YouTube said on Monday (Aug. 23) it has paid more than $30 billion to more than 2 million video producers on the platform in the past three years through ads, merchandising and other service features.
YouTube has been splitting ad sales with its creators for almost 15 years, starting in 2007, before streamlining the number of paid channels to focus on those that met viewership guidelines and thresholds after advertisers boycotted the platform over inappropriate videos it was allowing to run.
The number of new channels in YouTube’s ad program doubled in 2020, although it’s yet to return to pre-2018 levels so far.
Facebook, TikTok and Spotify have tried — largely unsuccessfully — to use new tools and payments to bring YouTube users onto their platforms. YouTube takes 45 percent of most video ad sales, according to Bloomberg.
“Our responsibility as a global platform has created this place that works,” said Neal Mohan, YouTube’s chief product officer, in an interview with Bloomberg. “When I talk to creators, it’s always about growing the overall pie. A share of $10 is always better than the share of $1.”
YouTube also splits ad revenue with so-called traditional media outlets that run YouTube’s videos on their platforms, although Mohan wouldn’t tell Bloomberg how much of the $30 billion payout went to those companies. A “huge, huge chunk” of the sum goes to independent creators and musicians, he said.
There are other ways to ensure YouTube creators walk away from their endeavors with a little extra money in their pockets, of course.
YouTube recently unveiled a Super Thanks feature that allows fans to tip performers they particularly like between $2 and $50. It shows a celebratory animation on-screen and colorful comment with the person’s name below the video in the comments section when it’s used. Super Thanks is available in beta in 68 countries on desktop, Android and iOS.
Super Thanks is another way for viewers to show their appreciation on YouTube, in addition to channel membership, Super Stickers and Super Chat, which lets users leave tips during livestreams. The Super Thanks feature doesn’t require a livestream to be enacted.