As TikTok eats the world, YouTube makes a bid for creators’ hearts — and wallets
Gather within the company Historic Spruce Goose Hangar On Tuesday morning, a host of YouTube leaders laid out a roadmap for the platform’s growing relationship with both video creators and the music industry, announcing new monetization tools and industry partnerships in the cavernous event space where Howard Hughes once built a giant wooden airplane.
But tech executives seem eager to outline their plans The future of the creative economyThey were much more flexible in acknowledging the aggressively scaling industry that, in the past few years, has taken a huge bite out of the online video ecosystem: TikTok.
In fact, the Google subsidiary’s “Made on YouTube” press event went on for about an hour before anyone explicitly mentioned TikTok — and even then, it was an audience member, during the question-and-answer period, who first named the elephant in the room.
TikTok, owned by Chinese tech giant ByteDance, is largely responsible for popularizing the short-form video format that YouTube, along with other imitators, is now using with its micro-video shorts platform. And while Shorts has become a serious TikTok competitor — YouTube Recently claimed At 1.5 billion monthly visitors, where TikTok is expected to be – the medium is still synonymous with its pioneers.
“We’ve always operated in a pretty competitive market,” said They are Walpert Levy, YouTube’s vice president for Americas and global content, in response to a reporter’s question about TikTok’s ongoing expansion in the United States, including Los Angeles. “Our vision has always been … that we want to be the home of creators.”
It’s a point the company’s leadership has returned to time and time again. YouTube Chief Executive Susan Wojcicki said in a video that the company is “doubling down.” [its] A commitment to empowering creators. Neil Mohan, Chief Product Officer, later described creators as the “heart” of YouTube.
The day’s big announcements seem geared toward honoring that creator-centric approach — and YouTube is backing away from its scripted content ambitions, in line with the company’s broader trajectory of renewed emphasis on user-generated videos.
A change is coming soon, which will allow Shorts creators to reach 10 million views within 90 days Apply for membership In the YouTube Partner Program, a revenue-sharing model the company launched in 2007 to give creators some of the profits from advertising Served around their content. (Shorts creators were previously paid from the $100-million fund based on their engagement metrics, not ad revenue.)
Revenue sharing for Shorts “This is the first time there’s true revenue sharing at scale for short-form video on any platform,” Mohan said, adding that revenue from ads running within Shorts will be pooled and paid to Shorts creators. Also used to cover music licensing costs.
Mohan said, short creators will keep 45% of the money. For long-form videos, that cut has historically been 55%; YouTube leaders attributed the short cut to Shorts, in part, as an effort to keep the program sustainable.
Another change will add a new layer to the partner program, which allows creators with smaller fan bases to earn money from their fans through features like membership programs.
As the creator economy continues to grow and digital artists demand better, fairer ways to get paid, YouTube’s announcements suggest the company thinks short-form filmmakers will play a big role in the company’s future — and perhaps it’ll push them away from TikTok. A business imperative.
It’s a move that capitalizes on the goodwill YouTube already has among some creators. In January, a video by longtime vlogger Hank Greene then went viral compare favorably YouTube’s revenue-sharing model is in TikTok’s Creator Fund, a static pool of money that the company splits among top creators.
TikTok’s approach is “a huge hole in the creator economy,” Green said at the time, because with a fixed amount of money up for grabs, the per-person payout decreases as the number of qualified creators increases. (Tick tock announced later It also had its own revenue-sharing system, TikTok Pulse, which was modeled after YouTube’s.)
At Tuesday’s event the company announced new infrastructure to help long-form video creators incorporate licensed music into their content — with singer-songwriter Jason Derulo to explain how close collaboration between artists and creators benefits them both.
“The biggest problem [with tapping into social media fan bases] Always had the right,” said Derulo, sporting a red jacket covered in Marvel movie-themed patches. “And from the artist’s point of view: I want my music to be heard. I want my song on your page.
Historically, YouTubers have had to give up ad revenue if they add licensed music to their videos, said Amjad Hanif, YouTube’s vice president of product management and creator products. But with the company’s new platform, Creator Music, creators will soon be able to browse songs and then license them directly or enter into a revenue-sharing agreement with the original musicians, Hanif said.
According to Derulo, it’s a move that points to how the entertainment industry as a whole is evolving in the age of internet-created celebrities.
“When I was growing up, a lot of people had Britney Spears or NSYNC on their walls,” the singer said. “But now … they can have a Bryce Hall or a Jake Paul.
“The modern day rock star,” continued Derulo, “has changed.”