YouTube Shorts monetization: How to make money from YouTube Shorts

What does YouTube Shorts mean for creators, what are the requirements, and have any main policies changed? Let’s talk monetizing YouTube Shorts.

YouTube Shorts monetization: How to make money from YouTube Shorts

As of 2023, you can finally start earning money on your YouTube Shorts with monetization. But how does it affect creators, what are the requirements, and have any main policies changed?

Check out our video with Epidemic Sound ambassador CJ Unplugged below, then let’s dig into what monetizing YouTube Shorts actually means!

Is YouTube Shorts monetized?

Before 2023, you couldn't make money on YouTube Shorts in the traditional sense. There was a YouTube Shorts Monetization Fund, which dished out a not-to-be-sniffed-at $100 million to the platform’s top creators.

But what about the small fries? The up-and-comers? Well, from February 1, 2023, YouTube Shorts monetization became available for most creators. This is thanks to a new advertising revenue sharing model for Shorts, which replaced the YouTube Shorts Monetization Fund. 

How does YouTube Shorts monetization work?

Monetizing YouTube Shorts hinges on a few factors: following the rules, accepting the terms, and reaching the monetization threshold. In a nutshell, once you're eligible to monetize, you'll receive payouts from the YouTube Shorts Creator Pool. Here's the lowdown.

Using YouTube shorts

Youtube Shorts monetization rules

If you want to know how to monetize YouTube Shorts, you’ll have to do a bit of reading. That’s because the YouTube Partner Program (YPP), which content creators join to earn money on the platform, rolled out new terms and conditions in 2023. 

To remain in the YPP, you’ll have to accept these new terms. Even if you’re not looking to monetize YouTube Shorts specifically, you’ll still need to read and accept these terms. The main thrust of the update is opting into the below monetization modules:

  • Watch Page Monetization Module, which allows you to keep earning money on any ads served across your long-form, live-streamed, and YouTube Premium content. 
  • Shorts Monetization Module, which allows you to earn money on YouTube Shorts. The money comes from ads – they’ll play between Shorts in the Shorts feed.
  • Commerce Product Addendum, which sounds confusing, but we promise it isn’t! It just means monetization will be covered for extra features like Channel Memberships, Super Chat, Super Stickers and Super Thanks. These terms haven’t changed, so if you’re already using these features, you won't have to agree again.

YouTube recommends that you opt into all of these modules, to ensure that you take full advantage of everything on offer.

How to turn on YouTube Shorts monetization

Once you’ve accepted the new terms, you needn’t worry – YouTube Shorts is already monetized! If you missed the memo, you might need to head to YouTube Studio on your web browser, rather than the YouTube app, and accept the terms over there.

Using YouTube Shorts

Now that we've covered that, what about the YouTube Shorts monetization rules? How do YouTube Shorts make money, and how can you get a slice of the pie? Let’s take a look.

Can I monetize YouTube Shorts with 1,000 subscribers?

The good news is yes, you can monetize YouTube Shorts content with just 500 subscribers. You don't even need 1,000! With 500 subscribers, you can activate YouTube Shopping and fan funding. However, you also need three million valid Shorts views in the past 90 days, or 3,000 valid public watch hours on your main YouTube feed, provided they're from the past 12 months.

To unlock full monetization options, including ad revenue sharing, you'll need a little extra. This includes 1,000 subscribers, plus either 10 million public Shorts views within the last 90 days or 4,000 public watch hours on your main YouTube feed over the last 12 months.

If you meet those criteria, you'll be able to use the YPP. This means you can activate ads and earn 45% of the allocated ad revenue on your Shorts videos, with the rest going to YouTube. This comes from a fund called the Creator Pool, which splits ad money proportionately between all qualifying Shorts creators.

How much do YouTube Shorts ads pay?

There’s no saying how much you can earn with YouTube Shorts monetization, given there’s no official equation that tells you how many cents you’ll get per 1,000 views. (We’re sure someone will come up with one soon enough!)

Some people have suggested the figure is around $0.04 per 1,000 views, but there's nothing concrete from YouTube's end.

However, whatever amount you do end up netting will be a 45% cut of the gross amount, as is the standard with YouTube’s ad revenue payments. It’s also worth noting that YouTube Shorts monetization only applies to views after you’ve accepted the new terms, meaning old Shorts views unfortunately won’t bring in any cash.

It's worth doing, though. As of March 2024, more than 25% of Partner Program creators were earning money via YouTube Shorts.

using YouTube Shorts

Does Youtube Shorts watch time count for monetization?

Given how, well, short YouTube Shorts are, watch time doesn't count for monetization. It's all about the views. The only instance watch time comes into play is those 4,000 hours from your main feed, which can be used to unlock YouTube Shorts monetization in the first place.

Why can’t I monetize my YouTube Shorts?

There are a couple of things that'll cut off your cash immediately. If you’ve reposted content onto YouTube Shorts, that immediately disqualifies you from earning. That could be anything from another creator’s content to a clip from a TV show – if it’s not original, you won’t be able to get any money from it. Likewise, any YouTube Shorts with inflated views from automated clicks or bots won’t be eligible for monetization.

Want to soundtrack your YouTube Shorts safely? Try Epidemic Sound.

Our catalog is high-quality, affordable, and safe. An Epidemic Sound subscription goes beyond royalty-free music, removing the headache of licensing and freeing you up to do what you do best. You can enjoy the safety of our license hand-in-hand with our massive catalog of 40,000 tracks, covering just about every genre you can think of. You’ll also gain unlimited access to our advanced search functions — finding the right sound’s never been easier. 

It’s better than royalty-free. It’s worry-free. Get started with Epidemic Sound below.

So, that’s YouTube Shorts monetization covered on our end. We don’t know about you, but we’re excited to see this quickfire, short-form corner of YouTube finally open up for monetization.

Interested in how we work with YouTube? Check out our Epidemic Sound for YouTube page to find out more. 

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