Video Monetization

Unlocking YouTube Shorts Monetization: The Reality of Earnings

By Rebekah Donovan
8 Min Read

Learn More about Video Monetization

How To Monetize YouTube Shorts

YouTube has paid out over $30 billion to its creators in the past 3 years. 

That’s a lot of money.

And, if you’re wondering how you can get a slice of that big ol’ money pie, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’re going to show you exactly what you need to do to earn $10,000+ a month for your YouTube channel using YouTube shorts.

Let’s get started…

How To Get Started With YouTube Shorts Monetization

YouTube Shorts monetization has undergone significant changes, offering new revenue opportunities for creators.

As of February 1, 2023, YouTube introduced ad revenue sharing for Shorts, replacing the previous YouTube Shorts Fund.

This change means that you can now generate ad revenue from your YouTube Shorts content.

But, how exactly does one start?

Step 1: Ensuring Eligibility

To be eligible to generate revenue from ads, you must be part of the YouTube Partner Program, and your channel must comply with YouTube’s channel monetization policies, including the policies on repetitious and reused content, Community Guidelines, and Google AdSense program policies.

Step 2: Accepting the Shorts Monetization Module

Now, for the exciting part – opting into Shorts monetization. Dive into your YouTube settings and accept the Shorts Monetization Module. This agreement enables you to earn from ads in the Shorts Feed and from YouTube Premium subscribers.

How Much Can You Really Make with YouTube Shorts?

Let’s cut straight to the chase: earning through YouTube Shorts might not be the gold rush some are hoping for. With the current Revenue Per Mille (RPM) hovering between a mere $0.01 to $0.07, the hard truth is that even a million views on your Shorts could net you just $50 to $70.

When you put it into perspective, that’s a lot of effort for a minimal reward.

Breaking Down the Numbers

Before you set your sights on making it big with Shorts, consider these critical factors influencing your potential earnings:

  • Viewer Geography: Your earnings can vary significantly based on your viewers’ location. Ad rates in certain countries are higher, but reaching the right demographic is more complex than it sounds.
  • Content Niche: The topic you choose plays a massive role in how much you can earn. Some niches attract higher ad rates, but pigeonholing your content for the sake of better ads can stifle creative freedom.
  • Engagement Over Views: High engagement rates can lead to better ad placements, but achieving viral status on every short video is a tall order, even for the most seasoned creators.

Overcoming Challenges in YouTube Shorts Monetization

While YouTube Shorts offer a platform for increased visibility and subscriber engagement, monetization experiences can vary widely among creators, highlighting concerns over:

  • Inconsistencies and Fairness: Creators report uneven monetization results for Shorts with similar metrics, and some feel the distribution system favors larger channels or certain content types.
  • Technical Glitches: Bugs and limitations within Shorts’ features and analytics can impede content optimization and monetization efforts, contributing to payment delays and performance tracking difficulties.

These challenges underscore the monetization process’s unpredictability and the need for creators to seek stable revenue streams.

Given the uncertainties surrounding YouTube Shorts monetization, platforms like Uscreen present a viable alternative. Uscreen empowers you to build a dedicated membership site, offering full control over your content, audience, and revenue. Unlike the fluctuating earnings from YouTube, Uscreen allows for predictable and consistent income, free from the inconsistencies and technical limitations of YouTube Shorts monetization.

Spill The Tea: Is It Worth It?

If you’re already part of the YouTube Partner Program and/or creating content for other platforms, you might be asking yourself whether the payouts are worth it? Well, it depends. 

And here’s why…

Short-form content is still in its infancy. And while it may feel like these vertical video clips have been around forever (pandemic TikTok addiction anyone?) it’s still early days with all to play for. 

YouTube wants to put up some serious competition to the likes of TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram Reels. The potential for YouTube Shorts creators here is huge…if you’re happy to play the long game…and hope the monetization policies change.

If you want to revive a quiet channel, Shorts may be the answer to boost engagement and make you some money. 

Action Lab Shorts is a great example of this. Their original channel went 2 years without posting a single video and then one Short racked up half a million views. 

They quickly began posting more short-form content and now have a dedicated Shorts channel with over 2 million subscribers and millions of views. 

They’re a great example of how your YouTube Shorts performance can boost the growth of your channel.

But can you make more money with them?

Let’s take a deeper look…

A Better Way To Make Money With YouTube Shorts

If you think of Shorts as the start of your community engagement rather than the end, then you can take full advantage of its organic reach to guide your followers where you want them to be…

…your paid membership site. 

As a video content creator, you want to have your community fully engaged with you all in one place.

This is where Uscreen comes in…

Our platform allows you to directly monetize your branded video-on-demand (VOD) content and live streaming. With a whole host of other ways to personalize the experience for your user, such as: 

  • A completely customizable website to host your video and other content.
  • The ability to create landing pages that easily direct your customers through your sales funnel. 
  • Access to a range of payment models and full control of your pricing.
  • In-app purchases. 
  • The ability to run promotions and give out coupons.
  • Access to a range of payment options like PayPal,, and Stripe (or the Uscreen gateway).
  • Acceptance of payment from 130 international currencies.

