has a quite distinctive appearance with her purple hair and golden firey eye—not to mention the cat-ear hoodie she likes to wear—but it is her voice that can be make-or-break for many people. It is a little high-pitched, even by virtual anime YouTuber standards.

As far as content goes, Azuma is another video game streamer, though she does make other types of videos, such as topical commentary, and she is very engaged with her audience and will often respond to fans. She also makes music and even occasionally tries her hand at English.

14 Virtual YouTubers That Will Blow Your Mind 6

Moemi & Yomeni

Next up, we have our first pairing on the list. Moemi & Yomeni are an anime duo that streams video games and makes some very… interesting content. Not, we should stress, family-friendly content. As far as games go, they have a general leaning towards open-world games like Minecraft, and battle royale games like Fortnite.

Expect to see plenty of cats, a whole lot of music, and generally all the things you would expect from animated Japanese entertainment. Moemi & Yomeni are also part of a larger virtual YouTuber family that includes some other popular virtual YouTubers, so you can expect to see a few guest appearances from time to time.

14 Virtual YouTubers That Will Blow Your Mind 7

Fuji Aoi

While music is a common theme throughout virtual anime YouTube, Fuji Aoi brings us our first channel where music is the main theme. Expect plenty of cover songs from Aoi, which can make for great background music if you are into the style. There is plenty to choose from, so just pick a playlist and let it run while you get some work done.

Like many of our virtual anime YouTuber picks, Aoi saw some spectacular growth when she first exploded onto the scene, gaining over a hundred and seventy thousand subscribers in her first year. You might not have a clue what she’s saying (if you don’t speak Japanese) but you’ll be able to enjoy the music regardless.

14 Virtual YouTubers That Will Blow Your Mind 8

Dennou Shojo Siro

In Dennou Shojo Siro we find another game streaming and dancing combo. In this case, the games tend to be a little eclectic, with everything from Minecraft to Battlefield 5 on the table. Perhaps one of her more unique characteristics is her appearance, which is ghostly pale with white hair. This combined with a somewhat unique laugh has landed her with the nickname of “White Dolphin”.

This channel took less than two years to reach half a million subscribers, so that should give you an idea of the type of quality you can expect, the rest is just a matter of whether you are interested in the content.

14 Virtual YouTubers That Will Blow Your Mind 9

Noja Loli Ojisan

One of the first things you might notice about Noja Loli Ojisan is the distinctive features that make her somewhat unique among virtual anime YouTubers. For one thing, she is part fox. At least, she has fox ears and a foxtail. The second thing is her voice, which is that of her male creator.

Whatever you may think about this eclectic combination, it seems to have worked for her, since her channel is approaching two hundred thousand subscribers.

In terms of content, Noja interacts with fans in live streams, hosts roundtable chats with other virtual YouTubers, and even sells merchandise such as a doll of Noja.

Non-Anime Virtual YouTubers

The world of virtual YouTubing is so thoroughly dominated by anime characters that we can comfortable lump what remains after the anime into one section, which is not to say any of the following YouTubers have much in common. We are also not saying that these YouTubers aren’t Japanese—the VTuber phenomenon began in Japan, after all. That being said, there is a specific aesthetic and culture around anime, and these virtual YouTubers do not fit that aesthetic, even if they are Japanese channels.

14 Virtual YouTubers That Will Blow Your Mind 10

Apoki

Apoki is a truly multi-platform star, with far more followers on TikTok than on YouTube. She takes the appearance of animated girl (more akin to a Disney or Pixar style than an anime one) and sports large rabbit ears poking through her red hair.

Her main focus is music, and she seems to have aspirations of becoming a legitimate recording artist. Her content often revolves around this, and is an interesting mix of the virtual and real worlds, with Apoki often being blended seamlessly into real-world settings.

14 Virtual YouTubers That Will Blow Your Mind 11

Virtual Obaachan (aka Virtual Grandma)

As the (English) name suggests, Virtual Obaachan is a virtual YouTuber who takes the appearance of a cartoon granny, and in that guise, plays a range of video games. There is obviously a lot of mileage to be had from the novelty of a sweet old grandma playing videos games that are not always family-friendly, and the virtual nature of the YouTuber adds another layer of novelty. Further adding to this dichotomy is the fact that she will often talk about things being “immodest” and taboo, and then go ahead and say something taboo without hesitation.

This combination has worked for Virtual Obaachan, as she currently sits at a little over a quarter of a million subscribers.

14 Virtual YouTubers That Will Blow Your Mind 12

AI Angel

AI Angel is probably the most popular virtual YouTuber outside of the anime crowd, with over seven hundred thousand subscribers at the time of writing this post. AI Angel claims to be an AI who takes on the form of a human woman so that she can interact with other humans through video chat applications, play video games, react to memes, and a host of other types of content.

What is interesting about AI Angel is that the creators are not going for a cutesy anime or cartoon look with their virtual YouTuber avatar. Instead, they are travelling down the road of realism, and continually update the visuals of AI Angel to improve the realism (as well as refresh her image). AI Angel’s appearance is already quite realistic, and it would not be difficult to believe that, in the near future, she could be so realistic that some viewers would have difficulty recognising that she was a virtual YouTuber.

14 Virtual YouTubers That Will Blow Your Mind 13

Code Bullet

Code Bullet is a bit of an odd one out on this list, but we wanted to include him to show another type of virtual YouTuber. Unlike the above examples, Code Bullet is not presenting a character as such, but himself in the guise of an animated avatar.

The avatar in question is a hand-drawn human with an old-school computer monitor for a head who gesticulates to add emphasis to the words being spoken. Though we’re sure it is mainly the content he is making that has landed Code Bullet his nearly two and a half million subscribers, his digital avatar is an intrinsic part of that content. Given that he is by far one of the most popular examples of this kind of channel, it would not be outrageous to assume that the virtual YouTuber aspect of his videos has helped.

Final Thoughts

And that concludes our virtual YouTuber list. For now, at least, virtual YouTube is dominated by Japanese-language channels and anime avatars. More English-speaking channels are popping up, however. And as AI Angel has shown, it is certainly possible to be a successful virtual YouTuber without using anime or speaking Japanese.

We expect this niche to expand into the western world in a bigger way in the near future. How big it will get, we couldn’t say, but with a relatively untapped market of English speakers, growth would seem to be inevitable.

Categories
DEEP DIVE ARTICLE HOW TO GET MORE VIEWS ON YOUTUBE TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

Which Language is Best for YouTube?

The question of which language is best for YouTube is one with no universal answer that can be applied to every YouTuber in every region.

Ultimately, the best language is the one in which you can make videos coherently and comfortably, but there are other mitigating factors that can pull your choice of language this way or that.

In this post, we’re going to lay out all the different factors to consider when deciding what language (or languages) to release your videos in, as well as some alternatives to consider if you don’t speak the language that would be best for your particular videos.

How to Make Money on YouTube Without Showing Your Face

Most-Viewed Languages

Let’s start with the basics.

The raw numbers, as it were.

If you were purely concerned with reaching the largest possible audience on YouTube, you would naturally want to make content in the language that has the largest possible audience bases such as English Spanish and Hindi.

As per Twinword’s analysis of YouTube statistics, we can use the following numbers as a guide for how the languages are spread out on YouTube from the creator’s side, meaning this is the percentage of videos that are made in each language.

Language Percentage
English 66%
Spanish 15%
Portuguese 7%
Hindi 5%
Korean 2%
Others 5%

It’s worth remembering that these kinds of statistics change all the time, but there is unlikely to be a significant change in terms of the share of those languages. For example, Hindi could creep past Portuguese without much fanfare, but Spanish would be very unlikely to overtake English any time soon.

Still, these are the percentages in which YouTube content is made but do not necessarily reflect the percentages in terms of the potential audience. For example, English is a second language in many countries, and while the primary language of a given region may not be English, many people in that region will speak it, which would mean they could happily consume English-speaking content, even if they would be more comfortable with a different language.

From a practical standpoint, this detail doesn’t make much difference. If you are primarily concerned with reaching the largest possible audience, you would make your video in the language with the most potential viewers, even if not all of those viewers consider English their first language.

YouTube Audiences

So what of the audiences themselves? It is all well and good saying that the vast majority of the content on YouTube is made in English, but that is a creator bias and doesn’t necessarily reflect the language of the people who are watching that content.

There are no reliable statistics that we could find on language specifically when it comes to YouTube viewers, but there are statistics on things like region, which we can use to make a few educated guesses about the primary language of YouTube’s overall audience. Here are the top ten countries in terms of YouTube views (source).

