You may have noticed that your YouTube earnings fluctuate from month to month. As we’ve discussed in our previous posts How Monetization Works On YouTube pt. 1 & pt. 2, there are a ton of variables that determine how much money you make on your YouTube views. Many of those variables are not able to be controlled, but some of them can definitely be optimized for. One of the most important factors that impacts your earnings is advertising seasonality.
Seasonality refers to the fact that advertisers spend different amounts on their campaigns throughout the year. For example, most major brands and corporations have marketing departments that operate on quarterly budgets. That means they are less likely to blow a ton of cash on advertising in the beginning months of a quarter (January, April, July, and October) and are more likely to spend larger amounts of money at the end of their quarters (March, June, September, and December). Check out this chart from Sortable.com, which outlines how much more advertisers spend in the various months throughout the year.
Tentpole events also influence ad spends, so you’ll often earn more money leading up to and during events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and major gift-giving holidays. You also may have noticed that many political campaigns target YouTube viewers to get their messages across to potential voters, so any election month will also generally bring an increase in advertising dollars.
For all of these reasons, you will usually earn more money per view on content you release at the end of the year. To look more closely into how ad seasonality may have affected your channel, go to YouTube Analytics and check out your “playback-based CPM” in the watch time report. Keep in mind that the CPM only applies to those playbacks that were monetized, so you’ll want to look at the CPM in conjunction with the “estimated monetized playback” metric in that same watch time report. If you want to really maximize your YouTube earnings, it’s a good idea to have some important video releases lined up for the last few months of the year. It’s almost December, so we encourage all Quarterlab clients to start ramping up their video release schedules between now and Christmas!