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The big “but” behind MrBeast’s 160 million impressions on X

  • After a week-long experiment, MrBeast has revealed how many views a reuploaded video garnered and how much he earned from revenue share.
  • The creator earned $263 000 from the video which garnered 160 million impressions, but only 5 million engagements.
  • The creator noted that his revenue may be higher than what others may receive.

For those still on X, formerly Twitter, you’ve likely seen the first MrBeast video on the platform, with a reupload of that video that garnering 216 million views on YouTube.

After Elon Musk practically begged Jimmy “MrBeast” Donaldson to upload to X, the creator caved and ran a test over the last week to see how well a video posted to X would perform.

On Monday, a week after the upload, Donaldson shared that he had earned $263 655 from the video which attracted 5 176 335 “engagements” and 156 685 975 impressions. This amounts to a CPM (how much Donaldson earned per 1 000 views) of $50.93 or $0.05 per engagement. This puts X way above the CPM enjoyed by creators on YouTube which generally pays $0.01 to $0.03 per view.

However, that may not be the case for everybody or every video as Donaldson himself noted.

“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,” the creator said.

Other creators have taken to X to complain that their CPM isn’t nearly as high as Donaldson. One user highlighted how 20 million impressions hadn’t even earned them $20.

Throughout the week accusations have been made that X was running the video as an umarked advert so that it reached more users. Others have accused Musk of taking revenue from other creators to plough into Donaldson’s earnings. This seems unlikely but it’s worth mentioning given the state Twitter, or rather X, is in these days.

It’s also worth noting that it isn’t clear whether X is paying Donaldson per impression (times a user is served a post in timeline or search results) or per engagement (number of times a user interacted with a post. Clicks anywhere on the post, including reposts, replies, follows, likes, links, cards, hashtags, embedded media, username, profile photo, or post expansion). If it is per impression then MrBeast’s video earned $1.68 per 1 000 impressions.

The creator’s post reveals that the view counter shown in posts is simply highlighting impressions, which means a person doesn’t even have to click on the post for an impression to register. All the Musk fans crowing about how many views the video received may want to eat some humble pie because despite 156 million impressions only three percent of that figure turned into actual views.

By contrast, a video uploaded by Donaldson over a week ago has garnered over 91 million views on YouTube which means somebody watched the content for at least 30 seconds for one single view to be counted.

The work for X now is to show that it can repeat this success for MrBeast. This first video was a novelty in that it was the first upload to X and as such, there was a lot of attention on it. The trouble is that once the attraction of the shiny new thing wears off, the views of that content also fall off.

For example, Tucker Carlson attracted 121 million impressions in his first long-form video but these days his content only attracts around 2 to 5 million impressions per video.

From where we’re standing, X may make for a nice addition to MrBeast’s income but that’s about it. We don’t see the creator moving to X exclusively barring some travesty befalling YouTube. The creator could of course use the platform to launch exclusive content but that feels like a “once in a blue moon” sort of thing.

We do not doubt that Musk and X will use the success of this video as a carrot to lure creators to X while also garnering a X Premium subscription, as you aren’t eligible for revenue share if you aren’t a subscriber. But we aren’t convinced that X will replace YouTube or TikTok for that matter.

While this was a win for MrBeast, it’s not clear whether other creators who cut their teeth on X exclusively will reach this level of success or earnings.

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