Older social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook have spent the last three years trying to emulate the immense success of TikTok and short-form video.
These platforms have tried, with varying success, to implement their own algorithmically curated short video feed in an attempt to regain the attention of the under-20 audience.
Aside from the difficulties of changing website infrastructure and encouraging people to use their platforms differently, it can be hard to encourage creators to switch to short-form video.
This is because short video content requires a new approach to monetisation strategies.
The usual approach has been running advertisements, but running a five-second ad before a 25-second video is unsustainable.
Platforms then turn to running ads between videos, but it then becomes a question of how to divide the revenue with creators.
Does the video that ran before the ad deserve the money? Or the one that plays after? Or perhaps the first video that made the user start scrolling in the first place?
TikTok approached this issue with its Creator Fund. This is a fixed pool of money which is split between creators with a minimum number of views.
However, this means that as the platform grows, the amount of money distributed to creators as a whole remains the same and individual creators end up receiving less and less.
YouTube is now implementing a monetisation strategy which may entice creators to switch over from TikTok. Starting in February, YouTube will allow creators with a minimum number of views and subscribers to apply for the YouTube Partner Program for Shorts, similarly to how YouTube creators receive ad revenue from long-form videos.
Around 45% of the revenue generated from ads in Shorts feeds will be split between creators in the Partner Program based on their videos’ views. In this way, the revenue going to creators scales with the size of the platform and rewards a growing community of content creators.
Each 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 keep 45% of the revenue, no matter if they use music in their Shorts.