For some, making these videos is a full-time job—with an income. Creators with a large enough viewership are making money from the advertisements that YouTube runs during their videos. But that revenue often isn’t enough for creators to support themselves and collaborators.
Stan Prokopenko, who runs the YouTube channel Proko
, creates videos that give artists advice on both technical and business aspects of artmaking. Some of his videos have racked up as many as two million views. “But that’s really, really rare,” Prokopenko explained. He notes that he makes around $2,000 dollars per month from YouTube ad revenue, which pays for one of his eight employees.
In order to supplement this income, Prokopenko and some of his peers sell premium content on their own websites. Viewers can buy more extensive tutorials that might, for example, dig deeper in specific drawing techniques. Other creators make accounts on Patreon, where subscribers can donate to artists and often receive content and other perks in return. Most videos on the YouTube platform, however, are free to watch. And some creators choose to exclusively make free content.