How do people who end up in viral videos and/or memes suddenly become rich? Where does the money come from?

video that went viral

You might have often seen some unwitting person suddenly on the front page of every social website on the internet. They might be in some video that went viral, or some specific reaction of theirs might have become a meme. An example from not too far back that comes to mind is the “Cash Me Ousside Howbow Dat?” girl. A 13-year-old back then, she said the famous phrase on an episode of Dr. Phil’s TV show.

Before we knew it she was everywhere, and she took full advantage of that. Though her demeanor left a sour taste in most people’s mouths, she nevertheless gained an unexpected number of fans. Other people continue to become memes or go viral for a multitude of reasons to this day.

Some of these people have had success using this fame to their advantage and actually making money from it. Here you might wonder: how? How do these random strangers suddenly start making money because of a picture of theirs being used in memes? The answer is simple.

The money comes from advertisements. Take a YouTube video for example. Once a YouTuber gets enough subscribers and views on their videos, they have the option to enable ads. Have you ever seen an ad on a video? Yes, those are the ones.

What happens is that companies make ads and pay YouTube to show them on their websites (and videos). When a video is posted, one can enable ads to show on the videos. When a viewer clicks the ad, the creator of the YouTuber will get a certain amount of money, and YouTube itself will get a certain amount of money.

In essence, the companies make the ads, pay YouTube to show them, viewers click on the ads, and YouTube shares a small commission to the creator of the videos.  If the video turns viral, that portion can turn quite huge. Using this, these newfound stars can post a lot of videos. Or they might go on TV for an interview. They might even get a sponsorship from some company, which is an instant win when it comes to making money. The 21st Century isn’t short of methods to get rich quick. It’s just that most of them rely on randomness and the luck of the draw.