If you’re thinking about starting a YouTube channel and wondering what it will cost to get started, we have the answers you’re looking for. We’ve done extensive research and compiled these YouTube channel startup costs.

Costs to Start a YouTube Channel

Here are the items needed and their costs to start your YouTube channel:

ItemLow CostAverage Cost
YouTube Account$0$0
Video Equipment$150$750
Editing Software$0$300
Graphics Program$0*Optional
Photo Studio Rental
* Optional
Photo Studio Rental
** Internet Access and Computer (needed if not already owned)$50/month internet access$400+ laptop computer

Continue reading our detailed startup cost list below which includes more information about the equipment required along with a price range from the cheapest (sometimes free) options to the average costs for cameras, microphones, lighting, editing software, and graphic programs.

YouTube Account – $0

The first thing you should do to start a YouTube channel is to open a YouTube account. Luckily, there is no cost to open a YouTube account because it’s included with a free Google account.

To sign in to your YouTube account, use your Google login credentials. You should set up a business Gmail account separate from your personal email address. Then, you can brand your business email with your company logo and a professional signature.

A good way to promote your channel is to create a YouTube brand account with a different name than your Google account. There’s no cost for a brand account on YouTube. This could be helpful if you want to give other people access to your YouTube account, such as your video editor.

Internet Access and Computer – $0-400+

Other equipment and services that you’ll need include a well-functioning computer and high-speed internet access. These are vital because you need a strong and stable bandwidth to upload large video files to YouTube. Your computer speed is also critical because you will be running robust software programs for graphic design, sound editing, and video editing.

If you already have internet access and a serviceable computer, there will be no additional cost for your video channel business venture. If, however, you do not have these items, a decent laptop costs $350+, and high-speed internet access typically costs at least $50 per month.

Studio – $0-500+

You will need a dedicated space where you can set up your camera, lights, and microphone properly. If you’re trying to minimize your costs, this could be in your home, office, garage, garden, etc.

Alternatively, you could rent a photography studio at an average cost of $500/day to shoot multiple videos using their professional setup, which often includes green screens, seamless white backgrounds, professional lighting, and high-end acoustics.

Video Equipment List – $150-750

In order to shoot videos that are correctly formatted, with accurate sound levels and attractive aesthetics, you’ll need quality video equipment and devices.

Video Camera

The $0-startup-cost way to start your YouTube channel is to use your smartphone, assuming you own one that has a serviceable video camera, such as an iPhone.

The next step up in budget is to purchase an inexpensive video camera. There are some highly-rated name brands such as Sony Cybershot DSC and the Canon Powershot which retail for a few hundred dollars or less. If your videos are going to be outdoor activities or sports-oriented, consider getting a GoPro camera in a similar price range.


  • Get started with a high-end camera by renting it by the day instead of buying it.
  • For under $50 per day, you could rent high-end SLR cameras for your video shoots.


One of the most critical pieces of equipment for quality video is a good microphone. Even if your videos are beautiful visually, if the sound is scratchy or hard to hear, your visitors will click away from your videos.

Audio quality from smartphones, laptops, and digital cameras might not be acceptable for YouTube business videos. 

  • You may want to purchase an external microphone that can be attached to your camera, placed in front of you on the table, or clipped to your clothing. 
  • The least expensive microphones are lavaliers. These mics clip onto your shirt and allow you to walk, talk, and record your voice hands-free. They can be used either with cameras or smartphones, are available in wireless and wired versions, and can be bought for under $50.
  • Professional YouTubers recommend noise diffusers to cut down on wind noise. They can be inexpensive, costing around $30 for cheaper models.
  • The next level up in microphone quality is a shotgun mic, which attaches to your camera and costs a few hundred dollars.
  • Another microphone option, good for interview-type videos, is a stand microphone. Like a shotgun microphone, stand mics typically run a couple hundred dollars or more.

Tripod – Camera Stabilizer

A tripod is a crucial piece of equipment you will need for your camera or smartphone. By stabilizing your recording device, you will get a smooth-flowing video.