Country Number of Views
USA 916 Billion
India 503 Billion
UK 391 Billion
Brazil 274 Billion
Thailand 207 Billion
Russia 207 Billion
South Korea 204 Billion
Spain 169 Billion
Japan 159 Billion
Canada 158 Billion

As you can see from this table, there is quite a diverse spread of nations in the top ten countries viewing YouTube. We can see English, Hindi, Portuguese, and Thai in the top five languages, with plenty of other languages in the rest. Russian, Korean, Spanish, and Japanese.

However, things are not as diverse as they may first appear. For one thing, the three overwhelmingly English-speaking countries in that top ten—the USA, the UK, and Canada—account for 45% of the total views in that table. Granted, 45% is not a majority, but remember that none of the other countries in the top ten shares a primary language. India mainly speaks Hindi, Thailand primarily speaks Thai, Russia speaks Russian, South Korea speaks Korean, Spain speaks Spanish, and Japan speaks Japanese.

Further muddying the waters is the multilingual nature of some nations. For example, India lists both Hindi and English as their official languages, although it is thought that only around ten percent of India’s residents speak English. Still, India is second in our table with over half a trillion views—a potential ten percent bump of that half trillion for English is substantial.

It is also worth noting that, while the vast majority of Canada can speak English, they also have French as an official language, and around a fifth of the population can speak it.

So, what do we take from this? The first thing to take away from all of these numbers is that there is no clear cut statistic or table we can look at that will tell us which language has the most potential YouTube viewers. We can look at the languages which content is made in, but that doesn’t tell us if people are watching content in a language they are not fluent in. We can also look at the nations with the most YouTube viewers, but that doesn’t tell us what language the viewers are watching in.

If you are looking for a single broadest appeal language to make your content in, it is hard to argue with English, which makes sense as YouTube came from and rose to prominence in English-speaking countries.

How to Record YouTube Video Outside 5

Working With What You Got

All of the numbers and statistics on which languages are most viewed on YouTube may be irrelevant to you. If you only speak one language, or you can speak another language, but it is difficult to understand, you will struggle to make content in those other languages.

The first gatekeeper along your road to YouTube success is how watchable your content is. You could manoeuvre your videos to be in front of the largest potential audience possible, but if it is not watchable, you will not succeed. The phrase “content is key” may be cliched at this point, but it is cliched for a reason. It is 100% true.

If you have lofty ambitions for your YouTube channel, you may consider learning a language so that you can make content in that language.

For some people, learning a new language is intuitive. They can pick up the structure of the language relatively easy and, with some time and practice, speak the language with more clarity than even some native speakers of that language. On the other hand, there are people who have moved to a foreign country and lived there for most of their life and still have thick accents that make them hard to understand when speaking the local language.

This isn’t a linguistics blog, so we won’t pretend to know the reasons some people can pick up new languages easily and others cannot, but if you are the latter—if no amount of speaking a particular language makes it feel comfortable on your tongue—you would be better placed putting your energies into making the best possible content you can in your own language.

There are other options, of course, but more on that below.

How Important Is Language to Success on YouTube?

This is an important question to ask yourself because the work involved in making your content available in a language other than the one you are comfortable with—especially if you are going to learn a whole new language just so you can speak it in your videos—is considerable.

It is important to establish a realistic sense of what “success” means for you when starting out on YouTube. If your idea of success is being able to pay the bills and live comfortably with the revenue generated from your YouTube channel, you probably don’t need to conquer the world. If we take the data from the top countries viewing YouTube above, the twenty-fifth country on the list—Romania—still accounts for an impressive 63 billion views. The average CPM (the amount you make per one thousand views) on YouTube is typically around the £2-4 mark (after YouTube takes its cut). If we go for the middle ground and assume you will make roughly $3 per thousand views, and we take the average US monthly salary of around $3,500, we can say that you would need to get around 1,200,000 monthly views to match the average US citizen’s salary.

Without a doubt, 1.2 million views per month is a lot, but it is only approximately 0.002% of the total views coming from Romania. Would it be harder to get that many views from a purely Romanian audience than the much larger English audience? Of course. But it is certainly an attainable goal.

Of course, if your idea of success is to conquer the world of YouTube and overtake PewDiePie as the most successful individual YouTuber, that’s different. You’re probably going to need to make videos in English to do that.

At least, for now.

Translations/Captions

We mentioned alternatives to settling for your own language or learning a new one, so let’s talk about that. Making your content available to other languages doesn’t necessarily mean creating that content in those languages.

First of all, YouTube makes it very easy to caption your videos in multiple languages, even to the point that they have an automated captioning service that, while not perfect, is getting better all the time. There are also many transcription and translation services on the web for very affordable rates—typically a dollar or two per minute of audio. Captioning your videos is a good practice to get into regardless of language because it makes your video more accessible to people with hearing problems, but it also provides a way to make your content more accessible to other languages.

The other option is to have your videos translated and recorded so that you can upload alternate language versions of your videos with the translated voice-over dubbed onto it. There are services that will take care of the translation and voice over for you, or you might choose to have the translation handled separately, such as if you have a particular voice-over person you want to work with, but that person doesn’t do the translation.

If you go down the route of alternative language versions of your videos, it is important to make it clear that you have those alternative versions out there. First impressions tend to stick on YouTube, and if someone comes to your video because the content of the video is exactly what they are looking for, but they land on a version of the video using a language they don’t speak, they may dismiss you entirely because they can’t speak that language. Always put links to alternative language versions of a video in the descriptions of those videos, and it would be wise to have some kind of note in the video at the start mentioning that the video is available in other languages.

Final Thoughts

In an ideal world, you would not be concerned with the global reach of your videos. You would make the content you want to make to the best of your ability, continually looking for ways to improve and grow and let the views pan out how they may. That being said, we understand that reality is rarely ideal.

There is nothing inherently wrong with wanting to reach viewers in the largest markets, but it is important to ensure your content is good. Creating a hard to understand video in English when your native language is Japanese, for example, will not just not help your channel; it may actively harm it. If you get a reputation for creating videos that are hard to understand, the people who would have watched that content in the first place may not come back when you have improved further down the line.

If you are learning a new language, use your time making content in your first language to improve and grow as a YouTuber, and hold off on making content in your additional language until you can speak it fluently and clearly.

And, remember; there are plenty of views out there no matter what language you speak.

Categories
DEEP DIVE ARTICLE HOW TO MAKE MONEY ONLINE TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

How Do Virtual YouTubers Make Money?

When you first come across the world of virtual YouTubers, it can seem a little strange and exotic, and you might be forgiven for thinking that things work a little differently over in VTuber land (that’s not a real place, by the way). In particular, you may find yourself wondering how do virtual YouTubers make money?

The truth is virtual YouTubers operate in much the same way that regular YouTubers do. Granted, the process of making the content is different, but everything that happens outside of the creation process is more or less the same. We’re going to go over the ways virtual YouTubers make money—bearing in mind that these are also the ways regular YouTubers make money—but there is more to explore here, because while VTubers make their money through many of the same methods, there is a noticeable shift of focus when compared to a typical flesh and bone YouTuber.

But let’s kick things off with those money-making methods.

How Do Virtual YouTubers Make Money?

Virtual YouTubers just like standard YouTubers and influencers make money through the YouTube Partner Program, affiliate marketing, merchandise sales, crowd funding sites like Patreon and brand deals. The only difference between Virtual YouTubers (VTubers) and human influencers is their chosen public persona, avatar or face.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of VTuber monetisation, we’ll give you a brief overview of the most common methods available to a typical YouTuber. For a more in-depth breakdown, check this post out.

What is YouTube RPM?

The YouTube Partner Programme

The OG, as it were. This method of monetising YouTube content has been around in some form or another since the earliest days of YouTube monetisation. For eligible YouTubers, you simply opt your channel into monetisation, and YouTube will begin displaying ads beside, over, and during your videos. The revenue generated from these ads is then shared with the YouTuber.

In terms of the amount of money you make, the YouTube Partner Programme is hardly at the top of most YouTuber’s list. You generally have to have a lot of views to make any real money, and even then it is an incredibly unreliable method due to the volatility of the advertising market and YouTube’s own constant tinkering with their terms and algorithms. It is also incredibly inconsistent between YouTubers. Due to the nature of online advertising—which is essentially auction-based—one YouTuber could make many times more than another YouTuber, even if the other YouTuber has the same or more views.

Memberships

For YouTubers with loyal audiences who are either invested in the content that is being produced or invested in the YouTuber themselves, memberships offer a great way to cut out the volatility of the advertising space that we mentioned above.

