YouTube Shorts to Enhance Ad Revenue Sharing for Creators

YouTube Shorts is preparing to unveil a new creator revenue-sharing plan designed to bury TikTok, according to recent reports. YouTube has rewarded creators with more than $30 billion in advertising revenue in the past three years. By contrast, TikTok pays creators not through a percentage of ad revenue, but through a Creator Fund, announced in 2020, that now stands at $2 billion worldwide. YouTube is said to considering for Shorts creators a 45-percent ad revenue share from their clip views in a program more aligned with the 55 percent payout for long-form video creators in its Partner Program.

The New York Times gleaned the information through leaked audio from an all-hands meeting last week. YouTube VP product management and creator products Amjad Hanif said in the meeting that the move represents “the largest expansion we’ve done in several years creating new ways for creators to join the program,” according to NYT, which described the plan as a way “to guard its role as a home to popular personalities and gain an edge against rival TikTok.”

What it amounts to is a way for the Google-owned company to lower the barriers to entry on its Partner Program, according to NYT. Conceding the YouTube Shorts creators seem destined to get “a smaller cut” than from YouTube long-form videos, TechCrunch nonetheless called that “a substantial upgrade compared to a paltry [TikTok] Creator Fund payout.”

“YouTube is turning on the money hose for Shorts — and taking on TikTok for real,” is how The Verge interprets the salvo.

VidCon CEO Jim Louderback told TechCrunch “creators are going to go where the money is.” Creators have been complaining that TikTok monetization is insufficient. TechCrunch says TikTok’s Creator Fund “doesn’t work,” noting that it is “a static pool of money” divided each day among creators based on views, which means “as TikTok gets bigger, creators earn less money.”

Creators can become TikTok millionaires, but only of their exposure on the platform leads to brand deals, merchandising and other external investments.

Pumped-up YouTube Shorts payments “will ‘really help creators understand why YouTube is the place to start their Shorts career,’” NYT quotes Hanif saying at the staff meeting. “He also added that YouTube would let creators use popular songs in short and long videos, making its content more like TikTok’s.”

NYT reports YouTube “has also introduced the first shopping destination personalized for viewers in the United States, India and Brazil, hoping to bring more e-commerce to its platform, Michael Martin, a vice president and general manager of YouTube Shopping, said during the meeting,” adding that Martin “said that in the future, YouTube would continue to seek new ways to derive money from Shorts with shopping.”