How does Russell Brand make money online? Comedian loses YouTube monetisation after abuse claims

Some of Brand's money is made through comedy gigs and merchandise. Credit: AP

Comedian Russell Brand is facing a myriad of allegations of rape, sexual assault, and emotional abuse from several women.

The claims have prompted investigations not just by the Metropolitan Police, but also his ex-employers, including Channel 4, the BBC, and production company Banijay UK.

The actor no longer works for those organisations - and is not a prominent figure in mainstream film, television or radio, at all.

As the news emerges that YouTube has suspended the monetisation of Brand’s channel in light of the allegations, here is what the TV presenter has been up to in the last few years - and how he has been making his money.

Advertising revenue and sponsorships

Brand has continued to carve out a profitable media career for himself by turning to online platforms and embracing an anti-establishment narrative in order to gain new followers.

His following sits at 6.6 million subscribers on YouTube, 11.2 million followers on X, formerly Twitter, 1.4 million followers on right-wing video platform Rumble and 3.8 million followers on Instagram.

YouTube is central to Brand’s earning ability, allowing him to earn money from the advertising revenue YouTube makes each time someone watches one of his videos and sees the adverts that appear within and alongside them.

One social media expert told The Guardian they estimate Brand is “likely making £2,000 to £4,000 per video”, not including any affiliate deals or brand sponsorships that may also be running in the background.

Sponsorship is also an area Brand is prominent in, with many of his videos featuring a product mention and link to it at the top of the video’s written description, from which earnings for prominent YouTubers can be significant.

Brand posts videos daily to his Rumble and YouTube accounts – potentially earning thousands each month – and often taps into conspiracy theories and anti-establishment narratives which have become popular in some parts of the online world, but are also known for their ability to drive up view counts with their sensationalist and controversial content.

His videos regularly receive hundreds of thousands of views.

As a result, the demonetisation of Brand’s YouTube account is likely to have a significant impact on his earning potential.

Screen grab of Russell Brand’s YouTube channel Credit: YouTube/PA


Having drawn people in with his provocative content on these platforms, Brand also offers fans other ways to interact with him through subscriptions and links to his other work.

He has a dedicated subscribers area on the online community platform Locals, where members can sign up for a minimum 60 dollars (£48) a year – or enter a higher amount if they wish to donate more – in order to access special bonus content from Brand, as well as the opportunity to interact with him directly.

Merchandise, festival and gig tickets

His Instagram account includes a link to a merchandise store – although the webpage says the store is currently under review – and his website is currently selling tickets to a wellness festival scheduled for next summer and hosted by Brand and his wife, with several tiers of weekend tickets costing between £160 and £195 each having already sold out.

Russell Brand leaves the Troubabour Wembley Park theatre in north-west London after performing a comedy set. Credit: PA

The link to the merchandise store on Instagram and a message on Brand’s website note that profits from both the store and festival will go to the Stay Free Foundation – an organisation Brand chairs which works with charities helping people with addiction and mental health issues.

In addition, Brand uses his social media presence to promote his other work, including tickets to his now-postponed live stand-up comedy tour and the range of podcasts he hosts.

His show, titled Bipolarisation, is currently on tour - though the remaining shows on the calendar this month have been postponed.

According to the most recent figures filed with Companies House, Brand’s personal company which he co-owns with his wife – Pablo Diablo’s Legitimate Business Firm Ltd – saw its net assets more than double from around £2 million to £4.1 million in 2021.

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