In the spirit of transparency, I'm sharing some stats around my medium sized YouTube channel and how it helped me start a semi-successful business. In my opinion, this pattern of YouTubers using their distribution to build companies will become increasingly common, so I hope this is a helpful data point!
I run a channel designed to help software engineers grow their career. I started 2022 with 26K subscribers and ended with 71K. Here's a graph of my subscribers vs revenue each year (I started 3 years ago):
YouTube has been instrumental in growing a community/mentorship business I started in the middle of 2022, Taro. The vast majority of paying customers initially discovered us through YouTube, and this income stream is how I'm able to make a livable income ($100K+ booked in 4 months).
This idea of creators becoming brands was actually discussed in a recent episode of the All-In podcast by David Friedberg. I included a clip at 7:43 in this video: