YouTube has revealed a new monetization opportunity for Shorts creators. This move can be seen as a direct intervention to avert Tiktok’s explosive expansion in the US. It will allow creators recording short-form videos earn bonuses so they can stay motivated to keep publishing.
YouTube is incredibly popular as the first platform that ever allowed creators to earn a living by publishing video content on the web. The company launched their Partner Program only three years after it was founded, giving as much as 55% of its advertising revenue to creators. YouTube still accounts for the largest share of revenue earned publishing videos. But monetization has been limited to long-form videos where adverts can be embedded just before or when a video is being watched.
The rise of short videos created a monetization quagmire for YouTube and other video content platforms. It’s tricky to determine how to fairly share revenue on a feed of short videos selected by an algorithm. It’s not possible to embed an ad in the middle of a short video so ads are typically placed in between videos. But still, how do you decide which creator to pay? Do you compensate the person whose video showed before the ad or the person whose video appears after the ad?
Tiktok’s Creator Fund
To mitigate this problem (that is specific to short videos), Tiktok introduced its Creator Fund in the summer of 2020. This was a $200 million kitty that would be used to issue bonuses to creators on the platform. The company also revealed plans to expand the pool to roughly $1 billion in the next three years and then double that internationally.
While the Tiktok fund is nothing close to the $30 billion worth of ad revenue that YouTube paid to creators over the last three years, it’s done a lot to encourage talented users on the platform.
YouTube Shorts Fund
Eligible YouTube creators will be able to get a portion of the firm’s ad revenue generated from Shorts starting next year.
“Creator funds can’t keep up with the incredible growth that we’re seeing in short-form video,” said Neal Mohan, the company’s chief product officer.
YouTube apparently hopes to ensure that creators of short videos get to grow with the platform.
The company’s newly created YouTube Shorts Fund will reward creators of quick-hit short videos on the platform. An interesting thing is that this new revenue sharing plan for short videos is designed to be a more permanent strategy.
How much will be paid – however – remains to be seen. This move can be seen as its biggest swing (thus far) at Tiktok.
Analysts say that we can expect to see similar as Big Tech players realign to adapt to a decentralized web and other trends that are taking over the industry as we know it.