How We Make Money on YouTube with 20M Subs | Summary and Q&A

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January 20, 1970
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Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell
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How We Make Money on YouTube with 20M Subs

TL;DR

Kurzgesagt is a science communication channel that has grown over the past 10 years, primarily financed through its shop and Patreon support.

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Key Insights

  • 🥺 A teacher who emphasized connections and storytelling had a profound impact on the founder's interest in learning and led to the creation of Kurzgesagt.
  • 👻 Kurzgesagt initially had financial struggles, but the launch of Patreon and changes in YouTube's platform allowed the channel to become profitable.
  • 🥅 The shop and Patreon support are the most significant sources of revenue for Kurzgesagt, and they prioritize creating sciency products that align with their science communication goals.
  • 🛩️ Institutional sponsors make up a small percentage of funding, and Kurzgesagt carefully selects sponsors that align with their values and ensure no editorial influence.
  • 🤔 Kurzgesagt aims to spark curiosity, inspire long-term thinking, and promote a positive outlook by approaching complex topics with informed and researched optimism.
  • 😀 The team envisions Kurzgesagt expanding across various media platforms, including TikTok, apps, VR games, and more, while continuing to make science and learning fun and accessible.

Transcript

In 2023 Kurzgesagt has existed for 10 years,  insanely long in internet years. We are among the   largest sciency channels on Youtube and still a  bit of a black box to people. So let us talk about   ourselves a bit in three parts: Our backstory, how  we finance our work and the values of Kurzgesagt! Let’s jump to a more innocent time. From humble ... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How did the founder of Kurzgesagt become interested in learning and education?

The founder, Philipp, was motivated to learn after being inspired by a teacher who emphasized connections and storytelling. This transformed his perspective and eventually led to the creation of Kurzgesagt.

Q: How did Kurzgesagt finance its work in the early years?

In the early years, Kurzgesagt primarily relied on personal funds and the team's intrinsic motivation. They worked for clients during the day and dedicated their nights to Kurzgesagt, often working 80-100 hours per week.

Q: What are the main sources of revenue for Kurzgesagt?

Kurzgesagt's main sources of revenue are its shop, Patreon support, YouTube ads, commercial sponsors, and institutional sponsors. The shop alone has accounted for 40% of their revenue over the last 8 years.

Q: How does Kurzgesagt maintain its editorial independence despite institutional sponsors?

Kurzgesagt has contracts with every grant giver or sponsor that prevent them from exerting editorial influence. While sponsors can suggest topic areas, the final decision and autonomy in developing the videos always rests with Kurzgesagt.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Kurzgesagt was founded after the founder, Philipp, was inspired by a teacher who sparked his interest in learning, leading him to pursue history and design studies before starting Kurzgesagt.

  • The early years of Kurzgesagt were financially challenging, with the team working long hours and making personal sacrifices. However, the launch of Patreon and changes in YouTube's platform allowed the channel to break even and eventually earn a profit.

  • Kurzgesagt's funding primarily comes from its shop, Patreon support, YouTube ads, commercial sponsors, and institutional sponsors. The team is careful in selecting institutional sponsors that align with their values and ensure no editorial influence.

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