In 2009, David DeVore Sr. uploaded a Youtube video of his son entitled “David After Dentist.” The video amassed three million views in its first three days on the platform. Six years later, “David After Dentist” has over 129 million views. In 2010, David Sr. told Business Insider it has earned over $150,000 for his family.
In a recent interview with Cosmopolitan, David Sr. admits that once the video started going massively viral, he ditched his job as a Florida realtor shortly after the 2008 market crash and never looked back.
Now, he says, his only job is managing the video — a several-minute long shot of his loopy son dramatically reacting to pain meds after a dental procedure.
“What does that mean?” you might ask. “How can you make a living off of an old viral video?”
“David After Dentist” — much like many other viral videos — is given the opportunity to be a part of YouTube’s partner program, which takes an an estimated 45% to 55% share of ad revenue, reports ReelSEO. YouTube puts an ad up before a video starts to play, and every view earns YouTube and the video’s uploader around one cent…split in half.
Sounds pretty bogus,
but think about it. 129 million views on a single video? Those clicks really start to add up. David Sr. says he also took the video in other directions. David Jr.’s recognizable antics have appeared in numerous commercials, including a Super Bowl spot that also featured Beyoncé — a deal that brought about $12,000 in.
“What we get per month fluctuates, and you wouldn’t think that it would be much but it’s not just a $200 check,” David Sr. tells Cosmo.
But the family has to have earned more than the reported $150,000.
As we mentioned, David Sr. originally told Business Insider about the $150,000 figure in 2010.
But he also reported the same approximate figure to Cosmopolitan earlier this June, despite the fact that the video would have continued to make money (even if just from ad views alone) in the last five years.
It’s not surprising David Sr. neglected to give Cosmo any specific comments about the money his family has earned from the video since he last talked to Business Insider.
In the last few years, YouTube stars have become notoriously tight-lipped about their web-based income, but have given run-around vague statements in the past. Top YouTuber Jenna Marbles told the New York Times: “I make more money than I need, ever.”
We gave it a shot and estimated the numbers. Keep in mind, David Sr. also told Cosmo he’s made “David After Dentist” merch, so we’re not sure how much money that has brought in (there was a story about it in The Washington Post in 2010.) These are rough estimates.
In 2010, a year after the video was uploaded, CNN reports the video had 54 million views.
If the Beyoncé Super Bowl spot was worth $12,000, we’ll venture to guess about $138,000 was made just from ad views from the YouTube partnership program.
$138,000 / 54,000,000 = a number between $.002 and $.003 per click. That fraction of a penny multiplied by 54,000,000 page views would bring in somewhere between $110,000 and $160,000 from the partnership program.
Since 2010, the video went from 54 million views to 129 million views. It’s possible that another $150,000 – $225,000 has been made off of “David After Dentist.”
Pretty good for a dad who says he didn’t even have a Facebook account when he first uploaded the now-famous video.
But here’s one thing about money David Sr. is telling Cosmo: He’s unsure if the video has actually made as much money as it could have.
“To this day I wonder if I am getting enough out of every deal,” he says. “We don’t have an agent, and my wife and I manage the video ourselves without being in the know of the industry.”
“I don’t mean to be greedy,” he adds. “But what if it is worth more than what we’re getting?”
Check out the full video of “David After Dentist” below or on YouTube.