YouTube announced on September 20 that it will start sharing advertising revenues with creators of its bite-sized video feature Shorts from early 2023, as the Google-owned platform looks to counter the rising threat from rivals such as Meta and TikTok across the world.
At its Made on YouTube event today, the company announced Creator Music, opening up a catalog of popular music for content creators to use in their videos without getting their monetization dinged. Creators have a few options: they can either license tracks directly and keep all of the revenue (besides the 45 percent cut YouTube takes) or share revenue with the license holders. According to Billboard, that share is 27.5 percent each to the video creator and artists.
YouTube stressed that ads on Shorts work in a different way compared to those on traditional longer videos-- there’s no dedicated ad before each Short video. Instead, the ads will appear in the feed. The pooled revenue from these ads will be divided among creators who will get to keep 45 per cent of the revenue. The revenue is still decided based on the views that a video gets. The revenue share remains the same, even if they use music, according to the company.
This also means that YouTube is putting an end to its Creator fund, which was helping monetise some of the Short video creators. YouTube executives said that the fund--which had a cap-- cannot keep up with the growth they are seeing in the short-form video. YouTube Shorts is seeing over 30 billion views from 1.5 billion logged-in users on a monthly basis, the company revealed.
The Shorts revenue share program will start rolling out in early 2023, though YouTube did not specify, which countries would get this first. It should be noted that YouTube Shorts was first launched in India in September 2020.
Regarding Creator Music, this will be a new destination for creators to find the songs they want to use in their videos. The feature is being rolled out as a beta in the US in the fall of this year and will expand globally later on. YouTube has not specified the song catalogue and is partnering with select indie labels for this right now.
Creators will be able to browse through a growing catalogue of songs and choose between a couple of simple options. They will have the option of buying a music license or going with a revenue share option. Right now, using music from record labels comes with its own host of challenges and fear of copyright strikes for many creators. YouTube is hoping its solution can help solve some of these.
Billboard reports YouTube has struck deals with more than 50 labels, publishers, and distributors, though so far, that doesn’t appear to include major labels. “Several hundred thousand” songs will be available for licensing through Creator Music, YouTube told the publication. Jason Derulo, for one, seems excited about it!
Creator Music is one of the biggest announcements coming out of YouTube’s event today and another play by YouTube to try to entice creators to the platform. Last week, the company said it was overhauling how people make money on Shorts, the platform’s TikTok clone, doing away with the creator fund and instead beginning an ad revenue sharing program to compete with TikTok. Shorts creators will get 45 percent of revenue, with YouTube keeping 55 percent — the inverse of the revenue share for longform videos.
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