Can Caribbean Creatives Make Money on YouTube?
The reality for regional Youtubers who want to make money on the platform
Ask any child under the age of 15 what they want to be when they get older and you are sure to hear: YouTuber. The rise of rich Youtubers has rapidly increased in the last 5-10 years. However, making money on YouTube is a complicated process, even more so when you live outside of the US.
That being said let’s take a deep dive and learn about the reality of making money on YouTube in the Caribbean.
1. How do Youtubers make money on the platform?
Youtubers, regardless of country, make money through the YouTube platform in a variety of ways. Firstly, they must pass the following criteria:
· 4000 watch hours in the previous 12 months
· 1000 subscribers
· An AdSense Account
The money is generated and given through AdSense and being in the YouTube Partnership Programme. AdSense works:
“by matching ads to your site based on your content and visitors. The ads are created and paid for by advertisers who want to promote their products. Since these advertisers pay different prices for different ads, the amount you earn will vary.”
The YouTube Partnership Programme is also a system in place to help creators get paid, YouTube says the program:
"gives creators greater access to YouTube resources and features like direct access to our Creator Support team. It also enables revenue-sharing from ads being served on your content."
2. Obstacles to making money on YouTube
Youtubers used to make a lot more money pre the “Adpocalypse” in 2017. This shift occurred when marketers realized that their ads were being run next to hate speech and terrorism videos, which then prompted YouTube to put more policies in place on what videos were “advertiser-friendly”.
This widely affected Youtubers across the world as their ad revenue dropped significantly. Some of the criteria now include videos that do not have: inappropriate language, controversial issues and more.
Another obstacle is that not all countries are a part of the YouTube Partner Programme, for example, out of all the English-Speaking Caribbean only the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, the US Virgin Islands and Turks & Caicos are listed.
What is the reality of making money on YouTube in the Caribbean?
The reality for Caribbean creators and many Youtubers outside of the US & Europe is that there are a few obstacles. Firstly, the CPM rates (the cost an advertiser pays for one thousand views or impressions of an advertisement) outside of the US aren't great. Even Youtubers in India, which arguably has one of the largest audiences, make a lot less than US content creators. Many believe that this is due to factors that affect the CPM rate, such as:
- Video watch time
- Audience & Demographics
- Number of Advertisers in relation to the content
Trinidadian content creator Devon Scott said in a YouTube video that after 2 years of making content he made approximately US$119.14.
On top of this, Youtube has recently announced that creators will soon have taxes deducted from their earnings to comply with the US Internal Revenue Code.
The reality for many Youtube creators, both in but especially outside the US is that Youtube can't be relied on for regular income. Many Caribbean creators have to find other streams of income, whether that be merchandise, affiliate/influencer marketing or sponsored videos.
The harsh reality of Youtube in the Caribbean is: do it because you love it but don't expect to be making a lot of money from it.