The Cost of Making a YouTube Video
The following conversation happened one Saturday morning on one of my videos before I had even got out of bed. I was lying there thinking that the video I wanted to film was not going to happen as it was raining and it was meant to continue, this was the day that I filmed the swan in a hailstorm.
Jim is just a guy that was looking at a few of my videos and then posted the following questions on two of those video before I responded.
- Jim - Why does everyone now days have to ruin their videos with ads? I'm so tired of it. Can't anything be commercial free anymore?
- Me - Good morning, The reason we run ads on our videos or ask for support via 3rd party websites is to try to cover the cost of making our videos. I spend way more money on this channel than what I get back from it but that little bit still helps. We are not forcing you to watch our videos.
- Jim - I understand. It's all about the money.
- Me - No it's about being able to continue to make the content that you can watch for free. If it was about the money I would be making cat videos but you can get YouTube Red and not have to see any ads again.
- Jim - I do appreciate the videos, but no one is forcing you to make them. It's something you're choosing to do and it doesn't cost anything except for your internet service to upload a video. So why do you then ask people to pay you money for something you're doing voluntarily and hardly cost you anything but your time? It seems to me you're just trying to get others to pay for your hobby. Don't you make enough to support your hobby by selling the babies? I don't blame you for taking advantage of the internet to earn extra cash. Obviously, everyone is now doing it. I'll just use an ad blocker the next time I watch. Thank you.
I never responded to Jim's last comment as it hurt me a little and really pissed me off. To say it doesn't cost me much, just a bit of time and an internet service, that comment shows that Jim has no idea what it takes to make a video.
The very first videos uploaded to this channel were made using a $70 webcam but then when I noticed that no one was making the videos that I wanted to watch, I decide to make them for other to watch so I bought myself a $1200 video camera and started to learn everything I could about video making.
After the success of the budgie box video I decided to try to make a series where I build things, so one weekend I built the set. I think it cost me about $1,500 to build the benches and the wall in the background. Lights boxes were needed and a device to record better audio. I was then able to pick up a second hand camera for $800 so I could film with two camera to save time and make the editing process easier.
Then there is the $250 shotgun mic and a few $60 lavalier mic and the three $100 SJcams for filming in the wet or in tight places. I built a camera cage to hold the camera and the shotgun mic. I got a backpack to take the gear with me and there are probably a few other things that I’m forgetting like the two tripods that I have.
So after a quick add up of what I have spent on the gear to make these videos, it comes to over $6,000 but then there is the time that I spend filming and not everything that is filmed makes it to the channel. There has been times that I would rather have the binoculars out instead of trying to film the birds to share it with you on YouTube.
Some of my videos are quick and easy to make but the good ones take time. The video that I did with Steve from On The Perch is one of those. I drive 4 hours on a Friday night to get to Tathra and then spend Saturday filming at the park and around the local area before returning the following morning to the park for more filming before driving the 4 hours home with an estimated cost to me of about $350.
I then had to edit all the footage into a video that I think people would like to see. I lost track of the hours but it had to have been at least 40 hours to edit. I do want to make more video that are similar to "Opening a Bird Park". I also have plans for other videos and at the moment I’m trying to get all my licences just so I can get the footage that I need for a documentary style video, one of the licences cost $250.
There is also that fact that my cameras are getting old and will need to be replace soon, it’s also incapable of getting some of the shots that I need and if I get a 4k camera I will need to upgrade my computer to handle it. So for someone to say “it doesn't cost anything except for your internet service to upload a video (and time)” makes me think is it worth it as I have only got about $1,500 back from my channel in about 4 years and most of that has been this year.
As for making money from the birds that I breed, in Australia it’s uncommon for aviculturist to cover their costs let alone make money from our hobby. Most aviculturist work so they have money to spend on their birds.
So when you see me ask if you can support me on Patreon, it’s not because I want more money, it’s because I want to make more videos for you and it costs money to make these videos.