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Industry Trends
September 26, 2023
min read
Noam Yadin

Creator monetization updates

Monetization programs on social media platforms enable influencers to get paid for content they create and ultimately make a living off of what they love (and we love to watch!). The thing is - social media platforms, including YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, etc., are constantly updating and evolving in order to optimize the user experience and keep up with current trends. And, with it comes changes to the different monetization programs, ability to connect with target audience, and a stable, consistent income.  

It’s important to point out that some of these changes are good, such as lowering requirements to join the monetization programs or the addition of new rewards. But, for content creators that aren’t keeping up with algorithm changes or monetization program adjustments, it can have a significant impact on the influencers financial compensation. 

While you can’t stop social media platforms from constantly evolving the interface (and honestly, you don’t want to - gotta keep up with what the people want), you can keep your finger on the trigger and understand the current creator monetization programs available on the different social media platforms and what you can expect in the near future. 

Recent creator monetization platform updates

YouTube monetization

YouTube’s monetization program is called the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). Creators accepted into the YouTube Partner Program can start monetizing their content and get paid through the Google AdSense program. 

Google AdSense: In simple terms, when a viewer watches, or better yet - clicks on the ad within a YouTube video, revenue is generated. That revenue is then split between the specific creator (55% of the money) and YouTube (45% of the money). 

YouTube Partner Program requirements

YouTube recently lowered the milestones required in order to join the YPP:

In order to start making money through Fan Funding (Super Chats, Super Thanks, channel memberships), YouTubers must reach:

  • 500 subscribers 
  • 3 public uploads in the last 90 days
  • 3,000 public watch hours in the previous 12 months OR 3 million public YouTube Shorts views in the last 90 days

Now, if you want to make money through video advertisements (Google AdSense), YouTubers must reach:

  • 1,000 subscribers
  • 4,000 public watch hours within a 12 month period OR 10 million public YouTube Shorts views within a 90 day period

Joining the YouTube Partner Program

Once you’ve hit YouTube’s requirements, you can apply for the YouTube Partner Program in the YouTube Studio’s Earn page. This page shows you the number of subscribers and how much watch time you have. When you reach the minimum requirements, YouTube will give you the option to join the YPP. 

Tip: If you apply and get rejected, you have 21 days to appeal the decision - use this time to look over your channel and make sure you don’t have any videos that violate YouTube’s Community Guidelines. 

Aside from the YouTube Partner Program, there are a number of other ways YouTuber’s make money, such as affiliate links, brand sponsorships, and offering premium content. You can find out more about how influencers make money here

YouTube Shorts monetization

In early 2023, YouTube decided to get rid of its YouTube Shorts fund and, instead, YouTube Shorts creators can earn money through the YouTube Partner Program - specifically, through the ads that play between the Shorts. 

In order to be eligible for Shorts monetization, you need to be part of the YouTube Partner Program (same requirements apply). And, once you are accepted into the YPP, only eligible Shorts will earn advertising revenue:

How YouTube Shorts monetization works

There are 4 steps to the YouTube Shorts ad revenue process:

  1. Pool Shorts Feed ad revenue: Each month, the total revenue made from the ads running between videos on the Shorts Feed is added together and then used to reward creators and cover the costs of music licensing.
  2. Calculate the creator pool: The Shorts Feed ad revenue is then allocated into the creator pool, which is calculated based on views and music usage across all Shorts uploaded by monetizing creators. If a monetizing creator did not use music in their Short, all the revenue associated with its views goes directly into the creator pool. If a monetizing creator did upload a Short with music in it, YouTube will split the revenue associated with its views between the creator pool and music partners. 
  3. Allocate the creator pool: From the overall amount in the creator pool, the revenue is split up and distributed among the monetizing creators based on their share of total views from monetizing creators’ Shorts in each country. YouTube explains - if a creator gets 5% of all eligible Shorts views uploaded by monetizing creators, they’ll be allocated 5% of the revenue in the creator pool.
  4. Apply revenue share: Monetizing creators will keep 45% of their revenue

