YouTube Shorts Monetization: How to Earn Money on YouTube

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Going into 2023, YouTube Shorts monetization is offering huge income potential to creators. 

These days, Shorts is one of the hottest features on YouTube. Currently, Shorts boasts over 30 billion daily views, with 1.5 billion users flocking to short-form content every month.

For video creators, Shorts has been offering one main income opportunity so far: The YouTube Shorts Fund, which paid out $100M to creators in 2021 and 2022. Depending on engagement on their Shorts, creators could see bonuses anywhere between $100 and $10,000. 

Moving into 2023, though, YouTube Shorts monetization is changing. YouTube is not just tweaking the Shorts algorithm, but also its Partner Program, and will soon shift to revenue sharing for Shorts. 

Here’s all you need to know.


Joining the Partner Program With Shorts

First off, YouTube allows Shorts creators to join its Partner Program

So far, creators had to have 1,000 subscribers, plus either 4,000 valid public watch hours over the past 12 months or 10 million public Shorts views over the last 90 days.

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The two main paths for the Partner Program and your share of ad revenue. Source:
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Fan Funding Features

Another way that YouTube creators in general and Shorts creators in particular can earn money on YouTube in 2023 is with the Fan Funding features

Getting a share of ad revenue is no longer the only way to make money with the YouTube Partner Program. Features such as Super Chat, Super Stickers, Super Thanks, and channel memberships allow viewers to directly contribute to creators. Of course, YouTube is interested in keeping fans – and their spending – on the platform, rather than losing out to the host of tipping platforms out there.

So far, these Fan Funding features have only been available to members of the Partner Program.

YouTube has, however, added a new, lower tier for the YPP. Getting a share of Premium subscription and ad revenue on their content is still locked behind the higher thresholds, but with the following numbers, you can access the fan funding features. 

The new tier is not yet available everywhere, and Shorts are again counted differently. You need: 

  • 500 subs
  • 3 valid public uploads in the last 90 days
  • either:
    • 3K public watch hours over the last year
    • 3 million public Shorts views over the last 90 days

By joining the YPP sooner and with lower numbers, rookie creators can start earning an income from their content, even if they don’t qualify to join the ad revenue share program yet.

Revenue Sharing for YouTube Shorts: Replacing the Shorts Fund

Then, there’s the big one. YouTube is introducing revenue sharing for Shorts. This will allow creators to earn a regular income from short-form content on the platform, rather than having to speculate on Shorts Fund payouts.

In the Shorts Feed, ads play between clips. Going forward, creators will get a cut of the revenue on these ads. 

According to YouTube, all ad revenue from Shorts will be added together on a monthly basis. This sum will then be used to cover music licensing costs and to pay YouTubers. Creators will see payouts proportional to their share of total Shorts views. That share stays the same, no matter if they use music in their clips or not. This also makes it easier for Shorts editors, as there is less need to rely on royalty-free music libraries only.

announcement of youtube shorts monetization with revenue sharing
Shorts ad revenue sharing was announced during the 2022 Made on YouTube livestream event. Source:
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Harnessing Creator Music for Short- and Long-Form Content

Finally, one major change in YouTube’s monetization policy going into 2023 is Creator Music. This goes for both short- and long-form content.

So far, creators haven’t been able to monetize content that included licensed tracks. Later this year, YouTube will be rolling out Creator Music, a feature in YouTube Studio to give users access to a catalog of tracks to use in long-form content. And still make money from it. 

According to the latest information, creators will be able to purchase an affordable license to use certain tracks. Or they’ll be able to opt for a revenue sharing model, in which the musical artist gets part of their videos’ earnings.  

shorts creators will be able to monetize music
Creator Music makes it easier to monetize videos with music.

Final Thoughts: YouTube Shorts Monetization Going Into 2023

With short-form content currently the most viral feature on the platform, YouTube is rolling out a number of changes to make Shorts a creator staple

Going forward, YouTubers will be able to harness Shorts to join the Partner Program, access Fan Funding, and earn a regular income from ad revenues on the Shorts Feed. 

The bottom line? Shorts will pay off long-term.

Yes. Throughout 2021-22, YouTube paid successful Shorts creators from its $100M Shorts Fund. Going into 2023, revenue sharing and Fan Funding will become available for Shorts. 

Creator Music is a new catalog YouTube is launching to give creators access to licensed tracks to use in their long-form content. YouTubers can either buy a license or opt for a revenue-sharing model. 

So far, Shorts creators got paid from YouTube’s Shorts Fund if their clips were particularly successful. Going forward, they’ll be receiving a share of the ad revenue on the Shorts Feed instead. Plus, Super Thanks for Shorts is being rolled out in beta and will be widely available in early 2023. 

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  • Alex Lefkowitz

    Alex Lefkowitz is the founder and CEO of Tasty Edits. He's an experienced video editor, having edited hundreds of videos for dozens creators before turning to entrepreneurship and launching his own video editing company. Since then, he has directly managed thousands of video and thumbnail orders. Now, he draws on his experience working with professional creators to write about video editing, the creator economy, and video marketing. You can also read his work on Hackernoon and Medium. Plus, he's contributed several expert opinions in interviews and articles as a guest on platforms like Jotform.