If you’re on the Internet at all, YouTube is sort of a mainstay. You probably don’t even notice it anymore because such a seamlessly integrated part of consuming content online. Personally, I’ve found some great personalities on YouTube that I subscribe to, or make a point of staying caught up on, because they’re better and less commercial-y than stuff on TV. The fact that anyone is able to garner widespread attention for little to no monetary investment these days — compared to how much money goes into production for TV shows and commercials — YouTube is sort of a monument of human achievement in terms of circumventing the “system.” But how much do these YouTube celebrities really make? Is it enough to live on? 

While you might expect some sort of nebulous sliding scale of income for YouTubers, something annoying like eBay selling where the proprietary sites you work through nickel and dime you the whole way, it’s actually a pretty simple system. According to wikianswers creators stand to gain:

$0.0033/1 view 
$3/1,000 view 
$33/ 10,000 views 
$330/ 100,000 views 
$3300/ 1,000,000 views 

The catch? You only get paid past the first million views, and you have to be what’s called a “YouTube partner,” which entails little more than simply signing up. And because of users like Daily Grace, who makes a living off videos make 5 days a week and incurring less than a million views per video, I’m assuming that million doesn’t have to be on one video — it’s account-wide.

So essentially, a career designed around bringing original content direct to consumers has been created on the Web, and it’s putting money into the pockets of creative individuals. …Or, paying over $3,000 to this Twihard chick raging on the Kristen Stewart/Rob Pattinson sitch. Yeah.

Good or bad, these folks are making real money. Could you be the next YouTube sensation?