How much money I have made with my Lego YouTube channel? Let’s go through the YouTube Analytics. Whether you’re a colleague or an aspiring Youtuber, you may find this information valuable.
I started Brick Experiment Channel in December 2017 and got accepted to YouTube Partner Program in June 2018. Now, October 2022, the total earnings are 664 thousand USD. That is 12500 USD per month. This is the money Google sends to my bank account, from which I pay taxes.
Brick Experiment Channel total:
subscribers: 2.9 million
video views: 705 million
total earnings: 664 000 USD
avg earnings per month: 12 500 USD
Playback-based CPM: 3.20
An average video:
view count: 10.8 million
video length: 8 minutes
audience retention: 39%
impressions click-through rate: 5.9%
ad revenue: 10200 USD
All YouTube earnings are from YouTube ads (and a small portion from YouTube Premium). I have never used Super Chat donations or any other monetization features. All ad types are enabled in video settings.
Outside YouTube, my revenue sources are small. I receive little amounts (less than 5% of total earnings) from Beyond The Brick, because they post my videos on Facebook. Another minuscule revenue stream is starting to come from BuildaMOC, because they sell a Lego kit I designed. I have never done sponsorship, affiliate links, received donations, or anything else.
Total expenses are 30400 USD (5% of earnings). That includes Lego parts (7600 USD) and other stuff like film equipment (22800 USD). Such a low expense comes from having a lean video production. I do everything myself: design Lego builds, film, edit, buy parts, do the accounting. No salary is paid to external people. I don’t belong to an MCN.
Total work time is roughly 6500 hours (100 hours per video). That makes my hourly rate 90 USD/hour.
How much “successful” Lego channels earn?
I analyzed over 100 Lego channels with more than 10k subs. I consider those creators successful. On average, they are 9 years old channels, they have 470k subs, 504 uploads, and 208 million views. They release one video per week that gets 410k views. If they have the same RPM as my channel, they earn 1800 USD of ad revenue per month for their efforts. Not bad, in my opinion.
But don’t think filming Lego will guarantee you high earnings. There are many, many creators who release Lego videos continuously and have no subs and get no views. Too many. Hundreds, maybe thousands of such creators. It is kind of heartbreaking to see people put so much time and effort for (supposedly) nothing.
My viewership consists of mostly middle-aged males. Top countries are United States, India and Russia.
How viewers find my videos
Most of the views (> 90%) come from YouTube homepage (browse features) and video suggestions.
Externally comes very little amount of traffic (0.5%). Mostly from Google search and Reddit /r/Videos.
Popular search terms leading to my content are Lego related.
Video suggestions come mostly from my own videos.
Little traffic (1.0%) from playlists also.
RPM is 0.94 on average. It has stayed about the same for the last 5 years.
CPM (and RPM) vary a lot between countries. When I see my RPM drop suddenly, it is usually because my videos are being watched a lot in India.
My most popular video
Making Lego Car CLIMB Obstacles is my most popular video with 81 million views. Audience retention is 70% at 30 second mark.
Observations from Excel graphs
I pulled data out of YouTube Analytics and crunched it in Excel. The sample size is small, only 65 videos in 5 years, so the data is noisy.
RPM seasonality. As you see, more ad revenue comes at the end of the year, close to Christmas. When the year changes, the rate drops suddenly.
Longer videos usually earn more money per view.
The lifetime of my videos is surprisingly long. Many are still watched a year after release.
Many key figures drop after release. I think the reason is that my fans watch new videos first, then later comes other random people.
Popular videos get disliked more.
People subscribe more likely if they watch video for a long time.
You would expect high click-through rate to lead to high view count. But correlation looks to be non-existing or slightly to the opposite. I think the reason is with causality going the other direction. When a video is shown to a large audience (high view count), those viewers are not Lego fans or technology enthusiasts, so they won’t click the thumbnail so often.
Download excel documents that include all raw data:
link or backup link
Any comments, questions?
This is extremely valuable. The problem is not many people know about the blog. They are missing out.
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Deep value. Thank you.
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Make a video with this information, it would probably gets you a few millions views
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Excellent write up, I’ve never seen such a detailed insight into a channel I watch quite frequently. Thanks for you’re crystal clear transcparency, +++ respect!
Also on another note, Congrats to making it to the front-page of HackerNews! I recommend checking out the thread, they’re saying some very positive things over there!
Thanks. HackerNews is great site. Very interesting discussions there.
Some in there say YouTube TOS prohibits publicizing this information. I have no idea, but at least Beyond The Brick released a YT video 3 years ago going through their Analytics data in detail. And some others. That’s why I was confident to release the data.
