YouTube vs Facebook: Which Platform Pays Content Creators More?
YouTube and Facebook are two of the biggest platforms that content creators use to build an audience and generate income from their content.
But when it comes to making money, which one offers better earning potential?
There are some key differences between YouTube and Facebook’s monetization models and payout rates.
In most cases, YouTube offers higher revenue potential, especially for top creators producing longer videos.
However, for many small and medium creators, income on both platforms is comparable and quite low.
Let’s take a detailed look at how YouTubers and Facebook creators can monetize their content, and which platform typically pays more.
YouTube Offers Multiple Revenue Streams
One major advantage YouTube has over Facebook is the number of ways creators can make money from their channels and videos.
Here are some of the main monetization options on YouTube:
- YouTube AdSense: The primary way creators make money is by allowing Google to place ads on and around their videos. Ad rates depend on factors like views, audience, video length and viewer engagement.
- YouTube Premium Revenue Sharing: Creators can earn additional income when YouTube Premium subscribers view their content.
- Channel Memberships: Fans can pay a monthly fee to get special perks like custom emojis, exclusive videos and shoutouts.
- Super Chat & Super Stickers: Viewers can pay to highlight their comments and get attention from creators during live streams.
- Merchandising: Popular YouTubers often sell custom branded merchandise on their channel and sites.
- Sponsorships & Brand Deals: Large creators can earn big money from sponsorships and promoting brands in their videos.
This wide range of money-making options allows YouTubers to build diverse revenue streams and increase their earnings.
Facebook Offers Limited Monetization Options
Facebook has a much more restricted set of money-making opportunities for content creators:
- In-Stream Ad Revenue Sharing: Facebook shares ad revenue with creators from ads displayed before/during videos.
- Facebook Stars: Fans can purchase “Stars” and use them to tip creators during live videos on mobile.
- Branded Content & Sponsorships: Popular pages can partner with brands to promote products.
So while Facebook provides a platform to build an audience, monetization options are currently quite limited compared to YouTube.
Facebook Watch is slowly expanding, so additional money-making features may be added down the line.
YouTube Ad Rates Are Significantly Higher
The biggest factor that impacts creator earnings potential on these platforms is the ad revenue payout rates.
YouTube is well known for offering higher ad rates compared to competitors:
- Small and medium YouTubers typically earn anywhere from $1 – $10 per 1000 views from AdSense (depending on the Topic of the video, and viewer location).
- Top creators can make $5 – $30 per 1000 views (CPM) from YouTube ads – (depending on the Topic of the video, and viewer location).
According to reports, Facebook video ad rates average around $1 to $5 CPM (cost per 1000 views) as of Q2 2022.
So based on typical YouTube and Facebook CPMs, YouTubers tend to earn 2X to 5X more per 1000 views than Facebook creators.
Higher ad costs mean brands are willing to pay more to advertise on YouTube, leading to better revenue sharing rates for creators.
YouTube AdSense Earnings vs Facebook Creator Earnings
To demonstrate the difference in earning potential, here’s an estimate of how much two creators might make on each platform:
So, Considering and working with the Upper limit of the Average rates, we have this Example;
- 100,000 views per month
- $10 CPM
- $5 RPM
- $500 per month
Small Facebook Creator
- 100,000 views per month
- $5 CPM
- $2.5 RPM
- $250 per month
Based on these assumptions, the YouTuber would earn around 2X more than the Facebook creator for the same 100,000 monthly views.
NOTE: Both YouTube and Facebook take about 45% from the amount paid by advertisers (CPM), so the Publishers get 55% remaining (which is now referred to as RPM).
Sometimes, the amount you get paid won’t be up to 55%, because the viewers didn’t watch enough of the video.
Therefore, Watch-time is also very important in determining the amount earned as a Publisher.
Obviously this is a simplification, but it illustrates why YouTube’s ad rates result in much better earnings for most creators.
How Much Do Top Creators Earn?
Looking at top creators shows an even wider gap between YouTube and Facebook earnings:
- MrBeast, one of the highest paid YouTubers, earned $54 million in 2021 primarily from YouTube ad revenue.
- Facebook’s top creators likely earn in the high 6 figures or low 7 figures range based on follower count and sponsorships.
