What do Jenna Marbles, JuegaGerman, RezendeEvil, and Mr. Beast have in common? For one, you’ve probably never heard of them. Additionally, they’re all YouTube millionaires.
While those personalities may not have climbed all the way up to C-list celebrity status like Logan Paul, YouTube announced Monday that its Partner Program — which has allowed creators to make money off their videos since 2007 — now has 2 million active users. It’s a major vindication of the company’s effort to clean itself up for advertisers, and the latest testament to Youtube’s perennial status as the backbone of the sprawling online creator economy.
Fending Off TikTok
Facebook, TikTok, and Spotify have tried in vain to lure content creators away from YouTube — Facebook, for one, waived commissions until 2023. But none of those social media stalwarts have made a dent in the video platform’s sprawling community as the second-most viewed website worldwide with 23 billion monthly visits.
YouTube, which takes a 45% cut of video ad sales, touted its lofty creator numbers as a sign that the company has rebounded from three years ago when the video giant was pressured to crack down on bigoted or extremist content and misinformation amid advertiser boycotts:
- In the last three years, YouTube has paid out $30 billion to creators for advertising and merchandising revenue, making certain to broadcast that a “huge, huge chunk” went to independent musicians and creators.
- The amount of inappropriate content being viewed on Youtube, meanwhile, is now a minuscule 0.16–0.18%. In other words, of every 10,000 views on YouTube, some 16–18 come from rule-violating content, suggesting both algorithm changes and more aggressive takedown measures have worked to curb objectionable content.
“The work is never done,” Neal Mohan, Youtube’s product head, told Axios. “I have learned that there is always a new vector of misinformation that will pop up.”
On the Offensive: Not content to rest on its laurels, last month YouTube fired a shot across the bow at quick-video platform TikTok, introducing a $100 million fund to reward creators who make viral content on Youtube’s own short-form video platform, YouTube Shorts.