Part 1: How Does YouTube Monetisation Work? A Comprehensive Guide for Creators

Content creation has become a lucrative avenue for creatives to distribute their masterpieces. YouTube has been the springboard for numerous success stories, largely due to its various monetisation options. To help you navigate this often confusing platform, we’ll simplify the basics and detail the specifics of making money on YouTube.

Initiating Your YouTube Channel

Sign in using your Google Account and then click ‘Create Account’. Choose if the channel will represent you as an individual or a business.

You have the option to upload a variety of video types, from quick 60-second Shorts to more comprehensive pieces. YouTube simplifies the process by allowing batch uploads. For on-the-go creation of Shorts, YouTube offers dedicated smartphone tools.


Be Careful with Copyright

Avoid using copyrighted material in your videos without obtaining proper permissions or licenses. Failure to obtain these could lead to copyright strikes, video removals, or even the termination of your YouTube account. Always secure the required permissions or licenses before including copyrighted content.

Receiving Money via Google AdSense

You’ll receive your YouTube earnings through a connected Google AdSense account, usually on a monthly basis. Before withdrawing your earnings, you’ll have to meet a $100 minimum payment threshold. Payment methods differ depending on your location, offering choices such as direct deposit, cheque, or wire transfer.

Maintain Compliance for Ongoing Success

To keep your place in the YouTube Partner Programme, make sure to abide by all the guidelines and policies YouTube sets. Failing to adhere to these guidelines could result in feature restrictions or even ejection from the programme.

Maximise YPP Benefits

Upon joining the YPP, concentrate on creating top-notch content to grow your audience and earnings. The YPP provides various tools and resources to help you better engage your viewers and make your channel more profitable.

Multiple Monetisation Avenues


From Ads to Cash

Many creators earn through advertisements, and this begins with joining the YouTube Partner Programme. Revenue from ads displayed on your videos gets shared between you and YouTube. Creating advertiser-friendly content is key to optimising your revenue.

Earn from YouTube Premium

Another option is YouTube Premium, a subscription service that lets viewers enjoy ad-free content. If a YouTube Premium subscriber watches your content, you get a share of their subscription fee. Accepting the Watch Page Monetisation Module activates this earning feature for long-form content.

Channel Memberships

Channel memberships offer a way to generate recurring income. Viewers can subscribe to your channel for a monthly fee and get access to exclusive perks like badges and custom emojis. This creates a more engaged community around your channel.

Super Chat and Super Stickers

Live streaming offers another revenue stream in the form of Super Chat and Super Stickers. During a live stream, fans can pay money to have their messages or animated images highlighted, creating a fun and interactive experience. The Commerce Product Module must be accepted to enable this feature.

Merch Shelf

If you have merchandise to sell, the Merch Shelf provides an easy way to display your products directly under your videos. You can link your store to YouTube and even get a “Store” tab on your channel for better visibility. Eligibility criteria include not violating any of YouTube’s Channel Monetisation Policies.

YouTube Shopping Affiliate Programme

You can also join the YouTube Shopping affiliate programme to tag products from other brands in your videos. However, this is only available if you have at least 20,000 subscribers and live in specific countries.

Sponsored Content with YouTube BrandConnect

YouTube BrandConnect acts as a mediator between creators and brands for sponsored content deals. Once eligible, you can access YouTube BrandConnect through YouTube Studio, helping you secure brand collaborations more easily.

These methods give creators a variety of options for monetising content and connecting with viewers. Keeping track of eligibility requirements and accepting the appropriate modules ensures a smoother monetisation process.

The YouTube Shorts Fund and Its Distinctions

The YouTube Shorts Fund was a financial incentive offered to creators before YouTube introduced its new Shorts monetisation policies on February 1, 2023. Unlike the standard YouTube Partner Programme, which requires a channel to have 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours over a 12-month period to qualify for monetisation, the Shorts Fund had a more flexible set of eligibility criteria.

This enabled a broader array of creators to earn money even if they didn’t meet the typical YouTube Partner Programme requirements. The fund paid creators based on the performance of their Shorts, independent of ads.

Revenue Models Compared

The Shorts Fund and YouTube Partner Programme differ not only in eligibility but also in how creators earn money. Under the Shorts Fund, creators were paid directly from a set fund, without reliance on ad revenue or YouTube Premium subscriptions.

The new monetisation policy for Shorts, on the other hand, lets creators earn money from ads viewed between videos in the Shorts Feed, as well as from YouTube Premium revenue. This aligns more closely with the standard YouTube Partner Programme, which also pays creators based on ad revenue and YouTube Premium subscriptions.

Transition to New Monetisation

The Shorts Fund ceased to exist with the launch of the new Shorts monetisation policy on February 1, 2023. Payments for January activity under the fund were sent out in March 2023, after which the new revenue-sharing model took over.

Creators now earn money based on a shared pool of ad revenue from the Shorts Feed, with 45% of this pool allocated to creators based on their share of total Shorts views. YouTube expects that most creators who previously benefited from the Shorts Fund will earn more under the new revenue-sharing model.

Creating Ad-Friendly Videos

Watch Your Language: Avoid frequent strong profanity if you wish to monetise your content through ads. An occasional curse word might pass, but don’t overdo it
Keep It Clean: Highly sexual themes or thumbnails are not ad-friendly. Some exceptions apply for educational or musical content
Shock Content: Material that could disgust or shock viewers is not suitable for ads
No Harmful Activities: Content promoting dangerous actions or harm will not qualify for monetisation
Say No to Hate: Content containing hate speech or discrimination will not be ad-friendly, even if you claim it’s satire
Stay Legal: Avoid showcasing or endorsing illegal drugs and firearms. Such content will not earn you ad money
Sensitive Topics: Discussing sensitive or unsettling topics can disqualify your video from monetisation. This also applies to commentary videos
Be Honest: Content promoting dishonest activities like cheating won’t be suitable for ads
Make it Family-Friendly: If children are your target audience, ensure your content is appropriate for the whole family
Avoid Tobacco Content: Content featuring tobacco will not qualify for monetisation

These guidelines are not just for your video content but also extend to your thumbnails, titles, descriptions, and tags. Violating these rules can lead to disabling of ads across your entire channel. Keep them in mind to make the most out of the YouTube Partner Programme.

Read More About YouTube Monetisation in Part 2 of Our Monetisation Guide