YouTube begins sharing ad revenue with Shorts creators next month

Since the introduction of the YouTube Partner Program creators have been earning money and starting on 1st February, this program is expanding to welcome more would-be creators.

This expansion sees creators being able to enter the program through having 1 000 subscribers and either having 4 000 public watch hours in the last 12 months or 10 million views on public Shorts in the last 90 days.

Alongside this, there are new YouTube Partner Program terms that creators need to accept. Creators have until 10th July 2023 to accept these terms however, in order to remain in the program, these terms will need to be accepted.

The new terms take the form of Modules and there are, at present, three modules.

The Base Terms are blanket terms such as how YouTube pays creators, content policies and other general terms that apply to both regular creators and Shorts creators.

The Watch Page Monetisation Module is for creators who publish content on YouTube, YouTube Music, and YouTube Kids. Creators will need to accept this Module in order to earn revenue from their content.

The Shorts Monetisation Module is specifically for Shorts creators. Accepting this will allow give creators the ability to earn a share of revenue from advertising viewed between videos in the Shorts Feed. While creators have until July to accept these, Shorts creators will need to accept these new terms before they earn any money at all.

“Shorts ad revenue sharing begins February 1, 2023. To start earning ad revenue on your Shorts views, monetizing partners will need to accept the Base Terms and Shorts Monetization Module. You will not be able to earn from Shorts Feed ads until you do so. Shorts views accrued prior to accepting the Shorts Monetization Module are not eligible for Shorts ad revenue sharing,” writes YouTube.

The YouTube Shorts Fund will be retired in favour of the revenue sharing model.

Shorts monetisation explained

The big boogey man of the YouTube ecosystem is Content ID. While the tool is meant to keep real piracy off of YouTube, it can be abused by copyright owners.

While it’s not explicit, Shorts is a clear play to lure TikTok creators and viewers over to YouTube and part of that means allowing licensed music to be used freely. For YouTube with its Content ID system and it’s desire to placate copyright holders, this needed to be addressed.

YouTube has decided that Shorts that use licensed music will have the advertising revenue generated split between the license owner and the wider creator pool.

YouTube says, “For example, if a monetizing creator uploads a Short with 1 track, half of the revenue associated with its views would be allocated to the Creator Pool, and the other half used to cover the costs of music licensing. If the Short features 2 music tracks, then one third of the revenue associated with its views would be allocated to the Creator Pool, and the other two thirds used to cover the costs of music licensing.”

Shorts that have no licensed music will have all of the revenue they generate added to the creator pool.

How much a creator earns from Shorts is rather complicated.

Firstly, YouTube divides the total number of Shorts views in a country by the advertising revenue generated through those Shorts in that country. In it’s example, there are 100 million Shorts views generating $100 000 in revenue.

In these Shorts, 20 percent use one music track which means that the revenue pool shrinks from $100 000 to $90 000 with $10 000 being used to cover the cost of music licensing.

A creator’s Short is viewed one million times in this example and they are allocated one percent of the Creator Pool which is $900. However, creators only keep 45 percent of this figure which means that the creator earns $405 for their video.

You can read more about the Shorts monetisation policy at this link.

As for content from third-parties, that isn’t being factored into the advertising revenue split, at least not for the time being.

“No other category of third-party content will be credited as making a contribution to a Short at this time, even when a content ID monetize policy is set on that content. However, we are in the early stages of developing our monetization model for other categories of content,” YouTube explains.

It will be interesting to see how successful YouTube Shorts are moving forward especially as other copyright owners start asking for a share of the revenue pie.

That having been said, we do still think that YouTube has the best shot at competing with TikTok’s grip on the short video market.


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