YouTube opens revenue floodgates for Shorts creators

Short form content is front and center for YouTube. The platform unveiled Tuesday that starting next year, YouTube Shorts creators can make money from videos through the updated YouTube Partner Program (YPP).

The announcement follows reports from last week suggesting YouTube’s intention to monetize Shorts.

Short form content creators will be able to apply for YouTube’s partner program if their channel has both 1,000 subscribers and 10 million Shorts views in the last 90 days.

Previously, YouTube stipulated its partners needed 1,000 subs and 4,000 valid watch hours in the last 12 months – and that threshold won’t change with Shorts’ new monetization support, with YouTube keeping both options as parameters for partner eligibility. 

Shorts creators will retain 45% of monthly revenue, as The New York Times reported Friday. YouTube will allocate a portion of revenue to cover the cost of music licensing. But creators will get the 45% cut whether their videos use licensed music or not.

YPP’s new eligibility requirements come over a year after YouTube established its $100 million Shorts Fund, which allows Shorts creators to claim monthly “bonus payments” based on their channel performance.

The number of Shorts creators seems to be growing, with Shorts surpassing over 1.5 billion signed-in users per month.

“Instead of a fixed fund, we're doubling down on the revenue sharing model that has supercharged the creator economy and enabled creators to benefit from the platform's success,” Amjad Hanif, YouTube’s VP of creator products, wrote in a blog post.

YouTube is also giving creators more leeway in using licensed music. They can buy music licenses to use for both short and long form videos, and those videos will be fully eligible for monetization. Creators can access licensed music through YouTube’s new Creator Music hub, which is now in beta in the U.S. and will roll out to other countries next year. Additionally, content creators can just use songs and share revenue with the track’s artist and the associated rights holders, if they don’t want to buy a license up front.

With YouTube having such a wide viewership, advertisers want to figure out how to best leverage their inventory on the platform.

Nielsen in July introduced an ad deduplication product to help advertisers compare their YouTube reach with that of other platforms.

Similarly, Google recently updated its digital advertising platform, allowing advertisers to directly purchase YouTube ads for use in connected TV campaigns.