And yes, “mostly middle-aged” was not correct. Silly me, I though middle-age is 30-40 but it is actually 45-65 according to Google. 🙂
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“I have no idea”
Read your TOS and you will know.
And if YouTube shuts down your channel, then you will REALLY know. 😀
Awesome write up. I’ve never seen someone’s YouTube results broken down in this much detail before. I subscribe to your channel and love all your videos. Thanks!
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Do you have any other sources of income, that have come from working on this youtube channel?
Not much other income. I get little from selling permission to share my videos. Beyond the Brick on Facebook is one. Recently a new page was opened for me in China’s BiliBili. Then I get a commission from one Lego set on BuildaMOC. But over 95% comes from YT ad revenue.
Sponsorship (e.g. 30 sec integrated ad break) would probably be the best way to increase income. But I want to keep my videos clean at the moment.
Some Lego Technic builders sell building instructions (no parts, just pdf for download). I haven’t done that. I assume the potential income is quite small.
3 months ago I released my first (and only) Lego set on BuildaMOC. It has sold 170 units so far. Price is 200 EUR, my commission 10%, so I’ve earned 3400 EUR. That gives you an idea how small the market is for custom Lego sets. And that build had the most potential. It got more “where I can buy this” questions in the comment section than I’ve ever received. I put a top pinned comment promoting the Lego set and since that the video has got 10M views. It is like 1 unit sold for every 50k views. But, even with only 170 units sold, the set has climbed to the second position in what I believe is the all-time best-selling list for BuildaMOC (https://buildamoc.com/collections/all). So, others are getting less, much less. I’m happy with those numbers, but clearly the market is small.
Would you be willing to share the country-wise data? I’m specifically interested in Pakistan. I know we have a low socio-economic status but getting specific numbers as to how we perform against India, Bangladesh, etc would be very telling.
Sure. Here is Playback-based CPM comparison:
Saudi Arabia 1.74
Channel avg 3.22
Afghanistan CPM is 2.52 but that is not reliable as the view count is very low.
Iran CPM is not stated (YT blocked there?).
You can see all country data here:
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“There are many, many creators who release Lego videos continuously and have no subs and get no views.” …Why is that? What are they not doing that you do?
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That’s a difficult question. I think some of them just make videos that have been done 50 times already. For example speed builds of common Lego sets. Sometimes the videos are too long, could be easily edited to 1/3 length. Or the entire purpose of the video is unclear. Many Technic videos show only the end result and therefore lack story. Annoying background music or a bad thumbnail may also have an effect. But often you don’t know. I never know which one of my videos will succeed.
Thanks for sharing this. I love the idea of being able to focus on content and not micromanaging sponsor deals. Nice work if you can get it, and if you get it, won’t you share your metrics… wait, that’s not how the song goes
Thanks for the insight!
For comparison, a Streamer made a video how (his) revenue splits up between Donations, Ads, Subscriptions and Sponsorships:
Unfortunately it is a video, but its only 10 minutes, so one needs only to invest 5 min @2x.
Great Stuff! I think I need with my Music Channel a couple of years to just earn 2k a month!
Just wanted to say: I really enjoy your videos… been watching ’em with my six year old, trying to inspire him to solve engineering challenges.
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6500 hours? Is that a typo? There are only 8760 hours a year.
6500 hours in 5 years. That is 1300 hours / year or 25 hours / week.
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Have you considered uploading your videos to other hosting websites like Odyssey, Rumble, etc.? Is there any reason not to?
I’ve considered Rumble, but it is a bit too small. I see only one Lego channel (Brick Science) posting there and it gets < 1% views compared to YT. Lost time and effort is the reason not to.
Odysee is a new one to me. Looks like there isn't much Lego content either.
I have videos on Facebook, TikTok and BiliBili.
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Thank you for posting this, it’s really helpful.
I hope you don’t mind, I’ve done a version of one of your videos using Meccano instead of Lego and using different mechanisms – imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and I’ve given you full credit for the inspiration.
I’m currently only a small channel (200+ subs) and I appear to have a viral video on my hands with it (5,000 views in the first 4 days.
Take a look. If you’d like to leave a comment on it that would be awesome. Please don’t sue me.
That’s very cool. Thanks for the credits. And congrats on the views!
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Wow that’s fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing all this data. Especially helpful me as well, since I’m thinking about starting a YouTube channel on my own specifically for Lego Investing.
My assumption would be, in comparison to your video’s, that the the content would be way less watchable, but the CPM and RPM might be higher. Stores advertising Lego sets for sale for example.
What do you think?
Hi and thanks. I think you’re right in getting higher RPM with investment related content. But the view count will probably be low because there isn’t many people interested in buying Lego sets for investment purposes. So very niche audience, that’s my uninformed opinion.
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