Unlike advertising, memberships involve your members supporting you directly in exchange for perks that aren’t available to regular viewers. This method is more consistent than advertising. Granted, members will drift away from time to time, but if your content is consistently compelling, new members will replace them, and you are unlikely to see a sudden drop in your earnings—well unless you do something to alienate your members.

This also cuts out many of the issues that have been typified by the “Adpocalypses” that YouTube has brought down upon us. As your members are choosing to support you directly, there is no question of whether the content is suitable, so you don’t need to worry about your revenue taking a sudden nosedive because advertisers have suddenly decided they don’t want their brand associated with your kind of content.

Super Chat

Super Chat is a method that streamers can use to monetise their live streams. Essentially, the live audience can donate a little sum of money (or a large sum, it’s up to them) to get their message pinned to the top of chat for a period. In most cases, the message will also pop up in the video, but that is entirely down to the YouTuber.

Like Memberships, Super Chat has the advantage of not being beholden to changing YouTube monetisation policies and the shifting whims of advertisers. The only real downside is that there is no way for a YouTuber who doesn’t stream to take advantage of it.

Brand Deals, Sponsored Content, and Endorsements

For YouTubers who command enough of an influence in a given area, the prospect of brands coming to you directly (or through an agency) may be on the table. This is where a brand pays you to promote them on your videos, cutting out YouTube in the process.

Though each deal is unique, brand deals are typically more lucrative than the equivalent revenue you would get from YouTube. And, in many cases, you can still monetise your sponsored content through the YouTube Partner Programme, essentially letting you double dip.

Unlike advertising revenue, brand deals are not necessarily predicated on the size of your audience. Of course, the bigger your audience, the more likely you are to get offered this kind of arrangement, but the ultimate value of your content is determined by the conversions generated for the brands that sponsor you. If your videos typically generate a higher-than-average level of interest from your viewers, brands will be willing to pay your more to get their products or services promoted by you, even if you have a relatively small audience.

Affiliate Sales

For YouTubers whose content revolves around products and services—such as YouTubers who review things—affiliate sales are a way to earn revenue from your recommendations.

By signing up for the relevant affiliate programs and linking to the products or services you are discussing in your videos, you earn a commission for every viewer who buys a product or signs up to a service through your links.

You also provide your viewers with a quick and easy way to get to things you are talking about.

Merchandise

For those lucky YouTubers who are able to cultivate an audience that is invested in them, merchandise is another monetisation option.

You could do this through a third-party merch retailer or through YouTube’s own merch shelf. Of course, the success of this is determined by your audience’s willingness to buy your merch.

There is a world of difference between dropping a couple of dollars in Super Chat and buying a twenty dollar shirt from your merch store.

Patreon and Similar Services

In essence, this option is the same as YouTube Memberships, though YouTube has certain restrictions in place—such as requiring your to have at least 30,000 subscribers—before you can make use of that option. Third-party alternatives such as Patreon do not have such restrictions, meaning you can offer your subscribers a way to support you directly much sooner than you would be able to through YouTube itself.

Like Memberships, the basic principle is that your Patreons want to support you directly, but you would generally offer them some incentives, such as exclusive content.

What are VTubers?

What’s Different for Virtual YouTubers?

The most significant difference between a regular YouTuber and virtual YouTuber is, of course, their appearance (in the videos, of course). People don’t typically want to buy merchandise with a human face on it; we tend to prefer designs and artwork. For virtual YouTubers, their digital avatar is the artwork. With the majority of virtual YouTubers being Japanese anime characters, they have artwork ready to go by just taking a screenshot of their digital avatar.

The next area of difference is how YouTube perceives them. YouTube has been cracking down on videos intended for consumption by children. This is due to stricter regulations on what data can be collected on underage viewers, which in turn leads to advertisers being less willing to show their ads on children’s YouTube videos because they can’t be as accurate with their targeting.

This can present a problem for virtual YouTubers because most of them are cartoon characters, and even though their content may not be intended for children, YouTube doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to separating out videos that should be demonetised from videos that look a bit like videos that should be demonetised.

The final main difference we’re going to highlight is the fact that many of the top virtual YouTubers are run by agencies like Hololive, essentially creating a team of popular mascots to generate revenue. This doesn’t necessarily affect new entries into the virtual YouTube space—the barrier to entry for creating virtual avatars and content is relatively low—but it is an interesting aspect of this space that is worth noting.

Virtual YouTube Expansion?

For the moment, the majority of virtual YouTube is sitting comfortably around its place of origin; Japan. Most of the YouTubers in this space are creating Japanese-language content and seemingly have little interest in expanding beyond that sphere.

That being said, the few virtual YouTubers that have ventured into the world of English-speaking content are doing very well, and there is a strong interest in Japanese anime culture in the west.

These things would suggest that there is a potential explosion of interest in this scene on the horizon, as more people see the potential of English-language virtual YouTube content.

What are VTubers? 2

The Creation of Virtual YouTubers

There are several programmes and mobile apps out there that can be used to create digital avatars for use in virtual YouTube content. And, if the above prediction of a boom in interest holds true, it would be reasonable to expect the number of applications available to grow, also.

These pieces of software range from applications for making a digital avatar to applications for animating those digital avatars, with a few options straddling this line and offering both functions in one package. The most useful part of these applications, however, is the ability to animate the digital avatars using things like VR controllers, or webcam-based motion-tracking. Without these techniques, it would be expensive indeed to create the videos, as animating by hand is a lengthy process that requires a lot of skill.

Any financial benefit there is to running a virtual YouTube channel would quickly be erased if the YouTuber were forced to animate their avatar by hand. With motion-tracking technology, the YouTuber can mostly just film themselves as though they were making a regular video, while the software takes care of translating the YouTuber’s movements to the digital avatar.

Should You Become a Virtual YouTuber?

All this talk of a potential explosion of interest may have you wondering if virtual YouTubing is something you could try yourself.

The good news is that there is a very low barrier to entry technologically speaking—you can purchase software that will enable you to animate a digital avatar with a nothing more than a webcam for as little as $15, or even free in some cases. There is also no real restriction on what kind of content you can make. The existing popular virtual YouTubers cover quite a broad spectrum of video types, showing that it is more of a fandom-driven thing than a content-driven thing.

In other words, viewers are coming for the virtual YouTuber more than they are coming for the specific content in the video.

To that end, you should ensure you have something to hang your channel’s hat on. This could be informative or interesting content, or it could be an entertaining personality—ideally, it would be both. As long as you have something to draw viewers interest, you will be fine. Of course, this part at least is true for regular YouTubers, as well.

There are plenty of reasons why you might be interested in taking on a virtual persona rather than getting in front of a camera yourself—camera shyness, privacy, a need to express yourself in different ways—but ultimately that part of the equation isn’t important; you could just do it because you think it’s cool.

Final Thoughts

For the most part, virtual YouTubers make their money the same way as non-virtual YouTubers. The primary differences in that respect are where the focus lays, with virtual YouTubers making more of their money from different areas to regular YouTube. More merch and less Patreon. More Super Chat and less YouTube Partner Programme.

It should be noted, however, that while the top twenty or thirty virtual YouTubers generate a very hefty amount of revenue from their content, there is a very steep drop off after those top channels. There were around 30,000 virtual YouTubers at the start of 2020, and most of them weren’t making much—if any—money at all.

Categories
DEEP DIVE ARTICLE TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

Do YouTubers Have Scripts?

Finding your way on YouTube is generally a trial-and-error type of adventure, but it can’t hurt to know how other YouTubers do it when working out what is best for you.

One of the most common questions in this respect is “do YouTubers have scripts?”, and the answer to that is… sometimes.

Every YouTuber does things a little different, and scripting their videos is no exception to that. There are different levels of scripting, however, and by understanding what they are, you should be better placed to work out which will work for you.

So read on, and we’ll take a look at these different levels, and then we’ll get into some tips and tricks regarding scripting your YouTube videos.

The Different Levels of Scripting a YouTube Video

Saying that a video is scripted can be a little misleading since there are different degrees to how much your video can be scripted.

In this section, we’re going to describe the main levels of scripting you might use when making a YouTube video, as well as give you a few examples of types of videos that might use each level.

Do YouTubers Have Scripts?

What Script?

The first level of scripting is no script!

Of course, this method has its drawbacks, but it works great for those YouTubers with the gift of the gab. Not having a script at all is something of a mixed blessing.

