5-6 years ago, when I was about 14, I posted various videos of an online game I played, none of them gathering more than several thousand views. Being a immature and bored 14-year-old, I created a 7 second video parody of Dora the Explorer. It seemed to gather slight attention, but when I had come back to this youtube account after a while of inactivity, I had found it had gathered 24 million views with a 2:1 like ratio (much higher than I think it deserves).

YouTube offered me a partnership years ago when it had just started gaining popularity. I have just accepted it this month and am now being paid by them to run ads on my content.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36GDN_EBNaE (set your expectations very low, even for that of a 14-year-old)

EDIT: It has been brought to my attention that running ads on videos, no matter how popular, is widely available right now. I think that, years ago, partnerships were only offered to users with popular videos containing no copyright infringement. Thank you for informing me. It was still quite a shock to come across what I did after nearly abandoning the account.

Comments: 242 • Responses: 36  • Date: 

whatforums795 karma

set your expectations very low

I could not have set them low enough.

orraston106 karma

I tried to warn you. :) I suppose there are more powerful adjectives that could have been used instead of "very", but I tried.

ToiletOfDreams254 karma

How the hell does this get 24 million views? Congrats, though. Haha

orraston130 karma

I have no idea. It is an interesting example of having something get noticed when you least cared/tried for it.

pistasje131 karma

Probably a ton of small kids trying to find Dora the Explorer on YouTube. Thanks dude! The sound of 24 million breaking child hearts

llliterateChild66 karma

the primary age group according to the stats is male 35-44.

orraston33 karma

That is quite a disturbing find. Maybe not quite as disturbing as that same age group being the primary audience for most of Miley Cyrus's videos, but still disturbing.

mask269718 karma

Younger users tend to fake their age... so that stat is not valid in THIS specific case...

orraston11 karma

I'm glad you brought that up. Along with the possibility that some of the younger generation probably uses their parents' accounts (though, they should probably not be browsing my content...) it makes more sense as to the audience age statistics.

7x5x3x2x224 karma

I guarantee this was found by tinychat users and was played for the chat rooms. It is common for the owners and mods of rooms to play clips like that all the time. Other popular choices are things like clips of people saying "STFU", "WTF", etc..

orraston13 karma

That's odd, but interesting. You mean using it as a sound bite? I suppose it would make sense, though; it does only have 2 seconds of audio after all.

ToiletOfDreams10 karma

I hope your new stuff is just as successful!

orraston20 karma

Thank you! But I hope my new stuff is only successful if it deserves it. Sometimes I almost feel sickened that such a thing has higher views than popular music videos and many viral videos that I fell in love with and looked up to when I was young.

Spitball_Idea94 karma

So... what's your creative process?

orraston53 karma

That's hard to say. Boredom and my immaturity certainly led to creating this all those years ago. Right now I am (after many friends encouraging me to create more videos now that I can monetize content) planning on creating original shorts to attempt at gaining a larger following.

lowerthirds50 karma

Today anyone can request to run ads on their videos channel. So why do you call this a partnernship with Google? This video of my dogs runs ads but I wouldn't consider it AMA worthy or make it seem like anything special.

orraston29 karma

That is interesting - I admit, I was unaware of that. I think that partnerships used to only be offered to users with videos with a certain amount of views. It was still pretty spectacular to discover the attention it had received after I had all but forgotten about the account.

5loon9 karma

There are many different partnerships on youtube, lemme gather my knowledge.

Adsense: Make fractions of a penny for every 100 views. Money only redeemable within $100. Anyone can get one, simple sign up process. If you have copyrighted content/strike, you lose the partnership and offers to any other partnership within the future.

Youtube/Google Creator Partnership: You need to apply for this one. They usually only accept people with no copyright strikes, and ~1,000 subscribers. 100k views and at least 20 videos gave you a better chance, iirc.

Yeousch: Gaming partnership. Channels with good amounts of subs, about 300 with gaming content usually get in. Pretty easy, and it pays better than adsense.

Machinima: Another gaming partnership. 1,500+ subs and 75k views is needed to apply. Pretty tough to get, pays pretty well if you're active.

There's many more partnering networks like Fullscreen, but that's basically how partnering works. I think you signed up for adsense after you saw the monetization banner.

orraston5 karma

Ahh, indeed. Thank you for the info.

