Streaming video games has, for some, not only become a road to celebrity, but also an incredibly lucrative career. Last week, Fortnite streamer Ninja got offered $6 million of dollars stream on Mixer. According to a new study, while other streamers make the jump to new platforms, PewDiePie still reigns supreme on YouTube.
The study broke down all of the ways PewDiePie earns money, from merchandising to advertising, and crunched the numbers to find that not only does he outperform other YouTubers in both categories, he does so by a large margin.
First up, merchandise revenue. Purple Moon, the company that conducted the study, makes its estimates by taking the average number of views on YouTube per streamer and comparing it to the streamer’s merchandise costs. Aside from outliers, like a strange drawing of Sonic the Hedgehog, PewDiePie apparently has a lot of fans who like to like to show off their PewDie-Pride. The study estimates that, each month, PewDiePie takes home nearly $7 million dollars in merchandise sales.
But that doesn’t account for all of the streamer’s revenue. Apart from teaching police officers the art of comedy, PewDiePie’s videos also help sell stuff in the form of paid advertising. Every time someone watches a YouTube video and sees an ad, part of the money that the advertiser paid YouTube to show the ad goes into the pocket of the person who runs the channel. YouTube calculates this pay out using a CPM model.
For those who haven’t taken a marketing class, the CPM model pays streamers a certain amount of money for every 1,000 impressions an ad earns on one of their channels. PewDie Pie’s videos average over 544 million view each month. The folks who conducted the study don’t know exactly how much the streamer makes per thousand impressions, but using knowledge they have about other streamers near his level, they put that number between $1-3. By that logic, PewDiePie most likely makes between $1.1 and $1.8 million in ad revenue each month.
That brings his grand total to about $8.5 million per month. According to PRWeek, The New York Times put the streamer at $15.5 million for the whole of last year. If the new numbers are correct, then PewDiePie is on track to make a whole lot more this year. Despite calls for his ban from YouTube earlier this year, PewDiePie’s viewership has grown.
PewDiePie is one of the longest running streamers out there and it’s interesting to see that his longevity has only proved more fruitful for him despite the growing competition in the last few years. The next highest streamer on the list makes only less than half of PewDiePie's revenue.