Creator Guide: How to Make Money with YouTube Shorts

Here’s everything you need to know monetizing your YouTube Shorts.

Ken Wattana

Tue Jan 10 2023

3 min read

It’s finally here. YouTube Shorts is opening up revenue sharing for creators starting February 1st.

Shorts has been gaining popularity and momentum among gaming creators and fans as an alternative and complement to TikTok and Instagram Reels. Initially, monetization for Shorts was via YouTube’s $100 million creator fund. Now, YouTube is ready to turn on revenue sharing with creators.

Here’s everything you need to know about the program so you can get your cut of ad revenue and make money from your YouTube Shorts!

How do I turn on monetization for YouTube Shorts?

Monetization is only available to YouTube Partners.

How can I become a YouTube Partner?

  1. Have at least 1000 subscribers on YouTube (for VOD content or Shorts) and more than 10 million views on Shorts over a 90-day period. View the requirements here.
  2. Apply to the Partner Program in YouTube Studio
  3. Once accepted - accept the Partner Program agreement and turn on the “Shorts Monetization Module”

What if I’m already a YouTube Partner?

  1. Accept the new Partner Program agreement before monetization begins on February 1st
  2. Start earning ad share revenue on your Shorts views!

Who does YouTube Shorts monetization benefit?

Shorts monetization helps all creators who can qualify as Partners! However, given its format that primarily rewards creators based on views - it will primarily pay the creators that drive the majority of views for each region. Given the program has not launched yet, it’s hard to say exactly what the will look like economically, but you can assume that financial reward goes hand in hand with ability to create viral content.

How does YouTube Shorts revenue sharing work?

As users watch Shorts, YouTube displays ads between clips in the feed. Advertisers pay for those ad placements and YouTube uses a portion of this revenue to pay music licensing companies. The remaining revenue goes to a creator pool that is distributed monthly.

The amount of money that is distributed into the creator pool depends on how many creators use musical tracks in their shorts - therefore incurring licensing costs.

  • If a clip has no music, all the revenue associated with that clip is sent to the creator pool.
  • If a Short uses one song, one-third of the ad revenue will go towards paying for music licensing.
  • Similarly, if a Short uses two songs, two-thirds of the revenue will go to the licensing pool.
  • The more Shorts that use music, the more money that is kept aside to pay for licensing costs.

The revenue allocated for creators out of the Shorts ad revenue is then distributed based on a creator’s share of total Shorts views. This means the more views, the greater amount of revenue you will be entitled to. For example, if you have 1% of Shorts views in your region, you will get 1% of the money in the creator revenue share pool. YouTube then takes a 55% revenue cut, leaving you with 45% of that allocation.

In this example:

  1. Total money in creator pool from ad revenue: $100,000
  2. Your view contribution: 1% of Shorts views in region
  3. Your allocation: $100,000 *.01 = $1000
  4. 55% take rate from YouTube = $1000 *.55 = $550
  5. Allocation minus YouTube cut = $1000 - $550 = $450
  6. Creator take home pay = $450

YouTube Shorts revenue share is an exciting opportunity for creators to have yet another way to monetize their short form content. Because it works passively in the background, all creators have to do is make great content that gets views - and they’ll be rewarded proportionally. This revenue sharing program has the potential to make Shorts more lucrative for creators than TikTok or Reels.

Looking for other ways to monetize your short form content? Check out Diamond tipping on FreshCut. Creators keep 90% of all tips on the platform. You can exchange Diamonds for dollars, use them on merch, or simply to support other creators.

Creators that are accepted as FreshCut Partners can also access our $1M Creator Fund, weekly creator rewards, event stipends, and much more.

Join our community!