With YouTube Premium (creators receive 55% of my subscription fee) how much of a video must I watch for the creator to be paid? If just one second is watched are they paid? (SuperDuper Top-Secret Side-Project that I promise is tangentially related to IF.)

So, the title says it all. Typically, if you pay the $13.99/month for a YouTube premium subscription, 45% of that goes to Google and 55% of that, roughly $7.69, gets split among the creators of the videos you watch that month.

While I’m not fond of the $6.30 sacrificed to YouTube to accomplish this, it tends to be a better deal for the creators than Ad revenue.

Generally speaking it takes you viewing YouTubers’ videos 1,000 times to generate roughly $1 of ad revenue for them (assuming you don’t have adblocker on). These rates vary a bit based on topic area, financial bros will make more than gaming channels, but the average sits at roughly a tenth of a penny per view.

As mentioned, creators get 55% of what you spent, currently $7.69. That means as long as you are watching less than 7,690 videos a month, the YouTubers you like are benefiting more from you being subscribed to YouTube Premium than watching the same videos with ads, even if you actually watch the ads instead of blocking or skipping them. Safe to say, virtually nobody is watching more than 7,690 videos a month (that’s well over 250 a day).

Having worked this out a while back, my wife and I figured we can’t afford to join everyone’s patreon, even at $1/month. They add up. So, paying for premium is the best way we can support the creators we like. It also hands $6.30/month to Google, but what can you do?

The details I can’t find via search is whether this is broken down by simple view counts, regardless of how much you watched, or if it’s done by view time, meaning watching only one second of a video would potentially pay something but not much, or if there’s a time or percentage threshold of time watched of a video that must be passed by a YouTube Premium subscriber for the creator to receive a payout.

I know this seems like a potentially stupid question, but I promise you it is not. I might end up with several hundred 1-5 second views of different videos and I’d like to know if creators are seeing anything at all from that if I’m a YouTube Premium subscriber.

If there’s anyone who may already know, or someone with adequate search-fu to wade through the mountain of related but ultimately irrelevant content to find a definitive answer, I would greatly appreciate help figuring this out.



I feel like I may have overdone it with the title. My bad.


Is this better than picking some of the creators you like and supporting them on Patreon? Not everybody makes (monetized) Youtube videos, so it’s a subset either way.

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I think it depends on the individual. Most of the content I listen to is monetized and the creators are clearly trying to make a living with it. Also, I watch (in reality, 95% listen while doing other things) to a very wide variety of creators all doing worthwhile work in their own way. If I were to convert that $13.99 YouTube Premium subscription into $1/month Patreon subscriptions, I’d have to choose 14 creators.

I know this would be plenty for some people, but I would have to freeze out roughly three quarters of the people I’d like to support. Choosing who gets nothing is not a fun decision. If money weren’t an option, I’d spend at least $60/month on Patreon subscriptions to support various creators. Fiscal reality gets in the way of that.

With that said, I have about 200 subscriptions, so I’m already picking some of the creators I like. Anecdotally, I know I’ve encountered plenty of folks with several hundred subscriptions, some over 1000.

I receive alot of added value to my life due to these creators, and I don’t have enough to give what I feel would be the bare minimum back, so I’d rather spread what I can equitably than pick and choose.

Ironically, this question isn’t really about my personal habits or wishes, and, in fact, I haven’t paid for any subscriptions at all since roughly February of this year.

I am working on a project that would regrettably require the use of YouTube Premium by the end user to function correctly (sadly, can’t be helped). This project has the potential to cause hundreds, thousands, or perhaps far far more views amounting to 1-5 second clips of various videos by various creators. I’m trying to determine what the impact would be on these creators. I’d say more about the nature of the project, but that relates back to the SuperDuper Top-Secret part.


At first glance I was sure this was spam. I’m glad it wasn’t. :slight_smile:


I found the anwser in the German language YT forum: If the same person watches a video often or if it is viewed only for some seconds, there is no money for the creator.

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I’m going to try a different track here.

Okay, so imagine if I were to pay my monthly subscription fee and then I watched fifty hours of combined video that month.

