One of the great things.. in fact, the great thing, about YouTube is that it facilitates sharing of video from anyone to everyone. There’s a lot of great content and while YouTube is (for viewers) advertising supported, and while some of this revenue goes to the video publishers themselves, at the end of the day it would be very difficult to survive on YouTube earnings alone.
Perhaps. Until now. Google has released YouTube fan funding in Australia, which allows video viewers to directly donate to the video’s owner. While viewing a video of someone subscribed to the service, you’ll see a hovering icon shown over the top left of the video for a short while. Clicking that button brings up a pop-up window that allows you to make a direct donation using your Google Wallet credentials.
You can see how this works in the video below:
As with any service, nothing is really truly free. Here, YouTube (read: Google) will take a small percentage to cover the transaction cost, passing on the rest to the video owner. In Australia, the rate is $0.23 per transaction, and 5% of the transaction value, so on a $10 donation, the video owner would receive $9.27 (if my math is correct).