Google begins rolling out ads in YouTube Shorts globally

Google is starting to gradually roll out ads in YouTube Shorts around the world, the company announced at its Marketing Live event this week. The official launch comes as the company has been experimenting with ads in YouTube Shorts since last year. Starting this week, video action campaigns and app campaigns will automatically scale to YouTube Shorts.

The company says later this year, advertisers will be able to connect their product feed to their campaigns and make their video ads on YouTube Shorts more shoppable. Shoppable video ads are already available in YouTube Shorts’ rival TikTok, which allows users to view products in the short-form video app without having to switch to a browser.

Google Ads vice president and general manager Jerry Dischler said in a blog post that the ads roll out is an exciting milestone for advertisers and also a key step in the company’s road to developing a long-term YouTube Shorts monetization solution for creators. A spokesperson for YouTube told TechCrunch in an email that although the company has started running ads in the Shorts feed, there won’t be a direct revenue share from these ads at this time.

“​​Instead, we will continue to reward thousands of creators and artists monthly via the YouTube Shorts Fund while we develop a long-term model for creator monetization in Shorts,” the spokesperson said. “We are actively working on a monetization solution for Shorts creators and will be using the learnings from this launch to inform that.”

YouTube launched its $100 million creator fund for Shorts last year. As part of the program, YouTube invites thousands of eligible creators to claim a payment ranging anywhere from $100 to $10,000 based on viewership and engagement with their Shorts videos. To qualify, creators must produce original content — not videos that were re-uploaded from other channels or those with watermarks from other social services. Creators also need to be 13 or older in the U.S., or the age of majority in other countries and regions to qualify for the fund.

The company says thousands of creators have already been paid from the fund and that over 40% of creators who received payment from the fund last year weren’t previously monetizing their content on YouTube. It also says it has paid more than $30 billion to creators, artists and media companies in the three years prior to November 2020. YouTube says it’s “deeply committed to supporting the next generation of mobile creators with Shorts” and will have more to share in the coming months.

YouTube Shorts is generating 30 billion views per day, which is four times more than last year, the company says. Now that the platform isn’t totally brand new and racks up a significant amount of views, the new advertising initiative will help YouTube get its ad revenue up while also eventually competing with the monetization opportunities offered by other platforms, like TikTok.

In addition to the YouTube Shorts ads news, Google also announced that later this year, advertisers will be able to show new visual shopping ads to U.S. customers on Google Search. These will be clearly labeled as ads and will appear in dedicated ad slots throughout the page. Google also said that merchants will be able to have 3D models of their products appear directly on Google Search.

Google will also launch a new “My Ad Center” later this year to help users have more control of their privacy and online experience when using the company’s services. Users will be able to choose the types of ads they want to see more or less of across YouTube, Search and Discover.