If you can pull it off, it can make your videos considerably easier to make, since you don’t need to worry about writing a script in advance and you don’t need to worry about reading that script when you record the video. On the other hand, if you can’t pull it off, you could leave yourself with a lot of editing to do, or an awkward, stilted video in the end. Perhaps even both.

You’ve probably realised by now that the determining factor for whether having no script at all is suitable for you is your own ability to improvise, remember what you have to say, and be entertaining without a prompt. If you are good at freeform speaking, this will be more comfortable for you.

There are many videos where this type of approach is well suited, such as videos where you are interviewing someone, or videos where you are giving commentary on a topic. Just remember the general rule when creating content that less is more. If you find yourself rambling or going off on tangents, rein yourself in. And don’t be afraid to edit bits out later.

Just an Outline

The next step up from no script is some script, but not a complete, word-for-word write up of what you are going to say. Here you would have the main points you plan to address—almost like a bullet point list—along with anything particularly important you need to remember, such as certain phrases, statistics, or something similar.

Outlines are an excellent option for people who are comfortable talking to the camera without too much prompting, but who are perhaps not quite as competent when it comes to remembering everything they have to say. The outline serves to remind you what you have to cover, allowing you to word things however feels right in the moment.

An outline script is mostly good for anything you might go scriptless for but aren’t confident enough in your ability to hit all the beats you need to hit: interviews, commentary, list videos, retrospectives, and more.

Mostly Scripted

Mostly scripted is a level of scripting that covers anything between an outline and a full script.

With a mostly scripted video, you might start with an outline and flesh out certain details, or fully script parts that you want to ensure are articulated properly while leaving other parts in a more outline form.

Fully Scripted

As the name suggests, a fully scripted video has the entirety of the spoken word content written out in advance for you to read as you record. While this form of scripting is great for those who are not comfortable making it up as they go along, or who are not confident in their ability to remember what it is they have to say, there is a trade-off.

While you do not need to be able good at speaking on the fly with a full script, you do need to be able to read aloud from your script. This may not sound difficult if you have never tried it, but it requires a certain amount of skill to do in a way that doesn’t sound wooden. It may take a little practice to get your live script reading to sound natural. Anchor people are often derided for just reading from an autocue for a living, but you may appreciate what they do a little more after trying this for the first time.

Do YouTubers Have Scripts? 1

Voice Over

From the perspective of the script itself, there is no difference between a voice over script and full script—other than you may write things a little differently for a voiceover video. The difference here comes after.

It is much easier to get a polished, professional-sounding voiceover because you are not recording video of yourself saying it, which means you can edit the audio without it looking weird and disjointed in the finished product. This gives you a little more leeway when it comes to less than radio-ready cadence, mistakes, or accidental noises like sneezing.

Choosing the Right Style of Script for You and Your YouTube Videos

There are many things to take into account when deciding which style of scripted video will work best for you, but ultimately it will boil down to three main aspects.

  • Memory
  • Ability to speak off the cuff
  • Ability to read fluidly from a script

Naturally, if you struggle to remember things the things you are going to talk about, you will need to have some kind of prompt to help you along. How much you struggle to remember your subject matter will determine how much you need to write out in your script, but this is something of a definitive restriction since being able to talk in an entertaining manner off of the top of your head is no use if you can’t remember what you are supposed to be talking about!

Similarly, if you are no good at talking off the cuff, you can rule out having no script at all, and if you are bad at reading aloud in an entertaining manner, you can rule out reading from a full script.

Once you’ve factored those things in, the next big thing to consider is the video itself. Some types of video lend themselves better to being carefully scripted while others don’t. As a general rule, any content that is striving to be professional and informative will likely benefit from being scripted and the additional time and care put into the words used. Meanwhile, videos that are largely personality-driven, such as commentary videos and vlogs, are usually better done off the cuff.

Do YouTubers Have Scripts? 3

Practice Makes Perfect

Though there are some exceptions, it’s worth noting that, most of the time, you can improve on the aspects you are not as competent at with a little practice.

By taking a little time each day to read a script aloud, or to talk in a freeform manner, you should start to see improvements. It can also help to record your practice sessions and watch them back, as that will help you pinpoint areas you need to improve. It may feel awkward and unintuitive to be making conscious efforts to change things like inflexions and mannerisms when you talk, but if you keep doing it, it will start to feel natural.

There are exceptions to this, such as if you have learning disorder like dyslexia that is preventing you from being able to read your script smoothly aloud. If this is something you face, it is crucial not to let it frustrate you. As the somewhat gruesome saying goes; there are many ways to skin a cat. If improvement in a particular area is not an option for you, don’t dwell on it, put your energies into a style of video that you can do, and work on perfecting that instead.

 

Tips for Scripting Your YouTube Videos

Regardless of what level of scripting you choose to go with, here are some tips that can help you deliver the best possible content.

Read it Back

Always read your script back before rolling the cameras.

Ideally, read it out loud and carefully pay attention to how the words sound together. Sometimes, things seem to flow together nicely when written down but sound awkward when read aloud.

As you get more experience at writing your scripts, you will gain a more intuitive feel for how words onscreen translate to words spoken aloud, but even successful, professional writers often read their dialogue out before signing off on it.

Get Second Opinions

While you are still finding your feet as a YouTuber, take every opportunity to get second opinions on things like your delivery and tone. This can be done through a live read to a friend or family member, a pre-upload viewing of the video, or a review of a video you have already uploaded.

The idea of reading your content out loud to somebody in person may be a little offputting at first, but it’s worth remembering that doing so will allow you get valuable feedback on your delivery without going through the long process of recording and editing the video.

Play to Your Strengths

Don’t get hung up on trying to do things a certain way when you are more comfortable doing things a different way.

We mentioned above that informative videos often lend themselves better to being scripted, but that does not mean that you cannot make good, informative videos off the cuff.

In fact, given that most of the battle of succeeding on YouTube lies in standing out from the crowd, finding a way to do things a little differently may actually help your channel.

Do YouTubers Have Scripts? 4

Promotional Content

If you are lucky enough to reach a stage in your YouTube career where brands are willing to sponsor your content, you may find yourself in a situation where you have some pre-written ad copy to read. Essentially a scripted section. Sometimes the brand will allow the content creators they sponsor to do the ad freeform, but that will largely depend on the brand and the reputation of the creator.

If you struggle with things like this, don’t be afraid think outside of the box. You might record your ad copy separately from the rest of the video, allowing you to put a little more time into it, or even get someone else to read it. Just be sure that whatever solution you choose doesn’t violate whatever agreement you have with the brand. For example, some brands may require that the face of the YouTube channel is the one to read the copy, or that the copy be read word-for-word as it was written.

Final Thoughts

One of the most important points we’d like you to take away from this post is that there is no inherently right or wrong way to make a YouTube video. Ultimately, the best method is the one that you are comfortable working with and gets your message across. You should always strive for improvement where possible, and scripting your content (if you don’t already) can certainly help with that, but it should by no means be considered a necessity.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different levels of scriptwriting, either. You might make a test video where you record a sample of you working with no script, working with an outline, and reading a complete script, and then judge which one you feel works best. Remember, not everything you make needs to be uploaded to YouTube. It is okay to consign things to the editing room floor from time to time.

Get second opinions if you are comfortable doing so, and if you’re not comfortable showing other people your test videos, try to work on that because far more people will see your finished videos if you achieve any success on the platform.

Categories
DEEP DIVE ARTICLE SOCIAL MEDIA YOUTUBE

What Programs do Virtual YouTubers Use?

Virtual YouTubing has been growing in popularity recently, with many new YouTubers opting to don a digital avatar to make their content rather than record their flesh-and-blood self. Naturally, an increase in popularity in something like this leads to… well, more popularity.

Still, while the reason for exponential levels of interest in virtual YouTubing may be obvious, the way that virtual YouTubing is done might not be. If you are scratching your head about how VTubers make their content, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’re going to take a look at the way these videos are made, and then we’ll highlight some of the most popular apps and programs that are used to do it. So, follow us down the rabbit hole!

What are VTubers? 2

What are VTubers?

Let’s start with the basics for anyone who’s landed on this post without knowing what a VTuber is. This is a topic that deserves an entire post of its own, so, we won’t dwell too long here.

VTubers are digital avatars that are animated by someone, with the videos being presented as though the digital persona is the one making the content. VTubers make more or less the same kinds of videos as their meat-counterparts—vlogs, reaction videos, etc.—with the significant exception that they are not constrained by mere physical reality.

They can look, however they want, they can do things like fly around the screen or spawn items out of thin air, and be in whatever setting they wish without having to go travelling.

