After a week of questions around X’s dubious content recommendation processes, and its motivations to boost certain videos to benefit its business, YouTube star MrBeast has shared insight into how much money he made from his first upload in the app, which also includes full view count data, as opposed to X’s public-facing “Views” stat.
MY FIRST X VIDEO MADE OVER $250,000! ????
But it’s a bit of a facade. Advertisers saw the attention it was getting and bought ads on my video (I think) and thus my revenue per view is prob higher than what you’d experience pic.twitter.com/nViVpZbWBb
— MrBeast (@MrBeast) January 22, 2024
So MrBeast, aka Jimmy Donaldson, brought in $260k in a week. Not bad for an upload of a three-month old clip from his YouTube channel, and likely enough to prompt Donaldson to try X out again, using the same process
Though the stats are likely skewed, as Donaldson notes. $260,000 for essentially 5m views is significant, but part of that is due to direct sponsorship of the clip, which has been a point of contention among X users who claim that X has also been boosting the video as an ad, despite not disclosing such.
For its part, X says that it hasn’t been artificially boosting the clip, but the chances of other creators making a similar amount are pretty limited, and it does seem that the attention that MrBeast specifically has got in this respect has influenced the outcome.
Which makes it hard to assess the true viability of X’s video monetization process, but what is interesting is the variance in engagement counts, as opposed to the public “View” figure that we can see on the post.
On Saturday, both X engineer Christopher Stanley and owner Elon Musk re-shared this post, which suggests that MrBeast’s video got more than 129 million views in just three days in the app.
YouTube also counts views from logged out users and replays. Currently, you have to be a logged in user for views to count on X. So the reach here is actually larger. https://t.co/JPedLVtAgr
— Christopher Stanley (@cstanley) January 19, 2024
As you can see in the stats that Donaldson has shared, those “views” are actually impressions, i.e. the number of times the video was displayed in user feeds. Based on those impressions, all 156 million of them, only 5 million users actually engaged with the post. Which are also not views, but just people who tapped on the post or interacted with it.
That’s a significant variance in what X is publicly claiming as video “views” and what’s actually happening. A 96% variance to be exact.
So while the actual monetization element has seemingly been skewed by the broader attention on Donaldson’s first upload in the app, what we do know is that X’s view counts are not actual views, and are not even close to such, at least in this instance.
Yet, even so, at that level of income, other YouTubers will be paying attention to this test.
The data here breaks down to over $50k per million views, which is significantly higher than what the average YouTuber sees, and if other YouTube stars are also able to generate thousands of dollars from re-uploads to the app, they’ll likely be interested in exploring this further. Because why wouldn’t you? Some, of course, will avoid X due to fundamental issues with its ownership, but for those who are just about business, MrBeast’s example, at least at this stage, does show some promise.
It’ll be interesting to see how that revenue figure changes over time, if Donaldson does continue to upload to the app, and then, whether other YouTubers follow suit, and try their hand at X monetization. X, of course, would love to have them posting exclusively to the app, but it seems unlikely that the reach and revenue figures will be able to match up to YouTube in the longer term.
But the numbers, juiced or not, do show some promise. Which, in fairness, is pretty much what everyone expected, given that X was trying to maximize views, in an effort to win over the YouTube star.
Did X artificially boost the clip? Did it fiddle the figures to ensure a massive payout, which it can now use as an example to lure other creators?
It definitely does not seem possible that X can maintain payouts at that level, but if it can, it’ll definitely get more interest.