This Week: Neal Mohan reveals YouTube’s creator-centric priorities while Shorts monetization lags. TikTok rolls out time limits for teens while the US, Canada, UK and the EU ratchet up the pressure. Plus Twitch’s never-ending creator problems, the surprising upside of paid verification, a call to restrict AI research and new crypto and consumer research. It’s the first week of March and here’s what you need to know. Oh, and how’s that “in like a lion” working out for you?
- Shorts Revshare is Abysmal: One month in, Shorts creators are seeing between $.02 to $.06 RPM. That’s a tiny fraction of long-form (aka VOD) YouTube per view payouts, but better than TikTok and Instagram according to Zach King, Reed Duchscher and others. Hank Green’s doing better than most at $.06 while Kwebbelkop is half that. Check out Roberto Blake’s twitter thread for more early from creators. It’s not surprising. Shorts monetization will take time to build momentum. Smart creators are looking at Shorts as a way to boost longer form content on YouTube and drive fans to other money-makers. If you’re at #SXSW this weekend, I’ll be talking with Cassey Ho, Matt Steffanina and Sean Lee from Kajabi about Shorts payouts and other ways to expand revenue for creators.
- New YouTube Chief Lays Out Priorities: A few weeks late, but Neal Mohan has laid out YouTube’s 2023 priorities in a blog post. There’s not a lot new – the most important message was Mohan’s strong endorsement of getting creators paid. Mohan did announce new AI tools – about time – although with “guardrails”. I think that means it’ll be a while before we see anything useful.
- TikTok Adds Time Limit for Teens: Props to TikTok for bringing time limits to the western versions of TikTok. Last week we talked about how toxic social media is for teens – and now TikTok, at least, is doing something about it. It won’t solve the problem but it’s a start – although Sara Morrison from Vox was dismissive. Check out my post on LinkedIn for a broader look at what this means, and a wide-ranging discussion in the comments. Might also burnish Double T’s reputation in DC as well – as Biden can pull the plug anytime he wants to, while the UK, the EU, and Canada dial up the heat. The latter’s moves are particularly notable given China’s sophisticated attempts to influence Canada’s 2021 election.
- Trouble at Twitch Amidst Abundance: Congrats to Kai Cenat for becoming Twitch’s biggest streamer. His month-long subathon – a throwback to the original Justin.TV mission – pushed him over 300,000 subscribers. But it also renewed calls for Twitch to properly compensate creators as Drake suggested he get a $50M payout. Cenat, who just signed with UTA, seemed to agree. Could this be a Ninja repeat all over again? Twitch is trying to do better by creators at least in some ways. For example, the new “experiments page” provides transparency to streamers and provides an interesting lens for the Twitch curious (like me) too.
- The Upside of Paid Verification: Although many (including me) decried the paid verification initiatives at Twitter and Meta, a few experts see a silver lining. Brendan Gahan sees a lessening of sensationalist clickbait stories and a renewed focus on quality content and user experience. Alex Kantrowitz goes even further, positing that because most platforms are now dominated by professional creators, it’s time for them to pay for the privilege of making money. I think Gahan’s vision is idealistic but unrealistic, while Kantrowitz ignores the paltry creator middle class that will likely pony up for the check. Decide for yourself – both takes are worth reading.
- Jellysmack leaps over the top with new Roku OTT partnership.
- Yay creators! Fast Company includes Mr. Beast on its list of 50 most innovative companies.
- Better late than never – Meta releases its 2023 trends report.
- Not everyone hates paid verification – Brendan Gahan
- Avi Ghandi’s new newsletter is worth reading – deep dives with creators that tease out broader lessons and themes.
- If You Give a Snap a Chatbot – you get imaginary friends!
- Electrify Video Partners joins growing group of firms looking to invest in or acquire YouTube channels.
- Founders become creators – and sales skyrocket!
- Little Monster compares the YouTube algorithm to candy.
- Garbage Day goes viral on Twitter and then reverse engineers the new algorithm.
- Dan Frommer’s New Consumer group studies health and wellness trends with a section on creator-based discovery.
- New research finds 20% of Americans own crypto, overweighted by GenZ and Millenials.
- Jump launches one-button mint for in-article tokens to reward creators and build community.
- Meta lays out its VR product roadmap, including headsets, glasses and neural links.
- LLaMA, Taboot Taboot – Meta open sources its internal large language model.
- A call for government to step in and limit AI to research only. Impractical, but interesting.
- Open AI drops API prices on the 3.5 version of ChatGPT – I love the concept of “Universal Basic Intelligence”. (HT to Bens Bites).
- More on the ramifications of copyrights being stripped from generative works from Franklin Graves of Creator Economy Law.
What I’m Watching:
- Good interview with Leo Olebe, YouTube’s new head of games.
- Mohan called out Beleaf in Fatherhood in his blog post – one of my favs. Check it out!
- Wow – a new stop motion Pokemon series on Netflix!
Thanks so much for reading and see you around the internet. Send me a note with your feedback, or post in the comments!
Feel free to share this with anyone you think might be interested, and if someone forwarded this to you, you can sign up and subscribe on LinkedIn for free here!
For more on Mohan’s priorities, TikTok’s teen time limits, Jellysmack’s OTT plans and AI’s copyright dilemma, check out this week’s Creator Feed – the weekly podcast Renee Teeley and I produce – get it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher!