YouTube is boasting about its status as the biggest platform supporting the creator economy, announcing that it has surpassed 2 million creators in its YouTube Partner Program, which shares a cut of ad revenue that run on eligible channels.
Under YouTube’s standard revenue-sharing terms for YPP, partner channels keep 55% of the money generated from ads on their videos. YouTube first launched the program in 2007.
According to YouTube, over the last three years, it has paid more than $30 billion to creators, artists and media companies. In the second quarter of 2021, YouTube ad revenue hit a record $7 billion and “we paid more to YouTube creators and partners than in any quarter in our history,” Neal Mohan, YouTube’s chief product officer, wrote in a blog post.
According to YouTube, its creator-payment programs in 2019 alone supported the equivalent of 345,000 full-time jobs in the U.S. alone.
“Now, more than 2 million creators participate in YPP globally, including many who might not otherwise have had a platform, from tech reviewers to entertainers,” Neal Mohan, YouTube’s chief product officer, wrote in a blog post. “And many of these creators are generating jobs and contributing to local and global economies.”
To support its business model, YouTube also must continue investing in “cracking down on the tiny fraction of bad actors,” according to Mohan. Every channel applying to YPP is reviewed by a “trained rater” to make sure it meets YouTube’s policies, he noted, and the platform also regularly reviews and removes channels that don’t comply with its guidelines — such as those that repeatedly violate hate speech, harassment and misinformation policies.
“We have every incentive to continue to tackle problematic content on our platform: It is not just the right thing for our viewers and creators, it’s also good for business,” Mohan wrote.
In the past few years — following the so-called “adpocalypse” that saw YouTube demonetize numerous videos and channels for not being “advertiser friendly” — YouTube has improved its efforts to help creators comply with its ad-friendly guidelines, according to Mohan. Today, only about 1% of videos monetized by YPP creators are flagged with a yellow dollar-sign icon (meaning they are eligible for limited or no ads), Mohan wrote. YouTube was the first digital platform to be accredited for content-level brand safety by the Media Rating Council, and it was also one of the founding members of the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM), an initiative to improve digital brand safety.
YouTube creators now have 10 different ways to make money on the platform. In addition the YouTube Partner Program, those are: revenue sharing from YouTube Premium; Channel Memberships; Super Chat; Super Stickers; Super Thanks; merchandise sales; concert ticketing; YouTube BrandConnect (previously known as FameBit) to connect creators with sponsors; and payments from the new $100 million YouTube Shorts Creator Fund, under which creators can earn up to $10,000 per month based on viewership and engagement of their short-form videos.