Title: How do YouTubers make money? A lesson learned from the most subscribed YouTuber channels

Authors: Bo Han

Addresses: College of Business, Texas A&M University-Commerce, 2600 S Neal, Commerce, Texas, 75429, USA

Abstract: How to make money is getting an increasing interest from YouTubers. This study develops a new model to investigate how factors such as the number of views of a YouTuber's videos, the number of subscriptions to a YouTuber's channel, the after-view comment rate and the after-view attitude expression rate of a YouTuber's video, and the age of a YouTuber's channel can influence the YouTuber's yearly revenues. Data of 57 most subscribed YouTuber channels were collected. The data analysis shows that the number of views, the after-view comment rate, and the after-view attitude expression rate all have significant positive effects on a YouTuber's yearly revenues; however, the number of subscriptions to a YouTuber's channel does not have a significant effect on his/her yearly revenues. In addition, a YouTuber's yearly revenues decrease as his/her channel gets older. This study does not only contribute a new YouTube monetisation model to the video sharing research community, but also provides several practical implications to entrepreneurial YouTubers.

Keywords: YouTube; YouTuber; monetisation; video sharing; social media; business value.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBIS.2020.104807

International Journal of Business Information Systems, 2020 Vol.33 No.1, pp.132 - 143

Received: 14 Aug 2017
Accepted: 31 Mar 2018

Published online: 30 Jan 2020 *

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