By Onome Amuge & Innocent Obasi
YouTube has announced its expansion of the YouTube Partner Programme (YPP), aimed at increasing the platform’s multibillion-dollar monetisation system by enabling more creators to join the programme and earn more revenue.
The new development further introduces new ways for creators to earn revenue through Shorts, and also supports the next wave of global creative entrepreneurs and creator dynamic by opening up ads monetisation for those who feature music in their videos.
The announcement made at the company’s inaugural Made on YouTube event reflects the diversity of the platform’s growing creator community and allows its over 2 million monetising creators to make money on YouTube across any creative format.
Major highlights of the expansion initiative include:
Expanding access to YPP: Through this, new partners are allowed to gain access to all YPP offers, including ads monetization across Shorts and long-form YouTube videos. This is in addition to another option to the existing criteria where long-form creators can still apply to YPP when they reach 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours.
Starting in early 2023, Shorts-focused creators can apply to YPP by meeting a threshold of 1,000 subscribers and 10 million Shorts views over 90 days. Creators can also choose the one option that best fits their channel while YouTube maintains the same level of brand safety for advertisers.
To support creators who are early in their YouTube journey, YouTube will also introduce a new level of YPP with lower requirements that will offer earlier access to fan funding features like Super Thanks, Super Chat, Super Stickers and Channel Memberships.
Introducing a first-of-its-kind revenue sharing model for Shorts: With over 30 billion daily views and more than 1.5 billion monthly logged-in users, Shorts are exploding around the world. To reward this new creative class, beginning in early 2023, YouTube said it will be moving away from a fixed fund and doubling down on a unique revenue sharing model for Shorts for both current and future YPP creators. Because ads run between videos in the Shorts Feed, every month, revenue from these ads will be added together and used to reward Shorts creators and help cover costs of music licensing.
From the overall amount allocated to creators, they will be allowed to keep 45 percent of the revenue, distributed based on their share of total Shorts views. The revenue share remains the same, no matter if they use music or not.
Launching Creator Music: Because of the complexities of music licensing, most long-form videos that feature music don’t result in creators being paid. To build a bridge between the music industry and creators, YouTube is introducing Creator Music, a new destination that gives creators easy access to an ever-growing catalog of music for use in their videos, while providing artists and music rights holders with a new revenue stream for their music on YouTube.
As a result, creators can now buy affordable, high-quality music licences that offer them full monetising potential while keeping the same revenue share they usually make on videos without any music. Also, creators who don’t want to buy a licence up front will be able to use songs and share revenue with the track’s artist and associated rights holders. Creator Music is currently in beta in the U.S. and will expand to more countries in 2023.
Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, disclosed that YouTube has over the last three years paid creators, artists, and media companies more than $50 billion, noting that the amount has significantly changed the lives of creators around the world and enabled new voices and stories to be told.
“But we’re not done yet. When we introduced the YouTube Partner Programme, we made a big bet: we succeed only when our creators succeed. And today, we’re doubling down. We’re introducing the next chapter in how we reward creativity on our platform by expanding access to our YouTube Partner programme,” she said at the event.
Commenting on the development, Neal Mohan, YouTube’s chief product officer, described it as a first-of-its-kind, industry-leading partner programme aimed at changing the game not only for long-form videos, but also for Short-form creators and introducing revenue sharing to Shorts.
“This is the first time revenue sharing is being offered for short-form video on any platform at scale, adding to the 10 ways creators can already earn revenue on YouTube. It’ll be available to all of those in YPP — including the new, mobile-first creators, who will be joining the programme for the first time,” Mohan added.
Lyor Cohen, YouTube’s global head of music, described Creator Music as the future.
“We are building the bridge between artists and creators on YouTube to elevate the soundtrack of the creator economy; it’s a win-win-win for artists, songwriters, creators and fans,” he said.
Cohen further noted that with Creator Music, artists have a new way to get their music out into the world, adding that fans can now discover music they love on their favourite creator’s channels, generating new revenue opportunities for both creators and artists.
Creators and artists, in their remarks, spoke on how the new development will lead the next wave of the creator economy and also shared how it will impact the broader ecosystem.
Marshmello, an American producer/DJ, said: “As an artist, Creator Music gives us an opportunity to tap into YouTube’s massive creator community and reach new fans. I’ve built an incredible global audience on YouTube and Creator Music feels like one of the latest evolutions that makes it such a valuable place for my music and more importantly, my fans.”
On their part, YouTube creators, Colin and Samir, commended YouTube’s $50 billion payment to over two million creators, artists and media companies.
“That’s $45 million a day. $1.9 million an hour, $528 a second. Every second. For the last three years. Today’s announcements prove that YouTube is continuing to lead the way in its commitment to creators everywhere,” they remarked.
Multiformat creator, Kallmekris, spoke on the dilemma many creators face having to choose between video formats to best serve their unique goals.
“From a business perspective, the key benefit of Shorts for me is that they help me pull people into my community. Whereas for longform, it brings in a lot more revenue,” Kallmekris said.
“That’s why this news about the partner programme coming to Shorts is so great. My work will be supported in much the same way, no matter the format. That need for a strategic trade-off – weighing up the pros and cons – will disappear,” he said.