In 2020 YouTube announced that it is building YouTube shorts - a new short form video experience, quite similar to TikTok.
First, it was tested in India, but in 2021 YouTube shorts experience was expanded to US and slowly all over the world.
Right now, everyone can watch Shorts, but creating Shorts is limited to specific countries / regions.
To create a shorts video:
- video should be < 60 seconds
- vertical format
- include hashtag #shorts in title or description
Can YouTube shorts be monetized?
Of course, millions of creators rushed to test out Shorts content. MrBeast even created a separate YouTube channel MrBeast Shorts.
YouTube shorts can accumulate millions of views much faster than a regular YouTube video. Does it mean that you can also earn much more revenue?
YouTube shorts can accumulate millions of views much faster than a regular YouTube video.
Do YouTube Shorts make money?
According to YouTube, "Short-form video creators can’t share revenue from advertisements played in the Shorts player".
There is no AdSense revenue from YouTube Shorts, played in Shorts player.
So, it doesn't matter if your Shorts video collected 10M views - there will be zero AdSense revenue from it.
Of course, these views will still collect subscribers, boost your personal brand and bring views to other videos.
YouTube Shorts CAN earn money - if played in a standard player
But, there is a little loophole. If your Shorts video (less than 60 sec vertical video) is played in a normal YouTube player - you will earn AdSense revenue.
For example, someone found your short video via YouTube Search - it will open up in a standard YouTube player. And if you are in YouTube Partner Programe, it will be monetized.
However, amount of views via standard player can be much lower than via Shorts player.
YouTube Shorts Fund
Instead, YouTube have started a $100M YouTube Shorts Fund. "For creators who help us build the future of short-form video on YouTube."
How to become eligible for YouTube Shorts Fund?
According to YouTube, "anyone, including creators in the YouTube Partner Program, is eligible to participate in the fund simply by creating unique Shorts that resonate with the YouTube community".
YouTube says, "we’ll reach out to thousands of creators each month whose Shorts get the most engagement to reward them for their contributions".
So, basically if your video went viral in YouTube Shorts and collected millions of views, you might be contacted by YouTube and be rewarded.
SnapChat announced a similar Fund earlier in 2020.
YouTube Shorts and YouTube Partner Programme
YouTube Shorts can't earn revenue, but still can help you to become a YouTube Partner and become eligible for AdSense revenue on all other videos.
To become a YouTube partner you need to have:
- More than 4K hours of watched content over past year
- More than 1000 subscribers
How YouTube Shorts can help:
- Views from YouTube Shorts don't count towards YPP eligibility
- But, subscribers gained via Shorts do count
So, to reiterate, all subscribers you got via YouTube Shorts will move you closer to becoming a YouTube Partner = being able to monetize your YouTube channel via AdSense.