Made on YouTube: supporting the next wave of creative entrepreneurs
Sep 20, 2022 – minute read
From its earliest days, YouTube opened the door for millions of people to share their voice, find a community, reach a global audience, and build a business. But we knew that was just the beginning. Launching the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) in 2007 meant that creators could, for the first time, share in the revenue and earn money from their content. This unique business model means we only succeed when our creators do. And creators are succeeding—these creator entrepreneurs are building successful businesses of their own with employees and full-fledged operations. Over the past three years, we’ve paid creators, artists and media companies over $50B1.
Today, we introduce the next chapter in rewarding creativity on our platform, no matter what that looks like. We’re announcing more ways for creators to become partners, new ways to make money with Shorts, and a reimagining of how the music industry and creators work together.
Back when YPP began, YouTube had one creative format—the standard horizontal video—and one main source of revenue: ads. Fast forward to today, creators are continually testing the boundaries of expression, from 15-second vertical Shorts, to 15-minute videos, to 15-hour live streams. And they’re building their businesses based on diversified revenue streams, from Fan Funding to brand sponsorships.
YouTube now offers 10 ways for our over 2M partners to make money. But we're not done. Today, we're expanding our partner program, meaning more creators and artists will have the opportunity to make money on YouTube across different creative formats.
Starting in early 2023, Shorts-focused creators can apply to YPP by meeting a threshold of 1,000 subscribers and 10M Shorts views over 90 days. These new partners will enjoy all the benefits our program offers, including the various ways to make money like ads on long-form and Fan Funding.
We also want to support creators who are even earlier in their YouTube journey, from gamers showing off their speed runs to trendsetting DIY makeup tutorials. A new level of YPP with lower requirements will offer earlier access to Fan Funding features like Super Thanks, Super Chat, Super Stickers and Channel Memberships. To reward creators across a range of formats, we’ll have paths for long-form, Shorts and Live creators to join this new tier in 2023. Stay tuned for more details.
To be clear, nothing will change with our existing criteria—creators can still apply to YPP when they reach 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours. But these changes reflect the diversity of our growing creator community. Creators can choose the one option that best fits their channel while we maintain the same level of brand safety for advertisers. You can learn more here.
The popularity of short-form video has exploded on YouTube, with over 30B daily views and 1.5B monthly logged-in users, bringing an ascendant creativity across every topic, vertical, and region of the world. To start rewarding this new creative class, we launched a temporary Shorts Fund. Now, we're expanding our unique business model to this new format: revenue sharing is coming to Shorts!
Here’s how it'll work:
This brand new approach allows us to reward all YPP creators who make up the Shorts experience, not just to those with videos running next to ads. In addition, since Music fuels some of our most vibrant and memorable Shorts, it simplifies the complexities of music licensing, so that creators don’t have to worry about whether or not they use music in their Short.
We expect the majority of our Shorts Fund recipients to earn more money under this new model, which was built for long term sustainability. Instead of a fixed fund, we're doubling down on the revenue sharing model that has supercharged the creator economy and enabled creators to benefit from the platform's success. Revenue sharing on Shorts ads is yet another way for creators to make money—it adds to our full suite of products, which enabled us to pay creators, artists and media companies over $50B over the past three years.
We’re also launching Super Thanks for Shorts in beta to thousands of creators, with a complete rollout expected next year. Viewers can show their appreciation for their favorite Shorts, and creators can interact with their fans through purchased, highlighted Super Thanks comments. And we’re bringing together brands and Shorts creators as part of YouTube BrandConnect.
Music is essential to Shorts and across YouTube—over the years, we’ve seen how creators can give classics new life, or bring a local hit to the global stage. But the complexities of music licensing has meant that most long-form videos that feature music (yes, even that one workout video you didn’t finish) don’t result in the creator getting paid. So, in recognizing an opportunity to build a bridge between the music industry and creators on our platform, we’re redefining how music can be featured in creator videos.
We’re introducing Creator Music, a new destination in YouTube Studio that gives YouTube creators easy access to an ever-growing catalog of music for use in their long-form videos. Creators can now buy affordable, high-quality music licenses that offer them full monetizing potential—they will keep the same revenue share they’d usually make on videos without any music.
And for creators who don’t want to buy a license up front, they’ll be able to use songs and share revenue with the track’s artist and associated rights holders. Creator Music, currently in beta in the US and expanding to more countries in 2023, will offer a streamlined process for creators—they’ll be able to instantly see the terms for their song selection.
We believe Creator Music will mean more amazing creator-artist collabs, more new tunes in viewers' playlists, and more ways for artists to break through—all while continuing to put money in creators' pockets.
It’s been incredible to witness entirely new industries built by creators on our platform. Our model since 2007 has been to put the creator at the heart of our economic engine and our shared success. We can’t wait to see what gets Made on YouTube over the next 15 years.