Lydia Sweatt is a writer, bookworm, and bass guitar enthusiast. When she goes outside, a bicycle goes with her.
YouTube Shorts Monetization: How to Profit from Short Videos
For a long time, making money with YouTube Shorts was a tricky task. They’re nothing like long-form videos, which you can monetize in four steps:
- Join the YouTube Partner Program (YPP).
- Post lengthy videos.
- Turn on monetization for the videos.
- Collect advertising revenue.
Which begs the question: How does one make money as a Shorts creator?
It's all coming together slowly, but there are a few ways to profit from YouTube Shorts. Let's dive in.
1. Coming Soon: Collect Advertising Revenue from YouTube Shorts
As of writing, YouTube Shorts aren't part of the formal monetization program known as the YPP. Unless you're posting long-form videos and achieving the right milestones — 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours — joining the YPP as a Shorts creator is tough. There's also no way to collect advertising revenue from short, vertical content.
But YouTube is changing those rules. Starting February 1, 2023, the platform will open up revenue sharing for Shorts ads. That means you can finally make money from the ads people view on the Shorts Feed. YouTube states that "from the overall amount allocated to creators, they will keep 45% of the revenue, distributed based on their share of total Shorts views."
Best of all, both new and existing creators in the YPP can reap this benefit next year.
But what if you're not in the YPP yet? Luckily, YouTube just expanded access to the program to include Shorts creators. Now you can meet either of these requirements to apply for the YPP:
- Get 1,000 YouTube subscribers plus 4,000 hours of watch time in the last 12 months.
- Get 1,000 YouTube subscribers plus 10 million public YouTube Shorts views within 90 days.
That last option (1,000 subscribers plus 10 million Shorts views) is the newest path to the YPP. And once you're in, you'll have access to several monetization tools, including ad revenue on long-form videos, Super Thanks, Super Chats, Channel Memberships, and more.
These updates are rolling out slowly, and there will be several moving parts along the way. So here's a basic timeline for Shorts monetization:
- October 2022: From this point and beyond, YouTube Shorts views will count toward the 10 million you need for the YPP.
- Mid-January 2023: Creators who've earned 1,000 subscribers plus 10 million Shorts views (in 90 days) can officially become eligible for the YPP.
- February 1, 2023: Revenue sharing for Shorts ads will begin, and you can start making money from short, vertical videos — assuming you've been accepted into the YPP.
2. YouTube Shorts Fund (Leaving Soon)
Want to make money from YouTube Shorts right now? One way to do that is through the $100 million Shorts Fund. This is something YouTube announced in 2021, and the platform has promised to reward creators with a monthly “bonus” coming directly from that fund. The bonuses range from $100 to $10,000, but the exact amount depends on your Shorts performance in the previous month.
But, beware: The YouTube Shorts bonus will go away in 2023. As mentioned before, creators will make money from ads in the Shorts Feed beginning next year. So, the last round of Shorts bonuses will go out in February 2023 (to be paid in March).
Until then, here are the requirements for receiving a Shorts bonus:
- Post an original YouTube Short every 180 days (not a TikTok video, for instance).
- Be at least 13 years old or the age of maturity in your country.
- Follow YouTube’s Community Guidelines and monetization policies.
- Live in an eligible country.
Once you meet those requirements, you’re in the running to receive a Shorts bonus. If you're selected, YouTube will contact you within the first week of the month, and you'll have until the 25th of that same month to claim your bonus. Check out this YouTube creators page to learn more.
So far, it takes a lot of video views to get a bonus. You have to go viral and then some to earn hundreds of dollars, which is slightly disheartening. That's why Rob Wilson, our YouTuber-in-residence at vidIQ, is making this uncomfortable face:
Still, it’s better than receiving nothing at all.
Here’s what some creators earned last year from the Shorts Fund:
- TN Craft: $200 for 7 million Shorts views
- King Probherbs: $300 for 5 million Shorts views
- GEVids: $2,300 for 130 million Shorts views
3. Brand Deals and Sponsorships
OK, so getting a YouTube Shorts bonus isn’t the easiest thing to pull off. Thousands of creators compete for the monthly reward, and most of them have Shorts with millions of views.
But guess what? You don’t have to join that race. There are other ways to monetize YouTube Shorts, and one of those golden opportunities is through brand sponsorships.
When a brand sponsors you, they’re paying you to advertise a product or service in one of your videos. That could be a new line of laptops, the latest leggings from Lululemon, or even a squeegee that removes pet hair from dirty carpet.
Here’s an example of a sponsored YouTube Short. In this video, actress Eliana Ghen advertises Vita, a mobile video editing app.
If you’re looking at this video and thinking, Hey, I could do that, you’re 100% correct.
- You don’t need millions of views and subscribers to get a brand deal – just the right audience and a strong YouTube resume.
- 51% of marketers said they plan to invest in short-form content more than they did in 2021.
- Brands are excited to partner with short-form creators.
As for that last detail, don’t just take our word for it. Sponsorship coach Justin Moore echoes the same sentiment.
“At the end of the day, most brands don’t want to partner with you and feel like the only thing you’re good at is long-form video,” Moore says. “They want to feel that you may have some flexibility to create different types of content.”
Ready to get your first brand deal? Read this post to avoid the common mistakes YouTubers make while pitching brands.
Overall, there are three ways to monetize YouTube Shorts:
- Get a bonus through the YouTube Shorts fund
- Get a brand deal or sponsorship
- Collect ad revenue from YouTube Shorts views (coming in 2023)
The last method is the most exciting. Instead of depending on long-form videos to make money, you can earn revenue from YouTube Shorts alone.