Selling A YouTube Channel For Real Profit (The Guide)
You have spent years building up your following on YouTube. Now, it’s time to take a step back and consider your future. Are you interested in selling your YouTube channel to a new owner for a handsome profit?
Selling your YouTube channel can be an easy process if you know what to anticipate and where to go. If you are looking for a detailed breakdown of everything you need to know to sell your channel, look no further. Here is everything you should know to make selling a YouTube channel as easy as possible.
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Can You Sell Your YouTube Channel?
If you are thinking about selling your YouTube channel, you might be wondering if this is even allowed. According to the terms of service listed with YouTube, the answer is yes.
It is indeed legal to sell a YouTube channel.
However, going about it may be a bit trickier than you anticipated.
Many of the platforms that you can use to sell websites and blogs do not allow you to list a YouTube channel for sale. They will allow you to sell it as an asset that accompanies another website such as a blog. However, you must be very careful and studious in reading the fine print on some of these broker websites.
For example, Flippa and Empire Flippers do not allow the sale of YouTube channels. Flippa does allow you to sell your YouTube channel as an asset along with a site on a unique domain though.
How Do You Transfer Ownership of a YouTube Channel?
There is no real way to change the ownership of your account if you are signed up as a personal account. In order to transfer ownership, you would have to sell the email account associated with the channel as well.
Make sure that the new owner of your account has a way to lock you out of that email. This might mean changing the phone numbers and secondary emails associated with the account. For a clean transaction, you need to ensure that you no longer have any access to that YouTube channel.
For those who are thinking that they might want to build and sell your YouTube channel, it would be smarter to register as a brand.
Registering as a brand allows you to add new admins and change the owner of the account. All you have to do is go to your settings and invite your buyer as an admin. They can then list themselves as the primary owner and delete you from the account.
Keep in mind that there is no way to transfer your personal account to a brand account. In order to do this, you would have to delete the channel and start over. Hopefully, this is something that YouTube corrects in the future.
How Much Can You Sell a YouTube Channel For?
The truth is that there are no hard and fast rules about valuing a YouTube channel. A good starting place is to look at the monthly revenue that your channel brings in. This is a better gauge than the number of subscribers for how much your channel could be worth.
Many experts believe that a YouTube channel is worth roughly three times your annual revenue. For example, a YouTube channel that makes $2,000 per month could sell for $72,000. This is the standard that is applied to most websites that sell, including blogs and ecommerce sites.
Some people caution that selling a YouTube channel is a bit more complex and might net lower profits. Why might you expect to receive less than this amount?
First and foremost, you are the very face of your brand or channel. You are the reason that people come back time and again to consume new content. Switching the channel over to new host, particularly when done abruptly, can cost you subscribers and ruin the channel.
Videos also have less engagement over time whereas blogs can grow in traffic over the months and years. A video is likely to receive the maximum amount of engagement in the first couple of days after posting it. It is unlikely to continue growing in popularity after this point.
Last but not least, a new buyer has no way to increase the monetization of old videos. Not only will they not have access to the original footage, but YouTube allows only for minor changes on videos that are already posted. If they wanted to make too many modifications, they would have to delete the video and make a new one.
What is the Most Money Paid for a YouTube Channel?
While it is true that selling a YouTube channel can be less lucrative than other types of sites and assets, you might be surprised at how much some channels sell for. It’s not hard to find instances where someone paid millions of dollars for a thriving YouTube channel.
This often occurs when the YouTube channel has become a brand of its own. People recognize the name and personality behind the channel.
One such example is the purchase of Cocomelon. This YouTube channel sold for an undisclosed amount but it’s pretty clear the sale was most likely in the large eight to nine figure range. You can read the Cocomelon case study here as it’s very inspiring.
If you can find a buyer who needs access to your large audience to market a particular product, then you might have struck gold with the sale of your channel. A YouTube channel that has made it into the list of top 100 channels is likely to sell for more money.
If you want to see the big profits that can sometimes be associated with selling a YouTube channel, then you might want to focus on monetization and growth first.
How to Sell a YouTube Channel
The steps for selling a YouTube channel are much simpler than you might imagine. The most important thing is to get organized before listing your YouTube channel for sale. Take a look at these simple steps to help you get prepared for the sale.
Gather Up Your Traffic and Monetization Records
If you want to get serious about selling your YouTube channel, then you need to know all of your statistics. Make a note about how many subscribers you have, your main monetization methods, and how much you are making in ads revenue through YouTube.
These are all statistics that you will be asked about when a broker tries to value your channel.
Prospective buyers are also going to want to hear all of the details about your channel before they are willing to hand over hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Take screenshots from your dashboard and pull bank statements to prove how much income is associated with your account.
If your YouTube channel income is deposited directly into your personal checking account, this might also be a good time to switch to a business account. This can make it easier to prove income and expenses for a prospective buyer without revealing your personal finances.
