MrBeast’s Video Experiment Made Him Over $250,000 on X. But He Says There’s a Catch

MrBeast’s Video Experiment Made Him Over $250,000 on X. But He Says There’s a Catch

Earlier this month, YouTube star MrBeast decided to take up an offer from Elon Musk to try out a monetization opportunity through revenue share payments on X (formerly Twitter). MrBeast, whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson, uploaded a video to X on Jan. 15 to see how much ad revenue it could make. On Jan. 22, Donaldson shared that the video made $263,655, in a screenshot posted to X.

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“But it’s a bit of a facade,” he wrote in the post, “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.”

As MrBeast, Donaldson is one of the most popular YouTubers, with over 233 million subscribers. He previously expressed reservations about uploading a whole video to X, after Musk replied to one of his posts and suggested he post one directly on X. “My videos cost millions to make, and even if they got a billion views on X, it wouldn’t fund a fraction of it,” Donaldson responded.

By earning $250,000 on the video he posted to X in January—a repost of a video he put on YouTube in September—Donaldson’s cost per mille (CPM, or money he earns for every thousand views) is $1.68—much higher than the $0.03 earned on average by creators on X. 

On X,  the video received over 162 million views, compared to its 215 million views on YouTube.

In August, a post on X’s official Support page announced the creator program and changes to the eligibility threshold. Users who are subscribed to X Premium (which costs $8 a month) can begin monetizing their content if they are able to garner five million impressions on their content within three months of subscribing. The minimum payout was changed from $50 to $10. Musk later wrote in a post that in order to be eligible for monetization, users had to be subscribed, and “only impressions from other X Premium subscribers count towards monetization.”

Concerns were raised about the rate at which MrBeast’s video was being shared on their timelines. Business Insider reported that the “ads tend to appear in someone’s feed multiple times, so people used this as evidence Donaldson’s post was labeled as one on the backend of X’s system.” An X user posted that they’d seen the post in their feed “[seven] times now.”

Mashable reported last week that X has been serving their users with unlabeled advertisements since September. Ryan Broderick, who writes the Garbage Day newsletter on web culture, wrote on X, “Per X, the MrBeast video is technically not an undisclosed ad. There is a pre-roll ad for Shopify in the video, which is labeled as such. X boosts posts containing pre-roll ads, but because the post itself is not the ad, it doesn’t have the label.”

Musk responded to the suspicions of “juicing” MrBeast’s views on X in a post where he writes, “To the best of my knowledge, we have done nothing to amplify his viewers.” However, MrBeast said that he would be giving away the earnings in a post he uploaded on Tuesday. He will be picking 10 people to receive $25,000 from him. In just a little over 24 hours, the post received over one million likes and over three million reposts.

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