In a nutshell

  • TikTok’s Creativity Program Beta potentially offers higher earnings per 1,000 views compared to YouTube Shorts.
  • YouTube provides more transparency in revenue sharing and potentially higher earnings with Watch Page ads and long-form content.
  • TikTok’s For You page algorithm may allow creators to build an audience and go viral more quickly than on YouTube, increasing earning potential.

To make a career for yourself in online video, you’ll first need a posting strategy. That means figuring out which platforms give you the best return and focusing your efforts there. When it comes to YouTube versus TikTok, both have the potential to generate revenue based on video views. The question, therefore, is this: How valuable are TikTok views compared to YouTube?

What’s the value of a view on TikTok?

Before we can determine which platform pays more per view, we’ll need to talk about how each platform pays creators. On TikTok, most creators with monetized accounts are now paid through the Creativity Program Beta. Previously, TikTok paid creators through the Creator Fund TikTok established this fund in 2020, setting aside $200 million for U.S. creators and promising to grow the fund over time. However, it often received criticism for its low payouts. While $200 million may sound like a hefty sum, in reality, each creator sees only a very small slice of that pie. However, now, with the Creative Program Beta, TikTok claims that the program gives creators the potential to earn 20 times more than they did with the Creator Fund. To qualify for the program, you still need to be at least 18 years old, have a minimum of 10,000 followers and have earned at least 100,000 views over the past 30 days.

Most sources estimate that creators will earn an RPM of about $0.40 to $0.80 for every 1,000 views through the Creativity Program Beta. Previously under the TikTok Creator Fund, creators earned an RPM of about $0.02 to $0.04. Though, it’s still early, and these estimates could be a bit high. However, it appears the Creativity Program will award creators more overall.

What is the value of view on YouTube?

Now let’s compare TikTok’s monetization system with YouTube’s. We’ll start with YouTube Shorts since this offers a more direct comparison to TikTok than traditional long-form YouTube content.

Shorts ads

To get monetized on YouTube Shorts, you’ll need to be eligible for YouTube monetization. That means you’ll need at least 1,000 subscribers and either 4,000 watch hours over the past 12 months or 10 million public Shorts views in the last 90 days. Then, you can apply for the YouTube Partner Program. Finally, to monetize Shorts, you’ll need to accept the Short Monetization Module.

Once monetized, whenever you post a video to YouTube Shorts, you’ll receive a share of the total shareable Short ad revenue based on your share of the total Short views. YouTube explains the system with much more transparency than TikTok. Based on some reports, creators can generally expect to earn $0.04 to $0.06 per 1,000 Shorts views.

Watch Page ads

Now, let’s compare this to a regular YouTube video. The same monetization requirements apply — 1,000+ subscribers, 4,000+ watch hours over 12 months, or 10 million+ Shorts views over 90 days — but the payout for long-form video uploads is usually much higher per 1,000 views. That’s because it’s much harder to attract viewers to longer videos. The viewers who do turn up tend to be more engaged and therefore more valuable to advertisers.

Once you join the YouTube Partner Program, you’ll need to accept the Watch Page Monetization Module to enable Watch Page Ads — ads that appear against your long-form YouTube content. For this type of ad, YouTube pays creators 55 percent of the revenue generated. The ad revenue generated varies from creator to creator, and even from video to video. YouTubers have reported earning as little as $1.61 and as much as $29.30 per 1,000 views.

Is value only measured by income?

So there you have it; under the Creativity Program Beta, TikTok views are more valuable at $0.40 to $0.80 per 1,000 views. YouTube’s measly $0.04 to $0.06 per 1,000 views for Shorts can’t compete.


Well, yes and no. While, in theory, TikTok should be paying more under the Creativity Program Beta, it’s too early in the program’s life to get a full picture of payouts. Some creators claim they were even making less under the new program. Also, YouTube sweetens its deal by paying $1.61 to almost $30 per 1,000 views for Watch Page ads.

However, TikTok’s finely tuned For You page algorithm makes it easier for creators to quickly build a following and get monetized on the platform. This also makes it easier to go viral on TikTok compared to YouTube, meaning you can get more views much faster.

And this reach is valuable. Advertisers are willing to pay creators top dollar for access to your audience. So, TikTok does have an edge on attracting potential sponsor deals.

Are views more valuable on TikTok or YouTube?

All that said, it’s up to you as a creator how and where you want to invest your time. TikTok is great for building an audience quickly, which can lead to bigger paychecks than YouTube. However, YouTube is much more transparent in how revenue is shared between the company, creators, and other stakeholders, and offers creators more earning potentials with long-form content. In the end, earning potential is only one factor among many to consider when choosing your main social media platform.

Image asset courtesy: TikTok and YouTube