Google is starting to gradually roll out ads in YouTube Shorts around the world, the company announcement at its Marketing Live event this week. The official launch comes as the company has been experimenting with ads in YouTube Shorts since last year. Starting this week, video action campaigns and app campaigns will automatically adapt to YouTube shorts.
The company says that later this year, advertisers will be able to connect their product feed to their campaigns and make their YouTube Shorts video ads more buyable. Shoppable video ads are already available in YouTube Shorts rival TikTok, which allows users to view products in the short video app without having to switch to a browser.
Google Ads Vice President and General Manager Jerry Dischler said in a blog post that the ad rollout is an exciting step for advertisers and also a key step in the company’s path to developing a long-term YouTube Shorts monetization solution for creators. A YouTube spokesperson told TechCrunch in an email that while the company has started serving ads in the Shorts stream, there will be no direct revenue sharing from those ads at this time.
“Instead, we will continue to reward thousands of creators and artists each month through the YouTube Shorts Fund as we develop a long-term model for creator monetization in Shorts,” the spokesperson said. “We are actively working on a monetization solution for short film creators and will use learnings from this launch to inform that.”
YouTube launched its $100 million creator fund for shorts last year. Under the program, YouTube is inviting thousands of eligible creators to claim a payout ranging from $100 to $10,000 based on viewership and engagement with their Shorts videos. To be eligible, creators must produce original content – not videos that have been re-uploaded from other channels or those with watermarks from other social services. Creators must also be at least 13 years old in the United States or have reached the age of majority in other countries and regions to qualify for the fund.
The company says thousands of creators have already been paid by the fund, and more than 40% of creators who received payment from the fund last year were not previously monetizing their content on YouTube. It also says it has paid out more than $30 billion to creators, artists and media companies in the three years to November 2020. YouTube says it’s “deeply committed to supporting the next generation of mobile creators with Shorts” and that will have more to share in the months to come.
YouTube Shorts is generating 30 billion views per day, four times more than last year, according to the company. Now that the platform isn’t entirely new and is racking up a significant number of views, the new ad initiative will help YouTube increase ad revenue while potentially competing with the monetization opportunities offered by other platforms, like Tik Tok.
In addition to the YouTube Shorts ad news, Google also announced that later this year advertisers will be able to show new visual shopping ads to US customers on Google Search. These will be clearly identified as advertisements and will appear in dedicated ad spaces throughout the page. Google also said merchants will be able to surface 3D models of their products directly on Google Search.
Google will also launch a new “My Ad Center” later this year to help users better control their privacy and online experience when using the company’s services. Users will be able to choose which types of ads they want to see more or less of on YouTube, Search, and Discover.