YouTube Monetizes Shorts to Rival with TikTok

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YouTube is what comes to mind whenever you think of watching video content online. At least, that used to be the case. Twitch has always been there, going toe-to-toe with YouTube, especially when it comes to gaming. Now, there’s another platform that joined the fray. The short-form video app from China, TikTok, changed how people watch online videos.

TikTok is not the first short-form video platform that became popular. Vine,, and Dubsm0ash are some of TokTok’s predecessors. However, it’s TikTok that perfected the formula and stuck with us.

TikTok made so much noise that established social platforms had to act. If they don’t do anything about it, ByteDance’s platform can steal all their young users. 

YouTube Monetizes Shorts to Rival with TikTok

And so, the platform wars began. Meta Platforms released Instagram and Facebook Reels. Then, YouTube launched YouTube Shorts.

There were a lot of doubters when these competitors launched. They did not expect the products to beat TikTok. But now, sometime later, YouTube Shorts is still going strong.

Perhaps, its connection to YouTube – the second most-visited website in the world – gave it a fighting chance. Being able to access both long-form and short-form videos in one app is something users can appreciate. 

YouTube Shorts is not slowing down; it seriously wants to dethrone TikTok. Recently, it announced a new way to monetize Shorts, making them more appealing to content creators.

Announcing the New Monetization Program on YouTube Shorts

When YouTube announced YouTube Shorts, most people asked one question. Will there be a monetization program? The video-streaming giant is known for allowing content creators to make money from their videos. And YouTubing has now become one of the most lucrative careers. So, it’s unsurprising that people expected its short-form video product to also allow people to earn money.

YouTube executives made a big announcement during the “Made on YouTube” event in Los Angeles. They said that in 2023, eligible creators would be able to keep a more sizable portion of monthly ad revenue from Shorts.

In a blog post, YouTube said that it’s introducing a new chapter in rewarding creativity on the platform. Part of that is allowing Shorts-focused creators to earn more from their videos.

The event’s featured speakers included singer Jason Derulo. And that’s not a coincidence. Music has something to do with how creators can get paid by making Shorts. The creators will split the portion of the ad revenue with music partners whose songs they used in the video.

Some people believe that YouTube’s messaging implies that content creators can keep 45% of the ad revenue from Shorts. However, VidCon Hank Green pointed out on Twitter that creators will take a slice of that depending on overall views. 

Neal Mohan, YouTube’s chief product officer, spoke during the event. He said YouTube’s success had been built on long-form videos and live streaming. However, they want to “support creators in all the ways they’re using YouTube to tell their stories.” That includes the “mobile-first generation of creators making YouTube Shorts.”

YouTube Monetizes Shorts to Rival with TikTok

Shorts Creators Eligibility for YouTube Partner Program

The YouTube Partner Program has helped many content creators earn money by making videos. At first, YPP had one primary source of revenue: ads. But today, there are ten ways for YouTube’s partners to make money. YouTube says it is not done yet.

Starting next year, Shorts-focused content creators can apply to YPP. Eligibility requirements include meeting a threshold of 1,000 subscribers and 10M Shorts views over 90 days. Once accepted into the program, Shorts creators can enjoy all the benefits the program offers.

Creators Fund is not Enough.

TikTok has TikTok Creator Fund, rewarding creators behind the bite-sized videos on the platform. YouTube launched a similar program: YouTube Shorts Fund.

The problem is that there’s limited cash in the Shorts Fund bucket. So, as the platform grew, payouts became smaller. Mohan admitted that Shorts Fund couldn’t keep up with the incredible growth of YouTube Short; it has exploded. YouTube reports that Shorts sees 30 billion daily views and 1.5 billion monthly active users.

YouTube’s solution is the new revenue-sharing in Shorts through the YouTube Partner Program. It is a more permanent and scalable alternative. Mohan notes that Shorts Funds recipients can expect to earn more money from the new model.

YouTube’s vice president of the Americas and global content Tara Walpert Levy also spoke about this. She says that creators will grow as the platform and the community grows. The new ad-sharing plan ensures that.

Financial Success for More YouTube Users

YouTube’s bread and butter are the long-form videos you can find on the platform. So, long-form video creators had more opportunities for financial success than short-form creators. However, Walpert Levy says they want to change that. YouTube wants to treat all its creators equally and giving short-form creators as much chance for financial success is a step towards that.

Forbes asked Walpert Levy whether monetization of YouTube Shorts will provide more upside for creators than TikTok videos do. “Made on YouTube” attendee Kris Collins has only 7 million followers on YouTube, while she has nearly 47 million on TikTok. So, it triggers curiosity. Walpert Levy dodged the question.

Instead of answering directly, Walpert Levy said it’s a competitive environment. Also, she added that YouTube wants to be the home for creators, offering “the broadest suite of ways people can express themselves.”

YouTube Monetizes Shorts to Rival with TikTok


Lyor Cohen is Google and YouTube’s global head of music. He shared how the company plans to help creators find and employ popular songs in their videos.

Cohen says users will be able to browse an expansive catalog of songs through YouTube Music. They can then choose to buy licenses for that music upfront or elect a revenue-sharing option. The latter allows creators to split their profits with the artists and songwriters.

Lyor Cohen says collaborations between creators, artists, and songwriters will unlock new revenue opportunities for all of them. Meanwhile, viewers can connect with their favorite music. “That’s what I call a real win-win-win,” said Cohen. 

How Does The Monetization of YouTube Shorts Compare to TikTok?

YouTube Shorts and TikTok are both highly-popular platforms that afford users the capability to produce and disseminate short-form videos, typically 15 seconds or less in length. Both have become formidable mediums for creators to propagate their content and establish a connection with their audience.

When it comes to monetization, both platforms present creators with the opportunity to derive financial gain from their content, yet the modalities of monetization diverge significantly between the two platforms.

On TikTok, creators can monetize through a revenue-sharing program, referred to as the Creator Fund. This program bestows creators with a percentage of the ad revenue generated by their videos. To be eligible for the Creator Fund, creators must possess a verified account and adhere to particular engagement and performance criteria.

Conversely, YouTube Shorts enables creators to monetize through the YouTube Partner Program, which permits them to earn revenue from ads that are displayed on their videos. To be considered for the YouTube Partner Program, creators must fulfill certain requisites, including having a minimum of 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time on their channel. Additionally, creators must meet YouTube’s guidelines and policies related to monetization.

Furthermore, it’s worth noting that while both platforms provide creators with the ability to monetize their content, the ways in which they do so are vastly dissimilar. TikTok’s Creator Fund is a revenue-sharing program that rewards creators based on their engagement and performance, whereas YouTube Shorts’ monetization is predicated on the number of views and clicks on ads. TikTok’s Creator Fund, a revenue-sharing program, rewards creators based on their engagement and performance, whereas YouTube Shorts’ monetization is predicated on the number of views and clicks on ads.

Date: January 28, 2023 / Categories: YouTube, / Author: Rich Drees


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