How Shorts ad revenue sharing works

YouTube shared an example that clears up this process:

YouTube example Shorts ad revenue sharing

Facebook monetization

In May 2023, Meta announced that they’re “evolving [Facebooks] payout model based on the performance of creators’ public reels, not the earnings of ads on their reels.” Prior to this update, Meta’s Reels Play bonus program, which was part of the $1B creator investment, paid eligible creators up to $35,000 a month based on the views of their reels. The thing is, there were a number of variables out of the creator’s control that could influence their ad earning, like how many ads the viewer already saw and whether the ad is relevant to the viewer.

The updated monetization system is called Ads on Reels and it plans on paying creators for the number of views the Reels get. Meta explained that with a performance-based model, “creators can focus on content that’s resonating with their audiences and helping them grow; advertisers get access to more ad inventory to reach more people; and people get a more consistent viewing experience with more relevant ads.”

In simple terms, payouts will be determined by the number of plays - so the better a creator’s Reel performs, the more they can earn.

Eligibility for Facebook monetization

In order to start earning money with Ads on Reels, you must:

  • Get invited to the program
  • Be on a Page, new Page or professional mode for profiles
  • Pass and remain compliant with Facebook’s Partner Monetization Policies and Content Monetization Policies
  • Be at least 18 years old

Instagram monetization

Meta plans to implement the same performance-based model on Instagram - creators will get paid according to the number of plays their Reels get (the better the Reel performs, the more they can earn). 

However, until the Ads on Reels becomes available for Instagram monetization, there are a handful of ways Instagram influencers can earn money on the social platform:

  • Partnering with brands and creating branded content that fits your online personality and resonates with your audience. Instagram is also testing a creator marketplace which will help creators get discovered by eligible brands for branded content opportunities. 
  • Go Live with Badges: During Lives, viewers can buy Badges - $0.99, $1.99, and $4.99 increments. 
  • Subscriptions: Instagram influencers can offer exclusive content that can only be experienced via a subscription to the specific profile. This helps the creator get a consistent, recurring monthly income.

TikTok monetization

Creativity Program Beta

As a way to reward successful creators on TikTok, the short-form content app created the TikTok Creator Fund, which gives TikTokers the opportunity to “earn money doing what they love and turn their passion into a livelihood”. However, for years, creators that were garnering millions and millions of views complained about TikTok's lousy payout.

Well, it seems TikTok's new initiative - Creativity Program - is helping creators earn tens of thousands of dollars (and putting pressure on YouTube's creator payout!).

According to Insider, "TikTok's creativity program, which is still in beta, is one of the latest in a series of attempts by the social media platform to allow creators to make money directly from the app. It rewards creators for longer content, specifically videos over 60 seconds." The creativity program is now open to "all US based creators who have at least 10,000 followers and 100,000 'authentic' views on their TikTok videos in the last 30 days."

Payments are calculated and distributed based on qualified video views. A handful of creators have already revealed that they are earning a lot more money from the creativity program compared to what they were making with TikTok's earlier monetization efforts. A TikTok spokesperson even shared that "Creators can earn up to 20 times more from the creativity program than its creator fund since it pays out more money each time a video is viewed."

Here's the thing - only eligible creators posting longer videos (videos over one minute) can start earning from the creativity program.

Eligibility for Creativity Program Beta

To be eligible to collect rewards in the program, you must:

  1. Have a U.S.-based account
  2. Be at least 18 years old
  3. Have at least 10,000 followers
  4. Have at least 100,000 video views in the last 30 days

TikTok Series

Series enables TikTok creators to charge a set price for access to your premium content - you can create, upload, price and promote your 'Series' content all within the social app. TikTok shares that, "Series can open up a new avenue to share your knowledge and expertise. Post your detailed fitness routine. Take viewers in on your homemade pasta recipe, step-by-step. Snapshot your photo editing tutorial. Weave your way through a DIY hair dye process. Or you could even ask your community what they want to see in your first TikTok Series, catering directly to their desires. The opportunities are truly endless for you to explore high-quality informative content."

