How much money I have made with my Lego YouTube channel? Let’s go through the YouTube Analytics. Whether you’re a colleague or an aspiring Youtuber, you may find this information valuable.
I started Brick Experiment Channel in December 2017 and got accepted to YouTube Partner Program in June 2018. Now, October 2022, the total earnings are 664 thousand USD. That is 12500 USD per month. This is the money Google sends to my bank account, from which I pay taxes.
Brick Experiment Channel total: subscribers: 2.9 million video views: 705 million uploads: 65 total earnings: 664 000 USD avg earnings per month: 12 500 USD RPM: 0.94 Playback-based CPM: 3.20
A screenshot from YouTube Analytics.
An average video: view count: 10.8 million video length: 8 minutes audience retention: 39% impressions click-through rate: 5.9% rating: 96.9% likes: 138000 comments: 4400 shares: 20400 ad revenue: 10200 USD
Key numbers for my 20 most popular videos.
All YouTube earnings are from YouTube ads (and a small portion from YouTube Premium). I have never used Super Chat donations or any other monetization features. All ad types are enabled in video settings.
Outside YouTube, my revenue sources are small. I receive little amounts (less than 5% of total earnings) from Beyond The Brick, because they post my videos on Facebook. Another minuscule revenue stream is starting to come from BuildaMOC, because they sell a Lego kit I designed. I have never done sponsorship, affiliate links, received donations, or anything else.
Total expenses are 30400 USD (5% of earnings). That includes Lego parts (7600 USD) and other stuff like film equipment (22800 USD). Such a low expense comes from having a lean video production. I do everything myself: design Lego builds, film, edit, buy parts, do the accounting. No salary is paid to external people. I don’t belong to an MCN.
Total work time is roughly 6500 hours (100 hours per video). That makes my hourly rate 90 USD/hour.
How much “successful” Lego channels earn?
I analyzed over 100 Lego channels with more than 10k subs. I consider those creators successful. On average, they are 9 years old channels, they have 470k subs, 504 uploads, and 208 million views. They release one video per week that gets 410k views. If they have the same RPM as my channel, they earn 1800 USD of ad revenue per month for their efforts. Not bad, in my opinion.
Red marker is my channel.
But don’t think filming Lego will guarantee you high earnings. There are many, many creators who release Lego videos continuously and have no subs and get no views. Too many. Hundreds, maybe thousands of such creators. It is kind of heartbreaking to see people put so much time and effort for (supposedly) nothing.
My viewership consists of mostly middle-aged males. Top countries are United States, India and Russia.
How viewers find my videos
Most of the views (> 90%) come from YouTube homepage (browse features) and video suggestions.
Externally comes very little amount of traffic (0.5%). Mostly from Google search and Reddit /r/Videos.
Popular search terms leading to my content are Lego related.
Video suggestions come mostly from my own videos.
Little traffic (1.0%) from playlists also.
RPM is 0.94 on average. It has stayed about the same for the last 5 years.
CPM (and RPM) vary a lot between countries. When I see my RPM drop suddenly, it is usually because my videos are being watched a lot in India.
My most popular video
Making Lego Car CLIMB Obstacles is my most popular video with 81 million views. Audience retention is 70% at 30 second mark.
Observations from Excel graphs
I pulled data out of YouTube Analytics and crunched it in Excel. The sample size is small, only 65 videos in 5 years, so the data is noisy.
RPM seasonality. As you see, more ad revenue comes at the end of the year, close to Christmas. When the year changes, the rate drops suddenly.
Longer videos usually earn more money per view.
The lifetime of my videos is surprisingly long. Many are still watched a year after release.
Many key figures drop after release. I think the reason is that my fans watch new videos first, then later comes other random people.
Popular videos get disliked more.
People subscribe more likely if they watch video for a long time.
You would expect high click-through rate to lead to high view count. But correlation looks to be non-existing or slightly to the opposite. I think the reason is with causality going the other direction. When a video is shown to a large audience (high view count), those viewers are not Lego fans or technology enthusiasts, so they won’t click the thumbnail so often.
Any comments, questions?