There are many types of tripods, such as handheld, clip-on, selfie sticks, desktop models, and floor stands. Some YouTube businesses use tripods that twist around objects to get interesting shots in tight places, such as the GorillaPod which retails for under $20 on Amazon for a basic model. If your startup budget is very small, you can make do-it-yourself tripods from household items.


The next thing you need for great videos is good lighting. You could use natural light for free by filming your videos outdoors or in front of a sunny window.

Another zero-cost way to get decent lighting is to use your household lighting in creative designs. With a little bit of trial and error, you can create professional video lighting from everyday sources, like the lamps and other fixtures you already own.

There are also many budget lighting options for under $50 available on various websites, such as Amazon. If your budget allows, upgrade your lighting equipment to professional grade to give your YouTube business an advantage over much of the competition.

Video Creation and Editing Software – $0-300

The next thing you’ll need to create a truly effective YouTube video channel is software for editing your footage and creating animations and intros.

Video Editing

Some of the most popular video editing programs used by YouTube businesses are iMovie (Free), Adobe Premiere Pro ($20.99/month), and Final Cut Pro X ($299.99). Using an editor is an important element of creating quality videos that allow you to cut your footage, color-correct, and add special effects, titles, and transitions.

Animations and Intros

Create a brand-building animated intro to start all your videos. There are some free options, such as Animaker, and many low-cost programs (under $50 per month) like Renderforest, LightMV, and IntroCave.

Graphic Video Thumbnail Creator

Having eye-catching and attractive thumbnails are an important part of marketing your YouTube channel. As such, use graphics software that’ll help you create stunning thumbnails for your videos. There are some free versions, such as Canva, and low-cost ones like Adobe Spark and Snappa for under $25 per month. All of these are easy to use, even if you have no graphic design experience.

Stock Video, Sound, and Graphics

Stock Video and Photos

Some YouTube businesses purchase stock footage and photos that they insert into their videos to make them more interesting and eye-catching. You can get free video stock at Videvo and low-cost video footage that is royalty-free for $29/month at Shutterstock.

Music Stock Audio Files

YouTube offers a full library of royalty-free audio and music files (including sound effects) to add tracks to your videos for free. For instance, you can find audio files for free on the YouTube channel Royalty-Free Music.

YouTube Channel Art

To customize your home page, you’ll want to create custom channel art. The easiest and cheapest way may be to use a YouTube banner template from a graphic house such as Venngage for $10/month.

Advanced – SEO and Courses 

To further build your YouTube business, consider investing in these advanced items:

YouTube SEO – $0-200+ per month

You can use specialized tools to search for profitable keywords on YouTube, such as Tubics.com for around $200 per month. Getting your videos to rank better on YouTube will increase your organic views and thus your income. 

Alternatively, for free, you can do your own keyword research by using the search engine inside of YouTube, although this can require considerably more legwork.

YouTube Marketing Course – $0

Check out the free YouTube Creators courses. YouTube offers classes for every level of content creator, from beginners to highly experienced businesses. The courses cover content strategy, video production, channel optimization, policies, and guidelines. 

Another free, high-quality YouTube marketing course is offered by internet marketing experts at HubSpot. The Hubspot YouTube Certification Course teaches you how to build your audience and brand on YouTube. You’ll learn from YouTube influencers and experts how to create a successful YouTube channel, create engaging videos people want to share, optimize your videos for higher visibility, take advantage of YouTube SEO, get more video views and channel subscribers, and monetize your channel.

Ready to Start Your YouTube Business?

Launching a YouTube channel can be an enjoyable and rewarding way to make money online. There are many ways you can earn money from your YouTube channels, such as ads, affiliate marketing, product placement, brand sponsorships, and selling your consulting services.

We’ve got the tools and resources to help start, run, and grow your business, from LLC formation and ongoing compliance assistance to tedious legal requirements.

Starts at $0 + state fee

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.

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Written by Team ZenBusiness

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