In short, eligible TikTokers can post as many as 80 videos up to 20 minutes each and, after completely your first series, you can set listing prices (between $0.99 to $189.99). Then, if your series meets TikTok's regulations, your audience will be able to purchase access to your series via a video link or directly from your profile.

Eligibility for TikTok Series

In order to be eligible for Series, creators must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older.
  • Have an account that is at least 30 days old.
  • Have a public Personal Account. Business Accounts, political, and private accounts are not eligible.
  • Post three public posts or more in the last 30 days.
  • Reach 1,000 views or more in the last 30 days.
  • Post original content.
  • Provide a sample of videos sold on another platform. Only some creators are required to provide this information.
  • Have an account in good standing with no repeated violations of our Community Guidelines.

TikTok Creative Challenge

In June 2023, TikTok introduced a new monetization feature - TikTok Creative Challenge. This feature allows TikTokers to submit video ads to brand challenges and receive money based on video performance. TikTok explains, “Creators can browse through the list of challenges, read the challenge’s brief which displays the reward pool and details rules and requirements, and submit their video ad. The Creative Challenge gives creators full creative freedom over their ads, unlocking more opportunities for creators to collaborate with brands in a way that’s most authentic to them.”

Eligibility for TikTok monetization

In order to be eligible for the new monetization feature, creators must:

  • Be at least 18 years old 
  • Have a US-based account
  • Have a minimum of 50,000 followers

How much does the TikTok Creative Challenge pay?

Obviously TikTok isn’t revealing how much TikTok’s Creative Challenge pay outs, but they did explain that “rewards for the Creative Challenge are influenced by many factors including qualified video views, clicks, and conversions.” However, it was revealed via Lia Haberman that creators were making up to $34,000 per month during its beta testing period.  

TikTok Pulse

Let’s not forget that TikTok also offers a revenue sharing program - TikTok Pulse. TikTok Pulse is a revenue-sharing model that allows brands to get their content placed next to top-performing TikToks, and TikTokers get a new way to make money. The Leap explains, “On the brand side, advertisers can now put their sponsored posts among the top 4% of all TikTok videos. That means more exposure for them, and a bigger incentive for creators to make content that hits the top of the pile. 

Here’s the fine print - TikTokers will get 50% of the money TikTok makes from sponsored posts that it places next to TikTok content. While this is a big, shiny number, in order to actually make money through TikTok Pulse, your videos need to reach the top 4% of all TikTok content - they need to be aggressively viral. 

Eligibility for TikTok Pulse

There are quite a few requirements creators need to hit in order to become eligible for TikTok Pulse:

  • Need to have at least 100,000 followers on TikTok
  • Need to have posted at least 5 videos in the last 30 days
  • Need to be at least 18 years old
  • Need to have joined the TikTok Creator Marketplace 
  • Videos need to respect TikTok’s Community Guidelines

TikTok’s Effect Creator Rewards

In May, TikTok announced another monetization tool for creators - the Effect Creator Rewards. As a way to push TikTok’s initiative to encourage creators to develop viral-worth effects and filters, the platform launched a fund ($6M!) that will pay the creators behind the apps top-performing effects 

How much can you get paid through the Effect Creator Rewards 

The fund will track, using a metric called unique video publishes, how successful your effects are for the first 90 days after they were first published. 

  • If your effect gets 500,000 unique video publishes in the first 90 days, you’ll get $700
  • After that, still within the 90-day period, you’ll get $140 for each additional 100,000 unique video publishes. 
  • If you create a high-performing effect (we’re talking 10M unique video publishes), you can potentially make up to $14,000 

If creating content isn’t hard enough, keeping up with the constantly changing social media platforms - changes in the algorithm, new feature releases, and of course monetization changes and updates - is exhausting. Hopefully this deep dive into the most recent monetization updates will help you stay on track - and make sure to keep on eye on this page for future creator monetization updates. 

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