Sounds good, right?

It’s simple with Uscreen.

Build, launch and manage your membership, all in one place.

How Your Book of Memories Made Money with Uscreen’s Paid Community 

While many creators use YouTube as a way to make money, the truth is that it’s still incredibly difficult to make enough as a YouTuber alone. And while Shorts remove the bottleneck of the YouTube Partner Programme, it may not be all it’s cracked up to be. 

Let’s take a look at an example of how to monetize your video content, reliably and consistently, with a paid streaming service…

Your Book of Memories (YBM) is a video streaming service full of high-quality, DIY memory album instructional tutorials.

Frances Long, the founder of YBM, originally started on YouTube in 2017 and quickly experienced the limited potential of YouTube monetization.

Despite her YouTube channel growing quickly to over 17,000 engaged subscribers, and accumulating over 600,000 views on her channel, YBM was generating a meagre $380 a month in YouTube ad revenue.

Frances realized she had to monetize her videos somewhere other than YouTube if she wanted to keep doing what she loves and see a fair return on her investment in time and money.

So in January of 2019, Frances joined Uscreen to transform YBM into a highly profitable private video streaming service.

YBM Landing Page

YBM saw an 855% increase in monthly revenue in just 4 months, without the need to produce any new videos. 3.7% of YBM’s YouTube subscribers converted to the paid streaming service.

So instead of relying on YouTube as a video monetization platform, Frances now uses her YouTube channel as a lead generator to increase paid memberships on YBM. 

It’s fair to say that we want you to make money, whether in long or short-form videos. And we’re always finding ways to make it easier for you to do that. With Uscreen you get:

  • Support with your affiliate marketing program to give you more revenue stream possibilities, all in one platform. 
  • Access to lots and lots of data about your videos to calculate revenue share.
  • Full access to your user data so you can make informed decisions about your marketing strategy. 

If you’re serious about making on-demand original video content that you’re in control of, building your community and making a sustainable income – Uscreen is a game-changer.

Conclusion: The Long And Short Of It 

In short (pun fully intended), YouTube Shorts are a bit of a mixed bag. While there is the opportunity to monetize them it’s not all down to you. 

But, and it’s a big but, Shorts are an extension of an already incredible platform for creators.

So if you love creating YouTube videos, want to build them into a wider marketing strategy, or use them as a space to experiment – Shorts are worth the time investment. They allow you to boost your reach, and capture more viewers and subscribers.

Two ways to make extra sure they’re worth it?

  1. Market with YouTube: use your channel as a tool to build a loyal community and generate leads. 
  2. Lead them to your Uscreen video membership platform: create a standalone website where you can sell your videos on a subscription basis. 

And who knows, that golden ticket could pop into your inbox real soon!

YouTube Shorts Monetization FAQs

What are YouTube Shorts? 

YouTube Shorts are a video format that allows users to upload short-form, ‘TikTok’ style videos on YouTube that are:
– Vertical (or at least square).
– Up to 60 seconds long.
– Segmented, have music, trending sounds, or original audio added.

And they currently have (on average) 15 billion views, per day. Yes, that’s billions with a very large B.

To create a Short you can film and edit directly through the YouTube app (much like TikTok and Reels), or elsewhere and then upload to YouTube if that’s more your style.

They then live on the Shorts shelf, found on the YouTube homepage, allowing them to become an evergreen spoke in your content wheel.  
In September of 2020 Shorts began beta testing in India, with users able to see and create 15-second videos. They performed incredibly well, with reports of 3.5 billion cumulative daily views.
With success in India, the beta was released in the U.S. in March 2021, with daily views passing 6.5 billion. Shorts were then launched in over 100 countries.
So whether you’re a seasoned creator or relatively new to the platform, just like looking to monetize on Instagram, Shorts could be the right path for you.

How do I become eligible for YouTube Shorts monetization?

To tap into YouTube Shorts monetization, you must first join the YouTube Partner Program (YPP), which requires you to have at least 1,000 subscribers and accumulate 4,000 watch hours over the past 12 months, or gather 10 million Shorts views in the last 90 days. Additionally, you need to accept the Shorts Monetization Module in YouTube Studio to start earning from your Shorts.

How does the new payout system for Shorts work?

YouTube has adopted a revenue-sharing model for Shorts. Revenue generated from ads shown between Shorts videos is pooled. A portion of this pool covers music licensing fees, and the rest, known as the “Creator Pool,” is distributed to creators. The distribution is based on the proportion of total views each creator gets within their country, with creators receiving 45% of their allocated revenue share.

It’s simple with Uscreen.

Build, launch and manage your membership, all in one place.