Amid all the conversation generated around Shannon Sharpe’s Jan. 3 “Club Shay Shay” podcast with Katt Williams is a topic that many aspiring YouTubers would love to know: Exactly how much is Sharpe getting paid for the interview heard ‘round the world?
As of this writing Saturday morning, the full interview is at 55 million views. For context, the second-most-watched Club Shay Shay interview is Steve Harvey’s from last spring, with 10 million views. None of the numerous celebrity interviews in the history of the podcast — which released its first episode in September 2020 — even come close.
When Sharpe spoke with us Wednesday, the Williams interview hadn’t quite reached 54 million views, which means it’s netted over a million extra views in three days — three weeks after it dropped. They may need to redefine “viral” to account for this.
How do YouTubers get paid?
As much as young folks aspire to be professional YouTubers, it’s no mean feat: you need many millions of views just to eke out a living. YouTube won’t even start cutting checks until you consistently churn out videos that get 100,000 views at bare minimum.
From there, it’s a matter of luck and finding a niche, so you need to get creative if you want to get anywhere in spitting distance of Mr. Beast, a 25-year-old dude from North Carolina who is worth more than $50 million thanks to racking up some 35 billion views since he got started in 2012. (Having stellar production values helps as well.)
Only YouTube knows the exact specifics regarding how it pays its creators, but there are a few basics: It pays content creators part of ad revenue, which is greater the longer the video since YouTube runs ads every five to eight minutes. If you sat through the whole 2-hour-46-minute Williams interview and you don’t pay for YouTube Premium, you got hit with about 20 or so ads.
YouTube calculates payment by RPM, or revenue per thousand views. It takes about 55 percent of the money from advertisers and gives the creator 45 percent. Figure that comes out to about $10 to $12 per thousand views in the creator’s hands.
So how much did Sharpe net for Williams’ “Club Shay Shay?”
Given that revenue split, figure Sharpe netted about $660,000 (and counting) for the main interview.
However, Sharpe and his team did what many content creators do: Split the interview up in separate clips that are also monetized. Since the Williams interview is almost three hours long, it’s split up into 37 separate clips, each of which have between hundreds of thousands and millions of views.
The clip of the interview’s first 35 minutes, when Williams caught Sharpe off-guard by going thermonuclear, has nearly 8 million views — alone besting all Club Shay Shay videos outside of the full Williams interview and the full Steve Harvey interview. That clip alone will net Sharpe between $90,000 and $100,000 if no one else watches it after today.
All said, Sharpe is on track to earn more than a cool million dollars from his Williams interview. Of course, he needs to pay out his production team, but this interview alone netted him more in a couple weeks than what the vast majority of professional YouTubers will ever make.
Hope Sharpe sends Williams a nice gift basket or something.