IAmAkpftw8 karma

How much money can you make off of stuff like that?

lowerthirds9 karma

It was actually really interesting to see how that stuff works. It's my dads video I put it on reddit and the views sky rocketed. Once we started getting viewers fast we realized it was going viral. A few days later we were contacted by a company called Rightster who said they actually manage your video like a PR person (Their claim to fame is that they are the reason Charlie Bit My Finger blew up). They make licensing agreements with news outlets and license it to other websites for you and you have to spilt the revenue they generate with them 50/50. We were getting emails in our inbox from news shows and had this comapny not told us we should ask for money we would have just said sure play it for free..for the exposure alone. My dad figured that he would have had half as much money without their efforts anyway so he did it and they said they'll send a check every few months. First check we got was for $600.

orraston6 karma

That's awesome! Does he have plans for more videos?

horseniss43 karma

I'm... I don't know put I'm pretty sure 8 seconds of "I like heroin" won't give you any partnership with google.

orraston50 karma

It was pretty embarrassing when it got accepted. Even more embarrassing when I had to file a legal document stating that I owned all the rights to it to get a duplicate of it removed recently.

theranderson39 karma

Having invested 7 seconds of my life in watching this, I have just one question:

Do you feel guilty for making money off of this appalling, appalling tripe?

orraston28 karma

There are certainly many other forms of income that I would feel much more appalled with making money off of. I don't really feel guilty in this case; I like to think (or at least pretend) that there is (apparently) an audience, at least somewhere, that (somehow) appreciates this.

Would I feel less guilty about making money off of it if it was less embarrassing, to the point where I was actually comfortable showing it to friends/family, and something more interesting to me and not as ridiculous? You bet.

brttf319 karma

What kind of income do you see from the ads placed?

orraston26 karma

It varies. It is quite low right now, as I have just started and daily views are not quite what they used to be. Reports suggest that, with monetized content, an average of $1000 is made per million views. I can only imagine what I might have made had I agreed to the partnership when this was offered to me at around 2 million views.

notredame8812 karma


DjinnNJuice11 karma

You'd need a very big circle to make it worthwhile.

notredame8814 karma


orraston6 karma

Indeed - and watching the videos would do nothing. The ads would have to be clicked on, and Google investigates every click of an ad for legitimacy. It is also fraud.

k0m1kk7 karma

I though as a partner you weren't allowed to disclose how much you make off it?

orraston8 karma

That's correct. Some research sites have estimated income for larger partners at about $1000 per million views, but I'm sure that varies as well. I am not allowed to disclose exactly what I make.

tlamy13 karma

I don't get why all of your comments are getting so many downvotes... You're not saying anything ridiculous and you're not acting like a prick...

orraston16 karma

Ehh, I'm not sure. I hadn't really noticed. Quite new to Reddit, just created my account this morning after some friends suggested it. But doing my best. :p

Archron03 karma

It's probably because people don't think this is worthy of an AMA (a more valid reason) OR, they're jealous of the fact that that video got so much attention (and to be fair, it puzzles me too, the video is, no offense to the OP's creative instincts, horrendous).

orraston5 karma

No offense taken. I'm equally critical about how ridiculous it is...hence part of the surprise upon finding it years later with so many hits, out of all my other videos where I (mostly) tried.

TtheGodfather8 karma

Yea, you pretty much missed the boat for earning any major money off of this video. If only you registered for the partnership deal earlier...

orraston8 karma

I remind myself of that every night, and slowly cry myself to sleep. (Well, not really, but it is rather unfortunate.)

nottinylil8 karma

Are you annoyed you missed the potential masses of moolah you could have made?

What do you think made this viral?

Penis size?

orraston5 karma

It is pretty disappointing when I think about it. But it is encouraging nonetheless that it is a possibility now to build my way up easier, and do so by creating content more original and not quite so silly.

I'm not sure what made this so viral. Other spoofs of Nickelodeon shows and other cartoons appeared over the years and became pretty popular, so there may have been a general interest (at the time). Perhaps it was just the silly icon :p

whatforums6 karma

It didn't go viral - viral implies that people have shared it with each other.

24 million people looking for Dora the Explorer clips accidentally clicked on your horrible video.

orraston12 karma

Fair enough. I can't disagree with that.