Consider the Transition
Chances are that your audience is used to seeing you as the face of the channel. This is a good time to consider what the transition to a new owner will look like. You might want to come up with a transition strategy that involves making a few videos together with the new owner.
If you are still a few months out from the sale of your YouTube channel, then you might want to consider bringing on some new team members. Let your audience adjust to seeing someone else in front of the camera for a few videos, even if it is just temporary. This lets them see that you can still produce excellent content, even when you are not physically present.
Find a Buyer
Maybe you already know someone locally who is interested in purchasing your channel. If you do, then the transition might be even more seamless. You can help to ease them in front of the camera, making the transition a bit easier and less jarring for your subscribers.
This is to the benefit of your buyer. Your audience is more likely to stick around through the switch if they see that the content is not really changing with a new personality. Transferring a loyal audience to a new video host can be a tricky endeavor.
If you don’t know anyone locally who wants to purchase your channel, consider reaching out to your competitors. They might love an opportunity to expand their own audience and cut back on some of the competition.
Find a Broker
When you don’t know someone personally who would like to purchase your channel, you might need to find another avenue to locate a buyer. Finding a reputable broker can be considerably more difficult for YouTube channel owners than for website owners.
Fortunately, there are a few brokers out there who specialize in these types of sales. The three most well-known sites for selling YouTube channels are:
- ACCS Market
Where Can I Sell My YouTube Channel?
Understanding what each of the popular brokers and marketplaces can offer helps you to determine where to sell a YouTube channel. Take a look at these popular marketplaces to determine which one is right for you.
FameSwap is a free service that allows you to list your YouTube channel for sale. They also specialize in selling other types of social media pages such as Instagram accounts. It is a one-stop shop for all of your selling needs. They allow you to manage all of your offers and messages in one place.
Keep in mind that they do not help you to navigate offers. If you want to make a counteroffer, you can do so but you must do it on your own. They do not have representatives assigned to help smooth this transition for you.
One of the best services they have to offer is their escrow account. This allows your new buyer to transfer funds to you without the worry of chargebacks or payment reversals. All transactions over $100 are eligible to use this service.
While it is free to list your YouTube channel for sale, escrow is not a free service. You will pay either 5 percent of the offer price or $50 minimum, whichever is greater. Fees can be assigned to either the buyer, seller, or a combination of the two.
TrustIU is a bit of a step up from FameSwap and offers a lot more features for those who want to sell their YouTube channel. For starters, they offer a free valuation made by experts to determine what your channel is really worth. If you aren’t sure about how to price your YouTube channel, TrustIU is a great place to start.
Once you accept their valuation, it is put for sale in the marketplace. TrustIU sends it out to their contact list and features it in campaigns. They do everything possible to connect you with an interested buyer.
A prospective buyer can make an offer on the YouTube channel and then fund the sale. After payment has been made, this broker helps with the migration process. Last but not least, you are paid for the sale once the migration has taken place.
They do charge a fee upon the close of a sale with rates ranging from 8 percent for sales over 2 million euros and 10 percent for sales under 1 million euros.
One of the other largest marketplaces where you can sell a YouTube channel is the ACCS Market. Setting up an account and listing your channel for sale is quick and easy. You choose the sale price and enter all of your information so that buyers can survey their options.
Much like FameSwap, ACCS Market also has an official escrow service that helps to protect both buyers and sellers. They charge the buyer a 7 percent fee (or a minimum of $3), and in exchange, they will:
- Help the seller to transfer login details and the original email account to the escrow agent
- Change the login details
- Instruct the buyer to issue funds for the payment of the channel
- Send the new login details to the buyer upon seller’s confirmation of payment
If you cancel the transaction, the escrow agent will still get to keep one-third of the commission.
Unfortunately, they do not offer any sort of valuation tool to help you figure out a good sale price. The guidelines in this article should help you to value your own site though.
Keep in mind that ACCS Market does sell other social media platforms in addition to YouTube. They also help with the sale of Instagram accounts, Facebook accounts, and Twitter accounts.
Use A Website Business Broker
We listed above all of the top marketplaces to sell a YouTube channel but if you truly have a popular channel that could be worth six to seven figures or more, we would suggest using a full service website business broker.
A full service broker is going to help you to do all of the hard work to sell your channel. The will handle everything from putting your business prospectus together to finding a buyer for you. Large YouTube channels should consider going this route to be sure that the whole transaction is done properly.
We suggest using a full service business broker such as Website Properties. They have helped us to sell 6 online businesses and each time, we received more for the business than we had originally planned.
You can get a free valuation from Website Properties here.
Selling Your YouTube Channel for Top Dollar
You put a lot of time and hard work into building up your list of subscribers. Shouldn’t you benefit from all of those hours spent behind the camera, editing videos, and marketing yourself? With these tips in mind, you can be sure that you are getting top dollar for your channel.