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News / Inês Ferreira / 03 Feb 2023

YouTube Shorts: How is monetisation changing, and how will it benefit creators?

4 minute read

From this February onwards, YouTube's revenue-share model will cover Shorts creators in an effort to overtake TikTok supremacy in the short-form video space.

In September 2020, YouTube launched its short-form video feature, YouTube Shorts, to compete with TikTok. Two years later, the platform announced changes to reward artists and creators in an effort to win this competition.

Monetisation Plans for YouTube Shorts

As reported by NBC News, YouTube announced an expansion of its monetisation plan launched in 2007, YouTube Partner Program (YPP), to Shorts creators, who were not previously under the plan. The program will allow creators to earn revenue from the ads run in short and long-form videos. 

The threshold for applying for the plan will initially correspond to a minimum of 1,000 subscribers and 10 million Shorts views over 90 days. However, the platform has plans to create a different revenue-sharing structure with less demanding requirements to cover a larger share of creators.

Source: YouTube Twitter

According to Google, YouTube’s parent company, the amount received by the rightsholder? will depend on their viewership and music usage. If music is used on a video, part of the amount allocated to the creator will be channeled to YouTube’s music partners. But creators will always keep 45% of their allocated revenue, regardless of whether the music was used.

Implementing the program will generate more incentives for creators to make content on YouTube instead of relying on competitors. As stated in YouTube’s blog, “This unique business model means we only succeed when our creators do. (…) Over the past three years, we’ve paid creators, artists, and media companies over $50B.”

Source: Google

The YPP expansion is expected to start this February, replacing the current  YouTube Shorts Fund. According to The Washington Post, the latter fund was created in May 2021, with about $100 million “to fund Shorts creators.” Nonetheless, it has been decided that such a system is not enough. 

It is YouTube’s strategy to create the most profitable environment for creators so that they don’t leave for more innovative alternatives. With TikTok under fire for its monetisation model, things might really turn in favor of YouTube.

New Features

YPP expansion is not the only announcement YouTube has recently made. The platform has also kicked off other new features to help creators diversify their revenue streams and create unique content. 

The Super Thanks feature allows viewers to tip creators whenever they want, solidifying the relationship between fans and creators. Super Stickers also enable viewers to purchase live chat messages that stand out and pin them on the top of the live chat feed. 

Another feature planned for release in early 2023  is Creator Music, where creators can access a growing catalogue of music to use in long-form YouTube videos. They will be able to purchase high-quality music licenses or share their video revenues directly with the artists and music rightsholders. 

“We believe Creator Music will mean more amazing creator-artist collabs, more new tunes in viewers’ playlists, and more ways for artists to break through—all while continuing to put money in creators’ pockets,” said Samir Chaudry, YouTuber, and content creator. “So with these announcements, YouTube continues to show their commitment to us as creators as well as to the Partner Program that launched the creator economy 15 years ago.”

YouTube efforts have already been fruitful in the past. In a blog posting announcing the platform paid out to the music industry about $6 billion in 2021, Lyor Cohen, Global Head of Music at YouTube, said, “I could not be more proud about YouTube’s progress in driving revenue back to the music industry.” He also revealed that YouTube’s goal is to be the leading revenue contributor to the music industry by 2025.

Copyrights when Cross-posting

As we’ve mentioned, what triggered YouTube to push such efforts was most certainly the undeniable popularity of TikTok. The latter is, for many artists creators?, the primary place where they build their content, cross-posting it on other platforms like YouTube Shorts. This practice left many wondering if copyrights still covered these videos. 

According to Fabio Magagna, YouTube Group Product Manager, all short-form videos are scanned for copyrights through the existing systems, just like long-form videos. “If somebody copied from TikTok and uploaded it to YouTube, we open the same thing as you would download it from another platform or upload it on YouTube. Our [copyright] products are also on Shorts,” said Magagna, as reported by InterAksyon.

Indeed, only after the revenue model is changed will we witness the actual changes to the creator industry and if this will be enough to defeat TikTok’s supremacy. 

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