From Clicks to Cash: How Much Money Can You Make on YouTube?


Traditionally, stars are born on television or in the movies, but in more recent years, YouTube has been behind the making of many celebrities. These “YouTubers” have loyal followings and millions of subscribers. A glance at any of PewDiePie‘s (the top YouTuber in the world) videos will show that millions of people are watching his videos. This begs the question, do YouTube stars gain profit from their videos? If so, how?

The answer lies in a mathematical algorithm that varies from YouTuber to YouTuber. Every 1,000 views garners a custom amount known as an RPM (rate per mille). The RPM is based on a variety of factors including the number of subscribers, views, and even the time of year. Even the most popular YouTube star can have an RPM of $10, which translates to a unit rate of one cent per view.


smosh sddefault


Smosh, are some of the biggest YouTube stars in the world. After YouTube’s cut, they earned an estimated $448k-$6 Million from their nearly 28 million subscribers and 4.6 billion views. The comedy duo consisting of YouTube veterans Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla, became well-known for their parody videos of games and pop culture. Rumor has it, they have plans  to air their own comedy show on television. (via BusinessInsider)




Some media may contain mature content. Discretion is advised when viewing with students.

Lesson Plan

Learning Objective: This lesson will have students write and solve multi-step equations by exploring how YouTubers make money. Students will gain a deeper understanding of variable reasoning within a real word pop culture context.

Log in to view the full Lesson Plan.

View the Lesson Assignment

Back to NuSkool
Lesson tags: Eighth, Featured, Internet Celebrities, Math, Pop Culture, Seventh, Sixth, Social Networking

Zoe Rose Mandel

Zoe Rose Mandel Zoe is a Special Ed Math Teaching Fellow for the NYCDOE, along with previous experiences in policy and research. Zoe specializes in writing mathematical raps that break down challenging concepts into student friendly terms. These raps enhance the comprehension for many different types of learners, especially those who are auditory. Recently, Zoe received an MS in Education from St. John’s University, with a thesis on special education policy. Zoe also spent some time on the hill as an intern for the US House of Representatives, a social media intern for Obama for America, and as a legal intern for the ACLU of Georgia.