YouTube to Reward Creators of Shorts with $100 Million Fund

YouTube unveiled its $100 million YouTube Shorts Fund, which rewards creators who post the most engaging clips on its new “TikTok-style” feature. The program will debut in Fall 2021 and continue into 2022. Shorts was introduced in India before debuting in the U.S. in March. Regarding monetization, YouTube plans to experiment, including testing ads, sometime this year. YouTube Shorts director of global partnership enablement Amy Singer said the company will “reach out” to thousands of creators every month.

Variety notes that creators whose popular videos catch the eye of YouTube will be paid “some unspecified amount … [and] be asked for direct feedback as YouTube continues to tweak the Shorts product.” YouTube created the Fund in the wake of Snap launching Spotlight, “a program under which it’s paying creators $1 million per day for their short TikTok-style videos submitted for public consumption.”

YouTube Shorts has already seen strong results, with Alphabet chief executive Sundar Pichai reporting on a Q1 earnings call that it had 6.5 billion daily views in March, up from 3.5 billion at the end of 2020.

According to YouTube, to be eligible for Shorts Fund money, the creator does not have to be enrolled in its separate, “longstanding ad-revenue sharing program (called the YouTube Partner Program),” but simply must “need to create original content for YouTube Shorts and follow the service’s community guidelines.”

Singer added that, “the Shorts Fund is just the first step in our journey to build a long-term monetization model for Shorts on YouTube.” YouTube also unveiled a feature that allows Shorts creators to “remix audio from videos across the entire corpus of YouTube … [although] YouTube channel owners are able to opt out if they don’t want their long-form video remixed.”

Other new Shorts features include “automatically adding captions; recording up to 60 seconds with the Shorts camera; adding clips from your phone’s camera roll to your recordings; and using basic filters to color-correct videos.”

CNBC reports that, “in its first-quarter earnings report, Google-parent Alphabet said YouTube brought in $6.01 billion in advertising revenue during the quarter,” up almost 50 percent on a year-over-year basis from $4 billion.

More information can be found on the YouTube blog introducing the YouTube Shorts Fund.

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