YouTube has announced it is launching a $ 100 million fund for developers of video short films, the company’s feature that competes with TikTok. Moving away from the online video giant, creators will be paid based on viewership and engagement rather than advertising revenue.
In addition, YouTube is opening the fund to any video maker on its website who follows its guidelines, not just those eligible for the advertising program, the company said in a blog post on Tuesday.
The Shorts Developers Fund is the latest entry in a social media bidding war for online personalities sparked by the success of Bytedance Ltd.’s TikTok. was triggered. Snap Inc. launched a new fund for top performers of its video product last fall. Facebook Inc. tried to lure stars from TikTok – and copied features – and served more ads for its shorter videos.
YouTube, part of Google by Alphabet Inc., also recruited TikTok stars. With the announcement of the fund, YouTube is expanding its capabilities to make it easier to record footage for short films. Part of TikTok’s success has been the ease with which it can be used to create videos on smartphones.
YouTube funded creators long before its social media rivals. The company has been sharing ad sales with its video makers for more than a decade, spurring a business that generated $ 19 billion in ad sales last year as well as many moderation issues. In 2018, YouTube limited the number of developers after a series of brand security glitches. It hasn’t landed on a shorts revenue model yet.
Still, many YouTubers failed to reach a consistent audience and left or switched to producing more on TikTok and Facebook’s Instagram. YouTube introduced shorts with star makers in 2020 and has created various tools for video makers to use to make money beyond ads. By March, the shorts feature had seen more than 6.5 billion views a day, almost twice as many as in December, Google told investors. Last week, YouTube let everyone upload shorts on its website.
Since 2012, YouTube’s algorithm for promoting videos has given priority to playback time. In a blog post, Amy Singer, a YouTube director, described the new fund as a “first step” in developing a business model for shorts. “This is our top priority and it will take us some time to get it right,” she wrote.