There are many reasons someone might choose to be a VTuber, such as wanting to keep their real identity private, being camera shy, or just wanting to express themselves as something completely different to their everyday self.

What are VTubers? 1

How Does VTubing Work?

A common misconception by people who first discover virtual YouTube is that the videos are made similarly to the way that, say, a Pixar movie is made—with someone painstakingly animating each frame of the digital avatar to match up with the audio track and any other events that are happening in the clip. This is not the case. At least, not for the vast majority of VTubers out there.

Instead, the software is employed to capture the YouTuber’s movements through a webcam—or, in some cases, a virtual reality headset and controllers—and translate those movements onto the digital avatar.

In this way, the YouTuber is able to film a video relatively naturally, with them doing their part in front of a camera in much the same way a regular video would be filmed, while the software takes care of all the hard work of making the digital avatar copy the YouTuber.

If you have ever used one of those filters on apps like Snapchat that put a silly hat on your digital head or apply digital makeup to your digital face, this is more or less the same kind of technology.

It is possible that there are YouTuber’s out there animating digital avatars by hand. As good as the motion-tracking software that VTubers use is, it is still not perfect, and an experienced animator would undoubtedly get better results doing the whole thing by hand. Unfortunately, even an experienced animator would require a big ol’ chunk of time to do this, which is not practical for YouTube videos, especially when most of them work to upload schedules that include multiple videos per week. The motion-capture programs may not be perfect, but they are usually good enough.

Now, about those programs…

What Program do Virtual YouTubers Use?

When it comes to software for making virtual YouTube videos, there is a surprisingly large selection to choose from. Granted, not everything on this list was necessarily intended for this purpose, but that hasn’t stopped people from using them.

What Programs do Virtual YouTubers Use? 1

Live2D

Live2D can be a little confusing at first as you might see it pop up in several places. Though there are dedicated applications—such as Live2D Cubism—it can help to think of Live2D as a plugin rather than a standalone application.

This is a way of animating digital avatars using layers of 2D artwork. For example, the eyes would be on a separate layer to the head, and by moving the eyes slightly, the technique gives the impression that the head has turned a little. In doing so, Live2D can create an impression of three-dimensional art without actually requiring a 3D model.

Live2D itself does not include a way to track real movements, such as through a webcam. For that, you will need additional software, or you could use an application that provides motion tracking functionality while incorporating Live2D, such as…

What Programs do Virtual YouTubers Use? 2

FaceRig

If Live2D is the technology that enables the virtual YouTuber scene, FaceRig is one of the applications that utilise that technology, though there is more to FaceRig than Live2D.

Using your webcam, this application tracks your head and facial movements and translates them to an onscreen digital avatar, which can be chosen from a wide selection of 3D and 2D characters. You can put your digital character in front of a selection of backgrounds, or just leave them over something plain or even green for future greenscreen effects. You can also process your voice so that the recorded video comes out with a voice to match your digital avatar.

FaceRig is limited in the sense that you can only control facial expressions and some limited head and upper body movement. That being said, the results are stunning, with some incredibly realistic visuals being possible through the app. There is also a budding community around the software, with many new digital avatars being created and shared.

FaceRig is available for a relatively modest sum—around $15 or £13—though there is a pro version that you will need to upgrade to if you make more than $500 per month from the content you make with the app.

What Programs do Virtual YouTubers Use? 3

VTube Studio

Like FaceRig, VTube Studio is an application that provides head tracking functionality and makes use of Live2D technology. This application only provides the 2D style of digital avatar animation, but where it shines is its multi-platform nature.

VTube Studio is available on Android and iOS as well as Windows and macOS, adding an air of convenience to it. How practical it would be to make full-fat YouTube videos using the mobile app we couldn’t say, but many YouTubers make the occasional video or piece of content using their phone, and with VTube Studio, VTubers can do the same.

The app is free, though there is a watermark on any video produced by the free app. You would have to purchase the pro version to remove that watermark.

What Programs do Virtual YouTubers Use? 4

Wakaru

Wakaru is essentially the same as VTube Studio in terms of features, though it has a different pedigree. Wakaru emerged out of the Japanese culture that brought about virtual YouTubing in the first place, and as such, has a special place in many VTuber’s hearts.

You can animate your 2D digital avatar using a webcam and via several in-app controls that will allow you to make your avatar do things like blink. There is no mobile app, though you can use your phone as a camera with the use of third-party apps that essentially turn your phone into a webcam.

Wakaru is free, though it should be noted that many users feel like the software has been abandoned at this point. That is not to say it is not useful, but don’t expect any cool new features to be added to it.

What Programs do Virtual YouTubers Use? 5

VTuber Maker

The name, VTuber Maker, is a little misleading (and has led to a number of negative reviews as a result). It does not allow you to “make” VTubers—indeed, you have to pay to be able to import your own digital character—but it does allow you to animate digital avatars using your webcam, and it is free (importing avatars aside).

You can switch backgrounds, perform several predefined gestures, and the app even comes with a widget that creates a draggable version of your avatar that you can drop in the corner of the screen on top of whatever you are doing. Perfect for gaming streams.

What Programs do Virtual YouTubers Use? 6

VRoid Studio

Unlike the above VTuber Maker, VRoid Studio does enable you to make your VTuber avatars. It is heavily geared towards the Japanese anime styles of avatar that dominate the VTuber space, but it has an incredibly easy to use interface that makes creating a professional-looking avatar attainable for even the most un-artistic of us out there.

It should be emphasised that this app is just for making the avatar, not animating it, and certainly not animating it with motion-capture technology. Currently, it is in beta and free to download, though we are not sure if it will remain free when it comes out of beta.

What Programs do Virtual YouTubers Use? 8

VKatsu

VKatsu is a solid offering in the realm of animating digital avatars. It lets you create your avatar, choose from several predefined avatars, set the background, and more.

Now for the downsides. It is designed to work with VR headsets for motion-tracking, meaning you will need to own an expensive VR system to animate with your body. Also, it is Japanese-language only, which is fine if you’re Japanese, but most people who read this blog are not. And finally, it is in Early Access, which in and of itself is not a bad thing, but if you check the FAQ about the game, it states that they hope to come out of Early Access in… 2018.

Still, it is free and very capable. If you have a compatible VR headset and speak Japanese (or don’t mind fiddling around with the controls to work out what they mean), this could be a useful application for you.

What Programs do Virtual YouTubers Use? 9

VRChat

As the name suggests, VRChat is a virtual reality chat application, allowing users to assume the digital appearance of an avatar of their choosing and interact with other users in a virtual world.

The useful part here is that it features full lip-sync and eye-tracking functionality, as well as a range of motion-tracking. You can also use a range of gestures. VRChat isn’t designed for VTubers as such, but it can certainly be used that way.

What Programs do Virtual YouTubers Use? 10

Unity

Our last mention is a little unconventional. Unity is a popular free game engine that is used to make video games. Which is to say that it is geared towards video games—it is a very versatile platform that can be used for a wide range of things. The idea behind it is that you can develop your game or application taking advantage of Unity’s built-in capabilities, rather than having to re-invent the wheel, so to speak, be writing your own graphical rendering code. It is not something that the average computer user can just pick up and run with, but if you have any experience coding in C# or Javascript, or you have tried your hand at game development before, there are libraries available to handle things like lip-syncing and head tracking.

This is a niche option, but for those who can make use of it, you will have far more control over your digital avatar than any of the options above, since you will be able to add literally any feature you are capable of coding. It will also allow you to custom-tailor the features you have to suit your needs, rather than making do with the way someone else’s app works.

Unity’s free version is fully-featured, but the licensing states that you must purchase a license if you make over a certain amount of money per year from your projects made in Unity.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are several options when it comes to picking out software and apps to help you bring your VTube dream to life. You may notice that most of the options on this list are either free or have a free version, so don’t be afraid to try them all out and find the one that works best for you.

Remember to check any licensing information regarding the software you choose, as the “pro” model—where you can use the app for free as long as you are not making more than a predetermined amount of money from your use of the app—is becoming increasingly popular.

Categories
DEEP DIVE ARTICLE MARKETING SOCIAL MEDIA YOUTUBE

What are VTubers?

There have been several YouTube trends over the years, most following the same basic pattern of exploding onto the scene, being everywhere for a hot minute, and settling down into another corner of the platform. We’ve seen it with everything from Let’s Play YouTubers to Reaction YouTubers, and now we’re seeing it with VTubers, but what are VTubers?

