Short YouTube views count toward total channel watch time, but do not count toward eligibility in the YouTube Partner Program (YPP).
Channels in the YouTube Partner Program can monetize and earn from videos, though not everyone is eligible to join.
Among other criteria, admission to the YouTube Partner Program requires 4,000 valid public watch hours within the past 12 months.
It wasn’t always clear if short film views contributed to the 4,000 threshold.
We now know for sure that your 4,000 hours of watch time must come from regular videos — or what YouTube refers to as videos on demand (VODs).
This is stated in a Q&A video on the Creator Insider YouTube channel, which contains a number of related questions about the shorts.
First, let’s look at YouTube’s answer to the watch time question.
Does the number of views on short films reach 4000 hours of watch time?
When asked if short YouTube views count toward 4,000 hours of total watch time, it is confirmed that they do not.
However, YouTube has a “Short Fund” that enables creators to make money from short videos only.
Views of short films count toward your channel’s lifetime total. However, at this time, they don’t count toward your watch time in the YouTube Partner Programme. As a reminder, a Shorts box is available as a first step towards monetization. We’ll keep you posted on future updates. “.
There is no room for interpretation with this response. Views of short films do not count toward the YouTube Partner Program requirements.
Here are some other short film questions answered in the YouTube Creator Insider team’s latest video.
Related: Can short films be monetized on YouTube? Spoiler alert: some indeed!
Can long videos be repurposed into short movies?
Concerned about posting repetitive content, the creator asks if it is okay to convert previously published VODs into short videos.
There’s nothing wrong with reallocating VODs, but shorts should be able to stand on their own without a VOD for context.
Creating short clips from already published content is a great way to repurpose videos and experiment with shorts. However, it’s important to keep in mind that a lot of people who watch your short news feed may not be aware of your channel.
So whatever content you create, make sure it is independent and can be enjoyed by anyone who may not be familiar with your channel or brand. Also, make sure to make the video vertical.
Related: Who are the creators of YouTube shorts (and why)?
Will there be separate analytics for short videos and VOD?
YouTube confirms that it is revamping the analytics department in YouTube Studio.
Currently, views of all types of videos are counted as one metric.
“Yes, our analytics team is cracking these shorts and VOD (Video on Demand) live in the studio.”
Related: YouTube counts the number of views for short films as normal videos
Should a separate channel be created for shorts?
While some creators choose to start separate channels for shorts content, this is only recommended if the videos are going to be a departure from what you’ve already created.
“This is entirely about you. We’ve seen creators succeed with both approaches. With this in mind, choosing between same channel vs channel two is more about your creative vision. So we recommend that you think about the type of content you want to create within the shorts.
If it’s related to your long-form video, and it’s an extension of that, it might make sense to keep posting on your existing channel. But if you’re trying to make a big comeback, creating a separate shorts channel might be your best avenue. You can always experiment and see how your audience reacts and then make changes accordingly. “
Will YouTube add custom thumbnails for short films?
Without going into detail, it was revealed that YouTube is “processing” comments regarding thumbnails intended for short films.
It is unlikely that the majority of viewers will ever see the thumbnails, as most of the views of the short films come from people scrolling through the feed.
This is a question we get a lot from creators and I want to acknowledge that we heard your feedback loud and clear. The good news is we are currently working on addressing this feedback and will keep you guys updated on future updates.
But just as a reminder, the thumbnails in the shorts only appear on surfaces that have a shorts rack. So it will be the same on the channel pages, on the home page, and inside the search results. And also the vast majority of views actually happen within the feed, and thumbnails don’t appear in that environment. “
Watch the full video below:
Featured image: Primakov/Shutterstock