Over the recent days, there have been a heated debated on social media as if its true or not that Malawian artists earn money from their content on YouTube through number of views.
Some have ruled it not to be true while others say it’s true including the Akometsi CEO and Author Kelvin Sulungwe who recent went on air to highlight how it takes for one to reap fruits from his/her content on YouTube.
Below is Kelvin’s explanation.
“YouTube monetization in Malawi, what you need to know.
“There has been a very good debate recently on YouTube. A lot of people have voiced their opinion about earning on YouTube and almost all issues raised are relevant. These are the topics we need to encourage all the time as they help us understand certain matters better for our own improvement.
To begin with, YouTube monetization is defined as your ability to derive income from your YouTube videos posted on your YouTube channel. If you’re interested in qualifying for YouTube’s monetization program, you need, at minimum, 1,000 subscribers to your channel and 4,000 watch hours over the past 12 months.
While we have these set minimum requirements for YouTube channel monetization, the main question has been whether you can monetize a YouTube channel “IN” Malawi or not. The answer is NO. But can you have a channel “FROM” Malawi that is monetized? The answer is “YES.”
Having met the minimum requirements to monetize your YouTube channel, it goes to the issue of location. Countries with YouTube Partner Program are the ones which are eligible to monetize their channels and as it stands, Malawi is not one of those countries, as such, even if you meet the minimum requirements, you will not be eligible to apply for YouTube monetization while in Malawi.
However, despite the location barrier, hope is not lost. You can still monetize your channel by asking someone residing in a country that has a YouTube Partner Program to apply on your behalf and most people get accepted.
It is worth highlighting that inorder to get paid by YouTube, you need an Adsense Account. Once your channel has been approved, you can then apply for an Adsense Account that you connect to your YouTube channel and to your local bank account to be used for processing your earnings. If you have a website, you can also easily use it to apply for an Adsense Account.
So, does Google send money to a Malawian bank account? The answer is YES and the minimum amount they wire to you is $100 USD.
Again, you need to understand that getting your channel approved for monetization is just the first step, probably the easiest step. YouTube will still pick up the location of your viewership and views from countries with no YouTube Partner Program, like Malawi for instance do not pay much and this is where everyone needs to understand.
One hundred thousand views from Malawi would give you an estimated earnings between $15 to $60 USD. Let me break it down for you by using a video from Akometsi YouTube channel which is monetized. We will take Pop Young’ Mesa video.
The video which was released in January 2023 has 203,000 views by today, 6th May, 2023. 63% of the views are from Malawi, 11% from South Africa, 5% from Russia, 1% Zambia and the rest of the world share the other percentage. In return, the video has generated an estimated revenue of $41 USD, converted to K41,000 by Google.
If the 63% were views from a country that has a YouTube Partner Program, the video would have made between $800 to $4,800 USD (converted to K800,000 to K4.8 million). The country’s economic stand also plays a vital role on how much you can make from YouTube, among other things.
To actually get a considerable earning, what most people do is that they put a payment threshold, lets say, you can change your settings to get paid when you make $1000 USD and your goal should be producing more content and getting more views. It’s not an easy target to achieve, but nothing comes easy in life.
That having been said, we should also understand that YouTube is not the only way to monetize your content. At this point, it is very important to embrace international platforms such as Spotify, Deezer, Boomplay and others which also pay artists for the streams they get for their songs. Before you know it, at the end of the year, you can walk out with a few million from these earnings although they do not come anywhere near an investment you make for your content, but half is better than none.
It is also important for Malawians living outside Malawi, especially in economically sound countries to always stream content from Malawi as that helps our arts sector to generate some revenue for their art. If you are outside Malawi and you download songs from Malawi Music or Mikozi, you are not doing justice to our local talent, but killing it. You need to stream the songs on Spotify, Deezer, iTunes, Tidal, YouTube, Boomplay etc.
Again, it also calls for local talents to fully utilize the international platforms because there are those people who have not even put their music to these platforms and is freely available on local sites, which cannot do more than what they are already doing. Let us download these apps and stream our local talents, out of love for our country.
By the way, Boomplay is a Nigerian platform that is slowly becoming the biggest in Africa and they pay African talent well. They invested in it to benefit their artists and slowly, they have made headway to other countries. Their numbers helped and their artists promoted the platform that other musicians from elsewhere embraced it. Self love for their industry and support they give to one another.
Lastly, let me recognize the people who spoke about this topic, particularly my brothers Van Ngongo, Blaqkings and Ras Evanz Muzik. We need more of these important topics if we are to win as an industry.”