The battle for creator loyalty is heating up, with Twitch implementing new restrictions on creator monetization, Twitter offering new pathways to income from tweets, and YouTube now weighing in with an update to its Partner Program.
Today, YouTube has announced new, much lower thresholds to entry for monetization in the app, as it seeks to get more creators on-side.
As explained by YouTube:
“Starting today, eligible creators will begin to be able to apply to YPP earlier - once they’ve met a threshold of 500 subscribers, 3 public uploads in the last 90 days, and either 3000 watch hours in the past year or 3M Shorts views in the last 90 days. These new partners will unlock access to fan funding features like channel memberships, Super Chat, Super Stickers, Super Thanks, and the ability to promote their own products with YouTube Shopping.”
The new entry thresholds represent a significant reduction – up till now, creators had to have 1,000 subscribers, and either 4,000 watch hours in the past year or 10 million Shorts views in the last 90 days. The new process doesn’t unlock all revenue generation options, with ad revenue share still restricted to those that meet the current requirements. But it will make it easier for more creators to get started, and to come across to YouTube even without an established audience in the app - which is an important consideration on two key fronts.
The first element is Shorts, and YouTube’s push to maintain its position as the online video leader.
Shorts has become a big focus for the app, as more and more YouTube users continue to engage with short clips. Back in February, YouTube reported that Shorts had surpassed 50 billion cumulative daily views, up from 30 billion a year earlier, reflecting the latest video consumption trend, led by TikTok.
And now, YouTube’s pushing to get more TikTok creators aligned to its platform instead, by offering better monetization potential, to more creators, which could see them shifting their attention to YouTube to build their web presence.
In combination with long-form content, YouTube offers far better monetization opportunities, and this latest move could be a key step in luring creative talent across. Factor in the ongoing uncertainty about TikTok’s future in the US, and now may be the best time to be making this pitch.
At the same time, YouTube’s also taking aim at Twitch, which is in the midst of a minor creator revolt at present, due to new restrictions on cross-promotion in streams, and other limitations on how Twitch streamers can monetize their content.
By lowering its thresholds to entry, YouTube's removing a key hesitation for Twitch streamers – that they’ll need to build their presence on YouTube before they can start making money.
Now, that building effort is a lot less work, which could see more of them abandon Twitch in favor of YouTube’s program.
It’s a smart move by YouTube, amidst uncertainty on other apps, which may end up being a big winner in the attention stakes, as it looks to showcase its money-making potential to top talent.
At the same time, YouTube’s also expanding its in-stream shopping options, which will offer another revenue stream to eligible creators.
“For creators who are further in their YouTube journey, we’re expanding our YouTube Shopping affiliate program to all eligible US-based creators who are in YPP with over 20,000 subscribers. The affiliate program allows creators to feature products from other brands and creators in their content and be eligible for competitive commission rates on the sales of products tagged in their videos and Shorts.”
YouTube says that it’s now partnered with over 50 brands, including Nordstrom, Sephora, Ulta Beauty, and Wayfair, whose products can be featured and tagged on videos and Shorts.
TikTok, too, is still working to get its in-stream shopping elements off the ground, and it could now be that YouTube is steadily overtaking it as the key platform of choice on this front, which would be a big blow to TikTok’s growth plans.
Note that TikTok has seen big success with in-stream shopping in China, which is now its top revenue stream in the region. If YouTube can blunt this, that’ll be another way to mitigate TikTok’s rise, while also offering more opportunities to creators.
Again, it’s a smart move by YouTube, which could reap big benefits.
YouTube says that it's starting to roll out its new YPP requirements to creators in the US, UK, Canada, Taiwan, and South Korea, and will introduce earlier access to YPP across all countries where the program is available over time.