YouTube has paid over $30 billion to creators, artists, and others over the past three years

YouTube has paid over $30 billion to creators, artists, and others over the past three years


YouTube has paid more than $30 billion to creators, artists, and media organizations over the past three years, according to a new letter published by CEO Susan Wojcicki.

In Wojcicki's first letter to content creators for 2021, the CEO took the time to discuss YouTube's growth. The number of new channels joining the company's Partner Program, which enables content creators to earn ad revenue, more than doubled by 2020. YouTube also "contributed approximately $16 billion to the U.S. GDP in 2019, supporting the equivalent of 345,000 full time jobs," according to the Oxford Economics report highlighted by Wojcicki.

The letter also focuses on the work the YouTube team still has ahead of them. Primarily, transparency, especially when it comes to content strikes and advertising costs. Wojcicki noted that at the "scale we operate, it’s hard for creators to keep up with changing Community Guidelines."

Wojcicki's letter stated that YouTube wanted to be better at communicating changes to avoid channel strikes. After three strikes within 90 days, the channel will be terminated.

"In December, I spoke with creator Charlie White from the channel penguinz0 after he tweeted about being given a strike for an older video due to a new policy," Wojcicki wrote. "We know this situation is similar to frustrations shared by other creators."

One example that emerged after the 2020 presidential election was YouTube's decision to ban any video that triggers misinformation about voter fraud. The new policy took effect in December, but YouTube provides a grace period for creators to ensure that no videos violate the new policy.

Pewdiepie Youtuber

YouTube executives are also facing increasing pressure to do a better job of moderating the site and preventing the spread of misinformation. YouTube is now shifting its focus to vaccination misinformation. "We’re always working to strike the right balance between openness and responsibility as we meet the guidelines set by governments around the world," wrote Wojcicki.

One other interesting point from Wojcicki's letter is its focus on regulation. A recent hot topic in tech policy circles is the reform of Article 230, which effectively allowed social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter to operate without taking responsibility for the content people posted. Wojcicki called Article 230 an action that "enables us to both keep YouTube open and allow a large amount of content on the internet as well as take the actions necessary to protect our platform." While Wojcicki didn't have a stronger sentiment, she did point out that the debate about Section 230 taking place in Congress had caught the attention of creators like Hila and Ethan Klein.

Wojcicki's full letter, which contains full details about creator earnings and updates on YouTube Shorts, the company's answer to TikTok, can be read on the Google blog.

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Keywords: Youtube, Susan Wojcicki, youtube creator, youtube artist