“I need to earn £450 every day just to break even”: Mary Spender reveals costs of being a music YouTuber

Content creation can be a great way for musicians to make money, but how much does it cost artists themselves?

Mary Spender at The NAMM Show 2024. She is holding a Martin acoustic and is smiling at the camera.

Image: Daniel Knighton / Getty

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Musician and guitar-focused YouTuber Mary Spender has revealed how she runs her business as a content creator. Spender launched her YouTube channel back in 2006, and she now has over 700,000 subscribers on the platform.

And now, she’s put out the new video in the hopes of giving a realistic picture into how musicians can make content creation a viable income source or full-time business.

Content creation has become a huge industry over the last decade, with many musicians turning to platforms like YouTube and TikTok not only to grow a name for themselves as artists, but to educate, try out gear, and discuss other music industry matters.

In her video, Spender shares how she runs her business – which consists of two full-time staff (an editor and producer) plus a part-time finance assistant – so that she can run a steady stream of content output.

“There’s so much conflicting and exaggerated information out there on YouTubers’ income and expenses,” she says. “I’ve been running through my end of year numbers and doing some streamlining, and thought it would be interesting to give you a glimpse into the running costs.”

She also clarifies that though she is not at a “creator A-list” level, her channel is far beyond a hobby. Spender’s minimum annual expenditure comes in at £161,000. For her business to be viable, she clarifies that this means she has to make a minimum monthly income of £13,459. “That’s £450 every day I need to earn just to break even,” she states.

Watch Spender’s full video below to find out more:

Mary Spender’s debut studio album Super. Sexy. Heartbreak. is out now. Find out more over at her official website. You can also watch more of her videos, where she also talks about making money as musician, over at her YouTube channel.

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