YouTube launching $100m Shorts Fund for creators
YouTube has announced the YouTube Shorts Fund, a US$100 million fund distributed over the remainder of this year and next for its creators.
This is the latest platform to take on the might of short-form video app TikTok.
Shorts will be launched “in the coming months”, according to Amy Singer, director of global partnership enablement for YouTube Shorts, announced in a blog post overnight.
Singer said that when introduced in beta, the initiative should “help bring the joy of short-form video to YouTube, and the joy of YouTube to short-form video”.
“… we’ve already seen many creative, awesome Shorts from our community,” she said.
Thousands of creators will benefit each month, said the company, and it applies to those across the board, not just to those in the YouTube Partner Program.
However, creators can’t apply for funding. Rather, it’s a rewards scheme, with YouTube reaching out to creators on a monthly basis and based on high performing videos.
It’s not known what that threshold will be. TikTok, for comparison’s sake, pays those who have had at least 100,000 authentic views in the last 30 days.
YouTube’s new rewards scheme only works if the videos are exclusively found on i’s platform, and the company hasn’t yet revealed how it will check if the content has surfaced on rival platforms as Reels, Snapchat or TikTok.
A report late last year from Digiday suggested this is a challenge for YouTube.
“Talent is hopping back and forth between all these platforms at this point. Even though talent skyrocketed from TikTok, they’re really still moving back and forth,” Chris Sawtelle, head of digital ventures at talent agency ICM Partners, said in the piece.
Snapchat has been paying $1 million a day to those performing well on its TikTok clone Spotlight, which it introduced last November, and has grown to more than 100 million monthly active users with over 175,000 video submissions per day.
Instagram offered some large deals, worth “hundreds of thousands of dollars” to creators to come over to its Reels service and TikTok has set aside $2 billion to be used globally over the next three years. It is also working at expanding its user base – conservatively 800 million monthly users as of March 2021 – by introducing longer video capabilities.
YouTube is also offering more audience enlargement and monetising on Shorts.
According to Singer, feedback from the YouTube community will help develop a long-term program specifically designed for Shorts.
“YouTube has helped an entire generation of creators and artists turn their creativity into businesses,” she said.
“We’ve paid more than $30 billion to creators, artists, and media companies over the last three years, and we remain deeply committed to supporting the next generation of mobile creators with Shorts.”