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Breaking Down the Different YouTube Monetization Options: Which is Right for You?

YouTube is the largest video-sharing platform in the world, with over two billion logged-in monthly users. It continues to grow, with more people turning to YouTube for entertainment, education, and even news. With its tremendous reach, YouTube offers many monetization options for content creators to benefit from their hard work. However, not all monetization options may be suitable for everyone. In this article, we will break down the different YouTube monetization options and help you choose which is right for you.


Ads are the most straightforward monetization option on YouTube. Advertisers can place ads on your videos, and you get a share of the revenue generated from those ads. You don’t need to do anything to enable ads on your channel, but you need to meet specific eligibility criteria to qualify for monetization. YouTube requires at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the last twelve months. Once you meet the criteria, you can enable monetization on your videos and start earning from ads.

The advantage of ads is that they’re passive income. You don’t need to sell anything or make any other effort to make money. However, the earning potential is limited, and the ad revenue share is relatively low. You also don’t have control over the type of ads displayed on your videos, and some audiences may find certain ads inappropriate or annoying.


Sponsorships are a popular monetization option for content creators with a loyal following. A sponsor pays you to promote their products or services to your audience. Sponsorships could be in the form of a shoutout, product placement, or a dedicated video. Unlike ads, with sponsorships, you have control over the content, and you can pick the sponsor that aligns with your brand and values.

The advantage of sponsorships is that they can generate significant income, especially if you have a large following. However, you need to be transparent with your audience and disclose that you’re promoting a product or service. It can also be a challenge to find sponsors that align with your brand and values.


Merchandising is a monetization option where you sell branded products to your audience. You can sell t-shirts, mugs, hats, or any other item that your followers would be interested in buying. You can set up a storefront on your channel or integrate with third-party platforms like Teespring or Redbubble.

The advantage of merchandising is that you have control over the products and can tailor them to your audience’s interests. You can also generate significant income if your followers are willing to buy your products. However, you need to invest in designing, producing, and shipping the products, which can be a significant upfront cost. You also need to have a loyal following that’s willing to buy your merchandise.


Memberships allow your fans to support you by paying a recurring monthly fee. In exchange, they get access to exclusive content, merchandise, and other perks. To qualify for memberships, you need at least 30,000 subscribers.

The advantage of memberships is that you have a guaranteed income stream and can build a community around your content. You also have direct contact with your audience and can tailor your content to their interests. However, memberships only work if you have a loyal following that’s willing to pay for your content. You also need to be able to provide exclusive content that justifies the cost of membership.


YouTube offers multiple monetization options, and the right one for you depends on your content, audience, and goals. Ads are the most straightforward option, but the earning potential is limited. Sponsorships and merchandise can generate significant income, but they require more effort. Memberships provide a guaranteed income stream, but they only work if you have a loyal following. Whichever option you choose, always prioritize your audience’s interests and provide value in exchange for their support.

By Rodrigo