A new way to pay
Learn how the new monetization model works.
YouTube is updating the way you get paid
To date, the way we pay has worked fairly simply. We pay creators based on the number of views their videos receive when an ad is shown, multiplied by the value advertisers put on reaching their audience. For YouTube Red, we based payments on watch time and subscription fees.
Currently, ad revenue is based on the number of times an ad shows on one of your videos (# of monetized views) multiplied by how much advertisers pay per ad on your content ("CPM").
We are updating our monetization terms. Rather than pay creators based only on the value advertisers place on the audience watching your videos, in April of next year, we’re going to use additional metrics that help determine how well your content brings viewers to YouTube, keeps them engaged and helps turn them into loyal fans.
Our new payment model will also now capture what’s special about YouTube: the ability of our creators to attract, engage and retain a loyal audience. It’s important to note that overall, YouTube’s revenue share will remain the same under this model with the majority still paid to the creator community. This new model is only changing the distribution of revenue amongst Creators.
The payment model will now incorporate new categories that determine how well your content brings viewers to YouTube, keeps them engaged and helps turn them into loyal fans. We’ll base payments on signals our viewers are sending. The way we pay revenue for YouTube Red will also change by taking some of these signals into account, but at this point, it will not have an impact on the amount of the amount of your subscription earnings.
- Check out our Creator blogpost for more information on why we are making this change.
How does the updated payment model work?
ATTRACT: The Attract category evaluates the intent of users who come to YouTube to view your content.
What to consider: Are viewers drawn to YouTube specifically to watch your content? For example, are they searching for your videos and then coming to YouTube to watch them?
ENGAGE: The Engage category evaluates how engaging and relevant your content is to viewers.
What to consider: Are your videos engaging such that viewers are watching more of your content?
RETAIN: The Retain category evaluates the size and loyalty of the audience of your content.
What to consider: Are you building a large and loyal audience? For example, are subscribers coming back routinely to watch your videos?
Let’s look at some examples.
Let’s say a viewer comes to YouTube looking for your specific cooking channel to figure out what to cook for their kids. They find and watch one of your videos. This contributes to your Attract category performance.
If that viewer watches that video and more from your cooking channel, this contributes to your Engage performance.
If viewers subscribe and keep coming back to watch your cooking channel, this contributes to your Retain performance.
- Understand these 3 new categories.
- Check your estimated performance on the new categories using the tool in Creator Studio, as well as the projected impact this may have on your earnings.
Gauge how the new model may impact overall earnings
We've created a new tool in Creator Studio to help you see how this new model could impact your earnings. You can see your relative performance on these three categories in Creator Studio.
There are three parts to help you look at your I. Estimated ad revenue, II. Estimated category performance, and III. Ad metric.
I. Estimated ad revenue, allows you to compare your actual ad revenue with an estimate of your earnings under the new model.
II. Estimated category performance, lets you see how your channel performs in the new categories Attract, Engage, and Retain, and how this affects your overall ad revenue in the selected month.
Moderate positive effect - Dot towards the right Neutral or small effect - Dot near the middle Large negative effect - Dot toward the left What the blue dot means under each category: This is a relative scale of how your videos perform based on these categories.
III. Ad metric evaluates the relevance and value of the audience of your content to advertisers and the suitability of your videos for a broad range of advertisers.
YouTube Red. While the tool is meant to highlight the changes we are making to our ad revenue model, we are also making similar changes to our terms for how we pay out subscription revenue from our YouTube Red service. However, at this point, these changes will not have an impact on your amount of subscription earnings.
Tips for making great content
Note that these suggestions are based on our experience with YouTube creators and are intended only to provide tips and guidelines. They are not guarantees for success; every channel will have different results.
Here are tips and guidelines on how to set up a compelling channel and create great content:
Here are some additional resources that you may find useful:
If viewers are searching for your videos and coming to YouTube to watch them, it’ll impact the "Attract" category. Many factors influence a viewer’s choices, but if a viewer is searching for your content, you can try to make it easier for them to find by using effective titles and writing smart descriptions.
If viewers are watching more of your content, it’ll impact the "Engage" category. Many factors influence a viewer's choice on what to watch, but if a viewer is already watching some of your content, then understanding what keeps them engaged, as well as making it easy for them to watch more with playlists and sections, may help encourage viewers to stick around more.
If viewers are subscribing to and watching your channel, it’ll impact the "Retain" category. Many factors influence a viewer's choice on what channels to watch and subscribe to, but having a consistent upload schedule and interacting with your audience may help encourage viewers to become loyal fans.
As you check out these and other resources in the Creator Academy, you can also get data from YouTube Analytics to uncover trends and see how viewers are reacting to your videos. For example, you can find out who’s watching, what they like to watch, and which videos work best for your goals. Lessons on this include: