buy youtube thumbnail hero image buy youtube
November 14, 2021

How To Buy a Monetized YouTube Channel (And for How Much?)

OK, so you’re looking to just outright buy a monetized YouTube channel. I already have a post on how to sell a YouTube channel, but it might be interesting to think about things from the buyers perspective.

Where Can You Buy a YouTube Channel

A handful of websites exist that facilitate the buying and selling of YouTube channels.  FameSwapPlayerUp, TrustIU, and ACCS Market.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a few thousand dollars lying around to buy a YouTube channel from each of them. So I can’t personally attest to how reputable these sites are. That said, I think they can help you to get an idea of what similarly sized channels are selling for.

The other place to find YouTube channels is via outreach (where you message the creator of the channel). Unfortunately, that method is going to have a very low success rate. Most creators put a lot of effort into their channels and aren’t looking to cash out. But, you might have some luck on Reddit forums or any place where large numbers of YouTubers gather.

How Much Do YouTube Channels Cost?

The Verge has reported that several top 100 YouTube channels have sold for millions of dollars. But, the same can not be said for small channels. Small Channels (10k subs or less) can be had for dirt cheap.

How cheap are we talking? Here’s a screenshot of users attempting to sell their channels on FameSwap for a few hundred bucks! And these are channels that sometimes have thousands or tens of thousands of subscribers.

sell youtube channel examples

Is Buying a YouTube Channel a Wise Investment?

Just because something is cheap doesn’t mean it’s a wise investment. We have to stop and ask ourselves how we’re going to overcome the following problems when buying a channel.

1) Will This Channel Fall Apart Without The Original Creator?

I think this is the #1 reason I’d be skeptical of buying a YouTube channel. Subscribers oftentimes feel a strong connection to the creator, and if that creators gone the channel will lose the interest of most of its subscribers.

There are ways to attempt to circumvent this. You can appear with the original creator in collaborations for several videos and slowly phase the old creator out. Or, you could target channels where the original creator didn’t show their face (This would be my preference).

2) Can You Monetize The Subscriber Base?

Unfortunately, buying YouTube channels is not like buying a blog for a couple of reasons.

  1. YouTube videos tend to depreciate in traffic over time while blog posts tend to rank higher in Google with age (for at least a few years).
  2. YouTube doesn’t allow very much editing of an already uploaded video and you’re stuck with adsense. Meaning you can’t monetize any of the old content better than the original creator did it.

Because you can’t better monetize any of the old stuff or increase the traffic to it. The value that you’re buying is the subscriber base. Are they a great fit for a product you sell? That would be the main use case for wanting to buy an already established YouTube channel.

3) Is This Account in Good Standing? (Adsense Approval, Copyright Strikes)

If you were approved for Adsense and had 10k+ subscribers, you wouldn’t be willing to sell your channel for a few hundred dollars on FameSwap (Because Adsense would be paying you more than that).

So keep in mind that some of these dirt cheap assets may not be dirt cheap because they’re not in good standing with YouTube. I’d be extremely wary of buying a channel that used large amounts of copyrighted material or anything of the like.

4) Will The Seller Sell Me Their Entire GMail Account

I’ll go over how to change ownership of a brand account below. But, assuming this person didn’t start their channel as a brand account you’ll need to buy their entire GMail account to truly be in possession of the channel. This is going to complicate a lot of transactions.

5) Will The Seller Sell Me The Rights To Their Footage?

One of the most valuable parts of a YouTube channel is being able to re-use any of the video that has already been created for the channel. If the previous creator did some good stuff this might have some real value to you.

6) Could You Get This Many Subscribers Faster If You Started a New Channel?

If you’re putting out good content (high click-through-rate and viewer retention) you can get to 10k+ subscribers relatively quickly (months, not years). Rather than going through the hassle of buying an established channel and dealing with the problems above, most people would be better served to simply create a new channel.

How Do I Change The Owner of My YouTube Channel?

So this is tricky. As of 2021, you can’t transfer ownership of your YouTube channel if you weren’t signed up with a brand account. And there’s no way to change your personal account into a brand account without deleting the entire channel. Meaning if you’re buying a personal YouTube channel, you have to buy the entire Gmail account. If you can’t lock the previous owner out after the sale, they can really do some damage.

If the seller was smart enough to start with a brand account, tell them to go to YouTube and click Settings.

youtube settings

Then click Add or Remove Managers. Then click Manage Permissions. Then a screen like the one below should appear, add the new owner, and click invite.

add new owner to youtube channel

Once the other owner accepts your invitation via email, he will have the ability to get back to that same screen you were just on. From there, he can set himself as the primary owner and then delete you from the account.

youtube set primary owner

Is It Against YouTube’s Terms of Service to Buy or Sell a YouTube Channel

YouTube’s Terms of Service are located right here. Buying a channel is not against YouTube’s terms of service in any way.

However, they do not support transactions either. Meaning you’re on your own for the process of transferring ownership and collecting payment. If you transfer ownership and then the other party doesn’t pay you or vice versa, you’re screwed.

You should only engage in these types of transactions with people you trust. Or if you have a robust legal framework in place to handle disputes.

How Do I Contact YouTube?

If you’re serious about buying or selling an expensive channel, it’s understandable you may want to reach out to YouTube yourself about this. I couldn’t figure out a way to message them from the YouTube help center, so I sent @TeamYouTube a tweet asking about buying a YouTube channel.

Shaun Poore worked as a professional software developer for 15 years before transitioning into content creation and digital product businesses. Shaun's currently focused on providing as many people as possible with actionable advice and tools they can use to succeed online, without the fluff or BS that too often plagues this industry.