In case you’re a Facebook addict who’s on Facebook 24 hours a day and wonder why influencers didn’t get a “real job”, read this:
According to Forbes, on average, top YouTubers like Jake Paul or PewDiePie earn at least USD$15 million a year, but that’s the conservative figure and only includes the programmatic ad revenue. We’ll talk about that in the later part of the article, but for simplicity’s sake, it’s like calculating the revenue of McDonald’s drinks when its main revenue comes from its burgers.
So yes, lest you still think that making money online is a scam, you’ve been lied to by your beliefs.
It’s therefore no surprise that JianHao Tan can not only afford a BMW but an Audi, too.
YouTube Riches: JianHao Tan Has a BMW i8 & Just Bought an Audi Q3 for his Wife
Not too long ago, we were all filled with jelly when influencer / YouTuber Naomi Neo, who’s JianHao Tan’s ex, bought a Lamborghini with her online earnings.
And if you’re still sceptical about Naomi Neo’s success because you think one can only be a millionaire by working as a doctor or a lawyer, well, JianHao Tan has a BMW i8, and has just recently bought an Audi Q3 for his wife.
Lest you think the i8 is merely a typical BMW that your boss drives, here’s how it looks like:
The door doesn’t swing out; it swings up.
The sports car that turns heads costs a whopping $623K—you can buy two HDB flats with that amount.
The car has made a few cameos in his videos, but if you’ve been on YouTube long enough, you’d know it’s nothing compared to what some YouTubers have. The Paul brothers, both successful YouTubers who are as loud as your English teacher, lived in mansions paid for with their YouTube earnings.
The Singaporean YouTuber bought the car around July last year, and before that, he was driving a yellow Maserati.
Other than the supercar, JianHao Tan had a family car too, a Toyota Sienta that he’s once sung praises for in one of his videos as it serves the function of transporting his family and equipment well, unlike his i8 that merely turns heads. Okay, I’m just jelly but you get the gist.
Earlier this month, it’s revealed that the lease of the family car is ending, and so he’ll need another car for his wife.
This time, he appeared to have bought it, and like what he said, a YouTuber buying a car can’t be just about…buying a car.
It has to be interesting.
So, he pranked his wife by preparing an old Toyota Altis and pretending that he’s bought for her…
…but later revealed that the real car he’s bought is a new Audi Q3 instead, a luxury SUV that costs over $158K.
You can watch the behind-the-scene prank here…
…and the full video here:
JianHao Tan, a CEO Who Happens to Be a YouTuber
It’s easy to associate JianHao Tan as a YouTuber who does “types of” videos in Singapore, but having watched almost all his videos so far (yay, I contributed to his i8), he’s actually more than that.
While he’s popular for his T1T5 school series in YouTube, whereby overaged people with dyed hair acted as high school (secondary school) students, he’s the CEO of Titan Media, a company that does not just the T1T5 video series but many other videos as well.
And some of them aren’t your typical Singapore YouTube stuff. A few channels include Ladies First, a channel that focuses on Beauty & Fashion, Health & Wellness and Advisory, Titan Gamers, which was previously known as NOTGOODGAMERS and heck, he even has a kids’ channel, PlayTime TV, whereby he plays and reviews toys with a kid, of course.
Needless to say, people associate him with “types of” videos because those are the videos in his main channel that garnered the most number of views: his main channel now has over 4.2 million subscribers and his “types of” videos can easily hit 10 million views.
In one of his podcasts (oh, did I mention he did that, too?), he said that his focus was on global appeal, which explains the lack of Singlish in his videos and the use of “high school” instead of “secondary school” in his T1T5 series.
Simply put, if you look at just the surface of the man, he’s a YouTuber who does the typical skits that we’re all accustomed to. Look beyond it and you’d see a savvy CEO with many staff reporting to him, just like your boss.
Now, you won’t feel jelly that a CEO has just bought an Audi for his wife, don’t you?
But now, you’re wondering: how does a YouTuber earn those big money?
When Money Goes Online
Now, this is a combination of our experience as an online media company (yes, with an office and just enough revenue to pay the employees for cai png without fish) and what we know about the industry. It’s not going to be 100% accurate, and you’ll never find an accurate figure unless a YouTuber decides to be listed in SGX.
The source of income for a YouTuber comes from primarily three channels: programmatic sales, branded content and endorsements.
When you watch any videos (or even read any article like this article), you’d often see an ad before the video, and sometimes in the middle of the video. These are known as “programmatic advertisements”, and it’s kind of…”automatic”. For YouTube, Google will pay a certain amount for 1,000 views of the advertisements, which is paid for by advertisers.
In this case, Google acts as a middleman with a system—a system so smart, it’ll show you, the viewer, relevant ads. The amount earned from programmatic ads is very seasonal and it also depends on your contents.
For example, a video about finance would earn more than a video about…cats, as advertisers from the finance industry would bid more for the advertisement, leading to a higher payout, which is called RPM (revenue per thousand impressions).
Based on our experience, the rate in Singapore hovers around $2 RPM for mass market contents (i.e. not a niche like finance or health). It’s dropped drastically during COVID-19, but appears to have corrected itself slightly earlier this month.
So if you’ve a video with 10,000 views? You’ll just earn a whopping $40.
Not exactly a lot, right? Considering you could’ve spent thousands of dollars to come out with a video. FYI, it does indeed cost that much to come out with a video; the minimum could be hundreds of dollars—unless you pay with exposure lah, then that one different.
Which is why YouTubers, or any media company, earns mostly from the next channel:
This sounds chim, but it’s really easy to understand. Company A wants to promote its service so it engages, say, Goody Feed to do a video. The video will be done by Goody Feed cats and will be posted in Goody Feed’s platforms, so more people will know about Company A’s services.
Here’s a very obvious example: Parkway Hospital back then wanted to promote an event that they had, and so, Goody Feed did a video about another subject but led it back to the event:
And the hospital gets lots of publicity for that event.
By now you’d be thinking: like this can earn meh?
If you’re big enough, you can command fees of over $10K or $20k for a short video in Singapore, or even just an Instagram post. This is the new form of advertising for many companies, as the conventional way to advertise with…erm, physical newspapers, aren’t working well now.
This is only for influencers, and it’s actually a rather old traditional advertisement channel. Basically, you as a YouTuber endorse a brand, and your face will be splashed everywhere.
Even before YouTubers were born, this has been ongoing, although most of the “influencers” were celebrities. Remember our dear Vivian Lai?
Nowadays, YouTubers have become endorsement figures because let’s face it: we know more local YouTubers than local mainstream celebrities, don’t we?
And in case you’re not aware, Goody Feed has a YouTube channel as well, and it’s failed quite badly. So do us a favour by watching one video lah, and subscribe to it so that our boss can buy a BMW i8, too:
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