Becoming a successful YouTube star has become the dream of one in three children aged six to 17 in the UK.
According to Bloomberg, British children are now more interested in YouTube stardom than they are in becoming doctors. But according to a new report in Germany, the chances of making it on the video platform are low.
About 97% of YouTubers will never make enough money to survive, or even surpass the US poverty line. Of all the channels out there, just 3% can generate more than $16,800 a year in revenue. And the view rates of the minor channels is getting progressively worse.
According to the study, which was undertaken by Mathias Bartl at Offenburg University of Applied Sciences in Germany, the viewing numbers of the 97% have dropped almost five times in the past 10 years.
In 2006, the small channels (the 97%) made up about just under 50% of the total views on YouTube. In 2016 - the most up to date figures in the study - the 97% channels drew just under 10% of YouTube's total views. Apart from a dip in 2009 and 2010, the viewership of the smaller channels has consistently dropped in the shadow of the 3%.
Bigger channels can also score lucrative sponsorship deals to promote products during their videos. Pay rates on YouTube vary widely according to Harry Hugo of Goat Agency. "I've seen as low as 35c per 1000 views and work with some YouTubers who can earn $5 per 1000," he told Bloomberg.
Summer in the City (a British YouTube convention) founder Tom Burns said he balked when his cousin told him his plans to abandon college for YouTube. "I almost flipped out, because I was like, 'No, that's the dumbest thing you can say.' You can't guarantee you'll be able to it as a job."