Most short-video platforms pay their creators based on how popular their videos are. That’s how TikTok and Snapchat have been doing it for a while now, and it’s been a successful strategy up to this point. Alternatively, YouTube creators typically make money based on the number of ad views on videos.
While this works fine for longer videos, it’s not the best system for short videos (especially considering most ads are about as long as the videos themselves). So, to incentivize more creators to create YouTube Shorts, YouTube has announced it will pay creators for making popular YouTube Shorts.
The platform has pledged $100 million through the next year to creator payments, calling it the Shorts Fund. Creators can receive up to $10,000 per month if their video surges in popularity. As YouTube explained in a blog post announcing the fund, it plans to reach out to thousands of creators on a monthly basis whose Shorts garnered the most engagement and views to “reward them for their contributions.” YouTube added that it will ask creators for feedback in order to continue improving Shorts and the experience both creators and viewers have using it.
The payments start this month, so you can earn money off your YouTube Shorts right now.
You need to meet these requirements to make money off your YouTube Shorts
The program’s only available in 10 regions, including the US, UK, India and Brazil. Though, if your region isn’t listed yet, YouTube says it will add more regions to the list in the future.
In addition to meeting its location requirements, you need to upload original videos as well. YouTube won’t accept reuploads or watermarked videos from other platforms. In other words, your channel will automatically be out of the running for payment if you don’t post content that isn’t your own.
The Shorts Fund is just the beginning
While the Shorts Fund will serve as the program in place for now, YouTube plans to eventually roll out a long-term monetization program for YouTube Shorts, according to YouTube’s chief product officer Neal Mohan. During this time, the platform wants to figure out the best way to allow creators to monetize their Shorts. While YouTube is behind platforms like TikTok in the short-form space, if it can figure out an effective way to monetize Shorts, the platform is powerful enough to stand toe-to-toe with TikTok.