Since launching on Valentine’s Day 2005, YouTube has been the video-sharing platform that we all love. Over five billion video clips are watched on the social media platform every single day, and it’s made possible largely thanks to the community of content creators, otherwise known as Youtubers, who produced engaging videos that connect with audiences in a very powerful manner.
While many content creators are passionate about what they do, there’s no doubt that financial rewards are a crucial ingredient too. The YouTube platform helps individuals build very successful sales, and it’s not only through the direct advertising streams on their channels. Youtubers are essentially brands, which is why merchandise sales can become an equally important part of their commercial endeavours.
So, how much merchandise can Youtubers sell and earn through this revenue stream? Here’s all you need to know.
How Much Merch Do Youtubers Actually Sell?
Given that merchandise sales come from external activities, it’s difficult to put an exact figure on how much every Youtuber stands to earn from merchandise sales. After all, there are many variables to consider including the audience size, demographic of viewership, and the quality of merchandise offered.
However, research into the top earning creators on the platform make for very interesting reading indeed. As per PurpleMoon, here are the average monthly product sales revenue figures for the world’s top YouTube earners:
- PewDiePie : $6,834,645
- Dude Perfect: $2,957,950
- VanossGaming: $2,281,315
- DanDTM: $2,207,725
- JuegaGerman: $1,956,575
- Markiplier: $1,783,195
- Collins Key: $1,780,780
- Atta Halilintar: $1,426,575
- Jacksepticeye: $1,414,150
- Smosh: $1,371,805
- ElrubiusOMG: $1,343,090
- Jake Paul: $1,291,810
- Logan Paul Vlogs: $847,295
- JennaMarbles: $565,460
- MrBeast: $504,210
- PTXofficial: $322,105
- KSI: $305,975
- Ninja: $266,940
- Nigahiga: $246,940
- Shane: $203,178
The figures highlight how merchandise sales along can turn Youtubers into very rich individuals, and that’s before factoring in the ad sales and other revenue streams such as media appearances. Interestingly, the top three accounts (as well as several others on the list) are gaming channels, which highlights how different demographics are perhaps more likely to purchase merchandise than others.
What Impacts How Much Merch Can Be Sold?
As with all businesses, traffic alone doesn’t lead to sales. While a larger audience and viewership certainly provides a foundation for success, there are a whole host of contributing factors to consider, including but not limited to:
Do merchandise sales suit the Youtube channel?
In some cases, it might be better for a Youtuber to focus on affiliate sales rather than merchandise. One example of this would be a photographer providing “how to” guides or product reviews may be better suited to partnerships with Amazon or retailers.
Is the audience likely to buy merchandise?
A Youtuber that gets views from impressionable teenagers that want to emulate their heroes is more likely to sell a snazzy t-shirt than one that’s aimed at CEOs and business managers. Therefore, the individual’s brand and place in the market is vital.
The merchandise selling platform?
Given that the merch sales are made through a third-party platform, choosing the right merchandise selling site is essential. This will influence the types of products available, the versatility of designs, and which countries the products can be delivered to.
Merchandise is usually a luxury purchase for the consumer. As such, you cannot expect them to part with their cash unless the designs actively spark a genuine interest. When the designs are exciting and relatable, the hopes of success are far greater.
How often are new videos posted?
Even when someone subscribes to your channel, they are unlikely to buy products if they don’t see content on a frequent basis. Familiarity and repetition are focal points for selling the brand, and subsequently the merch.
Despite the fact that there are a variety of other elements to consider, there are online calculators that will give you a ballpark figure of expected earnings based on the number of video views that you acquire.
Rather than simply dividing your views by a constant conversion rate figure, the online tools categorise your channel into one of six categories based on the audience size. This is because the conversion rates are expected to change as you become more popular and reach new brackets. Essentially, then, a channel with 1,000 subs will probably gain far fewer than 1% of the merchandise sales of a channel that has 100,000.
The good news, however, is that earnings gained through merchandise can start right away – unlike ad revenue that is only made possible after satisfying Youtube’s content creator partnership programme criteria.
What Merchandise Do The Top Sellers Produce?
Make no mistake; the popularity of a Youtuber or brand has a huge impact on the merchandise sales figures. Nonetheless, the quality of the products sold should not be underestimated. Not only do the right designs gain consumer interest, but they also help the Youtuber maintain their reputation and continue to gain high sales conversions for sustained success.
Let’s take a look at the merchandise sold by the best in the business.
The Swedish gamer’s merchandise lines are sold via Represent. PewDiePie’s social media brand is absolutely huge, and products have changed at several stages over the years. The creator often wears hoodies, t-shirts, and hats depicting those designs in videos and during media appearances. This has made slogans such as Hundred Mill Club and Fully Stacked become a natural part of his fanbase’s vernacular.
While the world’s biggest YouTuber has sold millions of items over the years, his fresh catalogue of items is usually limited to around 20 products. This encourages a lot of users to return for repeat business.
Sold through his own store, Dude Perfect offers a range of hats, t-shirts, hoodies, jackets, bottoms, and accessories. The bright colour schemes are on brand with the Youtubers on screen personality. Crucially, they are aimed at a youth audience, in which he is a part of the demographic too. This means that content and merchandise resonate with the users, resulting in a far greater conversion rate as the items genuinely match the type of products seen in high streets and shopping centres.
Dude Perfect’s items are perfectly matched to the demographic. When supported by the big audience figures, it’s no surprise that the monthly turnover comfortably hits seven figures.
Facilitated by Teepublic, the JuegaGerman merchandise line includes t-shirts, hoodies, stickers, and mugs. While there aren’t that many styles available, the ability to pick colour schemes for virtually any product allows the consumer to build a product that feels personal to them. Naturally, the clothing items are available in many sizes to reflect a slightly more diverse viewership than some of the alternative Youtube channels.
The designs tend to focus merely on the idea of placing the logo on the product rather than focusing on slogans or complex designs. The iconic white text on red logo looks great on many products and uses a similar ethos to major clothing brands like Levi’s. It’s all about the name.
The Collins Key clothing and accessory lines are sold via the Collins Key site directly, and includes specific lines for men and women. Hoodies, shirts, and accessories ranging from blankets to drawstring bags and pillowcases. There are items that display the logo while others have slogans. Some of the products combine both, with the Collins Key Keyper Squad range standing out as the most obvious. The wide range of styles and designs is reflective of a clothes outlet.
Crucially, the Collins Key lines also use a variety of printing techniques as well as embroidery. The quality of the items is very high and is something fans can get right behind. Unlike some of the other lines, there is also an appeal to non-subscribers.
Most of the big Youtubers focus on clothing, accessories, and homeware. The items are cheap to produce and deliver while also carrying wide appeal.
Can Small Youtubers Earn Money From Merchandise Sales Too?
Are you thinking about starting a Youtube channel for your business or monetising an existing channel? If so, there is good news and bad news. The harsh reality is that you cannot earn money from merchandise sales without first building a solid and loyal audience. On a brighter note, though, you do not need millions of subscribers to start earning a side income from the idea of merchandise sales.
It is show that, on average, a Youtuber with 11,000 subscribers will sell around six pieces of merchandise every month to accumulate around $70 (or $840 per year). However, you can give this a significant boost by securing the right type of subscribers, creating stunning designs that people actually want, using good marketing techniques such as timed discounts, and showing an appreciation of your place in the market.
While you should never steal the designs of successful Youtubers, learning from their techniques regarding product creation and audience interaction can help you unlock better conversions for increased sales. When added to sales generated away from Youtube, there’s no doubt that merch has a big role to play.