How to ‘Make’ Money on YouTube Shorts

– This is a YouTube Short. Unlike many videos in this category, it's taking off with hundreds
of thousands of views. (chime sounds) But here's a really interesting part. It's also earning revenue for the channel. (cash register rings) The question is, how? (upbeat music) All right, folks, fear not,
fear not, this isn't clickbait. I'm not gonna reveal this
number at the end of a video, we're actually gonna do it in 10 seconds. I need a drum roll, please. (drum roll rattles)
And I want you to guess how much money do you think this video earned from 750,000 views. Here we go. (cymbals clash) Now, it that it? This may be the worst CPM
in the history of YouTube, under a dollar per 100,000 views. However, from the opposite end
of a discussion, in theory, this video should not be
making any money at all. And to explain that you're about to embark on a classic vidIQ deep dive. (upbeat music) To start answering this question, we need to go back to something
the Creator Insider team said on a recent video. – Stating it up front right
now, Shorts aren't gonna be supported by ad serving and
they're not gonna generate YouTube premium subscription revenue.

– Whenever I mention Creator Insider, I do like to give them
a huge plug, they are the number-one source for
insider YouTube information. So make sure to subscribe
to them over here, but that statement brings up a
lot of interesting questions. What do the Creator Insider
team mean when they say that YouTube Shorts aren't going
to be supported by ad serving. Well, let's take a look
at the video in question. This is my colleague Dan's gaming channel, and he sets up a featured section where we can see all of his Shorts.

And this is that 750,000-view video. Well done, Dan, but if
we'd watched this video as a YouTube Short, Dan can't
earn any ad revenue from it. However, let's say we go to Dan's channel, check out the video section
and sort by most popular, we find this same video. And if we play it through
this link, it dumps a user into the regular YouTube
player where it can serve ads. So just to be clear,
what we're seeing here, this is the same YouTube video, but depending on where
it's viewed on YouTube, will determine whether or not
ads can be served against it.

You may be asking at this point
from a business perspective, what is the point of YouTube Shorts if I can never make any money from them? I want all of my views to come from the regular YouTube player. And the answer to that is
discovery opportunities. Over the last couple of months, the evidence is showing that
channel size matters much less when it comes to YouTube Shorts. It's almost as if everybody
has equal opportunity of their videos being discovered, which is a massive advantage
for smaller channels. Now, no offense to Dan's gaming channel, but it doesn't have the
YouTube clout to demand hundreds of thousands of
views per Minecraft video. But right now his Shorts
videos based around Minecraft do have a much improved chance
of being picked by YouTube and being launched to the moon.

That's exactly what happened here. Like so many other creators' short videos, nothing happened for weeks,
and then all of a sudden, whush, you know what, I think it's time that I coined a phrase
for this phenomenon. I'm gonna call it the the shorts surge, yeah, that's right. Shorts surge, shorts surge. Try saying that fast 10 times. (upbeat music) While this shorts surge is
always welcomed by creators, YouTube seems to shut this
surge down just as quickly, much to the frustration of said creators. However, thanks to this huge push, the video got three
quarters of a million views and still generates most of
this traffic from Shorts. Now, what I say next is nothing
more than my own YouTube algorithm theory, but it
has to be the surge in views from YouTube Shorts that
created enough positive signals to drive the rest of the
views for this video, suggested, browse,
external, YouTube search.

Put simply, I don't think this video, without the support of
635,000 short views, gets over 100,000 regular YouTube views. However, if you disagree with any of this, I'd love to have an argument with you in the comment section. Right now, if you make a YouTube Short, it's almost as if you have
two shots at the algorithm. If a regular video
doesn't perform that well, maybe the YouTube short
version of it, same video, performs well, and that
surge sends positive signals, back to their regular video,
which then starts being shared on regular YouTube. Whenever I say this, it all
sounds really confusing, but I think you get the idea, right? Before we get too deep
into that rabbit hole, let's go back to the money question. What we are effectively
looking at here are the 100,000 views from
traffic sources on this video, other than YouTube Shorts
that could be monetized. Whatever way you look at it,
those $6 and 82 cents are still a terrible return for so many views. Now, to get an answer to this, we need to look at this graph. What this does is show you how many views actually had ads served on them.

And those are called
estimated monetized playbacks, and the answer, as you
can see, is astonishing. Even taking out all of the Shorts views that can't be monetized,
only 3% of the YouTube regular views were monetized. Now this is somewhat
a wild generalization, but in my experience for a
monetized channel around about 2/3 of the views they
receive will be monetized. For example, on a video
with 100,000 views, 66,000 of those views will
be monetized in some way. So that begs the question,
why did this video get so few monetized playbacks? Again, I'm theorizing, but I think it's because
of the nature of a video. It's a short video, not a YouTube Shorts, but a video of less than 60 seconds. And again, generally speaking,
and generally theorizing, they attract a lot less advertisers. You don't really want to be
jumping into a 50-second video that has perhaps two preroll ads on it.

That's just gonna frustrate the viewer and disenfranchise them from the platform. Again, I'm more than
happy to argue with you in the comments section. When you take a deeper look
at the monetization numbers, the CPM isn't actually that bad for the views that were monetized. $3 is about par for gaming content, but due to the way RPM is
calculated, I'm afraid Dan ain't gonna be retiring
off the back of this video. It sounds like I'm painting a
bit of a bleak picture here, doesn't it, for YouTube Shorts. (bell clangs) Yes, you can monetize them
because at the end of the day, YouTube Shorts are regular YouTube videos, but the ad revenue you
could potentially get from them is so minuscule
as to be not worth it.

So where are the benefits? Building a community. Did you notice it? Maybe you were too
distracted by everything else we've been talking about. 6,000 subscribers. That's what this video
has done for this channel. From a monetization perspective, that's the 1000-subscriber
requirement ticked off, but just to be clear, most
of these watch time hours that come from the short's views won't count towards
your 4,000 hours needed. A single video of less than 60 seconds has created a huge community. And that's what I think all small channels have the opportunity to do here. Of course, with this comes challenges. How do you convert those
YouTube Shorts subscribers into fans of your longer form content? And we're still unsure as to the impact of all of these short
videos and watch time and audience view duration
impacting your main channel.

All of this would be solved by YouTube monetizing YouTube Shorts. Is that gonna happen? Take a look at this. Sean McKnight is a mastermind behind several
multimillion-subscriber channels and he talks to YouTube
on a regular basis. And he was able to reveal this
in a recent Facebook post, "YouTube have said that
there is no intention for Shorts monetization
anywhere in the near future, given a Short's max view
time is under 60 seconds and watch sessions would
likely be negatively affected." Of course, YouTube have been
known to miscommunicate things as well as change their minds, but I would read into this
and say that monetization for YouTube Shorts is at
least many, many months away.

Oh, and if you'd like me
to go into more detail on this Sean McKnight post, do let me know in the comments below. If you wanna learn more
about Shorts in general, take a look at our guides over here. If you want to see some
of our own YouTube Shorts, check out the videos down here. Otherwise, thanks for watching and enjoy the rest of
your video-making day..

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