My Youtube Video Got 500k Views. Here's What Happened...

Earlier this year I had a Youtube video garner over 500,000 views over the course of a few months. It was a very interesting experience following the analytics, as well as seeing the number of emails, job offers, and comments I received throughout the experience. In this piece I’m going to take a closer look at the analytics, as well as talk about some of the other interesting things that happened as a result of the popularity of this video.

The Video

First, let me give you some context. My Youtube channel focuses on video editing and motion graphics. More specifically, I teach viewers how to use Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects.

This particular video was all about how to use Google’s new Earth Studio application, a web-based animation tool that allows users to easily animate and export Google Earth animations. In the tutorial I show how to work with 3D tracking data between Earth Studio and Adobe After Effects. You can check it out here—

Now let’s have a closer look at the analytics.

Views

This video did quite well the first day I published it, reaching 653 viewers. Soon after it was embedded in a blog which helped give it a boost. During the second week it quickly ramped up, gaining 1,000 to 2,000 views every hour until peaking out on February 20th with 40,501 views in one single day.

At some point during this second week it got picked up in Youtube’s algorithm, being recommended to anyone and everyone. How and why was it recommended to so many people? Well, I’m not entirely sure, and several comments lead to even more confusion.

 
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Youtube’s FUNNEL does give me some additional detail regarding the percentage of Youtube recommending the video, which currently sits at 93%.

 
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Subscribers

It’s amazing what one popular video can do for your channel. When I uploaded this particular piece on February 5th, 2019, my subscriber count was sitting somewhere around 7,700. Just one month later, that number had nearly doubled. Now it’s sitting at over three times that amount.

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One very cool outcome of this boost in subscribers was gaining access to the Youtube Space in Paris. What’s a Youtube Space, you ask?

Well, once any Youtuber passes 10,000 subscribers, they can apply to use Youtube’s various studio spaces around the world. These facilities offer top of the line production resources, as well as host workshops and events for their local creator communities. In fact, the video that supplements this article was shot at Youtube Space Paris.

Adsense Revenue

If you’ve ever heard that you make $1 for every 1,000 views, this seems to be exactly the case for my video. For example, with 505,000 views this piece has earned $505 dollars. This is with display ads, overlay ads, sponsored cards, and skippable video ads running before the video.

When the video peaked out in views on February 20th, I made $41.19. Now it’s averaging around $1/day. Good luck to all of you aspiring Youtubers that hope to make a living off of adsense...

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Jobs, Sponsorships and a Free Hat

While the small revenue was a bit depressing, it was a pleasant surprise to see all of the interesting offers that came my way. Soon after the algorithm launched the video into recommended land, I received two sponsorship offers, four freelance offers, as well as a request for private tutoring.

The most exciting email, however, was the one from the Google Earth Studio team. Turns out the Product Manager enjoyed my video and wanted to have a quick video chat to find out what I liked and disliked about Earth Studio. I was hoping to land a job at Google with the call, but instead they sent me a Google Earth Studio hat. Google, I’m still available if you’re interested...

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Comments

What’s a Youtube video without the haters and trolls? And trust me, when you get over 500,000 views you receive a good dose of these. Since I was making a map of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, many viewers reminded me that I said the word Arc de Triomphe far too much.

I also happened to mention that you should place graphic elements “flat” on the surface of the earth. This lead to the Flat Earth community making an appearance.

Lessons Learned

Youtube is a rough game. With Google constantly changing up the algorithms, it can be difficult to understand why a video is successful or not. You can spend hours or even days working on a video, only to have it lost in a sea of other content. Other times you’ll upload something with little to no preparation that ends up doing extremely well.

The real takeaway here is that no matter the size of your channel, it’s pretty amazing what can come out of just one popular Youtube video. The bump in subscribers and adsense revenue is always nice, but the real value is in the marketing. In my case, the freelance offers, sponsorship deals and networking opportunities are certainly worth much more than $1 for every thousand views.

And hey, now I have a limited edition Google Earth Studio hat.