Your opinion of Dhinchak Pooja may not matter because she’s made tonnes of money doing what she clearly seems to enjoy. So did Japan’s DJ Piko-Taro with Pen Pineapple Apple Pen, and the uncrowned king of cringe-pop Taher Shah with Eye to Eye (2013), and Angel ( 2016).
Counting the dollars
At the time of going to print, Dhinchak Pooja’s Selfie Maine… had over 13.9 million views. YouTube gives content creators in India around $0.50 (Rs 32) to $1 (Rs 64) CPM (cost per thousand ad views). Experts estimate that she may have earned Rs 4.17 lakh to Rs 8.35 lakh through YouTube’s ad revenue share in three weeks.
Industry experts say the coming months will be more exciting, as Facebook plans to introduce a similar payment model for content creators. Currently in beta phase, Facebook’s ad revenue sharing percentage is expected to be similar or even higher.
The strategy you need
Making money online isn’t so simple. Artistes need to build a large following to make substantial revenues. On YouTube, you need a minimum of half a million views to attract advertising. “Even then, you will only be paid after you earn $100 in ad revenue,” says Lavin Punjani, CEO and co-founder, mCanvas, a mobile story telling platform.
YouTube does not have a standard revenue sharing rate. Indian content creators also earn lesser than their counterparts in western countries. A youtuber in the US earns between $4 CPM (per 1,000 views), and $10 CPM.
Punjabi says that these artistes, however, have a real chance of monetising offline. “Global brand tie-ups with social media influencers is worth $1 billion (Rs 100 crore). Tie-ups with brands and events pay well. For instance, comedians make little money through videos on YouTube. Most of their money is made from attending events or commenting and tweeting on brands and movies.”
Suveer Bajaj, co-founder of the digital agency FoxyMoron, agrees. “Online platforms do not offer great monetisation potential for content creators, especially in India. But, by cashing in on their online popularity, they can earn a lot more through brand tie-ups.”
To get brands to notice and pay you, Bajaj says you need a consistent track record. “Few brands will want to latch on to the people behind popular, but one-off videos. Brands will show serious interest only when Dhinchak Pooja has a second or a third hit.” Nevermind the ‘cringe-factor’, Bajaj thinks such tie-ups may offer a short burst effect but they can give the brand good mileage for the money they spend.
Bloggers have already tasted success, says Bajaj. “It’s now an established business model where agencies or brands have to pay these influencers to write about them.
Some bloggers and social media influencers charge extra for making an appearance at events besides being paid for writing about your brand,” he says.
Crunching the numbers
One can roughly earn $0.80 (Rs 52) per 1,000 views from banner ads, or $5-$8 (Rs 320-Rs 514) per 1,000 views on a video monetised by rollout ads.
A video with 10 lakh views monetised by rollout ads earns $5,000-$8,000. Of this, YouTube/Google shares 45 per cent with the content creator.
Dipti Doshi, Lecturer, Market Research, Mumbai University and co-founder, Idea hub, a media house.
This article first appeared in DNA India and can be read here.