When I speak to indie filmmakers, there’s always a lot of confusion about the potential money that can be earned by posting shorts on the Internet, especially by posting them onto YouTube. An article in last month’s Wall Street Journal shed some much needed light on the situation. The article said that those who join YouTube’s Partner Program receive between $1,500 and $4,500(US) for every million video views. The wide variance in price is attributed to the country and platform where the video is viewed.
According to YouTube, they had 30,000 partners in 2011, up from 20,000 in 2010. “Several hundred” of those partners made more than $100,000, which is an 80% increase from the “couple of hundred” partners who achieved the six-figure earnings mark in 2010. Using that data, I think it would be fair to guess that they have at least 350 people earning six-figures, or slightly over 1% of their YouTube Partners.