Do you want to create a successful YouTube channel? According to reports, 75% of kids say they want to become YouTubers.
We can’t blame them. The monetary gain can be huge, and unlike most regular jobs, there isn’t a hard cap on your earning potential.
But, there’s one big hurdle when it comes to making it on YouTube. Most creators plough a lot of work into their channels before the algorithmic rewards kick in. Having to appear on camera is another challenge.
AI voices can help solve both of these problems.
But what about AI voices and YouTube monetization? Can text-to-speech videos be monetized? The short answer is yes.
AI voices can save creators time, lower the barriers to entry, and fast-track the way to monetization. Thanks to this, AI voices have become increasingly popular on YouTube.
However, there are some important things to be aware of before you start leveraging AI voices in your YouTube content. If you don’t adhere to YouTube’s guidelines, your content could get demonetized faster than you can say “Adsense.”
Avoid this and keep reading to learn everything you need to know about AI voices and YouTube monetization.
The Emergence of AI Voices in Content Creation
AI has been making a lot of waves this year, from ChatGPT throwing universities into pandemonium to rising concerns about deep fakes.
But for YouTube creators, AI has been making life a lot easier. Editing tasks that used to take creators hours, AI tools can now do in a matter of minutes.
AI voices are one of these tools.
What are AI Voices?
AI voices are also known as computer-generated or synthetic voices. They are artificially created using synth technology that leverages complex algorithms.
These algorithms analyze human speech, pronunciation, and intonation. Most AI voices work via text-to-speech technology.
This capability isn’t all that new, but it’s getting progressively more powerful.
Previously, synthetic voices sounded very, well, synthetic. Most computer-generated voices were super robotic and stilted.
In the last few years, AI voices have come a long way. Instead of only being able to produce robot-talk, AI voices can now copy human speech with amazingly high levels of accuracy.
AI voices have become so seamlessly realistic that voice actors are beginning to fear for their careers.
At the moment, the majority of AI voice tools can produce semi-natural speech that closely mimics a human, even if you can still distinguish that it’s synthetic.
There are also a few highly developed AI voice generators that are almost entirely natural sounding. These capabilities are an indication of what we’ll have access to in the coming years.
If you look at how fast the tech has improved over the last few years, it’s safe to say that AI voices are going to get even better in the near future.
AI Voices in YouTube Videos
Text-to-speech has been around for a while, but the last few years are when it started to emerge in content creation. One of the reasons for this is TikTok’s auto-narration feature, which then flowed over into YouTube Shorts.
As AI voices have gotten better and better, they’re becoming more common in YouTube content. It’s especially popular in formats like:
Instructional and explainer videos
These are just a few examples of how you can leverage AI voices. Text-to-speech can work for just about any video that isn’t dependent on the personality of the creator. For instance, you might be limited if you’re creating vlogs for YouTube.
But, even for vlog-style videos, AI voices can be a valuable tool.
Some lifestyle creators prefer to film their content and then add narration in post-production.
If you don’t enjoy the sound of your own voice, an AI voice tool could be the perfect way to add audio.
Benefits of Using AI Voices
Right now, AI tools are poised to revolutionize video creation.
Time savings is one of the biggest benefits of AI voices and tools.
Instead of having to narrate voice-over takes, you can use a text-to-speech tool to create polished video audio in a fraction of the time.
Are you looking to save time on filming and editing as well? You can even use a script-to-video tool such as Pictory.ai to create professional videos (including narration) from text.
Besides saving time, AI voices are also highly cost-efficient. Using an AI voice is far cheaper than hiring a voice actor. It can also save you on pre- and post-production costs.
Imagine you need to make some last-minute changes to your video narration. If you’ve hired a freelance voice actor, they’ll have to re-record the entire segment.
If you narrate your own videos, you’ll most likely need to invest in audio equipment and create a dedicated recording space. Capturing crisp, high-quality audio isn’t always easy, especially if your home lacks sound insulation.
Do you live in a busy household? Without a soundproofed space, it can be very challenging to find a quiet time during the day to narrate videos. Unfortunately, creating a full-on recording studio at home isn’t an option for most new creators.
AI voices can also be the answer to time and energy constraints. If you only have a limited amount of time to dedicate to your channel, but you’re determined to get it monetized—AI tools are the answer.
