YouTube looking into more options to help creators monetise short-video content

The Alphabet-owned platform is seeking to widen the reach of its recently launched Shorts series

YouTube has more than 2.6 billion monthly users globally. Unsplash
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Video-sharing giant YouTube is looking into more ways to help creators of short videos monetise their content as the format continues to grow in popularity, the platform's top official for the Middle East and North Africa said.

YouTube Shorts, which marked its first year in the region last week, is gaining traction among content creators as shorter videos are generally easier to produce and get the message across quickly to viewers.

Tapping into Shorts is a signal that creators are learning to keep up with shifting consumer trends and behaviour, Tarek Amin, head of YouTube in Mena, told The National in an interview.

"YouTube has an audience that continues to shift their viewing habits — from watching long-form content to innovative short-form videos on Shorts, from the small screen to the living room. The ability to combine these makes YouTube unique and brands recognise that," he said.

"We are deeply committed to supporting the next generation of mobile creators with Shorts and are actively working on what monetisation options will look like in the future."

Content creation across multiple formats is helping brands reach a wider audience, resulting in growing revenue for the industry.

While long videos provide more scope to be informative and detailed, short-form videos can provide direct, to-the-point content that also appeals to people with short attention spans.

Short-form videos aren't new, but their popularity arguably spiked with the advent of TikTok. Facebook, the world's biggest social media network, has its own version called Reels, while other big-name platforms such as WhatsApp, Instagram and Snapchat have a similar service in one form or another.

The global content creation market is projected to be worth about $15 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach $47.2bn by 2032 at a compound annual rate of 12.2 per cent, according to data provider Future Market Insights.

Globally, more than 2.6 billion people use YouTube each month, according to Statista.

The company shares more than half of the revenue generated on its platform. YouTube's annual revenue for 2021 was up about 46 per cent to $28.8bn from $19.7bn a year earlier.

Alphabet-owned YouTube launched its Mena partner programme in 2012, which gave content creators the opportunity to monetise and build their businesses. Creators in the region are able to earn revenue from advertisers through six monetisation options.

While YouTube did not provide specific figures for Mena, more than $30bn has been paid to creators globally in the past three years.

Through the regional programme, the number of YouTube channels earning revenue in six figures or more in dollar terms is up 40 per cent annually, London agency Public First said in a May report on Google’s economic impact in the UAE.

Shorts, watched by more than 1.5 billion users each month worldwide, has a $100m global fund meant to support YouTubers creating content on the format between 2021 and 2022.

Thousands of creators have already been paid from the fund, with more than 40 per cent who weren't monetising their content last year receiving their first payouts.

We are deeply committed to supporting the next generation of mobile creators with Shorts and are actively working on what monetisation options will look like in the future
Tarek Amin, the head of YouTube in Mena

The fund is not limited to those in the partner programme. Creators are eligible if they create original content for Shorts and adhere to YouTube's community guidelines.

YouTube is a viable place for users to start a business, given the reach of the platform, Mr Amin said.

The platform has increased its commitment to creators, having launched campaigns on video actions and apps on Shorts that intend to help advertisers and agencies get recognised by a bigger and more engaged audience, he said.

"As part of this launch, advertisers will soon be able to connect their product feed to transform your ads into a virtual storefront and make them more relevant and actionable," Mr Amin added.

Neal Mohan, chief product officer of YouTube, said: "Shorts have become an essential part of the YouTube experience for our creators and viewers. The product is growing thanks to the creativity of our community

"While we’re still at the beginning of our journey with Shorts, we look forward to continuing to innovate the product so our creators can continue to increase their reach and revenue opportunities on the platform.”

Updated: July 10, 2022, 3:08 PM