Ludwig Ahgren made a video this week, in which he discussed the monetization for YouTube shorts. In that video, he reveals just how much a YouTube Short with 12 million views netted him in regards to money, and the number was shockingly low.
For the video in question, which was about JSchlatt, Ludwig revealed that he only received $85.02 USD. That is right, a 12 million view YouTube short, even for a huge content creator like Ludwig, who is signed to YouTube exclusively, receives less than $100 in payout.
"The payouts from TikTok or YouTuber are kind of like a homie move. They are kind of like, hey you got a lot of views, here is some money," Ludwig explained. "Take a guess: $100, $1000,#10,000 USD for 12 million views?. . . I mean that is 12 million minutes of people's lives! The real answer? $85.02."
In the video, Ludwig explained that one of the reasons shorts pay so little is because they don't feature mid-roll ads the way that longer-form videos do. While there is occasionally a sponsored post when you are scrolling through YouTube shorts, that isn't technically an ad on a YouTuber's video, so only YouTube makes direct money off that ad. Creators who are driving the content don't see a cut of the money made off those ads.
Ludwig's revelation follows an earlier video from MoistCritical published two weeks ago, in which he discussed how little he also makes on his own YouTube Shorts channel. Critical revealed that he only netted around $20 in revenue on a 6 million view video, which stands in stark contrast to the thousands of dollars that would net him if it were a longer-form video.
YouTuber's pointing to the low revenue on Shorts comes on the back of the news that the Shorts feature has now amassed 5 Trillion views over the past couple of years.
The Shorts product is designed to compete with TikTok, using a similar short-form, vertical video format driven by an algorithm to select what content to show an individual user. While YouTube has claimed they are paying out thousands of dollars a month for top shorts content, the story told by large YouTubers like Ludwig and Critical is telling a very different reality for the value most creators are getting back on even highly viewed shorts.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.