Trabia4 karma

  1. MeatSpin or Goatse?
  2. Nyan Cat or Keyboard Cat?
  3. Bukkake or Cumfarts?

orraston7 karma

  1. MeatSpin
  2. Nyan
  3. No.

fishgodcuntpuncher13 karma

Wait a second.

If the OP prefers meatspin over goatse then that means he thinks two penises are better than just one.

BUT, if he dislikes bukkake then that means he doesn't like a lot of penises. (mostly groups of 10-20).

So that mean that there is a specific number of penises he enjoys more than any other. My bet is on 7.

orraston6 karma

...My secret has been discovered...

macfligh3 karma


orraston2 karma

I certainly thought that they would, and that is why I didn't bother accepting the offer for the partnership for so long. I thought it would be declined. But they had investigated it and everything was approved.

good001 karma

I guess it qualifies as fair use?

orraston3 karma

Apparently so. But possibly because it was edited/customized.

Nexious3 karma

Congrats, though you lost a shit ton of money by only monetizing it now, 24 million views worth of $$$ :D I'm more impressed that YouTube allowed it, because they are notorious for denying monetization for many reasons. I've had several completely original videos denied no matter what proof I had sent.

Best wishes making a 'comeback' and creating new shorts :) If nothing else sticks, at least be happy with the one hit wonder.

orraston1 karma

Thank you for your comment! I am still quite shocked that YouTube allowed it. All 18 (or so) of my other videos were denied - mostly for the music copyrights, and because they were from a video game.

JJohn83 karma

running ads on videos, no matter how popular, is widely available right now

Ads? What ads?

orraston1 karma

People and companies can pay Google to run their ads on videos, and Google will pay you to place ads on your content. It seems nowadays that anyone can request to have their videos monetized (as long as they are within policy, such as no infringment of copyright).

MxRyan2 karma


I used to watch it several times in a row. The part where you say "heroin"... it gives me chills.

orraston1 karma

Haha - there was a recent occasion where I overheard a public conversation from complete strangers and they had mentioned this video. But I was too shy to interrupt and tell them that the creator was standing right behind them (that would be pretty creepy of me, wouldn't it?)

BeamRifle1 karma

NO! You shoulda told them!! What's wrong with you!?

orraston2 karma

Lol. It would have been pretty interesting. I suppose I was too hesitant to let them know I was eavesdropping in the first place.

fullbelliedmoon2 karma

I laughed.

Could you give more details of what/how they offered you a partnership? Is ad-revenue the only way you can make money out of this?

Congrats, and hopefully you'll create new content.

orraston1 karma

As someone else has stated, it sounds like anyone can ask to have Google run ads on your videos. At the time, (a couple years ago I believe) I think partnerships were only offered via inbox to those who had popular videos that had no copyright infringement. I assume it is available to almost everyone now.

Ad revenue is the only way I know of. There is an option of getting sponsored by a company to display more of their specific ads, but it is nothing I'm familiar with.

ronniehiggins1 karma

I wanna see the analytics.

  • What's the audience retention? Is there a drop-off at all? Screenshot?
  • What's the largest traffic source?
  • What's the top 3 rated playback locations?

orraston2 karma

There doesn't seem to be much of a drop-off. Audience retention is 100% till the 0:06 mark, where it is 92%. 61% of the traffic source is from Mobile Apps and direct traffic, 29% YouTube Suggested Video, 3% embedded player, 1% Google search, 0.7% external website, etc. Top 3 playback locations are Mobile devices (59%), YouTube watch page (37.5%), and embedded player on other websites (3.1%)

gym7rjm1 karma

It's sad that you didn't monetize the video before it got 24 million views.... that would have been a lot of money. You can get about $1000 per million views depending on you click through rate. So your mistake only cost you $20k, oh well at least you have youtube bragging rights now, or something like that.

orraston1 karma

Not so much of a mistake as much as just putting it off :p

ManiacKK341 karma

How does the payment scale work with Google? Are you paid a salary or per a certain number of viewers?

orraston1 karma

No salary, and not exactly for views. It is for clicks on ads, as long as they are legitimate.

MelonHeadSeb1 karma

Did you spell "heroin" wrong on purpose?

orraston1 karma

I don't think so. I think that's how I thought it was spelled when I was 14. Haha