YouTube has hatched a new way to spur content production for YouTube Shorts, its TikTok-like short form video feature: The video giant is launching Green Screen, which lets creators use clips from the billions of videos on YouTube as the background for their Shorts.
With Green Screen, YouTube Shorts creators will be able to remix up to 60 seconds of video (or audio only) from any eligible on-demand YouTube video or other YouTube Short — as long as the original creator has granted permission to do so and the video isn’t flagged for copyright violations.
The creative tool is YouTube’s latest effort to compete with TikTok, which popularized the short-form video format and counts more than 1 billion monthly active users. YouTube Shorts has boomed in popularity and now averages more than 30 billion daily views, up more than fourfold from 6.5 billion a year ago, Alphabet/Google CEO Sundar Pichai told investors last month.
For now, YouTube isn’t compensating the original video creators if their material is remixed into a Shorts video. “While remixes of a source creator’s content will not earn them revenue at this time, it will bring new opportunities for their content to help find a new audience through the fresh and creative takes of the Shorts community,” a spokesperson told Variety. Whenever a new Short is created from your own channel’s content, it will be attributed back to your original video with a link in the Shorts player.
Currently, revenue shared with YouTube Shorts creators runs through the platform’s YouTube Shorts Fund, which pays out bonuses based on engagement. Similarly, Snap’s Snapchat Spotlight pays creators based on the popularity of their videos.
YouTube is “still working on the long-term monetization model for Shorts,” the rep noted, and is in the midst of testing out ad formats. Meanwhile, TikTok is in the earliest stages of implementing an ad-revenue-sharing program with creators.
The Green Screen feature for YouTube Shorts will begin rolling out on the YouTube iOS app today and will be expanded to the Android version in “the coming months.” As YouTube has noted before, creators who don’t want their long-form content to be remixed by others on Shorts can opt out.
Creators can use the YouTube Shorts Green Screen feature with any photo or video from their own camera roll as well. To use Green Screen, select “Create > Green Screen” on the menu of options under the video you’re watching (or press the three-dot menu in the Shorts player and select “Green Screen”).
Last month, YouTube Shorts introduced a remix feature called Cut, which allows creators to select a one- to five-second clip from any eligible YouTube video or Short to use in original Shorts content. That is now available to everyone on the YouTube app on iOS and in the coming months it will roll out for Android.