If I watched a single hour long video once, but then watched 30 second clips of 5,880 longer videos (the other forty-nine hours worth of watch time), ostensibly that first video only received two percent of my total watch time. Would they receive one hundred percent of the payout anyway?

Also another concern that someone wiser than I pointed out.

The longer someone stays on a video, the more the YouTube algorithm recognizes a video as quality content. Paid or not, could having many thousands of extra views of only a fragment of their video alter this stat, causing YouTube to recommend this video less to viewers of all types in general, negatively impacting their overall reach and total income, even if all of these shorter views came from YouTube Premium subscribers and also resulted in a payout?

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Is that for ad-revnue? All the answers I’ve found are ambiguous if this is for all income streams or specifically for ad-revenue.

Not only for ads, but for premium shares, too.

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Thank you! Would you mind sharing a link to the post? I’d really appreciate it and I don’t mind it being in German. (I have a partner in this, and being able to point to a source will assist in broaching this topic.)

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Sorry, I can’t reconstruct the steps/clicks I made. The YT help site is a big, chaotic beast.

All I can recall is:
Someone was complaining that he got the number of views (for his videos) reduced. And someone else answered what I wrote previously.


No worries. I appreciate the help regardless.

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Hah, I found it!!!



Thanks, Peter!

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Okay, so this is what I mean by ambiguity.

Here’s the main answer, which is the one I believe you are referring to because it’s the only one that makes the “few seconds” claim:

They further claim that these statements are entirely backed up by the contents of the link they shared.

The don’t seem to have any authority as a spokesman for YouTube and appear to be just another Google help user:

So, we have to refer to the link they shared, since we can’t take them at face value:

While the link mentions fraudulent views, like the same user playing the video on multiple devices or windows/tabs, it makes no mention, one way or another about watch time. If the user saw this stated somewhere, it wasn’t in the link they shared.

Furthermore, this is all just about viewcounts. Meaning whether a view is seen as a legitimate view of a video. Ostensibly, a view could still be seen as legitimate and have various possible payout possibilities in regards to YouTube Premium.

I’m not saying you’re right or wrong, but I’m looking for a smoking gun. What we’re thinking of doing could very substantially impact people. Heh, that might be the most hilariously and unintentionally understated thing I’ve said in some time. We don’t want to do a Facebook, moving quickly and breaking whatever may be in our way. The world has too much of that. So, we really need an explicit answer, otherwise the unintentional impacts could be… regrettable.

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The fact that you can’t find one strongly indicates that Google obfuscates all these policies. Their standards for counting “legitimate youtube views” are undocumented and probably change constantly behind the scenes.

That’s not surprising. This is an anti-cheating system. If you document how it works, you just get more people cheating in ways that skirt the letter of your rules.


I’m just trying to determine if this is indeed the case. I’d be happy with a “this information is proprietary; please kindly fuck off.” I just don’t want to move forward if I know could have known for sure indirectly causing massive spikes of views of short clips from longer videos will harm the creators of those videos. I’m not trying to game the system, I’m trying to make sure I don’t leave a path of unintended victims behind me.

ETA: Because if it’s officially unclear, then what we are going to try will make it painfully clear very quickly which way this policy breaks. At which point we’ll know whether to continue or to cease and desist. However, I’d rather avoid that if there’s any way to know prior to pulling the trigger, especially if the end effect will be negative. Thus the inquiry.

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I wondered why they don’t make a clear document that defines the terms. The explanation that this is on purpose makes sense to me.

Interestingly I found even less info about it on the English YT help forum. The reason is probably that it’s done all by customers, not by YT officials (as you already wrote) so the answers simply vary. YT is Google so it’s a big, rich company with little competition. Not a company you can expect fairness from.

How about asking yourself on the YT help forum?

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I’ll probably try that next. I have quite a bit of respect for the broad knowledge base represented by the community here and I thought I might have built up enough good will that y’all might entertain the question without insisting on full disclosure first, a request I cannot, responsibly, comply with at this time.

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Thank you, everyone, for engaging with this question, unusual as it was.