A VTuber—or Virtual YouTuber—is a YouTuber that uses a digital avatar as their main onscreen persona, often using motion tracking software to directly translate their movements onto their digital avatar. This allows the VTuber to film themselves naturally as any regular YouTuber would, while still using the digital persona they have created.

Of course, we’re going to take a much closer look at this YouTube niche, as well as considering the reasons you might want to become a VTuber yourself – including a great way to make videos without showing your face.

What are VTubers?

A Brief History of VTubers

Originating in Japan, VTubers tend to present themselves as anime girls, using the likenesses of popular online artist’s work.

The earliest instance of what would become virtual YouTubing came from visual novel makers, Nitroplus, who started uploading videos that featured an animated 3D version of their mascot. This mascot would essentially make vlog videos about her life while also throwing in mandatory information about the companies upcoming releases and other news. It was a marketing ploy, after all.

However, VTubers were not a thing way back in 2010 when Nitroplus started making these videos, and the official first VTuber is widely considered to be Kizuna AI, who first appeared on the scene in 2016 and was the first to refer to herself as a virtual YouTuber. The main difference between Kizuna AI and the various similar channels that had come before her was that Kizuna AI was operated more like a typical YouTube channel in the content of the video and the fact that she responded to fans. It would take less than a year for her to reach two million subscribers.

The popularity of Kizuna could be put down to the fact that YouTube was wall-to-wall vloggers in front of webcams at the time, but whatever the reason, the immense popularity of the channel naturally led to a lot of similar channels popping up, and thus the VTuber trend began.

These days there are thousands of VTubers, and seven of the ten biggest Super Chat earners were VTubers. Clearly, there is a big market for this kind of video.

Is this sounds a little too weird for you but you still want to make videos on YouTube without showing your face, here are 12 YouTube Channel Ideas without showing your face without needing to be a cute, creepy anime animation.

What are VTubers? 1

How Are VTuber Videos Made?

As touched on above, VTubers do not manually animate their virtual avatars in the way that a company like Pixar might for their movies. That kind of thing had been done on YouTube before VTubers came along, but it is a lengthy process that requires a lot of skill and patience and is really not practical for something like a YouTube video, especially if the video is quite vlog-like in nature and intended to be uploaded on a similar schedule to those vlogs.

The majority of VTubers use motion capture applications like Live 2D, or FaceRig. These applications monitor the subject through their webcam, tracking facial and body movements and manipulating the digital avatar so that it, in turn, copies the movements. In this way, the VTuber can record their video naturally as though they were recording a regular on-camera video and use the footage outputted by the application for their video.

Why Anime?

Even a brief look into the world of VTubers will reveal that it appears to be almost entirely anime characters—a style of animation that originated in Japan. There may be some complicated social or psychological reason for this, but we’re not aware of any studies. Our best guess is that it is a kind of snowball effect—the first VTubers were anime characters, so it appealed to people who liked anime more.

That being said, the definition of a VTuber—if something like this can be said to have a definition—does not necessarily restrict the video content to Japanese anime characters. For example, AI Angel is a VTuber whose digital persona is that of a caucasian woman. AI Angel makes a range of types of videos from the perspective of being a real AI interacting with people on the Internet and trying “human” things, and has, at the time of writing this post, amassed over seven hundred thousand subscribers.

Granted, AI Angel is something of an outlier in the VTuber community, with the vast majority being firmly in the anime camp. But she does help to illustrate the fact that VTubers are not limited to anime if they don’t want to be.

What Kinds of Content do VTubers Make?

The type of content made by VTubers, unlike the visual style of the videos, is relatively open. For the most part, VTubers make videos in the style of whatever is popular—just like regular YouTubers. They do vlogs, reaction videos, gaming videos, etc.

There is, of course, a considerably lean towards the kinds of content that Japanese people are interested in, but that is only a byproduct of the space being predominantly made by and for Japanese people. As AI Angel has proved, you don’t need to limit yourself to that particular box.

Auto Draft 50

Is Being a VTuber Expensive?

When the prospect of specialist software is floating around, the question of cost is never far behind it. In terms of the software itself, the news isn’t too bad. You can find very inexpensive—even free in some cases—applications that will let you animate virtual avatars using your phone or computer. Of course, the more features and quality you want to incorporate into your videos, the more you will find yourself needing one of the more expensive apps. Still, even FaceRig is only around £13, with that price going up to £50 if you make over a certain amount of money per month from the use of FaceRig.

Where the real expense may come from, however, is the required hardware.

Video production is already an intensive thing as far as the required computer power goes, and it is even more demanding if you stream. Adding a layer of realtime motion capture and digital animation can put a real strain on your computer if it was only just keeping up before. This will especially be the case for people who are making gaming videos.

You may find that your recording computer needs upgrading or even replacing. Or you might find switching to a dual computer setup is necessary. This is where one computer handles the streaming and recording side of things, leaving your main computer free to do whatever it is you are doing.

Another area that might cost you is your recording setup. Motion capture software is improving all the time, and the degree to which software can track and replicate your three-dimensional movements from nothing but a flat video is, quite frankly, astounding. That being said, the motion capture software is only as good as the video it is capturing from.

If you have a cheap webcam or poor lighting in your recording space, you will probably find that the avatar animation software you are using struggles to accurately track your movements, and certainly your facial expressions.

It is somewhat ironic that to make videos where you are never onscreen; you may well need a more sophisticated and expensive recording setup to capture your image more accurately than you would need if you were just pointing a camera at yourself and talking to your audience.

How to Make Money on YouTube Without Showing Your Face

Is Being a VTuber the Right Choice for Me?

The first thing you should ask yourself is why you are considering it at all. Making YouTube videos just for the sake of making them will usually end up in failure. The good news is that the scope for what constitutes a good reason to make a YouTube channel is quite broad. You might just like playing with technology like the motion capture software VTubers use, and a YouTube channel could be an outlet for that passion. You could even have very little interest in making videos but like doing something that there is an audience for regardless. For example, there are many successful channels that play video games without any commentary or additional flavour, and people just tune in to watch them play.

Once you have decided what your channel is going to be about, the next step is deciding if the VTuber route is right for you. There are a few reasons you might want to throw on a digital avatar;

  • You are camera shy and don’t feel like you can get over it any time soon
  • You want or need to keep your real identity private
  • You want to express yourself in ways you wouldn’t feel comfortable doing as yourself.
  • You just think it’s cool

As the last point hopefully illustrated, there really is no limitation to why you might choose this method of making videos. Sure, if any of the above reasons apply to you, then you have additional reasons for taking the VTuber route, but, at the end of the day, you don’t need a good reason. It’s an artistic choice. It is far more important you have a good reason for making videos in the first place.

Copyrights and Trademarks

It probably doesn’t need saying, but in the interests of being thorough, we’re going to say it anyway. Trademarked and copyrighted characters and art should be avoided. It will only get your video struck by YouTube in the long run—especially if your videos become popular. This includes artwork by relatively unknown artists online. No matter how obscure the art, if it is not Creative Commons or Public Domain, and you have permission from the artist, you should steer clear.

Remember, the relationship between your digital persona and your audience is very similar—if not perhaps identical—to the relationship they would have with a regular flesh-and-bone YouTuber. If you have to change your digital avatar because of a copyright dispute, it will have a similar effect to how it would go down if a regular YouTuber just gave their channel to someone else and that person started making videos. People become attached to their favourite entertainers, even when those entertainers are digital.

If it is a somewhat unknown artist’s work, you want to use, ask for their permission, and be sure to keep a copy of their email in your inbox. If a large company owns the likeness you want to use, you may as well accept that it is not going to happen. You could still try, just don’t expect a favourable reply—if any.

What is YouTube CPM?

Is This a Passing Fad?

Keeping in mind that this is a guess based on the way things usually go down on YouTube; yes and no. Yes, it is almost certainly a trend that will die down a bit once it has peaked, but unlike a fad, it probably won’t go away once its time in the spotlight has passed. YouTube trends, as we mentioned above, tend to explode onto the scene, dominate everyone’s recommendations for a time, and then settle down into being another sub-community on the platform.

It is unclear how big this trend can get—perhaps it has already reached its peak—but it is worth noting that there is nothing inherently Japanese about the concept of a VTuber, and yet the majority of VTubers are Japanese. Now, this could speak to some sociological reason that western audiences aren’t interested in VTubers, but it would seem more likely that this disparity is because the western audience hasn’t caught on yet, which would, in turn, suggest that VTubing would be in for another big surge when they do.

Given that this is an English-language blog companion for an English-language YouTube channel, we’re going to assume that the majority of the readers are western. So, has this post inspired you to go out and start a VTube channel? Perhaps you could be in the vanguard of western VTubers, cementing yourself as one of the leading channels in the English-speaking VTube space.