So while top YouTube creators are making tens of millions per year directly from the platform, Facebook’s monetization options don’t allow creators to earn at the same level.
It Depends on Content Type and Audience
While YouTube’s revenue potential is much higher overall, there are some factors that determine which platform may be better for certain creators:
- Video Length: YouTube tends to favor longer form videos over 10 minutes, while Facebook videos are often under 3 minutes. Short clips may earn more on Facebook.
- Content Format: YouTube focuses just on video, while Facebook also allows images, text posts, live streams and more. It offers more options.
- Audience Interests: Depending on a creator’s niche, the audience on Facebook or YouTube may be more interested and engaged with their content.
- Monetization Strategy: YouTube offers more ways to diversify, while Facebook relies mainly on ad revenue. Creators who prefer memberships or selling merchandise may prefer YouTube.
So while YouTube monetization rates are higher on average, creators should evaluate platforms based on their niche, content style and audience to pick the best option.
Revenue Comparison for Small and Medium Creators
For most small to medium sized creators (under 1 million subscribers on YouTube or 100K page followers on Facebook), the earning potential on both platforms is quite comparable.
Some revenue estimates for small and mid-size creators:
- YouTube revenue per 1,000 views: $0.10 to $0.30
- Facebook revenue per 1,000 views: $0.97 (on average)
So while YouTube CPM rates are higher, most creators under 100K subscribers make less than $100 per month on YouTube.
Smaller Facebook creators likely earn around the same amount or less.
Without a massive audience, earnings directly from the platforms are quite minimal for most.
Sponsorships, merchandising, crowdfunding and alternate revenue streams are needed to increase income.
Which Platform is Best for Earning from Content?
Based on the main monetization differences between YouTube and Facebook, here are some conclusions:
- YouTube offers higher earning potential – Especially for top creators with huge audiences and original long form content. Passive income from ads and premium sharing can be significant.
- Facebook has more limited monetization – Its focus is on building an audience and engagement. Financially successful creators need to leverage sponsorships or find ways to convert followers.
- For most creators, earnings are comparable and minimal – Unless you have a massive audience, YouTube and Facebook payouts will likely be under $100/month. Most creators need other monetization strategies.
- It depends on goals and audience – While YouTube pays more on average, focus on the platform where your content resonates most. Building an audience is a necessary first step.
Overall, YouTube is likely the better platform strictly for making money directly from content.
However, success ultimately depends more on a creator’s goals, content style and audience.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does YouTube or Facebook pay creators more?
YouTube offers significantly higher ad revenue sharing rates and additional income streams like YouTube Premium.
For top creators, YouTube earnings can be tens of millions per year.
Most Facebook creators will earn far less directly from the platform.
How much money do YouTubers make vs Facebook creators?
Top YouTubers like MrBeast earn tens of millions per year directly from YouTube ad revenue and premium sharing.
Most Facebook creators likely earn in the thousands or tens of thousands range directly from the platform via ad revenue and stars.
Is it better to be a YouTuber or social media influencer?
YouTubers have higher earning potential directly from their channel revenue.
Being an influencer across platforms allows you to diversify, but earnings from sponsored posts or affiliate marketing are often lower.
It depends on your skills, interests and audience.
Why does YouTube pay more than Facebook?
YouTube offers more video ad inventory, higher ad viewability, better targeting and higher engagement.
This means advertisers pay more to advertise on YouTube, and creators earn a share of that higher revenue.
Facebook Watch is still building its video ad offerings.
How much do small YouTubers and Facebook creators earn?
Unless they have a massive following, most small creators on YouTube and Facebook earn less than $100 per month directly from the platform’s revenue sharing programs.
Building a large audience on any platform takes significant time and effort.
- YouTube offers better monetization rates for ad revenue, premium sharing, memberships and other features. Top YouTubers earn millions.
- Facebook provides limited monetization options for creators, who earn thousands or tens of thousands at most directly from the platform.
- For smaller creators, YouTube CPM and ad rates are higher, but earnings on both sites are minimal without huge audience numbers.
- Success depends on your goals, content format, audience and overall monetization strategy, not just the platform.
Focus on creating great content, building an engaged audience, and diversifying your revenue streams.
With persistence and hard work, you can find financial success on either platform.