Views of YouTube Shorts count toward a channel’s total watch time, but they don’t count toward eligibility in the YouTube Partner Program (YPP).
Channels in the YPP are able to monetize and earn revenue from videos, though not everyone is eligible to join it.
Among other criteria, acceptance into the YPP requires 4,000 valid public watch hours within the last 12 months.
It wasn’t always clear whether Shorts views contributed to the 4,000 threshold.
Now we know for certain the 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 YouTube’s Creator Insider channel, which contains a number of pertinent questions about Shorts.
First, let’s look at YouTube’s answer to the watch time question.
Do Shorts Views Count Toward 4,000 Hours Of Watch Time?
When asked if views of YouTube Shorts count toward the 4,000 hours of total watch time, it’s confirmed they don’t.
However, YouTube does have a “Shorts Fund” enabling creators to make money from Shorts videos only.
“Shorts views count toward your channel’s overall lifetimes views. However, at this time, they do not count towards your YPP watch time. As a reminder, the Shorts fund is available as a first step towards monetization. And we’ll keep you posted on future updates.”
There’s no room for interpretation with that response. Shorts views don’t count toward meeting YPP requirements.
Here are some other questions about Shorts that are answered in the YouTube Creator Insider team’s latest video.
Can Long Form Videos Be Repurposed Into Shorts?
Concerned about publishing repetitive content, a creator asks if it’s acceptable to turn previously published VODs into Shorts.
There’s nothing wrong with repurposing VODs, but Shorts should be able to stand on their own without requiring the VOD for context.
“Creating Shorts 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 watching within the Shorts feed may not be familiar with your channel.
So whatever content you create make, sure it’s standalone and is able to be enjoyed by anyone who might not be familiar with your channel or your brand. And also make sure to make the video vertical.”
Will There Be Separate Analytics For Shorts And VOD?
YouTube confirms it’s working on revamping the analytics section in YouTube Studio.
Currently, views of all types of videos are counted as a single metric.
“Yes, our analytics team is working on breaking those out for Shorts, for VOD (Video on Demand), and for live in studio.“
Should I Create A Separate Channel For Shorts?
While some creators choose to start separate channels for Shorts content, this is only recommended if the videos will be a departure from what you already create.
“This is entirely up to you. We’ve seen creators be successful with both approaches. With that in mind, choosing between the same versus second channel is more about your creative vision. So we recommend you think about the type of content that you want to create within Shorts.
If it’s related to your long form video, and it’s an extension of that, then it might make the most sense to continue posting to your existing channel. But if you’re trying to do a major departure then creating a separate Shorts channel might be the best avenue for you. You can always experiment and see how your audience reacts and then make changes accordingly.”
Will YouTube Add Custom Thumbnails For Shorts?
Without getting into specifics, it’s revealed YouTube is working on “addressing” the feedback regarding custom thumbnails for Shorts.
It’s unlikely a majority of viewers would see the thumbnails though, as most Shorts views come from people swiping through the feed.
“This is a question we get frequently from creators and I’d like to acknowledge we’ve heard your feedback loud and clear. The good news is that we’re currently working on addressing this feedback and we’ll keep you guys posted on future updates.
But just as a reminder, thumbnails on Shorts only show on surfaces that have a Shorts shelf. So that would be like on channel pages, on home, and within search results. And also the vast majority of views actually happen within the feed, and thumbnails don’t show within that environment.“
See the full video below:
Featured Image: Primakov/Shutterstock