Or perhaps you think it’s all a bit silly. Why not let us know in the comments?

Categories
DEEP DIVE ARTICLE HOW TO MAKE MONEY ONLINE YOUTUBE

What is YouTube CPM?

If you are new to the wide, wonderful and, let’s be honest, a little complex world of online marketing, you may have been scratching your head at the barrage of acronyms and unfamiliar terms being thrown your way. Fortunately, things aren’t nearly as scary as they can first look.

As you begin your YouTube career and start looking into the possibilities of earning money through the platform, you will no doubt hear the term CPM a lot.

It should be noted that there are many important factors to succeeding financially on YouTube, but CPM is the closest thing you’ll get to a single metric of success since it is possible to have millions of subscribers and still barely make any money because your CPM is poor.

Similarly, someone can make enough money to pay the bills on as little as tens of thousands of subscribers because their CPM is excellent. The new metric RPM may tell you exactly how much you will make but it doesn’t tell you the whole story like CPM.

But what is CPM? And how does it work?

Do YouTubers Pay Tax? 3

What is CPM?

CPM is an acronym for “Cost Per Mille”, with mille being the Latin word for “thousand”. In simple terms, it is a unit for measuring how much money a thousand views are worth. As an example, a YouTube video with an average CPM of $2 and a total of 10,000 views would earn its creator $20.

You might be understandably underwhelmed by this figure, but $2 is a relatively common average for online CPM. This is also why many YouTubers look to other means of monetising their content.

One common misunderstanding about CPM is the belief that it is a set unit in the way you might think of currency. The CPM of a video is not something that is determined in advance, but rather something that is calculated after the fact based on how the video performed (or is performing).

What Determines the Value of CPM?

So, with that in mind, what are the factors that go into calculating the CPM of a video? At its most basic level, there are only two significant factors; the value of your video to advertisers, and the engagement factor of your audience.

The first of those factors—the value of your video to advertisers—is largely determined by how lucrative your niche is. Advertisers want to put their ads in front of people who are likely to be interested, so they’re not going to pay to put their ad for solar powered garden lights on your video about vintage cars. Sure, there might be some people who are interested, but the advertiser can’t be sure of that, whereas a video about garden landscaping is a much safer bet.

The more competitive your niche, the more your video is worth to advertisers since the very demand for advertising space in that niche drives the value of the ad up. It is essentially a bidding war, with the advertisers who are willing to pay the most being the ones that get their ads on the video. For niche’s with not much competition, the advertisers can get that space for considerably less, which means less money for the creator.

The other factor—the engagement of your viewers—is probably one of the most underappreciated aspects of monetising YouTube content. It is not enough to simply get a lot of eyeballs on your videos; those eyeballs have to engage with the advertising for you to make money. That is how some YouTubers can be financially successful with a relatively small subscriber-base while other YouTubers with enormous followings barely get by.

Other Factors

Those may be the two most significant factors contributing to how large your CPM is, but there are other things to take into consideration that are also important, such as watch time.

There is a limit to how many advertisements you can cram into a finite space of time, and YouTube is well aware of this limitation. You can bet that the calculations regarding getting the largest amount of ads possible into a video while putting off the least possible viewers is constantly being revised.

Still, regardless of how much time there is between ads, we can take one general rule as a given—the longer someone is watching, the more ads they are likely to see.

YouTube presently has a ten-minute floor on mid-roll ads, meaning your videos need to be at least ten minutes long to have ads sprinkled through the content, rather than just at the start and end of it. This means that, if you can do it without reducing the quality of your content, striving for videos that are at least ten-minutes long is a good way to increase your CPM. But again, remember, having the ads there only benefits you if viewers are watching the ads.

If you needlessly extend your content without adding anything of value, it is highly likely that your viewers will switch off before ever seeing the extra ads you have gained.

It is also worth noting that having longer videos might be better for your CPM on individual videos but not necessarily the best option for your channel as a whole. It may be that your content is better suited to being broken up into smaller chunks, rather than lumped into one almighty video. If this is the case for you, don’t be afraid to do so. Having four ads in a ten-minute video will likely lead to a lower CPM compared to twelve ads in an hour-long video, but all of your content will still get watched, and you may find that you get more views overall when it is delivered in more digestible shorter videos.

The next factor to consider is the content itself. Despite YouTube’s sometimes carpet-bomb approach to categorising content as monetisable, there is still nuance to the system, and advertisers can choose to opt-out of certain types of content. If your content leans into the controversial—such as political or religious—you may find your CPM being much lower—even non-existent—due to advertisers shying away from marketing their brand around those topics.

And, as we have established, the fewer advertisers there are fighting for spots on your content, the less your content is worth.

Do you get paid for YouTube? 1

How to Boost Your CPM

The most obvious way to boost your CPM on YouTube is to take heed of the things we mentioned above. Try to make your videos at least ten-minutes in length without sacrificing the quality of your content! Overall, you want to be aiming for more watch time across the entirety of your videos, and you can’t achieve that by just making them longer without maintaining the quality of the videos.

I you want a deep dive guide into how I boosted my YouTube CPM by 500% in 3 months I have a blog where I step you through my strategy.

Also, try to drill down into your niche as much as possible. The more your content is directed towards a specific market, the more valuable it will be to advertisers in that market. Again, we are talking minor tweaks to your existing content. If you have to change your channel significantly to achieve this, you should put serious thought into whether the pay off is worth the effort.

There are other ways to boost your effective CPM, however. We have been focusing on the YouTube Partner Programme and the money you can earn through YouTube directly. This is typically what people mean when they talk about YouTube CPM, but, if you adopt a looser definition of what makes up your CPM, you can employ other means to get that number up.

For example, if you strike a sponsorship or brand deal, the money earned from those deals can be directly divided by the views you got on the associated videos and added to your CPM total. Another example of how you can boost your CPM from outside of YouTube is through affiliate programs—where you can do it organically, of course. Affiliate programs allow you to leverage related products and services, essentially earning a commission on sales generated through your platform.

There are also options like subscription platforms such as Patreon, and any other way in which you earn revenue as a direct result of your channel’s success. Your effective CPM is the total revenue you make from your YouTube channel through all avenues divided by thousands of views those videos received during that time.

Does YouTube Take a Cut of my CPM?

Going back to the pure YouTube CPM, you might be wondering if YouTube takes a slice of that pie.

The answer is, of course, yes; YouTube has to make money somehow. YouTube’s share (45%, if you were wondering) is not factored in before your CPM figure is calculated.

So, if you were making a CPM of around $10 (which would be quite high, by the way), you would actually be receiving around $5.5 of that $10. This is obviously not an ideal metric, but if you want a more accurate snapshot of your channels earning, you’ll want to take a look at RPM.

What Viewer Behaviours Generate More Revenue?

Other than the differing values of ads in different niches, there are also different types of ads that YouTube display and the way your viewers interact (or don’t) with them will change how much you earn. For example, there are short unskippable ads that the viewer has no choice in watching if they want to watch the content. For these ads, you are paid per thousand views. For the longer skippable ads, the viewer will need to watch at least thirty seconds of the ad to count as an engagement.

There are also overlay ads, which are small banner ads that are displayed at the bottom of your video. These ads only earn you revenue when your viewers click them.

Finally, there are display ads which show up beside your video and can earn revenue per click or per thousand views depending on what the advertiser decides when they set their advertising campaign up.

It is very important to bear this in mind when thinking about your potential revenue because your audience’s interest in products and services that might be advertised on your channel will significantly affect your CPM. If you are making videos on a specific type of product and people are coming to your channel before making purchasing decisions, there is a much higher chance they will be enticed by the ads displayed on your content.

Is It Legal to Make YouTube Videos from Books?

Niches Matter

Following on from that last point, if you are starting a YouTube channel with the primary goal of making money, you should put serious thought into the niche you go into. As a general rule, the more general and broad your audience is, the less valuable it is in terms of advertising revenue.

To expand on the above example, consider a channel that makes videos reviewing the latest phones. People who come to that channel are likely interested in buying the phones that are being reviewed, and so the advertisements displaying on your content will be more likely to offer products and services around those phones. This is an example of a good niche as far as CPM potential goes since the advertisers can be relatively confident that the audience they are advertising to will be interested in their products.

On the other end of the scale, consider a channel that makes funny videos and has a large and diverse audience. They are undoubtedly successful as a YouTuber, but there is no common theme across their audience from a consumer purchasing perspective. Everyone is there to see amusing videos, and there is no reason to believe they would be interested in a specific product or service just because they are watching this channel.

