YouTube has just made a major change to its Partner Program that will allow its short-form video creators to earn much more money from their platform. The company Announced which will share ad revenue with creators on its TikTok rival, YouTube Shorts.
The changes, which take effect “early next year,” could help YouTube wean creators away from TikTok, where stars have complained about low creator funding payouts. “This is the first time real revenue sharing has been offered for short-form video on any platform at scale,” YouTube chief product officer Neal Mahon said during an event to announce the news.
With the new revenue share program, creators with at least 1,000 subscribers who get 10 million views on Shorts in a 90-day period can apply to join the Partner Program. Like TikTok, ads in Shorts appear between videos in the feed. (The company began experimenting with ads in Shorts in May.) Ad revenue will be pooled and divided among creators, Mohan said. Creators will earn 45 percent from ads, regardless of whether they use music.
“Each creator is paid for their share of total Shorts views, and this revenue share remains the same, even if they use music,” he explained. The company also said it would begin testing its tipping feature, called Super Thanks, in Shorts “with a full rollout expected next year.”
Until now, YouTube had a dedicated $100 million creation fund for Shorts. But creators have long complained that these types of funds are insufficient and nowhere near what the most successful creators can do by producing longer-form videos where they get a cut of ad revenue.
For example, Jimmy Donaldson, the YouTuber known as Mr. Beast, shared earlier this year, he had earned just $15,000 from TikTok despite over a billion views on the app. Donaldson is widely recognized as one of the highest-earning creators on YouTube, earning $54 million on the platform. in 2021. TikTok said in May that it was in the early stages of a revenue-sharing program called TikTok Pulse.
YouTube also announced a new tier for the Partner Program that is meant to make it easier for early-stage creators to start monetizing their content. The new tier, called “Fan Funding,” will have “lower requirements” to access features like Super Thank You, Super Chat, stickers and channel memberships, Mahon said. YouTube said it would share more details about the requirements in 2023.
Finally, the company revealed Creator Music, a section of YouTube Studio where creators can purchase “high-quality, affordable music licenses that give them full monetization potential.” Those who buy the licenses “will keep the same revenue share they would normally get on videos without music.” Creator Music will also offer the option to use songs without paying up front, and instead the creator and artist will share revenue from the video.
The change could solve another big headache for YouTubers, who have long complained about overzealous record label copyright issues leading to takedowns and lost revenue. In a blog post, YouTube says it hopes the feature will help “build a bridge between the music industry and creators on our platform.”
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