AI voices can also be a game-changer for creators who feel they don’t have the right voice or accent to convey their message, or who struggle with a language barrier.
Finally, AI voices can also increase inclusivity. With AI voices and translation tools, it’s relatively simple to record the same video in more than one language. To make matters even more exciting, YouTube has recently launched a multi-track language feature.
Publishing your videos in multiple languages isn’t just inclusive, it’s also great for reach and revenue. By personalizing your content through AI voices, you can ramp up engagement and retention, both of which are top metrics if you want to grow your channel and ad earnings.
YouTube’s new multi-language feature now allows creators to upload multiple audio tracks to videos. This means you can include dubbed audio in all your videos, without having to upload a different video for each dub.
This is big news for creators. Instead of having multiple versions of the same video in a different language—or even multiple channels for each language you translate your videos into—you can consolidate everything and viewers can easily select their chosen language.
Mr. Beast is already capitalizing on the new feature, which we’d rate as a smart move, given that 15% of watch time on YouTube comes from videos that are being watched in viewers’ non-primary language.
So where does AI voice tie into all this? Well, narrating your videos in multiple languages can get expensive fast, unless you’re a wizz on the mic and happen to be fluent in a bunch of languages.
With a translation and AI voice tool, you can quickly and easily translate all your videos on your channel and expand your reach.
Examples of Popular YouTube Channels
Feeling skeptical about the effectiveness of AI voices for YouTube? If you watch a lot of YouTube, you’ve probably come across a few low-effort, spammy text-to-speech videos.
These are not a true representation of what’s possible with AI voice. If you put thought into your content, you can create successful videos that increase engagement.
Low Budget Stories is a good example of this. Even though the creator uses AI voices and very basic graphics, the channel has attracted more than 400K subscribers.
The secret lies in the video ideas. They often center around current topics that are in the zeitgeist (such as “Living with Chat-GPT“) and feature a unique blend of storytelling, animation, and dark humor.
Besides attracting a healthy amount of subscribers, Low Budget Stories has even been copied by other channels, such as “Zero Budget Stories.”
This channel posts the same types of videos, using similar graphics and AI voices.
The most interesting part? Both channels have high engagement rates on their videos, which consistently rake in over 200K worth of views.
Another example of a large and successful YouTube channel that leverages AI voices is edureka! This channel specializes in tutorials and training videos for things like AI, big data, data science, web development, cloud computing, etc.
It currently has over 3.7 million subscribers and receives consistent views on its videos.
Lazy Masquerade is another channel that uses AI voices to narrate stories. It has more than 1.5 million subscribers and utilizes text-to-speech to narrate true horror stories submitted by viewers.
A few other examples of successful channels that rely on text-to-voice AI technology are Merc Docs (396K subscribers), Limit Breakers (417K subscribers), and IGoByLotsOfNames (411K subscribers).
YouTube’s Monetization Policies
To be eligible for monetization, channels need to have 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time before they can join the YouTube partner program.
Besides this, creators also need to stick to YouTube’s content guidelines. These prohibit content that contains:
Sexually explicit material
YouTube also has policies on duplicate content, plagiarism, and content quality. Do AI voices make the quality cut in YouTube’s eyes? Yes they do.
Contrary to popular opinion, AI voices and YouTube monetization is not mutually exclusive.
However, YouTube does not like what it calls auto-generated content. This is where things can get a little confusing because most AI voice tools auto-generate speech from text.
Let’s compare two examples, Channel A and Channel B, to get an idea of what YouTube means by auto-generated content.
Channel A uses multiple automation tools to scrape the internet for trending news stories. It then converts these into a “video” format using text-to-speech. However, there are no informational graphics, and the video contains little-to-no editing.
Instead, it’s just words against a picture from the news article.
YouTube would most likely consider this auto-generated content. It doesn’t add any extra value to the news article. Instead, it’s just turning text into audio, with zero personalized input from the creator.
Channels like these usually get flagged by the algorithm and their videos demonetized (if they even made it into the partner program to begin with).
Channel B, on the other hand, creates informational videos on self-improvement topics. The creator researches the information thoroughly, creates a unique script, and uses images and visuals to help illustrate the concepts covered in the video.
A channel like this is unlikely to get flagged by the algorithm.
Check out the second part of this blog AI Voices and YouTube Monetization: Pros, Cons and Things to Be Aware Of Part 2!