This is not to say that channels like this can’t be very financially successful, of course, but a channel with a clear niche will often pull off a considerably higher CPM than a channel with general appeal.

Final Thoughts

While a high CPM is probably the most accurate single metric of success on YouTube, it is important to remember that it is not the only metric, and you should not focus on CPM at the expense of all other aspects of your YouTube channel.

Categories
DEEP DIVE ARTICLE HOW TO MAKE MONEY ONLINE TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

Top 5 Ways to Monetise Your YouTube Channel in 2021

“There are more ways than one to skin a cat.”

It’s a horrible old saying that dates to 1840, but there is another part to the saying that you don’t hear too often —

“so are there more ways than one of digging for money.”

This advice applies to YouTube monetisation too.

There are plenty of ways to make money from your YouTube channel apart from the obvious one of shared ad revenue from the YouTube Partner Program.

This post covers the latest rules for the YouTube Partner Program and offers a high-level overview of some alternative ways you can monetize a YouTube channel in 2021.

Here we go.

How Do I Make Money With the YouTube Partner Program?

The best way to approach making money on YouTube is to create a number of income streams. That way, if one bites the dust you still have others to fall back on.

But one method you should always aim to qualify for is the YouTube Partner Program itself. The YouTube Partner Program is where you earn a share of the advertising revenue YouTube makes from showing the short ads before, during, and at the end of videos.

There are five criteria to qualify, you must ―

  1. Have over 1000 channel subscribers.
  2. Have over 4000 hours of watch time in the last 12 months.
  3. Have registered for a Google AdSense account.
  4. Be in compliance with the content rules that YouTube sets.
  5. Be over 18 years of age (ideally).

Having 1000 channel subscribers is self-explanatory. It perhaps seems like a tough ask when you start, but once you begin to regularly put out good content, your sub-numbers can soon stack up.

4000 hours of watchtime relates to the videos that you’ve uploaded to your channel and had watched by others. Say you upload a 10-minute video and 100 people watch all of it, then you have 1000 minutes of watchtime. Don’t delete any of your videos when you start ― any video you remove also erases it’s watchtime from your account.

To register for a Google AdSense account you have to be at least 18 years old. Though if you are under 18 it may be technically possible to link the AdSense account of a parent to your YouTube channel.

Once you’ve met the criteria for the YouTube Partner Program, you still need to apply as It’s not something that happens automatically. Once you’ve applied you may need to wait as much as 30 days for a response as your account has to undergo a human review.

How much can you expect to earn?

According to Intuit, YouTubers, on average, earn $4 per 1000 video views. So to make $100 a day, you’d need to get around 25,000 video views a day.

YouTube doesn’t have to grant you monetisation, though, even if you meet all the criteria. It’s their platform and their rules. So if you do get rejected, or the YouTube Partner Program isn’t available in your country, there are still plenty of ways you can make money from the platform.

Let’s take a look at a few.

How Do I Make Money on YouTube With Endorsements?

Influencing is not a new thing. Businesses have paid prominent people money to promote their products for over a hundred years.

Once you’ve built up an audience for your channel in a niche that lends itself to promoting a product, you can register with an agency like Upfluence. Upfluence matches businesses with content creators to create influencing opportunities.

You don’t have to have a massive following to take advantage of influencing opportunities. But the amount you’re paid will depend on the size of your audience.

YouTube has launched an influencer hub too, called BrandConnect. Eligibility is restricted at the moment to creators located in the USA with over 25,000 channel subscribers.

It’s a fairly new venture for YouTube, so they may roll it out to new locations and relax entry conditions as time moves on.

Of course, you’re free to set up your own influencing opportunities by proactively approaching businesses yourself. Just make sure you have a large enough audience in a niche that plays well with your target company.

How much can you expect to earn?

Top earners can make thousands of dollars per video. But the cash you earn will depend on the size of your audience and the market niche you serve.

Starting with a small channel will likely mean that you only receive a free sample of the product you are endorsing, like a protein shake or an eyeliner for example.

How Do I Make Money on YouTube with Patreon?

You can make money with crowdfunding on YouTube, where you ask people to send you money directly. This is a method best left for those raising money for a good cause. And it could lead to a fraud claim if you aren’t transparent with what the requested money will be used for.

Much better, and a step away from crowdfunding, is using a service like Patreon.

Patreon allows you to create a page where you can distribute additional content not uploaded to your YouTube channel. You tap your fans for a small recurring monthly payment in exchange for access to exclusive content.

You can set several levels of subscription, and save you juiciest content for your top-level subscribers.

Patreon is like having your own pay-TV channel, and you have full control over the content and the schedule.

If you don’t want to commit to the extra workload that running a Patreon account brings on top of an already busy filming calendar for YouTube, consider using the Patreon pay per content model instead.

This lets you charge people to see bonus content as and when you make it.

How much can you expect to earn?

Patreon subscription prices charged by people are usually around the $4-$5 per month mark. This price is small enough for many people not to have to think too deeply about signing up.

And the recurring monthly payments are likely to continue, at least for a while, as many are too lazy to cancel them!

If you can get 1000 patrons paying you an average of $4 per month, then you have an income that most could live on.

Here’s an example from a small YouTuber with an associate Patreon account. Nate Maingard is a singer-songwriter with a little over 5K subscribers. Nate’s Patreon has three levels of subscription priced from around $5 up to about $100 for his biggest fans.

If you look at his Patreon page it says that he has 151 patrons, at the time of writing. You can’t see how that breaks down across the various levels, but he is making a minimum of $500 per month.

How Do I Make Money on YouTube with Merchandise?

You can sell products branded with your logo or channel identity and sell them on YouTube via a merch shelf.

YouTube says ‘The merch shelf allows eligible creators to showcase their official branded merchandise on YouTube. The shelf appears on the video page of eligible channels, but may not be shown on all video pages.’

To access the YouTube merch program, your channel needs 10,000 subscribers and not make content primarily aimed at kids. Your merch should also be visually appealing and desirable enough for your fans to want to buy it.

Some of the items that are best for branding and selling are everyday items that people are likely to make use of. Baseball caps, reusable water bottles, and mugs are all popular choices and cheap enough for an impulse buy.

Make sure that your designs are of good quality, so hire a designer from Fiverr or Upwork if need be.

You don’t need to buy and stock your merch products. You can sign up with a print-on-demand service that can sync with your YouTube merch shelf. When you get an order, it’s automatically sent to the print-on-demand provider who makes the product and ships it directly to the customer.

If you’re in the UK then Printful has a good service. For those elsewhere, YouTube has a page of recommended retailers.

How much can I expect to earn?

This is difficult to approximate. It all depends on your fans, the design, and how much you promote them in your videos. This Sellfy calculator tries to give you a rough idea. Sellfy reckons that 10,000 monthly video views could earn you between $340 and $1,740 from merch sales.

How Do I Make Money on YouTube with Affiliate Sales?

An excellent way to earn extra money from your YouTube channel is by seeking out affiliate sales.

This is where you act as a middle-man between a product seller and buyer. Basically, you are saying to your audience; ‘hey, I think [this product] is really good, you should go buy it’.

When someone buys a product that you recommended, and they followed a special link that identifies you as the referrer, then you earn a percentage commission on the deal.

The great thing about affiliate sales is that earnings are open-ended ― the sky’s the limit.

You can earn a few dollars when someone buys a cheap item on your recommendation. But you can earn hundreds of dollars per sale for more expensive things like premium training courses.

The easiest way to start making affiliate income on YouTube is by signing up with the Amazon Associate program.

You can pick a few products and highlight them in a video. Then, you link to the item using your affiliate link in the video details section underneath.

When a viewer follows the link and buys it you earn a commission. You also earn a commission if they buy something else too ―all sales are attributed to your referral link for that one shopping cart.

I include links to various products that I genuinely recommend in the video description for each one I upload.

How much can I expect to earn?

It’s impossible to say. How long is a piece of string? But you can easily make a living from affiliate sales only on YouTube, as long as you have enough video views.

Conclusion

Like the poor skinned cat I mentioned at the top of this post ― there are many ways to make money on YouTube.

But, your first focus should always be on growing your subscriber count and adding to your video stockpile. Like many things in life, there is a natural order to things on YouTube. One study from 2018 showed that 3% of YouTube channels had 90% of the total views.

To become a money-making powerhouse on YouTube, aim to be a 3-percenter. After that, you have as many ways as you want to earn money from YouTube in 2021 and beyond.