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YouTube Shorts vs TikTok: new earning opportunity for creators

LOS ANGELES — YouTube on Tuesday launched new revenue-sharing tools for content creators in its YouTube Shorts video product in its latest effort to counter TikTok’s unparalleled growth.

Until the rise of TikTok, over 100 million downloads in the US alone this year, YouTube had been the most sustainable source of income for content creators, who received a portion of the revenue from the ads that appeared with their videos. . With the partner program introduced a decade ago, thousands had made YouTube their full-time job.

Now YouTube wants to return to that primacy.

“This seems like a huge attempt to grab frustrated TikTokers,” said Serena Kerrigan, a TikTok star with more than half a million followers.

YouTube’s new revenue-sharing program has the potential to shift the center of power for young creators online, where TikTok has reigned supreme.

Facebook ditches friends and family to compete with TikTok

The maker economy has boomed in recent years. According to a report from risk firm SignalFireMore than 50 million people worldwide in 2020 were working as creators online, making a living by monetizing their audiences on platforms like TikTok, YouTube, and Twitch. That number has risen to 200 million by 2022, according to a recent Linktree report, a tool that allows digital creators to share multiple links on their social networks. YouTube said that more than 2 million creators are monetizing on its platform.

Under the new plan, YouTube creators will be able to capture a portion of the revenue generated from ads running between Shorts videos. YouTube plans to put 45 percent of revenue generated from ads into a pool that will then be distributed to creators based on their share of total Shorts views. To participate in the program, creators must have a minimum of 1,000 subscribers and have accumulated at least 10 million views in the previous 90 days. The program will begin to be implemented in early 2023.

“It’s a great time for creators,” said Amjad Hanif, YouTube’s vice president of product management. “When we launched the partner program 15 years ago, it was the first of its kind and kicked off the maker economy. This brings all the goodness and benefits creators have felt from revenue sharing and brings it to the short version as well.”

Hanif said creators who don’t qualify will still be able to earn money through early access to other tools that make paying their audiences easier, such as Super Thanks, Super Chat, Super Stickers and channel memberships, which allow fans issue micropayments. to the creators for certain characteristics. “This new lower tier will allow creators to join much earlier in their journey as creators and earn directly from our fan fencing products,” said Hanif.

The introduction of revenue sharing in the short-form video space is a major change in the creator ecosystem. No other platform offers revenue sharing. TikTok, for example, pays creators out of a set pool of money called a creator pool. However, the more creators who join the fund, the more ways the money is divided.

In May 2021, YouTube introduced its own $100 million creator fund for short film creators. However, the company feels that to sustain its growing class of influencers, it needs to provide them with better opportunities to earn money.

“Funds, by their very nature, are a fixed amount, and that amount doesn’t grow with the size of the creator population,” Hanif said. “The beauty of revenue sharing is that as we improve as a platform, creators will be able to earn as well. We call it the partner program because it really is a partnership with these creators.”

Another big sticking point for YouTube Shorts has been music. TikTok reshaped the music industry by allowing creators to set their content around popular songs. On YouTube, however, the music options were much more limited. The complexities of music licensing have left many long-form video creators unable to include popular songs in their videos.

The company introduces Creator Music to fix these issues. Creator Music will be a hub that gives creators easy access to an expanding and growing catalog of music to use in their content, while also providing artists and music rights holders with a revenue stream.

Creators will also be able to purchase “high-quality, affordable music licenses that offer full monetization potential,” the company’s announcement says, and “creators will keep the same revenue share they would normally get on videos without music.”

Creator Music is still being developed for release in the United States, but will be widely released in 2023. “This is a pretty big change in how commercial music was used on platforms,” ​​Hanif said. “The music artists, the creators and the fans, everyone wins.”

Taty Cokley, a YouTube creator with 950,000 subscribers who has been creating content on the platform for four years, said she was especially excited about the new music offerings.

“All of us will elevate our content. It will come out more genuine than before,” he said. “Most of our audiences want to feel like they’re talking to a friend, not an influencer. Now when they watch our videos, they’ll feel like they’re hanging out with us.”

Many content creators reacted jubilantly to Tuesday’s big announcements.

“YouTube is my number one focus right now because of the ad revenue potential of shorts,” said Jared Neelley, a YouTube creator in Houston with 30,000 subscribers. “Personally, I don’t like doing long-form content because of the cultural shift that TikTok brought to the world. This is quick information in a short form, and now I can be rewarded for it.”

Hank Green, longtime YouTube creator and co-founder of VidCon, at an annual convention for online video artists, said on Twitter that YouTube’s new revenue options were “a serious threat to TikTok, which is already earning a clear and definite reputation for being antagonistic to creators.” He also added that many creators see TikTok simply as a springboard to build an audience on “a platform where they have more control and opportunity (like podcasts or YouTube).”

Green also noted that while the announcement was a “big day for creators,” the changes to music use were an even bigger win for the music industry, which will likely see increased licensing revenue from of the expanded use of popular songs.

“It seems YouTube cares about creators with their hearts, but they care about tags with their wallets,” he tweeted.

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