Do YouTubers make money from reaction videos?

YouTubers can make money from reaction videos if they are monetised and if they can avoid copyright infringements with their reaction videos.

Reaction videos on YouTube are one the easiest ways for new YouTubers to earn a large number of subscribers when they start out on the platform. Throughout the years, YouTubers like Zach Campbell and Terrell Grice built their following through reaction videos.

However, as they continued to grow their subscribers, they focused less on their reaction videos. This is as a result of copyright issues which can affect earning from the reaction videos.

As such, there is money to be made through reaction videos, but it is risky due to copyright infringements that may be flagged.

What are YouTube reaction videos?

We have all watched some version of a reaction video on YouTube. The term refers to YouTube videos that feature the channel creator reacting to a video.

The content creator reacts to the video by adding commentary towards the video that they are watching. Reaction videos can be on anything including music videos, series episodes, pranks, changes, or viral videos on social media.

Their popularity is based on the fact that effective reaction videos feel interpersonal, as if the content creator is talking and reacting with the viewers that are watching the video.

Do YouTubers make money from reaction videos?

The simple answer is yes, YouTubers can make money from reaction videos. The first step to do so is ensuring that your YouTube channel is monetised to start earning money.

The basic requirements to be monetised by YouTube include having over 1 000 subscribers and 4 000 viewed hours on the channel.

Thereafter, you can earn anything between $1 and $5 cost per mile (CPM). This means that for a thousand views, the YouTuber can earn between the two amounts.

However, other more established reaction video channels like SidemenReacts and Vlogging Through History are estimated to earn more as they have more subscribers and are more established channels than YouTubers who are just starting.

These earnings are made via AdSense, which is risky, as earning money on AdSense will be determined by whether the reaction video in question infringes on any copyright or not.

Preventing this may sound easy, but it is not. Therefore, some tips to avoid copyright infringements include the following:

  • Do not play the entire video that you are reacting to as it is about the reaction. It is a reaction video, therefore it is about your commentary and not about the video itself
  • It is important to either always be speaking over the video, or stopping the video, commenting, and fast forwarding it to avoid copyright infringement
  • Where possible, get approval from the original video creator, which gives you more freedom in terms of using the video
  • Do not let the video play for longer than 30 seconds without commenting or cutting the video that you are reacting to

Since AdSense is not the most effective way to earn revenue through reaction videos, here are other ways to earn money through reaction videos on YouTube.

1. Patreon

Patreon is a membership platform that makes it easier for content creators to get paid. The feature allows YouTube channel holders to create a membership-only channel for paid subscribers.

The members are incentivised through exclusive releases, members-only live streams, and discord groups. All members need to do is “donate” to the channel any funds that they want to donate including as little as $1.

This means that the bigger the number of members and donations, the more the income that the YouTuber can earn. They may even be able to earn a stable income from donations alone.

2. YouTube sponsorship

While this is as risky as AdSense, sponsored reaction videos are another way to earn money by having the video sponsored by a company or brand.

This can work for new music and music video reaction videos as content creators can work with the record company or with a musician to promote their new single or music video through their channel and through the content creator’s reaction.

As a result, if there are sponsors that are willing to work with the YouTuber, they can earn more than they would through AdSense.

3. Customised merchandise

Once you have created a large enough following of your reaction videos, rather than attempt to make money from the videos themselves, you can create merchandise to sell and promote with your reaction video channel.

Therefore, instead of earning an estimated $1 to $5 CPM, you can earn $20 for merchandise that is sold through the reaction video. You can sell this merch by adding a link to your merchandise store in the description box of your videos.