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The YouTube Indicator to Watch

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    Will short-form video ever generate meaningful revenue for creators on YouTube, TikTok and Instagram? The next three months will go a long way to answering that question. Just pay attention to YouTube. 

    Advertisers in the summer committed more than $7 billion to YouTube during the annual advertising negotiations known as upfronts. These dollar commitments then get spent by advertisers starting in the fourth quarter and into the following year, according to ad executives. In the past, most of these dollars went towards ads on traditional, long-form YouTube videos, which the Alphabet-owned company then shares with YouTubers. 

    This year, advertisers were able to include YouTube Shorts as part of their upfront ad buys. It was as simple as checking a box, said an executive at one top ad agency which spends hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of clients on YouTube every year. The next three months will determine whether they did—and creators will be among the first to know. Their dashboards of YouTube earnings will reflect any increased Shorts ad sales that the company shares with its video bloggers.


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