How Does YouTube’s New Monetisation Model for Shorts Work?
Late last year, YouTube announced that, as of February 1, the YouTube Shorts fund would be discontinued. Since then, creators have instead been able to monetise their Shorts through the YouTube Partner Program and earn through ads. YouTube believes this will make it easier for creators to make money compared to when they had to compete for only a small monthly bonus.
Many clients at my own performance marketing agency, Pixated, bring us on board to help them produce social-first video content, including YouTube Shorts. Recently, quite a few have been asking me what this change to Shorts monetisation will mean for them—and that’s inspired me to lay out the main points today.
How Do I Become Eligible to Monetise My Shorts?
If you’re not yet part of the YouTube Partner Program, there are two ways of becoming eligible.
You need to either have gained:
- 1,000 subscribers and 10m public Shorts views in the last 90 days
- 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 public watch hours on your long-form videos.
How Do I Make Sure My Shorts Are Eligible for Ad Revenue?
Once you’re part of the programme, only those Shorts deemed eligible will earn ad revenue. They need to:
- follow YouTube’s so-called ‘advertiser-friendly’ content guidelines
- be free of unedited TV and film clips you don’t have the rights to
- not be blatant reuploads of another creator’s content without original content added in
- not have fake or automated views from bots.
How Does YouTube Shorts Monetisation Work?
- A portion of all Shorts revenue goes to the creator pool. This is calculated according to views and music use across all Shorts.
- YouTube pays music publishers based on how often their intellectual property is used within Shorts. If a creator uses two tracks in a Short, two thirds of the revenue goes to the music publisher and one third to the creator. If one track is used, revenue is split 50/50.
- Creators keep 45% of their revenue share from the creator pool, after deductions for music.
So if you’re looking to monetise your Shorts as part of your brand marketing, it’s important to know that your earnings will be based on number of views, as well as your location and how many music tracks you use.
Can I Get a Brand Deal or Sponsorship?
Proving your brand eligible for the YouTube Partner Program to monetise your Shorts is a real challenge. You’ll either need to go viral or else earn 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours on your long-form content.
However, you can also monetise your Shorts through a brand deal or sponsorship. This means a brand pays you to advertise their product or service in your videos. What’s exciting is that you don’t even need millions of views and subscribers to make this happen, just the right audience and a strong YouTube portfolio. Last year 51% of marketers said they were planning to invest in more short-form content than in 2021—and I can only imagine interest has grown since then! Moreover, brands don’t do sponsorship deals just because you’re good at one thing—they want to see multiplicity and diversity of content and format. So if your brand is already putting out a variety of video content in terms of length and subject matter—keep at it!
You too can achieve Shorts monetisation—if you work hard and play the game
If you want to monetise your YouTube shorts as part of your brand marketing, be under no illusion: the competition is beyond fierce. But, if you believe in your content and your message and you put out content reliably and regularly, you set yourself up to grow your audience and boost your odds of achieving monetisation for your Shorts.
To recap, there are two ways of doing that:
- collecting ad revenue according to the total views of your Shorts within the creator pool
- winning a brand deal or sponsorship.
Of course, for either of these outcomes to happen you need to make awesome and popular Shorts that spread like wildfire. But with originality and determination, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to succeed like the creators you yourself admire!