I’ve taken the decision to begin publishing quarterly breakdowns of the income and expenses involved in running the Noel Philips YouTube channel, and our operating company IFV Media.
The reason behind this is two-fold: to provide a transparent breakdown into the running of a YouTube channel as a full time business, and also to remain fully transparent as to how much money we make, and how much we invest back into new content. As someone who took a huge leap of faith to give up a £50,000 IT career to travel as a full time YouTuber, not really knowing how much we’d end up making, I know what it’s like to feel trapped in your 9-5 job. I’m hoping people may take inspiration to follow their own dreams and take that leap, and would like to use our experience to try and help other people.
Going forward I will be retrospectively creating these pages for every quarter since I went full time in January 2019, but it’s easier to start with the present day, so here goes.
Total income for Quarter 1: $109,631.01
Quarter 1 was generally a very productive month for the business. We passed the 300,000 subscriber mark on YouTube amid some very popular videos. Our biggest video this quarter was the Greyhound video, which led to increased viewership on subsequent videos.
Ad Revenue from YouTube/Facebook: $82,441.01
As usual, advertising revenue was our primary source of income in quarter 1. However this year Facebook was significantly down on previous years, following the huge drop in advertising revenue that started in late-2021. As a result, for the first time ever, YouTube overtook Facebook to be our primary source of advertising revenue. This was helped by a quarter that contained some very popular videos – including the Greyhound bus video that performed incredibly well.
Brand deals (Sponsored Videos) $19,600.00
We only take brand deals from brands that would be a good fit for our audience. We are approached by brands almost every day asking to work with us, and only select a handful each month to include in the videos. We choose our brand sponsors based on three core criteria:
- Is it relevant to our brand or audience?
- Is it ethical?
- Is it likely to cause a conflict of interest?
The first two are pretty self explanatory – any brand we work with has to be relevant to either our brand or something our audience would benefit from. It also has to be ethical – we’ve refused to work with several brands who have come to us because it simply would not feel right. For example. gambling and cryptocurrency are a huge no-no. The last one concerns whether a sponsor is likely to cause a conflict of interest. We will never take money (or even free flights) from any airlines in exchange for a review. We were offered free flights from two major airlines in the first quarter, one of which we turned down entirely and the other we filmed with but I paid for my own ticket in the interest of an impartial review.
2022 started off with just our regular sponsors. But following successful videos at the beginning of the year we were able to attract some brand deals from new sponsors in March leading us to a total of just under $20K for Q1 from brand sponsors.
Patreon supporters $7,590.54
Our Patreon supporters remain an integral part of our business, and we appreciate every single one of them. The support our Patrons give is invaluable not only financially but also from a support perspective via our WhatsApp group and the Zoom calls. The number of Patreons remained roughly the same, with some new Patreons and some older Patreons having to stop.
Merchandise sales: $1,361.41
We started advertising our merchandise store more from January 2022. This has led to a slight increase in sales through the merch store, totalling $1,361.41 in quarter 1.
Travel expenses accounted for $25,515.80 in quarter 1, predominantly on flights and hotels. This includes flights for the trips I took to eastern Europe, the USA and India (which took place the first two weeks of April but was mainly booked and paid for in Q1).
Aside from travel expenses, our expenses remained largely the same – salaries, subcontractor fees (for video editors, accountants and other contractors) as well as hardware expenses, software and web hosting accounted for roughly $30,000 in quarter 1.
The remaining profits from quarter 1 remain in the company to invest into future trips, or are invested into savings in our ‘rainy day’ funds, that we keep as a backup in the event of income suddenly dropping for any reason in the future.